WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota underwent surgery on Wednesday, a source said, after suffering what a doctor called "symptoms of a stroke." The actions prompted concerns about his fellow Democrats' razor-thin majority in the incoming Senate.
While there was no immediate word on the condition of the 59-year-old senator, the source, who is familiar with Johnson's situation, said surgeons sought to remedy an unspecified medical problem.
Surgery is not usually a viable treatment option for a stroke. But, it is for an aneurysm, which can cause the same kind of symptoms if it is located in the brain.
PYY wishes the Senator a speedy recovery and thoroughly condemns all of the political chatter of how this may affect the balance of power in the Senate. It is much too early for that and is very tacky, at the very least.
Senator In Critical Condition
Johnson suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said, describing the surgery as succesful.
A cerebral AVM is different from an aneurysm. It presents the same way an aneurysm does, but is a much more difficult problem to fix.
At any rate, CNN is reporting that he did in fact hemorrhage as a result of this. In the case of either an aneurysm or an AVM, surgery can and often does correct this anomaly. But, the fact that he bled does not look good at this point. More complications can and often do arise if there is a bleed. Survival rates drop, when there is a bleed.
Many people have AVMs and never have a problem. But that is of little consolation, for Sen. Johnson. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, today.
To illustrate why this country is so polarized at this point in our history, one need not look any further than comments at Steve Benen's blog, The Carpet Bagger Report.
(Steve is also the managing editor at the Daou Report, while Mr. Daou is working as Hillary's blog advisor.)
Note my comment (#4) to Steve's post:
It sounds like he has an aneurysm. Very rarely, would a stroke require a surgical intervention. If this is the case, recovery will likely be a long tough process, if he survives.
I am not pleased with how people on both sides of the aisle are already talking about how this affects the balance of power in the Senate. Our first thoughts should be with the Senator’s health and subsequent recovery. We do not elect D’s or R’s, we elect people.
Then note a specific reply (#8) to that comment:
kumbayah, #4, kumbayah.
I was about to ask what world you were living in… then I noticed it’s LA. I slapped my forehead and said “Of Course!”
Just kidding. Your comment was nice. Cute, quaint and totally unrealistic, with just a whiff of self-serving, self-gratifying, indignant self-righteous piety, but nice. Just kidding again. I mean when hundreds of thousands of people are being killed because of which party is in power, we should really focus on the suffering of one man, and ignore the balance in the senate, which is the reason the story has legs in the first place, and why we’re talking about it now. Totally you’re right. Good point.
…OK Now I’m really kidding.
So, the talk of the town in Democratic circles has centered on their fear that they may lose control of the Senate. Very little care and consideration has been given to the fact that a family is grieving and a man is fighting for his life, right now.
Their fear is that they will lose power.
While it is true that this story would not have legs if the balance was not teetering, right now, there is a certain coldness and callousness in people's hearts when it comes to politics. If there wasn't, we would not see comments like I just cited.
So, just where is the self-serving part of my statement? He doesn't say. But with a multitude of implications, he certainly shows who has the more self-serving comment, of the two.