Updated 04/17/2012 05:02 PM
Congresswoman Discusses Recovery from Broken Leg
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“You can't imagine what that bone looked like,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter.
More than two weeks have passed since she shattered her leg in a fall. She stubbed her toe and fell while walking near construction on a New York City street.
"I sat there and watched my left leg swell up. My left foot was just lying over to the side. The pain was excruciating,” said Slaughter, (D).
"Congresswoman Slaughter is doing great. She is recovering beautifully,” said Dr. Stephen Kates, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Sitting next to her doctor, Slaughter talked about how she's doing – well, she says – and how much she can't wait to get out of the hospital and back to work.
"We're working now. I don't want you to think we're just in here eating bonbons," Slaughter said.
Slaughter broke her left femur in the fall. She underwent surgery to repair it in New York, and last week was moved to Strong Hospital. The Congresswoman undergoes rehab sessions several hours a day.
"This was a very severe fracture of the knee and just above the knee joint. It's been beautifully realigned and I expect a full recovery,” Kates said.
"My health is fine. I'm good,” said Slaughter.
The Congresswoman was asked, again, about rumors concerning her health, which began well before the fall.
"I wouldn't be running for office if I was about to die. Nobody thinks I'm that craven, I hope,” Slaughter said. “And I never intend to start anything I can't finish."
The Congresswoman says she hopes to be back at work, in Washington DC by the 1st of May. Dr. Kates says a full recovery should take about three months.
She still can't put weight on the leg, but Slaughter says that won't get in the way of her re-election campaign, and she 's not concerned with the image of herself at age 82 having to use a wheelchair for a few weeks to get around.
"It doesn't bother me in the least. Everybody knows who I am and what I do. I've never been concerned about that,” said Slaughter.
What she's most concerned about is getting out of the hospital and getting back to Washington. As the Congresswoman puts it: “It's where I belong."
"I take this very seriously. I plan to do the best I can for as long as I can."