Good grief, I am in bed with "President" Bartlet and Senator Paul Wellstone : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Sen. Wellstone Diagnosed With MS Feb 24, 2002


By ASHLEY H. GRANT, Associated Press Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Sen. Paul Wellstone announced Sunday that he has a mild form of multiple sclerosis, but he said it wouldn't stop his bid for a third term in Congress.

"Nothing's changed at all," the 57-year-old Democrat said. "I'm ready to go."

Wellstone's doctor diagnosed the disease a month ago and said the senator had probably had it for about 15 years.

In Wellstone's case, the chronic, sometimes disabling disease of the nervous system only affects his right leg. His physician, J.D. Bartleson of the Mayo Clinic, said Sunday that Wellstone would not need to take any medication and could proceed with his normal day-to-day activities. He said the stress of a campaign shouldn't pose a problem.

Wellstone faces a strong challenge from former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, a Republican, in his bid for re-election this fall.

The race is being watched nationally because the Democrats hold a razor-thin margin in the Senate. Coleman has the strong backing of President Bush, who is tentatively scheduled to appear at a March 4 fund-raiser for him.

On Sunday, Coleman declined to comment on whether the disease would become a campaign issue, only sending out a statement that said he wished Wellstone well in his battle with MS and that his "thoughts and prayers" were with the senator and his family.

Wellstone said Sunday that he decided to go public about the diagnosis because he wanted to be honest with people. For years, people have asked him why he limps. He always told them it was an old athletic injury.

"I don't want to be dishonest with anyone," he said. "I can no longer say it was a wrestling injury because it is not."

Bartleson, a neurologist, said primary progressive multiple sclerosis is progressive, but not fatal, and wouldn't shorten Wellstone's life. The problem was confined to the motor system in the senator's lower right leg, he said.

"Patients with this type of multiple sclerosis typically are able to maintain normal activities over the long term," Bartleson said.

Unlike other forms of the disease that can be helped by medication, no specific treatment has been found for the type Wellstone has. About 10-15 percent of the 330,000 Americans with MS have the primary progressive form of the disease.

-- (, February 24, 2002


Thank goodness Teri Garr is also in that bed

-- (, February 24, 2002.

I guess not even the magical aura of Close Encounters would extend a blanket of protection to this actress. I did not know she has MS.

Surprising, I saw no brief reference in the political article to TV's popular West Wing show on Wednesdays, where the MS issue raises concerns whether the president on that drama could do his job or misled the public about his condition. Was hoping theatrical attention of this ongoing theme would focus more support for the fight against MS.

-- Oxy (, February 24, 2002.

Well you're lucky it's not Paula Poundstone.

-- Maria (, February 25, 2002.

Teri Garr does not have MS. She has "degenerative discs with spurs on her neck and spine". You'll have to settle for one of these.

-- (Dr, February 25, 2002.

I had, at this time, a sharp apprehension not of what it was like to be old but of what it was like to open the door to the stranger and find that the stranger did indeed have the knife. In a few lines of dialogue in a neurologist's office in Beverly Hills, the improbable had become the probable, the norm: things which happened only to other people could in fact happen to me. I could be struck by lightning, could dare to eat a peach and be poisoned by the cyanide in the stone. The startling fact was this: my body was offering a precise physiological equivalent to what had been going on in my mind. "Lead a simple life," the neurologist advised. "Not that it makes any difference we know about." In other words it was another story without a narrative.

--Joan Didion, 1979

-- (play it @s it.lays), February 25, 2002.

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