The speculation started in earnest nearly four years ago.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell and struck her head, resulting in a concussion, blood clots, and possibly other serious health issues that have not been fully revealed.
Since that time, the rumor mill has run wild with theories that Clinton suffers from some sort of serious neurological disorder. Pictures of Clinton being helped up stairs by aides — and of a handler appearing to hold an epilepsy syringe — have only thrown more gasoline on the fire.
We may never get a full picture of Clinton’s health, and her campaign will do anything to avoid talking about it.
But at least one interesting thread is developing that deserves serious attention from the mainstream media. It’s time to at least ask what role chronic, debilitating fatigue may be playing in Clinton’s life — and whether it could affect her ability to perform her responsibilities as commander-in-chief.
That may not be the sexy health condition that some Clinton opponents are looking for. But enough credible evidence has surfaced that we should at least be pulling at the string and seeing where it leads us.
A 2011 Hillary Clinton email, released by WikiLeaks, received a great deal of attention in the conservative press this week. Clinton seems to have directed a key aide to research the prescription drug Provigil.
Many pointed out that Provigil is sometimes used with patients who have neurological diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. And that’s true — although Provigil use on its own isn’t evidence of either condition.
Rather, Provigil is used by those who suffer from sleep disorders and extreme fatigue that makes it difficult to stay awake throughout the day — such as with people who have narcolepsy. It’s not a drug that healthy people take or even look into taking.
And, certainly, Provigil is sometimes used to help people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s battle daytime fatigue, which is a common side effect with both diseases.
But combined with what else we know about Clinton, the issue of chronic fatigue (and the possibility that this has been a problem for years) deserve further attention.
For example, we know from Clinton’s health records that she takes the medication Armour Thyroid to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). And one of the key symptoms of hypothyroidism is excessive fatigue.
A chronic fatigue issue — and limited stamina — may also explain Clinton’s notoriously short speeches and why she was taking days of rest when much of Louisiana was under water.
Chronic fatigue may be disappointing to those looking for smoking-gun proof that something much more serious is wrong with Clinton. But it can be a significant and even debilitating condition that isn’t just cured with a nap.
It can affect judgment, decision making, personality, and certainly the ability to handle the stressful rigors of a 24-7 job like the presidency. It can even mimic symptoms that are commonly associated with neurological impairment, like confusion or sluggishness.
Chronic fatigue can also be a symptom of a more serious health issue. But if there’s something larger occurring with Clinton, it’s unlikely that we’re going to get those answers before the election.
Right now, Clinton has left enough of a trail of bread crumbs that the mainstream media should at least be asking about fatigue issues. Where things go from there is anyone’s guess.