WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sidelined for almost a month by a string of medical problems, is upbeat and planning to return to work next week, the State Department said Thursday.
One day after being released from the New York hospital that was treating a blood clot in her head, Clinton was at home resting, but was far from idle. She spent the day engaging with senior staff, reviewing paperwork and calling in to a meeting of her foreign policy advisory board, said her spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland.
"She's looking forward to getting back to the office," Nuland said. "She is very much planning to do so next week."
The announcement that Clinton soon would return to her Washington office ended what had been a somber point of uncertainty hanging over her month-long health ordeal: whether the 65-year-old secretary would be able to resume her duties before stepping down at the start of President Barack Obama's second term, as she had long planned to do.
Clinton in early December began the final few weeks of a widely lauded term as the nation's top diplomat. But a celebratory mood increasingly gave way to worry and uncertainty over her future as she took ill with a stomach virus, then seemed to deteriorate. While at home recuperating from the virus, Clinton became dehydrated and fainted, fell and struck her head, leading to a concussion, her spokesman said.
Then on Sunday, doctors performing a follow-up exam discovered a clot in a vein that runs through the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors began administering blood thinners to dissolve the clot. Clinton's physicians have said there was no neurological damage and they expect her to make a full recovery.
Until Wednesday, when Clinton was photographed getting into a van with her husband, Bill, and daughter, Chelsea, a few hours before being released, she hadn't been seen in public since Dec. 7.
How much of her normal schedule the globetrotting Clinton will be able to resume is not yet clear, and her doctors have advised her not to travel abroad for the time being, her spokeswoman said. In the meantime, well wishes are pouring in from around the world.
"I think you could call the number of good will messages a tsunami," Nuland said.