Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Heading Back to Mayo Clinic

In a robocall, the congressman asks constituents to be patient.

Posted: 10/22/2012 09:48 AM EDT

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is reportedly returning to the Mayo Clinic to continue his treatment for bipolar disorder.

His constituents finally heard directly from him in a robocall on Saturday in which he said he is "human [and] doing his best" to sort through his troubles, and asked them to be patient.

"I am anxious to return to work on your behalf, but at this time it is against medical advice," Jackson said. "And while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask for your continued patience as I work to get my health back."

A source toldThe Chicago Sun-Times that reporters staking out his home in Washington, D.C., are "making access to his doctor, who is within a short walking distance from his home, incredibly hard.”

The lawmaker's father, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., told the Associated Press that his son is "seeking his balance" but has an "overwhelming desire to get back to work."

Foes, and at times even friends, have viewed Jackson's months-long absence from Congress skeptically in part because there have been so many unanswered questions. Nearly two weeks passed before the lawmaker's office announced he was taking a leave for exhaustion and then weeks later announced that he was being treated at Mayo for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.

Jackson is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly seeking an appointment to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama in 2008 in exchange for raising campaign contributions for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He has consistently denied the charge.

Last week, news of a federal probe into allegations that Jackson used campaign funds to redecorate his home was reported, as well as sightings of him out drinking at a local bar.

The congressman, who remains on the Nov. 6 ballot, spoke publicly about his illness for the first time last week, telling a reporter from the Daily that he's "not well."


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(Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

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