Saturday, March 12, 2005

At the Hospital

I’ve been at the hospital all afternoon. The president is doing much better than yesterday and the day before. Yesterday he fell asleep a lot, but I think that had more to do with the fact that he had been working so hard in the weeks leading up to his surgery.

This afternoon he was cheerful and alert as always. I brought him the Saturday papers and we read them together. There were a lot of friends and foreign ambassadors dropping in to wish the president a speedy recovery. Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea were there too. Chelsea’s boyfriend came to visit the president later.

It was a very awkward visit. A secret service agent told the president Chelsea’s boyfriend was waiting at the door and whether he should let him in. The president sighed and said “Oh no. Tell him I died”. All of us were shocked. The president laughed out loud, but we didn’t. Chelsea was angry. She said “Dad, you can’t say horrible things like that. Not even as a joke.” Mrs. Clinton told the president that his remark wasn’t funny at all, because a lot of people would be awfully upset if it were true. She told him to be more responsible than say things like that.

The president seemed to think it was a great joke. You know how he is. When he starts laughing he can’t stop. The secret service man was still waiting. Chelsea told him to tell her boyfriend to come in, but he didn’t move. He was looking at the president, waiting for orders, but the president was still laughing. Chelsea got up, walked out of the door and told her boyfriend to come in.

The boyfriend brought the president flowers. He was very respectful, but the president couldn’t stop laughing. As he was asking the president questions about his health, the president kept laughing in response. It took him quite a while after every question to respond. The boyfriend looked at Chelsea. Chelsea rolled her eyes.

After a while and as you know the president has a very infectious laugh, we started laughing too after the boyfriend asked a question. Chelsea’s boyfriend was becoming very uncomfortable. He stopped asking questions, but since everybody else was looking at him, he’d continue asking questions. The president would laugh out loud in response and all of us would laugh too.

After about ten minutes the boyfriend looked at his watch and told the president he had a business meeting to attend. He wished the president well and left the room, followed by Chelsea. It took the president a full half hour to stop laughing and once in a while out of the blue he’d just laugh and Mrs. Clinton told the person the president was talking to at that moment that the president was still recovering from the anesthesia.

The president is doing fine. The doctors say his wounds are healing to their satisfaction. They need a day or two to decide how long they will keep the president in the hospital.

The rest of the day was hectic, but uneventful.

Bobbi Lamoon