Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Decortication Surgery

I’m in Washington DC right now. Former president George Bush and I went to the White House to talk to the president and to report on our trip to Asia. It was a very nice meeting and I want to thank the president for his kindness. The weather in Washington is horrible by the way. I thought winter was over. It isn't.

Tomorrow I will be in Hobe Sound in Florida at the Medalist Golf Club. I will play golf at a charity event meant to raise money for the victims of the tsunami. Former president George Bush will be there too.

Thursday I will be back in New York for my operation at the Presbyterian Hospital, the Columbia University Medical Center. I’ve had pain in my chest for quite a while now. It wasn’t acute pain, but more a dull pain, which I could live with. I discussed it with my doctors Craig Smith and Allan Schwartz about a month ago. This was before I went to Asia.

According to them scar tissue built up in my chest and holds back fluids, which would normally drain away. This made part of my left lung collapse. After what happened to me and Gil a few days ago, I fell on my chest, I’ve been in pain ever since. I can live with it, but I just want to make sure nothing ruptured inside and there are no internal bleedings. It’s a common procedure. I’m not afraid.

The procedure is called a decortication operation. I will be under anesthesia during the operation, which will take about three hours. What they will do is they will make a cut between my ribs, insert a camera to see inside and repair the damage.

It isn’t a major operation like quadruple heart bypass surgery, but I will have to be in hospital for about a week depending on the success of the operation. After that I have to recuperate at home for about a month.

As I said I feel all right. I’m not scared.

I would like to thank everybody for their kind messages and well wishes. I appreciate them very much.

Chelsea called. I talked to Curly too. I spent most of the day with Hillary. She is concerned, but I told her everything would be ok. I’m leaving for Florida in a few hours. Bobbi will be happy to be back in her home state.

I asked her to keep you updated about my progress during the time I’m in hospital.

Again thank you for your messages. I wish all of you the best.