|RAY SUAREZ: Now, in recent years there's been a lot of controversy over the use of steroids by athletes, by youngsters who are trying body building, people talk about "roid rage" and personality changes from using such medications. How do we know, or can we ever know whether they affected President Kennedy in what was still, I think, a pretty new drug regimen, wasn't it?|
DR. JEFFREY KELMAN: Right. Steroids became available at all in 1937. And so this is reasonably new. The muscle building steroids are the testosterones, and he didn't appear to be getting doses high enough to cause psychological changes. The maintenance, corticosteroids he was receiving for the Addison's Disease, again, were probably not in high enough doses to cause psychiatric issues.
RAY SUAREZ: What can you tell from the X-rays?
DR. JEFFREY KELMAN: He had compression fractures in his low back, he had osteoporosis. He had a lot of surgery. In 1954, they put a plate in because the pain was so bad he needed, or they felt he needed to have his spine stabilized. It got infected in '55, they took the plate out. By the late '50s there were periods had he couldn't put his own shoes on because he couldn't bend forward.
RAY SUAREZ: And this is a man who also had to walk sideways down the stairs. You never saw this stuff in public apparently, but had trouble walking?
DR. JEFFREY KELMAN: He was on crutches. He couldn't bend down. There's one very nice picture of him being lifted up to Air Force One in a cherry picker box with a Secret Service man because he couldn't walk up the stairs.
RAY SUAREZ: If you had a patient, if someone been referred to you and you got this box of records, would you be expecting someone sort of tan and fit?
DR. JEFFREY KELMAN: No.
RAY SUAREZ: The way Kennedy that was presented to us?
DR. JEFFREY KELMAN: Never. It was the last thing I expected to find in the medical records. I saw him once, many years ago. And all I can remember is feeling this is a guy who couldn't have a care in the world. And that wasn't the case at all.
RAY SUAREZ: Has medicine changed in such a way that these conditions wouldn't be treated this way today?