Advice from a Bypass Buddy

A heart-surgery veteran offers Bill Clinton a sneak preview of his new life

Dear President Clinton: welcome to the confraternity of the cabbage (that's slang for "coronary artery bypass"). The first thing you've noticed is that it hurts. It feels as if someone with the best intentions has shot you in the chest. Discourage people from telling you jokes; don't laugh. Stay still; when you walk, do it carefully. When Henry Kissinger got out of bed after a bypass years ago, he remarked, "Diss vass a bitch!"

There are millions who bear the marks of membership--the zipper scar down the center of the chest, another long scar worming along the inside of the...

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