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Noem’s Back Out, Needs Several Months to Recover

Governor Kristi Noem says she hurt her back so badly a couple months ago she had to go to the Mayo Clinic for surgery

Today Governor Kristi Noem announced that following several weeks of medical treatment in South Dakota for a back injury, the Governor underwent successful back surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Her treating surgeon, Dr. Mohamad Bydon, described the treatment: “Governor Noem developed an acute condition impacting her lumbar spine. She underwent successful surgery and is well on her way to a full recovery. The Governor is in excellent health.”

Dr. Bydon is a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic and the Charles B. and Ann L. Johnson Professor of Neurosurgery [Office of the Governor, press release, 2022.09.13].

Bring on the cheap shots:

  1. Must have been all that spinning.
  2. Must have been too many takes galloping for her campaign ad.
  3. Must have been those darn cheap seats on the used plane we bought her; if we had bought her a nicer plane, she wouldn’t be in this fix!
  4. Funny: her back looked fine when she turned it on supporters of women’s rights.
  5. So that’s why she’s been lugging Larry Rhoden around everywhere: she needed someone to carry her out if her back spasmed.
  6. Noem says she’ll be “‘very limited’ in what she will be able to do for the next several months.” How will South Dakotans be able to tell the difference?

And one real take:

Going in for a back operation to address a back condition that didn’t appear to be cutting into Noem’s mobility for the last couple months is a pretty serious medical intervention. Knowing it would lay her up for several months had to raise questions of, “When can I afford to be out of commission for that long?” Noem chose to have this serious operation sooner rather than later, cutting into the height of the 2022 campaign season in hopes that she’ll be back at full strength some time after next winter or spring. That choice suggests the following calculations:

  1. Contrary to the wishful rumor-mongering of certain Twitterati, Noem’s internal polling shows that she leads Jamie Smith by 20 points. She can skip the one TV debate and coast to reëlection in November.
  2. She’s done enough to raise her national profile with the book tour and cross-country Republican fundraising. More national campaign efforts now amidst Republicans struggling to keep their seats in tougher races nationwide might be (a) lost in the noise and (b) viewed as contributing to certain Republican losses in November.
  3. She needs to be at full strength come spring 2023 when her real campaign begins: her campaign for President.

But hey, let’s just be glad that Kristi Noem has the freedom and the means to travel to other states to access health care. All women should be as lucky.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-09-13 07:48

    Only a few of my tweets have gone viral but none as viral as this one: “It’s not impossible that Mrs. Noem’s lumbar injury is a result of her continually wrestling with the truth.” So far I have 54 likes and 11 retweets!

  2. Nick Nemec 2022-09-13 08:00

    I wonder what her aspect of her back problem was so severe/complicated/unusual that no surgeon in South Dakota was qualified to preform the operation?

  3. AmyB 2022-09-13 08:08

    Nick….She doesn’t trust SD teachers so it’s not surprising she doesn’t trust SD doctors.

  4. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-13 08:30

    Oh, dear–something seious, I hope. And let’s see THE DOCTOR’S EXCUSE, b*nt.

  5. Donald Pay 2022-09-13 08:53

    I agree with Bonnie B. She’s a known liar, so I won’t believe any of this unless she releases the records. With serious back injuries you aren’t going to be gallivanting all over the country, as she did. If she had a back issue it wasn’t of a serious nature.

  6. cibvet 2022-09-13 09:17

    Maybe she should have donors give checks instead of brief cases full of illicit cash.

  7. Mike J 2022-09-13 09:39

    I noticed a mistake in her quote so I fixed it for her. “I won’t be able to stand for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and I won’t be able to ‘get out of’ South Dakota like I love to do so much,” she said.

  8. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-13 11:57

    I’m just guessing we won’t see as much of this twit on social media and grovelling online puff pieces brandishing rifles, playing golf, flogging horsies, holding flabby grandbabies, pumping iron, and riding motorcycles, WILL WE?

    I want to see her painfully and slowly walk, clutching furniture, shelving, canes, counters, coworkers, family members, stair banisters, shopping carts, and a walker she bought at Goodwill, while continuing to work five days a week, with no sick leave, for five months. Just the experience of a good friend, who wasn’t an overpriveleged Reptilian queen.

    Remember when The First Ho’ disappeared; had a “kidney embolization” and returned with perkier boobs?

