Dingell released from weeklong stay in hospital after surgery

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell was discharged from George Washington University Hospital on Friday afternoon after a weeklong stay following surgery for a perforated ulcer, her office said. 

The ulcer was attributed to Dingell's taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin to manage her pain after two jaw surgeries because she did not want to take opioids.

“This week in the hospital is an experience I hope to never have again. No one should ever underestimate the potential harms of NSAIDs, and I am urging everyone to take caution and care while using these drugs," the Dearborn Democrat said in a statement.

"This incident taught me, and now I hope others, that even everyday medicines can cause serious consequences. Speaking with your doctor regularly about what’s best for you is incredibly important."

Dingell, 67, added that she would have to make some lifestyle changes such as giving up her favorite soda, Diet Coke. 

"Gov. Whitmer is also making it her personal mission to get me to eat more vegetables," Dingell said. "But don’t worry — I won’t change too much and I’ll still be the same Debbie."

The fourth-term lawmaker described her ordeal as "one of the most challenging weeks I’ve ever experienced," and thanked hospital staff, colleagues and friends who helped or reached out.

"Those that know me understand how challenging it is for me to sit still — to not be out and about listening to people, sharing stories, connecting with the community, and getting things done. This overwhelming amount of empathy and compassion is easing my path to recovery.

Dingell said she would be working virtually as she continues to recover over the next two weeks. 

"I’ve been told to pace myself, and I am going to try it," she said.