Arroyo loses her voice, undergoes therapy
MANILA, Philippines—Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s blood pressure has already stabilized but is now undergoing therapy for loss of voice, according to her ally, Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga.
“She has been advised by her doctors against talking to visitors or on the phone. But apparently, she still has her cellphone with her,” Pelayo told reporters in an interview at St. Luke’s Medical Center at Global City in Taguig City.
“Maybe there were times that she still make or take calls on her cellphone despite her doctors’ advise not to talk too much,” he said. “What I know was that she was being prepared for discharge either today or tomorrow (Friday). Except for the loss of voice, she’s okay; she’s recovering well.”
He said Arroyo, who was wearing a neck brace, has always been accompanied in the hospital by her daughter Luli Arroyo-Bernas.
Pelayo said the only thing that worries him when the former president goes out of the hospital was the possibility that she would return to work sooner than her doctors would want her to.
“I was able to talk to her surgeon, Dr. (Mario) Ver and he said she needs a complete rest at least for three weeks. But the problem is, she might return to work sooner, knowing how workaholic she is. Siguro hinahanap din ng katawan nya yon (work),” Pelayo added.
The hospital has not issued any medical bulletin for the last three days.
Apart from preventing her from using her cellphone, doctors earlier said that their VIP patient had also been advised against watching TV and reading the papers, saying hearing “the news around her” could hamper her recovery.
The antistress prescription came as Arroyo faced a string of plunder complaints and revived allegations of election fraud during her presidency.
“No TV and newspapers. We are asking her to stop texting,” Arroyo’s main attending physician, Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, told reporters Monday.
“I think occasionally (she uses her phone), maybe when we (doctors) have our backs turned. If only we can shut her off completely from all the news around her, then by all means,” Cervantes said.
Cervantes on Monday reported that despite antihypertensive medication, the former President’s blood pressure “persistently” rose in the range of 140/80 to 170/90.
She said Arroyo had also lost her appetite but that this was normal “especially for somebody who had received steroids to lower swelling and the risk of rejection of the implant.”
Doctors were also giving Arroyo antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection, Cervantes said.
Surgeons corrected a portion of Arroyo’s spine in the neck that had become misaligned, a condition that doctors said could lead to paralysis if not treated.
Doctors attached a titanium plate to four levels of her spine to treat a condition called cervical spondylosis, an otherwise common age-related deterioration of the bones.
“Medically, she is not in a serious [condition],” Cervantes said. “However, we are closely monitoring her. As doctors, we can manage only mostly the medical part. But the external factors, it’s really hard to control… That’s why we are asking her to lower the risk of probable complications (and) help herself relax.”
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