December 2nd, 2008
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Barbara Bush much improved, ready for release from hospital

(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush is feeling "much, much better" and will be released Tuesday from a Houston hospital, former President George H.W. Bush said.

"She was in extraordinary agony" before undergoing surgery a week ago for a perforated ulcer, the former president said at a brief news conference at Methodist Hospital. He referred to his 83-year-old wife as "the silver fox," and apologized that she couldn't be at his side.

Her surgeon, Dr. Pat Reardon, told reporters his patient is on a liquid diet, but should be able to have regular food in a week or so - nothing spicy, however. She will be on antacids as a preventive treatment, he said.

"She is in excellent condition. She has all normal labs and all normal vital signs. She is quite vigorous," the doctor added. "She comes from good stock."

The former first lady showed up at Methodist's emergency room November 25 complaining of severe abdominal pain.

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