WASHINGTON – Former Georgia Sen. Zell Miller (search) said Friday a fast-paced schedule promoting his new book was partly to blame for the illness that kept him hospitalized overnight.
"I'm 73 years old," Miller said in an interview with The Associated Press after returning home from the hospital. "I was just acting like I'm still 30 years old."
Miller said he hadn't felt well for a few days and was experiencing dehydration and flu-like symptoms Thursday night. Still, he convinced himself he could tough out another speech in Gainesville, Ga.
Shortly after beginning his remarks, he excused himself from the stage and was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center (search). Even in the emergency room, Miller was cracking jokes. They didn't stop Friday upon his return home.
"I was only five minutes into the speech when I got sick," Miller said. "Usually it's the other way around. When I'm five minutes into the speech, the audience gets sick."
Miller, whose new book "A Deficit of Decency," hit the shelves this week, says he plans to take it easy over the weekend. Starting Monday, however, he is determined to hit the ground running again.
It's unclear whether Miller's wife, Shirley, will approve that timetable. In a statement she released Thursday from the hospital, Mrs. Miller complains her husband "would not stay in bed."
Miller, a Democrat who riled fellow party members last year by his avid support for President Bush's re-election, left the Senate in January. He was replaced by former U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson (search), a Republican.
A one-time college history professor, Miller was Georgia's governor from 1991 to 1999. He was tapped in 2000 to fill the unexpired term of the late Sen. Paul Coverdell and elected the same year to the balance of the term. He did not seek re-election.
The Democrat, who gave a fiery keynote speech during last year's national Republican convention, is popular on the conservative speaking tour.