Monday, May 19, 2008

Health Update From Mayor Koch

"I will be hospitalized on May 18 to have an operation on my spine on May 21. Hopefully, I will be discharged from the hospital at the end of that week to begin two weeks of recuperation.

My medical condition, which I have had for about a year and a half, is diagnosed as stenosis of the spine, which involves arthritis, a narrowing of the spine and the impingement on nerves, causing discomfort and some pain when I walk.

The prognosis, I am told, is excellent with a 92 percent recovery rate and a very low mortality rate. So, all things considered, I am very fortunate and have little anxiety. I have some anxiety, of course, since surgery and general anesthesia are never a walk in the park and, at age 83, they are even more impacting.

When confronted with my current condition, I tried all the intermediary measures available – exercise and three epidurals, but they did not work and I found myself walking less in order to avoid the distress and pain from walking and tilting to the left. That is not the way I want to lead my life, hence the decision to have the operation.

God willing, in a few weeks I will be fully recovered.
Not to be melodramatic or alarmist, but I have had a wonderful sojourn here and if, for whatever reason, God takes me, I have no regrets and thank the Almighty for the opportunities I have been given.

New York, NY"

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