Poor Dana Milbank. For all of his life he has been the picture of perfect health. And then Donald Trump was elected President and completely ruined it to the point where he is now dying. Milbank discusses his health crises in his Sunday Washington Post column, President Trump is killing me. Really.
President Trump is killing me.
No, really. He’s killing me.
It wasn't one of his campaign promises but we'll take it.
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I went for my annual physical last month, and, for the first time in my 49 years, I had to report that I’ve not been feeling well: fatigue, headaches, poor sleep, even some occasional chest pain. My doctor checked my blood pressure, which had always been normal before: alarmingly high!
Where can we watch your Election Night meltdown video, Dana?
What could this mean? I don’t smoke, I’m not obese and I swim most days. The doctor hooked me up to electrodes and ran an EKG; it was normal. He suggested I try an ultra-low-sodium diet, and I spent a few weeks living on unsalted rice cakes, undressed salads and unappealing entrees; the pressure dropped a few points, but not enough. We could pretty much rule out sleep apnea and other things that can cause a spike in blood pressure. My doctor had me take a calcium CT scan of my heart, which filled me with enough radiation to melt s’mores but turned up nothing terrible.
Perhaps you need to add newsprint to your diet again. Your body probably craves it ever since you ate your own column for predicting that Donald Trump would not be nominated.
At this point, I arrived at a self-diagnosis: I was suffering from Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder, or THUD. For almost five decades, I had been the picture of health, but eight months into Trump’s presidency, I was suddenly ailing. Trump is the only variable, I told my doctor. “He sure is variable,” my doc replied, endorsing the diagnosis.
I know THUD is a real condition because I have a scientifically valid sample to prove it. I told my editor about my new medical state, and he reported that he, too, has been newly warned by his doctor that his blood pressure has become borderline, and things could go either way. Sort of like with the “dreamers” (although in my editor’s case, dealing with me may be the primary cause of illness).
It looks like there is a big THUD outbreak in not only the Washington Post newsroom but in newsrooms all around the country. With MSNBC anchor Katy Tur, her THUD symptoms were extreme nausea and a buildup of bile in the back of her throat.
I have a strong suspicion THUD is a widespread phenomenon. A dentist tells me orders have surged in the Washington area for night guards because more people are clenching and grinding their teeth in the Trump era. Psychotherapists tell me that they are unusually busy and that most clients are talking about Trump, who is exacerbating whatever neurosis, depression or other conditions they had. This is probably quantifiable, but I am too fatigued to do this work. My heart can only take so much.
So THUD appears to be not only a physical problem but also an extreme mental disorder. That prognosis sounds about right.
It stands to reason that THUD is less pervasive in parts of the country that supported Trump: rural areas, the South, the industrial Midwest. Americans here are probably suffering no deleterious effects on their health as a result of Trump’s election.
They can be classified as normal people either with jobs or with jobs coming back as a result of Trump's policies promoting economic growth.
I have addressed my case of Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder in its early stages, and my doctor has started me on blood-pressure medication. My prescription is renewable until January 2021, at which point I expect it will no longer be medically necessary.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but at that time you are likely to desire an overdose of newsprint in order to say goodbye to this cruel world rather than face another four years of THUD.