In 1970, I came to Mao When the chairman worked by his side, his old man was already seventy-seven years old. From 1970 to 1976, I worked with Chairman Mao for six years. Of course, before this, there was also contact with Chairman Mao. I used to work on the special train that Chairman Mao rode and met him many times. Later, Chairman Mao didn’t have enough staff around, so he transferred me.
Suffering from senile cataract
Chairman Mao is not healthy in his later years , His legs are difficult to walk. In 1971, I went to Chen Yi’s memorial service. When I got into the car, Chairman Mao tried to step up the door steps several times, but he couldn’t.
I helped him into the car later. It’s surprising that his legs are so difficult.
Later, his two eyes developed senile cataracts to varying degrees. The doctor said that only when the cataract has matured, can the operation be performed. When he couldn’t see the outside world, he invited Lu Di, a teacher in the Chinese Department of Peking University, to help him. Lu Di stayed with Chairman Mao for seven or eight months. After Chairman Mao’s eyes were restored, Lu Di returned to Renmin University to work. When Chairman Mao wanted to read classical literature and other ancient Chinese books, Lu Di read them to him. Modern texts and some documents are read by me for the chairman. This is how Chairman Mao came to study and work in more than a year.
On one day in July 1975, Chairman Mao underwent cataract surgery. The weather was very good that day, and Chairman Mao rarely slept well, slept for a total of six hours. When he woke up at four o’clock in the afternoon, I asked the chairman,”How did you rest today?” The chairman said,”I had a good rest, and I slept a lot.” I went on,”Chairman, since you have a rest Very good, let’s take care of that important matter today.” The chairman asked, “What’s the matter?” I said, “Isn’t it about cataract surgery? Didn’t you agree to it?” During that time, only Said to have an operation, but did not know which day to do it. I think this day is a good time to mobilize the chairman to do it. Doctor Tang Youzhi also said that according to the chairman’s physical condition in recent days, surgery can be performed. The chairman nodded in agreement and said”do!” So, the doctor took the chairman’s blood pressure, listened to the heart, and measured his pulse. Everything was normal. It was strictly disinfected in a lounge of the swimming pool and was ready for surgery. (Chairman Mao lived in Fengze Garden in Zhongnanhai in the 1950s and 1960s. In September 1966, due to the maintenance of Fengze Garden’s old residence, he moved to Zhongnanhai’s swimming pool and lived in a lounge there with a photo. The bed, two sofas, and a few bookshelves full of books are packed. No one thought that he lived for ten years.)
The eyes are refreshing with excitement and tears
At that time, there was a medical team treating Chairman Mao. The leaders were Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Wang Dongxing and Wang Hongwen.
The operation was attended by doctors from Guanganmen Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tongren Hospital, and was performed by Dr. Tang Youzhi. At that time, everyone was worried about whether the operation was certain. Afterwards, I also asked Dr. Tang how sure he was. He said he was more than 95%sure. Cataract surgery is actually not a major operation. Barefoot doctors have done many times in the fields in the countryside. But now I am doing it for Chairman Mao, and I feel particularly nervous and worried.
I’ve seen nurses tremble with their hands when they give Chairman Mao an injection, and they just can’t get in for several times. In this case, the chairman always talks to the nurses about other things to relieve their tension. After the preparations for the operation were completed, Chairman Mao did not do it immediately. Chairman Mao was also very upset about the operation. He has never had an operation in his life. Once the operation is unsuccessful, it would be better not to do it. Although the eyes can’t see anything, others can’t see what’s wrong with his eyes. He also thought that there were still many things to do, and he couldn’t worry about leaving this world behind. Therefore, he asked me to play a recording of Yue Fei’s”Man Jiang Hong” sung by Kunqu opera actor Cai Yao. ——”Anger rushed to the crown, resting on the railing, Xiaoxiao raining. Looking up, looking up to the sky, screaming, magnificent and fierce. Thirty fame of dust and dirt, eight thousand miles of clouds and moon. Do not wait for the youth to whiten his head, empty and sad….” The words are impassioned and the tune is inspiring.
In this atmosphere, Chairman Mao stepped on the beat of Kunqu Opera and walked onto the operating table. The doctor first put a shot of anesthetic around his eyes. This area is very sensitive and very painful. But the anesthetic didn’t work after the first needle stick. The chairman said he still felt his eyes. So he was given a second shot of anesthetic, and his eyes lost feeling. At this time, I turned off the VCR. The operation time is not long, 15 minutes before and after, the actual operation time is only 8 minutes. After the operation, Premier Zhou, Deng Xiaoping, Wang Dongxing, and Wang Hongwen left without saying hello to the chairman who had just finished the operation.
