Lech Walesa, the anti-communist dissident who founded Solidarity in Poland, has been hospitalized in his hometown of Gdansk with a fever and gastric ailments.
He and doctors described his condition as stable and said his ailments were not linked to heart problems that forced the 67-year-old former president to get a pacemaker three years ago.
Walesa admitted himself to the hospital on Wednesday, two days after the former leader, who now spends a good deal of time giving lectures around the world, returned from Estonia feeling unwell.
The broadcaster TVN24 showed Walesa in a wheelchair speaking to reporters in a hoarse voice on Thursday, saying he had gastric problems.
"The heart is in the best shape of all," said Walesa, slumping in his wheelchair and looking weaker than usual. "But the gastric things and the high fever, that is the worst thing."
He quickly added that "I will do all I can to leave quickly. There's nothing as good as home, sweet home."
He also joked about not liking the hospital and not wanting his wife, Danuta, to see him in a weakened state.
"She has known me as a handsome, funny man, not a wreck like this," Walesa said. "She would change her opinion of me, so it's better that she doesn't see me."
Lawmaker Jerzy Borowczak, a friend of Walesa's, said on TVN24 television that Walesa had abdominal pains and a fever of 39 degrees Celsius (102 F) when he was admitted to the hospital.
Walesa's son, Jaroslaw, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his father's condition was good and that his temperature had already gone down.
"We are waiting for information on the results from the tests," Jaroslaw Walesa said by phone from Strasbourg, where is a member of the European Parliament.
The deputy director of the Gdansk hospital, Tadeusz Jedrzejczyk, said Walesa was in stable condition and he believed that the hospitalization would not be long.
"We can exclude any new heart problems," Jedrzejczyk said.
In 2008, U.S. surgeons fitted Walesa with a pacemaker in hopes of sparing him a heart transplant operation.
Jedrzejczyk also said that although Walesa had gastric problems, "there is nothing to suggest that this could be a case of poisoning by the E. coli bacteria strain" that has sickened almost 3,000 people in Europe and three in the United States.
Walesa still travels the world giving frequent lectures on Poland's peaceful political transition to democracy. Last month, he traveled to Tunisia to meet interim authorities and pro-democracy groups and share with them Poland's experiences during its political and economic transformation.
Solidarity was a national freedom movement under Walesa's leadership in the 1980s that helped peacefully bring down communism in Poland in 1989. His courage in defying communist authorities earned him the 1983 Nobel peace prize.
From 1990 to 1995, he served as Poland's first popularly elected president in the post-communist era.