For those of us who have had a loved one with dementia, it is impossible not to wonder what is wrong with Joe Biden’s family. He is clearly struggling in every extemporaneous public appearance and even has difficulty with his highly produced and scripted ones.
This recent virtual meeting was no different. The full video is not on Biden’s YouTube page. However, this comment is truly bizarre:
The context is Biden talking about how nurses make you want to live. After discussing his two sons being saved at a hospital, he switches to the first person and talks about losing interest when your vitals flatline, then shares this … not sure when this apparently occurred
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 22, 2020
The woman he is speaking to looks quite confused. As a registered nurse myself, I can assure you that this never happened. I would venture a guess it was his wife, Jill Biden, who whispered in his ear and went home to get him pillows. Of course, she basically functions as his nurse at this point, so the mistake is understandable.
As far as breathing into a patient’s nose? That is not a technique used by nurses anywhere I am aware of. In a hospital setting, Ambu bags are used to give breathing support during resuscitation. A nurse may also place a nasal cannula or face mask which covers the mouth and nose to deliver oxygen if a patient needs it. Breathing into someone’s nostrils would violate every basic principle of infection control since the early 20th century.
I can only assume Biden is misremembering either being resuscitated or coming out of anesthesia. From the context provided by Tom Elliott in the tweet, those are the only logical conclusions. It turns out he was hospitalized for a serious health issue after dropping out of the 1988 presidential primary.
After being accused of plagiarizing a speech and leaving the race in September of 1987, Biden suffered from headaches and pain in his neck. In February of 1988, he suffered from two life-threatening brain aneurysms. According to Delaware Online:
In his 2007 book “Promises to Keep,” he describes passing out in a hotel room in Rochester in February 1988, where earlier that night he had given a speech at the University of Rochester. He recalls a “lightning flashing inside my head, a powerful electrical surge — and then a rip of pain like I’d never felt before.” He was unconscious for five hours.
Biden flew back to Wilmington the next morning, despite feeling weak and sick. Shortly after returning to his home, he was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital in Wilmington. The results of a spinal tap showed blood in his spinal fluid, meaning an artery in his brain was likely leaking, Biden wrote.
A CT scan revealed an aneurysm lying below the base of his brain. Surgery was his best chance of survival.
He underwent a microsurgical craniotomy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The chances of surviving the surgery were 50 percent, but the likelihood of waking up with serious deficits was even more concerning, Biden wrote.
What the article is careful not to say is that once those aneurysms ruptured, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke. The evidence for this would be the presence of blood in his spinal fluid that Biden wrote about. Spinal fluid usually is clear, and the presence of any blood cells indicates a problem. The central nervous system is protected by the blood-brain barrier to prevent toxins and pathogens from entering (layman’s terms):
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a component of the neurovascular unit (NVU) and acts as the blood-brain interface, mediating communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery. The BBB separates the circulation from the brain, allowing for protection from and transport regulation of serum factors (blood cells) and neurotoxins.
Following a second surgery, he wrote that he had an eyelid droop, and the right side of his forehead was immobile. The physical effects waned, but one has to wonder if there wasn’t some other damage. As the former vice president has gotten older, he is increasingly gaffe-prone and seems unable to stop the weird sniffing and touching of women and girls.
I have wondered previously if these traits were related to a loss of impulse control that often accompanies certain kinds of dementia. Now I wonder if it could be related to a stroke Biden had in 1988, and it is just getting worse as he ages.
It is past time for the campaign and the Biden family to come clean. While the media has been mocking President Trump for taking the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, it is clear the Joe Biden needs to take a similar test. The president should continue to challenge Biden on this front.
Watching Joe Biden’s apparent decline is bad enough for those of us who have seen a loved one suffer from declining cognitive function. Understanding he had a previous injury to the brain makes those concerns more profound. Getting Biden nominated was the Democrats’ big play. Americans should know who would really be running the country if this empty vessel is elected.