Barbara Bush leaves hospital after surgery

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Former President George H.W. Bush said the "silver fox" was in good condition.

"I can report that Barb is feeling much, much better, and I'll be glad to get her home and she is doing well," he said at a news conference. He thanked the Methodist Hospital staff for taking care of his wife.

Her lab test results and vital signs were normal, said her surgeon, Dr. Pat Reardon.

"She's having an excellent recovery, and is as vigorous as ever. She was excited to go home," Reardon said.

Bush, 83, was hospitalized a week ago for abdominal pains. On Nov. 25, surgeons closed a dime-sized hole in her small intestine that was caused by the ulcer.

After the operation, she had to stay in the hospital because she was being fed intravenously while the ulcer healed.

"Mrs. Bush was started on a liquid diet Monday morning after all her test results came back normal. She did very well on the diet, and we determined she was ready to go home," Reardon said.

"She will slowly introduce regular foods back into her diet, and will gradually resume her normal activities," he said.

Ulcers can be a side effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which Barbara Bush was taking. She'll stop taking those drugs for now, Reardon said.

He said Bush declared that "this was the worst pain she ever had, worse than childbirth."

"I don't want to overdramatize this, but she was in extraordinary agony," former President Bush said.

Barbara Bush disclosed she was suffering from an overactive thyroid ailment known as Graves' disease when she lived at the White House. The disease causes teary eyes and double vision, according to her doctors.

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