Before leaving, Premier Zhou told me that Chairman Mao’s operation was very successful and asked me to tell Chairman Mao. I did so, and specifically told Chairman Mao that the prime minister had just come from the hospital. After hearing this, the chairman said:”Thank him.” After the operation, Chairman Mao’s mood was very stable. A week later, the doctor removed the bandage on Chairman Mao’s eyes. Chairman Mao’s left eye could finally re-see the room he was familiar with, saw the faces of the staff around him he was familiar with, and called out our names one by one. At this time, Chairman Mao was in tears because he hadn’t seen this world for more than a year. When the doctor performed the operation, he only made the left eye with the mature cataract, and did not remove the cataract, but only pressed the cataract under the white eyeball. I asked why it was not removed? Dr. Tang said that the resection operation is more complicated, especially for the elderly, and pressing it under the white eyeball can also guarantee seven or eight years of vision.
When Chairman Mao’s vision in his left eye had just recovered, the doctor said that he could only read books for 15 minutes a day. In the beginning, Chairman Mao was able to do this, but soon he quit. Reading is the biggest hobby of his life. Therefore, he began to read, read newspapers, and review documents day and night.
The whole body is sick and not sleeping well
Chairman Mao was very careful before Exercise, but when his whole body is sick in his later years, he can’t exercise. Only when you are tired, twist your head back and forth to move your neck. Stretch your arms and practice”bow left and right.” He has heart disease, bronchitis, swollen legs, etc. Bronchitis was mainly related to smoking, and later everyone mobilized him to quit smoking in his later years. He is no longer working at the desk, reading books, but lying loosely on the bed, leaning on a high pillow. Chairman Mao never likes to wear glasses, he always reads with a magnifying glass. It was tiring to hold a magnifying glass for a long time, and then we changed him to a lighter magnifying glass. But after the operation, we prepared three pairs of glasses for him. Taking into account his habit of reading in bed, he lay on his left side for a while, and then on the right side. After the operation, on the advice of the doctor, we made him special glasses, one without a left leg, and one without a right. There is also a pair of glasses for his legs, and a pair of ordinary glasses for him to use when he sits on a chair and reads on the sofa. We kept changing the glasses of the chairman. When he was lying on the left, he would wear glasses without a left leg, and when he was on the right, he would wear glasses without a right leg. Older people sleep less, but people like Chairman Mao who have been engaged in high-intensity mental work for a long time sleep less. He often cannot fall asleep for a long time after taking sleeping pills. People who have worked by his side all know that sleep is indeed a big problem for his elderly.
Although Chairman Mao is not in good health, he does not hide it. He is very calm about his health. When receiving foreign guests, he frankly told them that he was not in good health.
Because the interpreter can’t hear what the chairman said, I always participate in the conversation between the chairman and foreign guests. I sat behind the sofa with the translator. Chairman Mao always quoted scriptures in his conversations, full of wit and unrestrained ease. When Nixon and Kissinger came in 1972, the chairman told them that his health was not good. Nixon said in disbelief that you look good. Chairman Mao said that appearances are deceptive. Don’t be confused by falsehoods. I have just recovered from a serious illness. In the spring of 1976, Chairman Mao met with Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto. This was his last meeting with foreign guests. Bhutto and Chairman Mao are old friends. They talk happily every time. Bhutto likes to talk with Chairman Mao. During the meeting between the chairman and Bhutto, I found that the chairman’s forehead was sweating, and I knew he was not feeling well. His old man never groaned when he was sick, and he was not as long as someone said, his mouth was drooling, he had never been like this. He was completely clean until his death. Because the chairman was in poor health, he and Bhutto only talked for 30 minutes before leaving.
Recite”Withered Tree Fu” without missing a word
On June 1, 1976, Chairman Mao suffered a sudden myocardial infarction and became unconscious. At that time, based on the diagnosis of the medical team, the central government reported the chairman’s health to the leaders of the provinces, cities, autonomous regions, and major military regions throughout the country for the first time, but the level of confidentiality was still very strict. I’ve been thinking about the chairman’s health status. If the chairman’s health status is publicly told to the people earlier, for example, this time, perhaps the people will not feel sudden about the death of the chairman and will have better psychological endurance. Why keep it strictly confidential? People have to leave in the end, this is the law of nature. Chairman Mao himself does not hide his health status. People who study party history can study this question. Fortunately, with the help of doctors from this myocardial infarction, the chairman quickly recovered. Although it was said that he recovered this time, the doctor said that people had to break through three levels. I have already passed two levels, can the chairman pass the next level? After the chairman recovered, one morning, he asked me to show him the”Dead Tree Fu”. He likes poems very much.”Dead Tree Fu” is well written and very long. A person from the Jin Dynasty mentioned that he came under a big tree and saw that this tree had a period of prosperous growth in the past, but now it is gradually aging, which makes people feel sad in their hearts. After reading it, Chairman Mao said to me who was guarding the bed, hold the book and see if I can recite it. I watched”Dead Tree Fu” and his old man could recite it verbatim. It can be seen that his old man is not confused.
