WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush was doing well and back at work Monday after fainting briefly in the White House residence while choking down a pretzel a day earlier.
"I feel great," Bush told reporters on the White House lawn as he prepared to board a helicopter for a two-day trip to the Midwest and Louisiana.
"My mother always said, 'When you're eating pretzels, chew before you swallow,"' Bush said. "Always listen to your mother."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the president had been checked by his physician, Dr. Richard Tubb, Monday and his vital signs were normal. Bush had never before had a fainting spell, Fleischer said after checking with the president.
"I hit the deck," Bush said in recounting for reporters how, alone in a room with his dogs, he had passed out while watching a football game on television. "Woke up and there was Barney and Spot showing a lot of concern."
The president looked a bit tired but otherwise fit when he stopped to assure reporters that he was doing well. Bush shared few details about the episode.
"I didn't realize what happened before I looked at the mirror and my glasses cut the side of my face," the president said, pointing to an abrasion on his upper left cheek. "I had good blood pressure last night. Good blood pressure this morning."
Tubb said in a telephone interview Sunday that Bush quickly recovered from the episode, apparently brought on by swallowing a pretzel awkwardly which triggered a temporary decrease in heart rate. He said the president had been feeling under the weather over the weekend.
Bush, 55, suffered an abrasion on his left cheek the size of a half dollar and a bruise on his lower lip from falling onto the floor from a couch.
The president fainted while alone in a room at the White House residence, watching the Baltimore-Miami National Football League playoff game on television and eating pretzels.
A nurse on duty at the White House was summoned at 4:40 p.m. CST. Tubb was paged eight minutes later. Bush, under his own power, used an elevator to go downstairs to the doctor's office for a complete exam.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.