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Menino diagnosed with diabetes, moved to rehab

After spending a month in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes  and is being transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to begin his recovery, officials said.

“His doctors say that he is doing very well and is on track with his recovery plans,” said Emilee Ellison, press assistant to Menino.

Menino was hospitalized on Oct. 26 for a virus. He remained in the hospital for back complications after successfully undergoing treatment for a viral infection and a blood clot in his lung.

He responded well to therapy on his back, said Dr. Charles Morris at a news conference on Monday.

“We look forward to him doing the important therapy work and then getting back to where he needs to be,” Morris said in the conference televised on New England Cable News. “The mayor is very excited to finally be well on his way.”

During his time in the hospital, doctors discovered Menino had type 2 diabetes, Morris said.

“His blood sugar had been a little bit elevated, but it [the diabetes] became more of an issue while he was here,” he said.

Morris also said the diabetes is probably one of the factors that contributed to the infection in Menino’s lower back.

Morris said he expects Menino will do physical therapy and occupational therapy in rehabilitation.

“[He will be] working to get strength which ordinarily saps a little bit when in the hospital for so long, and he needs that little extra work to get him where he needs to be,” Morris said.

Menino must focus in rehab to get his strength back and return to the state of physical fitness he had maintained before complications started, Morris said.

Morris said Menino’s medical condition should not create obstacles for him in his political career.

Menino has still been able to continue working for the city, Ellison said.

“He has been fully capable of decision-making and running the city from the hospital,” she said. “He was in constant contact with his staff and fully engaged in all city activity.”

Menino kicked off the holiday season on Nov. 20, announcing a Holidays on Main Streets campaign, a city-wide decorating contest and free holiday parking hours at city parking meters throughout the city.

No timetable has been discussed for his time at the rehabilitation hospital, Ellison said.

“The mayor is anxious to get back out into the neighborhoods,” Ellison said. “He is disappointed to miss the Thanksgiving holidays because he does so much with the community at this time.”

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