Chapter 5. Finding the right date of the operation

In the previous story, I told you that after being discharged from the first treatment at Harapan Kita Heart Hospital, because I was still thin, pale and weak, I had to be followed, accompanied and guarded everywhere. After I came back from hospital, my sister who lived in the same city as mine offered me to stay at her house for a while until my heart surgery done later. Maybe my sister was too anxious in case I fainted again at home. If I stayed at my sister’s house, there would be many people who could accompany me so the worrisome of fainting could be reduced….

Fortunately, besides my sister had a usable car, she had some relatives who could drive cars. Finally, wherever I went – whether to the office or campus – I was always accompanied by the Mister or the Miss who would be chauffeuring, waiting for my work, and sometimes buying me meals. What was clear was to providing sweet hot tea for me to drink in the 1-hour interval –because in the early days I came home from the hospital, if I felt weak, the best thing was to drink sweet hot tea.

In short, although I was somewhat hobbling, I could still go to the office and the campus. All my office works coincidently were taken over by some friends, but my teaching jobs impossibly could be replaced – considering I had 5 classes of Kapita Selekta (Colloquium) course which each class consisted of 230 students (so the number of students in Kapita Selekta classes were 1,150 students).

To ease my blood flow, and especially to increase my confidence, I was offered by my sister to have a heart massage on West Jurang Mangu street number 42, at the massage parlor owned by the late Mr. Haji Abdullah. After Mr. Haji passed away, his children and in-laws continued the heart massage business. I then made an appointment with Mr. Yanto – a son in law of the late Mr. Haji Abdullah ­– to massage me every Saturday for 4 weeks in a row. Alhamdullillah, Thanks God, by being massaged by Mr. Yanto my confidence got higher – at least I didn’t feel like would faint when I walked.

In my previous post, I had said that after coming home from the hospital, there was a cardiologist who’s  delegated to treat me, he was dr. BRM Aryo Soeryo, SpJP. I then once in a month made an appointment to meet dr. Aryo. Besides I was given some medicines to “stabilize” my heart and to ease my breath so I wouldn’t suffer from hardly breathing or “respiratory failure” again, with dr. Aryo I also discussed what further action to overcome my heart disease.

After coming home from the hospital, I read the results of my catheterization test, plus a summary of treatment made by dr. Aryo. It was stated “further action is Bentall procedure surgery” …

As a Computer Scientist, I soon googled and enter the search string “Bentall procedure”. Apparently, Bentall procedure was a surgery to replace the swollen aortic heart with a kind of shell (graft) made of Dacron fibers – the same fibers to make our bed pillows at home and also to replace the leaking aortic valve with a mechanical valve or a biological valve – which I would select later.

Once I understood well what was meant by Bentall procedure, I then concluded that since my aorta had already been swollen about 7 cm in width – it should be only 3 cm wide commonly–then the only way to rejuvenate my heart was to do the Bentall procedure surgery which was initiated by dr. John Bentall in the 1950’s. I then also investigated how the future of my heart disease was if the surgery wasn’t performed. And the answer was, maybe I still could live for 6 months to 3 years, but if the swollen aorta erupted, then good riddance… I would leave this world for ever. With these considerations, I decided to undergo a Bentall procedure surgery that cost about Rp.105.000.000 (USD 105,000), which the Rp.90.000.000 (USD 90,000) would be borne by Askes, and the patient had to provide the remaining funds amounting to Rp.15.000.000 (USD 15,000).

Thus while I was controlling my condition with dr. Aryo, I proposed that I wanted to undergo the Bentall procedure surgery. dr. Aryo might be amazed with the information I got about this Bentall procedure, and finally dr. Aryo called dr. Maizul Anwar, SpBTKV – a senior cardiac surgeon who was often said to be the best at the Harapan Kita Heart Hospital. Finally I was scheduled to undergo Bentall Procedure operation by dr. Maizul on February 10, 2011. The moment I met dr. Aryo for this control was in mid-January 2011.

dr. Aryo also advised me to meet dr. Maizul before my Bentall procedure operation, who knew I might be asked some questions. At the appointment date, after waiting for a while I could see dr. Maizul in his office which the front door was inscribed with “Cardiac Surgery”.

At that meeting with me at that time, dr. Maizul simply said “Bentall procedure’s biggest risk is bleeding” …

Initially I did not quite understand what dr. Maizul meant at that time. A few days after the surgery, I was told by my sister and my wife that after underwent my surgery I suffered from severe bleeding for 3 times that required several dozen blood donors from my office friends, my campus friends, my relatives, my sister’s friends and my wife’s friends …. ( to be continued ) …..

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