Chapter 4. Back to work and teach, as if living in two worlds

The root of the problem why I fainted is actually trivial. First, I wasn’t really fit after suffering from a “loss of breath” and finally being brought to the Harapan Kita Heart Hospital. Second, since I wasn’t really fit, I still needed a respirator on my nose to help me breathe. Third, I was a little weak after that morning being brought to the Echo and Vascular room that I had to queue for the both of rooms, also the room was rather narrow. Fourth, I’d been dying for defecation so I didn’t have the time to have a “second thought” about what I would do …

That day, although I’d been dying for defecation, actually I wasn’t very strong for doing the defecation in the toilet. I’m supposed to be given a “toilet seat” so that I could defecate near my bedside. But since I was a little “feel champ” – this was the nurse’s explanation to my wife- I then directly got in to the toilet, shut the door, took off my patient pants and sat on the toilet. That’s all I remembered

But a few seconds later, what I could hear was

“Sir… Sir…Sir… Sir… be sober, Sir….  Be sober… Take a deep breath, Sir… Take a deep breath, Sir…come on, Sir, be sober… come on, Sir, be sober…” … When I was raised onto my previous bed, I had been surrounded by four male and female nurses and two male and female doctors. At any rate, it was just like in the ER (Emergency Room), as seen on the television serial movies…

Lately, I’d noticed that if a patient is in critical because of fainting (pass out) or else (passed away), the nurse who firstly noticed it would scream bloody murder, “Emergencyyyyy!!!!!” And all the nurses and doctors on call who heard it would soon go toward the shouts. Therefore I could be “saved” from being unconscious in the toilet and revived to my previous bed …

After fainting in the bathroom, I was still suffering from respiratory failure several times. And every time I failed the breath, I was guided by the nurse to draw breath and shut my mouth– before I exhaled hard and inhale hard too like the breathing which I learnt from Merpati Putih (White Pigeon, the name of martial art school) – but that’s apparently the incorrect procedure for the people who were suffered from heart disease and had a respiratory failure like me…

From the moment of my fainting, my urine hole was be “jumped” by installing a hose which was connected to a plastic bladder that was placed under my patient bed, so if the patient wanted to pee, unnoticeably — because automatically—the pee would go into the provided plastic bladder. In this way, the patient would be able to be monitored his “balance” between the amount of his drink that came in with the amount of urine that came out …

I then was given daily milk intake 6 times a day, which are at: 8 AM, 12 AM, 4 PM, 8 PM, 12 PM, and 4 AM. The milk given, after I asked to the kitchen staff, was Nephrisol or Entrasol products. For me, to drink milk is more comfortable and more convenient than to eat the solid foods provided by the hospital – that tastes bland.

During my first treatment, I was given various medicines whose function is to lower the heart rate, reduce cholesterol and uric acid, and control the heart rhythms to be regular. After 12 days in the medical intermediate (IWM) in the third floor of the first building, then, after my health was considered as stable, then I was transferred to the infirmary room in the fifth floor of  the second building. In this infirmary room, I’ve got a pretty big appetite so that the food provided by the Hospital I ate with relish. On the last day before I left, I once again took an “action” in the form of catheterization to see if there was a blockage of blood vessels in my heart or not, and especially to see how wide my blood vessels were expanding, and how bad I had aortic valve “regurgitation” – or the blood which had been pumped up, fell down again so it hit the aortic valve.

After being treated for 2 weeks from 6-18 November 2010, the physician who treated me decided that I might come back home. I then set would be treated by dr. BRM Aryo Soeryo, SpJP. After administered the Askes paperwork, my wife was showed a bill for Rp 40.400.000,00, but since I was covered by Askes then my wife only required to pay Rp 125.000,00. Thanks God!

Although my body looked even thinner – when getting out of hospital, my weight was reduced by 5 kg, but I decided to immediately back to work and teach. Both of these activities – working and teaching – would quickly restore my pain so I could be healthy as before. Besides becoming thinner, my friends said that I looked so pale and my face looked a bit whitish pale.

Apparently there were some different attitudes from my office and college friends in dealing with my recent disease. Approximately, my office friends would say, “Mr. Tri, don’t come to work for now. You better take a rest at home, don’t think about the office first for now. Later when you have been 100% healthy, you can come back to work” which to me this comment was a bit discouraging and I would probably be slow to recover in that way. Whereas, my lecturer friends and students on campus evenly would say, “Mr. Tri, I hope you get better soon, so you can teach again as usual” which for me this college friends’ comment was a bit encouraging and I think it would accelerate my recovery of the heart disease.

Because I was thin and pale…. apparently I couldn’t go to the office by myself…. I should be chauffeured and escorted to everywhere I go…. ( to be continued )

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