How is Pope Francis?  The geriatrician answers

“How am I? I'm still alive.” And with this slogan so Pope Francis has long confronted the ills and defects of aging. Just a month ago, severe bronchitis forced him to undergo antibiotic treatment. Because of the “influenza” (influenza in Spanish), as Bergoglio himself defined it during an audience, the Pope did not make a trip to Dubai at the end of November to attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. . Then I had two surgeries: the last, on June 7 at the Gemili Clinic, for a gastrocele that had lodged in scar tissue from previous abdominal surgeries performed in recent years. Not to mention the ligament injury in his right knee that has plagued him for some time, an ailment mainly due to poor posture caused in turn by a hip problem.

“Hearings, speeches, public publications, travel, public and private meetings certainly represent an unusually stressful activity for an 87-year-old man, given that at this age he has been retired for some time – he explains to Adnkronos Salute Nicola Ferrara, Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Naples Federico II -. If we add to all this the illnesses that Pope Francis has been suffering from for some time and the severe events that affected him last year – let us remember that Bergoglio is sensitive to the respiratory system – I see a man who is as fragile and frail as all old people, but who, despite his illnesses and his years, endures. Tension, and shows a certain amount of physical and mental strength.

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For Ferrara, in short, “he was visited by someone who was not his personal physician, the Pope He appears elderly but has partial cognitive and motor skills, and walks with satisfactory aidsThrough jokes about his state of health, “I am still alive,” or his frequent reminders to the faithful, “Pray for the Pope, he always needs it,” “In my opinion, he behaves like a man with all his weaknesses.” The hope is that he can Continuing for a long time to come, proving to the world that even in his advanced decades he can carry out his pastoral work, which is appreciated even by non-believers. “It is certain that the high-level medical staff present alongside Bergoglio plays an important role in maintaining the performance of the Pope,” he concludes. “.

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