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-13 15:02

    I wish the Governor well in her recovery from lumbar surgery. Back surgery is always a risky deal and she is fortunate her health insurance (a state benefit) provided for treatment at Mayo. I’ve had lumbar “prolapse” issues and the pain is excruciating and constant. Paralyzing. No one deserves that pain. Hopefully, she will find her pain and recovery a humbling experience.

  10. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-13 15:19

    You are far too kind, Arlo.

  11. mike from iowa 2022-09-13 16:07

    Had four lumbar surgeries over a period of 21 years aNd Farmed for nine more years Until forced retirement. Not fun.

  12. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-13 18:20

    Pain and disability truly suck, gentlemen. I don’t post about mine, and I mourn my (deceased) friend’s suffering. I was there when she cried and begged God to take her home. She lasted eight more years; no surgery for her.

    My point is Kristi Lynn MIGHT have had lumbar surgery, but if she starts posting social media images and narratives soon about the stuff she used to do and shall do, maybe she’s a liar? Hmmm?

  13. Belinda Powers 2022-09-13 19:47

    You mean no docs at Monument, Avera, or Sanford could do the surgery? They all have neurosurgeons and spine specialists. We have relatives who had lower spine surgery at Monument’s new Orthopedic Hospital, south of Rapid.

    Also, I think she got bucked off that horse that she rode in her TV commercial. She rode it, was filmed, then after some of the filming, she got tossed off. That’s why there are no close-up pics in the commercial, only distance shots. They had to stop filming when she was hurt.

  14. Richard Kappedal 2022-09-13 23:49

    How did she injure her neck 2 months ago?

    Did her injury happen here in South Dakota?

    Was it an on the job injury?

    When did it happen?

  15. mike from iowa 2022-09-14 09:21

    HOw do lumbar injuries happen? Mine is an inherited degenerative disc disease and six of nine siblings have had lumbar surgery,(s)

  16. bearcreekbat 2022-09-14 11:38

    Just for you Kristi:

    What Type of Back Pain Symptoms Are Treated by Medical Marijuana?
    Medical marijuana can help alleviate many symptoms of back pain as there are wide range of symptoms with back pain. Here are some of the symptoms medical marijuana can help alleviate:

    1. Pain and Muscle Spasms
    Marijuana can help reduce muscle spasms. Some studies have reported a 45% reduction in the intensity of pain within 20 minutes of inhalation. And it is particularly effective in treating back spasms. Many states have approved the use of medical marijuana for muscle spasms. In Pennsylvania medical marijuana is approved for:

    Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin

    Severe chronic or intractable pain,medical%20marijuana%20for%20muscle%20spasms.

  17. All Mammal 2022-09-14 13:07

    If we must compromise- either women have access to cannabis for menstrual pain
    We get to use the temporary insanity plea up to once a month for losing our sht…..
    Or how about like wise comments from above suggest- give adults the respect and privacy not just to spread covid if they choose, but to decide what they like and don’t like and want to be and do.

  18. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-15 11:45

    Belinda – Think of the potential humiliation of Kween Kowgirl Kristi getting tossed off her pony Petunia, captured in digital glory! Close up, even.

    If it exists and I was, oh, say, a rival political candidate, I’d be all over that like a rat on a Cheeto with a checkbook.

    There would be a new political commercial yesterday with an announcer intoning “let’s dump Kristi like her pony did, and start governing South Dakota responsibly and compassionately.” Although most SD voters wouldn’t understand a word with five syllables.

  19. P. Aitch 2022-09-15 15:47

    Back surgery? Do you realize how many “celebrities” and your Governor certainly considers herself among that group, have used a “back surgery” to explain the time needed away from public live to recover from a facelift? Melania Trump for example. Let’s see a photo of the celebrity Governor holding a copy of today’s Capital Journal just for a baseline.

  20. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-15 16:32

    I certainly give the Governor the benefit of the doubt about her back surgery. If you have a severe, life limiting, painful back injury and can get into Mayo Clinic…GO. Back surgery is at best a 50-50 proposition.If you can get the best care in the world and cut the odds…GO.

  21. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-15 17:04

    Again, I think you’re too kind, Arlo, but I’ve been spectacularly wrong before. I’ll grovel and apologize if she doesn’t post on social media for six months about the physical activites she’s doing now.

  22. cibvet 2022-09-15 19:22

    Having ridden horses since I was 2 years old and a motorcycle since I was 17 years old, I can assure you that one cannot ride either with lumbar injury without using pain killers. That said, I cannot speak for riding in private luxury jets or a taxpayer state owned plane. Just maybe large cushy heated leather seats and large political checks helps alleviate the pain.

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