Thursday, December 14, 2006

Was it a Mini-stroke?

Reuters is reporting that Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), stricken earlier today with an as yet undisclosed illness, has undergone surgery.

A friend with some medical background suggests, reluctantly and not for attribution, that Senator Johnson may have suffered a Transient Ischemic Attack, or "mini-stroke," based on news accounts, and the recent reports that the Senator's staff has stated that he did not suffer a stroke.

Here are the symptoms of a Transient Ischemic Attack:
TIA symptoms, which usually occur suddenly, are similar to those of stroke but do not last as long. Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may persist for up to 24 hours. Symptoms can include: numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion or difficulty in talking or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and difficulty with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.
Reuters is now reporting that Senator Johnson has undergone surgery. Treatment for Transient Ischemic Attack can include carotid artery surgery.

Speculation is rampant about the Senator's condition because if he cannot serve as a result of the illness, South Dakota's Republican Governor will likely appoint another Republican to replace him, nullifying the 51-49 Democratic Senate majority.

I wish the Senator well.

Update: No. From MSNBC:
Johnson suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said, describing the surgery as successful. The condition, present at birth, causes tangled blood vessels.