Barbara Bush says she feels fine after a radioactive thyroid treatment and will continue life as usual except that she can't hold her grandchildren or puppies in her lap or kiss anyone for 72 hours.
Looking fit after a reception with the Queen of Sweden, Mrs. Bush told reporters Wednesday, "I feel wonderful."That morning the first lady underwent a common procedure for her recently diagnosed Graves disease. She drank a radioactive iodine solution to deactivate her thyroid gland, which was producing excess levels of hormones.
Talking to a handful of reporters after standing in a half-hour receiving line and speaking at the reception, she complained that news coverage of her health was overshadowing the issues she wanted to focus on, such as Queen Silvia's work on behalf of the disabled.
"Will you stop it?" she implored the reporters.
She jokingly pretended to be infirm, staggering up to the reporters and leaning on the arm of her press secretary. Then she told the group, "I could Indian wrestle any one of you to the ground."
She said she swam a mile Thursday and Monday and played tennis on Wednesday, and hoped to keep exercising to keep off the 21 pounds that the disease had caused her to lose.
In reference to the weight loss, she said, "I like half of my disease. In fact I love half of it."
She said she had wanted to wear an eye patch or arrive in a wheelchair just to tweak the press, but her press secretary nixed the prank.
During a two-hour visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Mrs. Bush sipped the radioactive solution through a straw, and said it tasted like water.
She also had her eyes examined and they were found to have no damage from the disease, which had caused some eye irritation, she said.