John McCain, the long-serving Republican Arizona Senator, has been hospitalized for an “intestinal infection” that has been revealed to be diverticulitis, CNN is reporting.
According to a statement from the Arizona Senator’s office, the 81-year-old Republican is being given what is quite possibly the best medical care available.
“On Sunday, Senator McCain was admitted to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis.”
According to WebMD, diverticulitis is the inflammation of diverticuli – that is, small pouches that form in the small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. In most adults, diverticulitis is little more than a painful inconvenience, easily treated with antibiotics and changes to diet and lifestyle. The disease can be caused by infection, aging, obesity, diet, or any of a host of other factors.
However, as one ages, the complications of diverticulitis become more acute and more severe. Those complications can include severe abdominal pain, nausea, blockage in the colon or small intestine caused by scarring; fistulas (that is, tears) between sections of bowel or the bowel and bladder; and peritonitis, which can happen when the infected or inflamed pouch ruptures, releasing intestinal contents into your abdominal cavity. Peritonitis is a serious medical emergency and requires immediate care.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who has has been undergoing treatment for a brain cancer diagnosis in his home state since late last year, is hospitalized in stable condition after undergoing surgery for an intestinal infection, his office said https://t.co/xWxv3Wh4wr pic.twitter.com/V2pLR8VVBw
— CNN (@CNN) April 16, 2018
Needless to say, at 81, John McCain’s advanced age, plus his previous brain cancer diagnosis (more on that in the next paragraph), make even a minor medical concern a matter of life and death.
The recent diverticulitis diagnosis is just the latest health crisis to befall the aging Senator. Last month, the Arizona Senator’s office revealed that he has been battling brain cancer.
Still, his failing health has not prevented him from carrying out his Senate duties. In fact, McCain, though a Republican, has been one of the most vocal Republican critics of Donald Trump. Most recently, he suggested that Trump’s previous statements that the U.S. would cease military operations in Syria “emboldened” Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical attacks against the city of Douma.
And while diverticulitis is usually a minor-to-moderate problem that can be treated easily, when the patient is of an advanced age, like McCain, the prognosis is less bright. As of this writing, John McCain’s condition has been listed as “stable.”