Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still at New York Presbyterian undergoing treatment for a blood clot, and there's been a lot of speculation circulating as to the severity of her illness.
So far, we've been told the clot was discovered during a follow-up doctor's visit after Clinton suffered a concussion earlier this month, but the clot's location has not been disclosed. A clot in the brain or lung can be pretty serious, but clots in the leg, called deep vein thromboses, are more common.
Those kinds of clots are usually caused by long periods of rest and inactivity, and since Clinton was at home recuperating after her concussion—and spends so much sedentary time traveling by plane, having visited 112 countries during her tenure as Secretary of State— doctors unaffiliated with her treatment speculate a leg clot is not unlikely. "Often flying is a particular risk—people take certain measures," Dr. Allen West, chief of cardiology at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., told Bloomberg News. Plus, officials say she's being treated with blood thinners, which doctors say isn't the kind of treatment warranted by a brain clot. Clinton's no stranger to leg clots, having suffered one behind her right knee in 1998 that she described as "the most significant health scare" she's ever had.
Then, of course, there are the conspiracy theorists. First, rumors have been circulating that Clinton's really suffering from something even more serious than a blood clot, which were sparked by a National Enquirer story published post-concussion that claimed she had brain cancer (government officials denied those rumors).
But there's also been some pooh-poohing of Clinton's health woes from the anti-Obama camp, especially since she was unable to testify in Congress about the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans earlier this year. Following Clinton's concussion, the Post said her illness "beggared belief," and mocked her with a quote from a Shel Silverstein poem about a child trying to get out of going to school. Today, the Post ran a more serious and respectful cover of her, but don't think the Twitterverse Chorus from Hell was more forgiving:
I am sure that Hillary Clinton will suffer from acute memory loss as a result of her blood clot.
— Richard Losurdo (@ohp369) December 31, 2012
Benghazi Flu Hillary Clinton in hospital with blood clo. teaparty.org/drama-hillary-… O will make her go away 1 way or another before she Testifies!
— Jimmy Murphy (@JimmyCoyoteLoco) December 31, 2012
Will this "Muslim blood clot" prevent Hillary from testifying on Libya, again? Unveil the truth, Mrs. Clinton... America is counting on you!
— Dionne Corona (@dionne_corona) December 31, 2012
Clinton's reportedly in the VIP wing of New York Presbyterian's Milstein Hospital Building, and reporters are lined up outside waiting for more news, though no one has been allowed inside the building. On the bright side, Clinton got some good non-medical news today. An annual Gallup poll ranked her as the most admired woman in the world, an honor she's now earned 17 times since becoming first lady in 1993.