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Reagan Suffers Mild Case of Upset Stomach

January 14, 1988|JAMES GERSTENZANG | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — President Reagan suffered a mild episode of nausea and vomiting early Wednesday that forced him to curtail part of his morning schedule, the White House said, but he recovered sufficiently to meet at midday with Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita and told reporters: "I feel pretty good."

Presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said that Reagan ate a restricted lunch of flat ginger ale and consomme at a White House luncheon for Takeshita, while the other guests dined on salmon bisque and breast of Cornish hen.

Fitzwater also announced that Reagan, who turns 77 on Feb. 6, will visit Bethesda Naval Medical Center on Friday for a semiannual checkup, during which physicians will perform a colonoscopy--an examination of the lower bowel. The President underwent surgery for colon cancer in July, 1985.

Doctors will also administer a chest X-ray, stress test and a CAT scan, which is similar to a three-dimensional X-ray, Fitzwater said.

He said that Reagan experienced an attack of gastroenteritis in "the early morning hours" and "was up for half the night." The spokesman said that Reagan was examined at 7 a.m. by Dr. John Hutton, the White House physician, who said later that the President's condition was "just like you'd be if you had something for 24 hours."

Reagan is "great, fine," according to Hutton. No medication was prescribed.

The President had been scheduled to attend the funeral Wednesday morning of Edward V. Hickey Jr., chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and a longtime aide who died of a heart attack Sunday. Reagan remained at the White House, and the First Lady attended the service.

"We wanted him to sleep late this morning," Fitzwater said.

At 11:30 a.m., however, Reagan met in the Oval Office with Takeshita. At a photo session that preceded the meeting, he told reporters: "I ate something that disagreed with me."

When asked what he ate, Reagan replied: "That's what I don't know. . . . The doctor thinks there was maybe something going around but I have a hard time believing that because everything else seems to be so normal." However, Fitzwater said that some members of the White House staff complained of the same illness.

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