The PJ Tatler

'It Sure Hurt': Reid Explains Workout Accident, Announces Eye Surgery

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be having reconstructive surgery on his face after the workout accident in his home.

Reid skipped Tuesday’s State of the Union address on the advice of his doctors, but returned to the Hill today for a press conference.

“I know there are a lot of rumors as to what happened, but it’s very simple. My wife and I were in our new home. I was doing exercises that I’ve been doing for many years, with those large rubber bands. And one of them broke and spun me around, and I crashed into a — these cabinets and injured my arm,” Reid said.

“It didn’t knock me out, but it sure hurt. And I was taken to the hospital. And came back here after a couple of days. I have some bones broken around my eye. And on Monday, as I understand it, we’re going to fix that. They’re going to reconstruct the bones here. The bone that’s broken is — the bone that’s broken is this one right here. It’s been pushed in against my eye, and they’re going to move that back out.”

Reid explained that because of the injury, “there’s blood in the front and back part of my eye.”

“And they’re going to have to move it — reconstruction of that bone there. They’re going to drain the blood off this part of the eye, the back part of the eye,” he said. “And they’re confident that I’ll be really quite good after that.”

Reid didn’t answer a question about whether he’d consulted with the upper chamber’s eye doctor, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), but said he didn’t expect his medical problems to interfere with his plans to run for re-election in 2016.

“The doctors have been very supportive of my plans. Nothing has changed during the time that I was — the first couple of weeks of recovery,” he said. “…So everything is on line. In Nevada, you know, we have quite an operation in Nevada that hasn’t lost a step. We’re off and running.”

Is he afraid of losing sight in the eye permanently? “Well, I’m looking forward to Monday, that’s for sure,” Reid said.

“I’m, as some of you know, an avid reader. I read lots and lots of books. I read some good ones during the break. So, what I — because I have not been able to read, they have told me that if you have an eye that’s healing and you try to overwork your good eye, it puts too much pressure… So I haven’t been reading.”

When Reid was first injured, his spokesman said the senator suffered a concussion. Today, Reid said, “To my knowledge, I’m not getting treatment for concussion.”

“I mean, although I do have a better understanding of the football players and baseball players who have concussions. No one’s told me I had one, but perhaps I had. I don’t know.”