Moved into the earthquake-proof room after the Tangshan earthquake
July 1976 On the 28th, a major earthquake occurred in Tangshan.
The earthquake hit Beijing. Chairman Mao lives in the swimming pool, and the houses there are not earthquake-proof. During the earthquake, I slept in a nearby duty room. Suddenly heard a bang, I hurriedly got up, put on my coat, and walked to the chairman. However, due to the severe swing of the house, I felt that it was very difficult to walk, and it was awkward, as if I could not get out. In the end, it took a lot of effort to get out. At this time, they saw Wang Dongxing and they were also struggling towards the chairman. When I came to the chairperson’s room, I saw the chairperson lying on the bed calmly. A great man really deserves to be a great man. He never panics when encountering important things, but handles it calmly. When Lin Biao fled on September 13th, he was like this; he was still like this during the earthquake. The chairman asked Wang Dongxing what happened. Wang Dongxing said that he is still unclear. It may be that an earthquake has occurred, and he will report to you after he understands it clearly. At that time, we were worried that something would fall from the roof and hit the chairman, so a few people eagerly picked up a sheet and hung it on the chairman’s bed to play a buffer and cover. In such an emergency situation at the time, only such extremely crude defensive measures could be taken. The next day, Wang Dongxing reported that the chairman said that there was an earthquake in Tangshan. For the sake of Chairman Mao’s safety, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee decided to let Chairman Mao move to an earthquake-proof house. The chairman said that since the Politburo has made a decision, I will move over. But after the earthquake, I have to move back. But until his death, Chairman Mao lived in the earthquake-proof house. Because the chairman’s heart is not good, we found a stretcher for the chairman on the advice of the doctor. The guards also rehearsed beforehand, trying to make the chairman lie on the stretcher safely. In this way, Chairman Mao, who had been on a stretcher during the Long March during the war, took another stretcher decades after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. During the earthquake, Chairman Mao was very concerned about the conditions of the people in Tangshan, Beijing and other quake-hit areas. He asked about the extent of the loss and how well the earthquake prevention work was done, reflecting the close bond between the leaders and the people.
Caring about international issues while we are still alive
September 6, 1976 In Japan, when Chairman Mao died, he still cared about international issues. At that time, Japan was engaged in elections. Chairman Mao wants to know how Miki is in the election. The corners of his mouth were moving, wanting something, but the nurses didn’t know what he wanted. The nurses called me. The chairman’s pronunciation was too light and weak, and I didn’t understand it either. At this time, the chairman knocked a few times on the bedside board behind him and stretched out three fingers. I guessed whether the chairman wanted to say”Miki”, so I asked him if he wanted to know about Miki in Japan, and he nodded. I brought him a briefing on Miki’s situation. In the last few years of his old man, he never stopped reading books and newspapers until he woke up for the last time before his death, and the staff around him read documents to him. At 0:10 on September 9th, his old man left this world, bid farewell to his motherland, and farewell to his people. He went very peacefully, without any pain, as if he was asleep forever. He didn’t make new clothes for him, but the washed Chinese tunic suit.
Chairman Mao does not love money
I work by Chairman Mao After six years, I discovered that his old man has one characteristic, that is, he doesn’t love money.
It’s not that he has no money. He has a million in deposits for the contribution of”Mao Xuan” alone. It is in the special accounting office of the Central Office. He must have his own handwriting. Only by trusting can you get the money. These deposits were left to the country and the people after his death. He often helps democrats and our staff in financial difficulties, but if anyone reaches out for money from him, he doesn’t want to see him again. He looks down on people who love money. There are two things in the pocket of the Chinese tunic suit that he often wears, one is cigarettes, but always only half a pack of cigarettes, not the whole pack; the other is a handkerchief. He is penniless, and we have nothing to pay for working by his side. Therefore, there is no problem of making economic mistakes. The chairman doesn’t love money, and he educated me deeply. In my life, I never live for money.
These are the Mao Zedong I saw with my own eyes.
Note:Zhang Yufeng, female, was born on January 27, 1944 in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province. From 1962 to 1970, he worked on Mao Zedong’s special train. From 1970 to 1976, he was a staff member of Mao Zedong’s side. From 1974 to 1976, he served as Mao Zedong’s confidential secretary.