Ophelia Ford speaks candidly about illness - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Ophelia Ford speaks candidly about illness

For most of last year Senator Ophelia Ford's fellow senators, constituents, and the general public wondered what was wrong with her. 

There were reports she had a drinking problem.

She said she was ill but did not reveal what her illness was until Monday.

There was the incident at a Nashville hotel where she fell off a barstool and the manager said she was intoxicated.

The senator revealed for the first time on Monday what illness she is battling.

"My blood disease is a bleeding ulcer. It took them that long to find out," Ford said.

 Senator Ford talked candidly for the first time about how she felt about her detractors..

"Some of those people trusted me. Wanted to know me. Wanted to help. But then there are others who wanted
 to have a negative mind. What do you do Janice when they have it...you just let them have it and know that one day they'll be able to see the light," Ford said.

Ford said it was tough not knowing what was wrong with her.

"At first I thought there was something I could do about it. But that was just our mind playing with you and all of that because you don't want to sit and be idle," Ford said.

Ford said she listened to her doctors and prayed a lot.

But the hospital stay and the confinement was hard.

"For something to try to throw me off feet it was a little bit disturbing. Like I said, I didn't want to do it," Ford said.

She said she is glad she did and feels better than she has in years.

She said she is confident she can make it through this legislative session that is scheduled to end in May, despite her frail appearance.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.

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