Giuliani’s Headache

It’s always fun to figure out what “flu-like symptoms” really means.

If you missed it, Rudy Giuliani was admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis last week with what was initially described as flu-like symptoms. Now, he says it was a headache. This is what Giuliani told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this morning, with my emphasis in bold.

“It got really bad at night, when I was speaking to a crowd and did a press conference,” said Giuliani. “I got on a plane — I imagine what happened is the pressure of the takeoff made the headache worse than I’ve ever had.”

Giuliani was given a clean bill of health…by his campaign. We’re still waiting to hear officially from the doctors. We should also remember, Giuliani is a cancer survivor, having–as far as we know–kicked prostate cancer in the ass.

What I find interesting is that no one has asked him so far about that headache. See, having some experience in this area, I know what “the headache worse than I’ve ever had” is synonymous with in the medical world. Patients suffering from subarachnoid hemorrhage due to rupture of a cerebral aneurysm routinely refer to the feeling as…”the headache worse than I’ve ever had.”

We can feel pretty confident Giuliani is okay. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be out of the hospital right now. Still, I have to wonder about those final few minutes before his campaign plane turned around on its way out of St. Louis.

There are a ton of hospitals in St. Louis. I have no way of knowing which hospital was the closest to his airport. What I do know, however, is that Barnes-Jewish has the best neurologists and neurosurgeons in the entire state of Missouri. That’s not to mention, it is one of the top ten neurology and neurosurgery service hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

None of this is scandalous, by any means. There is nothing political about Rudy Giuliani not having a ruptured aneurysm. What is interesting, however, is the lengths to which the campaign is going to not discuss it and not use the phrase “feared ruptured aneurysm.”

Weakness, even weakness that doesn’t exist, is a killer in politics, and no hospital in Missouri or anywhere else can fix a public perception that a candidate might be too fragile for office.

So, in this case flu-like symptoms was almost certainly fear of a ruptured aneurysm.

Better than herpes, I guess.

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous Anonymous says:

    So many men with prostate cancer. I hope if Giuliani becomes president he attends to health care as one who should understand its benefits.

  2. Hey, easy on the herpes-afflicted. 🙂

  3. Just FYI, Barnes isn’t close to the airport. The airport is out in teh suburbs, Barnes is downtown. for what it’s worth.