Various rectal-related maladies affecting US Presidents

I was reading this page on the health history of US Presidents and I am entirely convinced you could write an entire book on the rectal issues that have been rampant in the Oval Office. Aside from the fact that pretty much every other president of the 18th and 19th century had some encounter with rampant dysentery, here are some examples:

  • James Garfield got shot in 1881 and died 80 days later. And during that time, he could not hold down food. So his doctors (and it’s been widely speculated that his doctors’ incompetence is what really killed him) had to feed him rectally, by giving him nutritional enemas.
  • During the Bay of Pigs invasion, John F. Kennedy had constant and acute diarrhea.
  • Eisenhower had a severe bowel obstruction in 1956.  The first course of action was a tap-water enema, but he was rushed to the hospital and had a foot of his intestine bypassed with a colostomy.
  • After Abraham Lincoln was shot, one of the methods used to revive him was anal dilation.
  • Garfield suffered from an anal fissure that required surgery in 1875.
  • In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt suffered from iron deficiency anemia due to rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids.
  • In 1984, Bill Clinton underwent a colonoscopy due to rectal bleeding.
  • Jimmy Carter had to receive emergency hemorrhoid treatment in 1978. It was hidden from the public, until Anwar Sadat told the people of Egypt to pray for Carter because of his ailment.
  • Ronald Reagan had two feet of his colon removed in 1985 due to colon cancer.  He had a colonoscopy that revealed the cancer, and when the doctors wanted to operate immediately, Nancy Reagan consulted her astrologer, who told her to delay the surgery.  But he didn’t want to repeat the pre-colonoscopy purging routine, so he had the surgery the next day.
  • George W. Bush had hemorrhoids during the time period of his National Guard service.

[I swear I didn’t make any of this up. Go read the site.]