Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Migraine Headaches

I saw this story break on the Interwebs last night and was quite surprised about the whole thing. Is it a real story? I have no reason to believe it is not.

Michele Bachmann is said to be a sufferer of migraine headaches and is medicated to prevent them and then to cope with them. Normal enough for most people but for a Presidential candidate, it calls into play the issue of ability to function in that position. Fervent Bachmann supporters immediately jumped on the story and cried foul. That is unfortunate. Let the story surface and let the truth come out.

The Minnesota Republican frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes that she has characterized as severe headaches. These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can “incapacitate” her for days at time. On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result.

“She has terrible migraine headaches. And they put her out of commission for a day or more at a time. They come out of nowhere, and they’re unpredictable,” says an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign. “They level her. They put her down. It’s actually sad. It’s very painful.”

Her spokeswoman confirms that Bachmann suffers from these headaches.
Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said ”she suffers from migraines and they’re under control with medicine.” Stewart contested descriptions of the episodes as “incapacitating” Bachmann but did not specify how the descriptions were wrong. “The information you have is incorrect,” Stewart said. She declined to discuss Bachmann’s hospital visits at all, saying, “I’m not going to go into her medical history.”

Reasonable people can agree that migraine headaches do, in fact, render the sufferer incapacitated. We can hope that she has found medication that relieves her pain and maybe even prevents them. No one would fault her for taking medicine and carrying it with her in daily life.

The question becomes - is this a deal breaker for her candidacy? Stress brings on these headaches. There is no more stressful job than President of the United States, right? The sources for this story are former staffers. We can question timing and motives, but that would not change the story, if true.

Michele Bachmann owes her supporters an explanation about this story and how she intends to move forward. The sooner the better.

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