Chapter 21. Following the rehabilitation program phase I

Actually, the chapter about I followed the rehabilitation program phase I could be placed between Chapter 16 and Chapter 17, which it was after 10 days I was treated in Harapan Kita Hospital after my heart surgery, I then moved to the infirmary room in Building II Floor 6 – the exclusive floor for the ex heart surgical patients who were previously derived from the IWS room. But because after I came home I returned to the ER of Harapan Kita Hospital again, so the writing about this rehabilitation program phase I was put in Chapter 21.

Basically, all ex heart surgical patients at Harapan Kita Hospital had to restore all their fitness and health as before undergoing the cardiac surgery as soon as possible. Hence, since in the IWS room, every day the patients were looked in by the rehabilitation officer at their own bed. The first thing to be done by a patient was coughing and issued a ripple (secretion, mucus) from the chest cavity, because much ripple would cause a load to the lungs and consequently it was hard to breath alias tightness…

Hence, during the first 2-3 days in the IWS room I was told how to “cough well and correctly” which it was coughing loudly and at once, so the ripple could “jump out” of our chest cavity. After the ripple was out, it was up to us whether to swallow it into the stomach or release on a tissue.

Once taught to cough, I then was taught by a medical rehab officer who came to my bed to move my legs and lift my hands up as high as possible. The result was very decent! When I hadn’t undergone the surgery, I couldn’t lift my arms higher than my head, because if I enforced it, there would be a great shaking or tremor in my hands because my heart couldn’t pump the blood more powerful when I put my hands above my head. So after I was able to lift my feet and raised my hands up above my head, I then was asked to turn my head left and right. It seemed an easy thing, but actually it was an uphill struggle for an ex heart surgical patient like me.

After I was moved to the infirmary room on the second floor of the building 6 on the 10th  day after the surgery, every day I was always picked up by a medical rehab officer to follow a rehabilitation program in building II Level 2. Once I arrived in the rehabilitation room on the 2nd floor, I was asked to take a seat, drink hot tea, and check my blood pressure on a digital tens meter there. At first, my blood pressure was normal and tended to be high, but in the past few days when I had gastric bleeding, my blood pressure was dropped so down up to 90/45. I was actually a little dizzy to follow the order to walk 5 x 100 meters, but after drinking the hot tea provided, my fitness got back as before and I then ate the rehabilitated menu of the day, which was riding the bike ride for 10 minutes and followed by walk on foot 5 x 100 meter.

Day by day my duty was heavier and heavier, besides riding the static bike for 10 minutes, followed by walking on foot for 10 x 100 meters. The walking method was to walk around the hallway in front of the rehabilitation room and surround the rehabilitation room which had wooden floor as much as 5 x 100 meters, then rest for 3 minutes and drink hot tea, and continued with walking around the rehabilitation room as much as 5 x 100 meters. For ordinary people, the burden of the rehabilitation exercise was probably quite easy, but for us who were the ex-cardiac surgical patients the rehabilitation duty today was quite heavy. Fortunately, the nurses and rehabilitation instructors in the rehabilitation room were friendly and sincerely wanted to help. In addition, there were some patients that their rehabilitation progresses were fast enough, as evidenced by their abilities to walk around the rehabilitation room quickly anyway…

During the rehabilitation phase I, the patients were still wearing the baby blue patient suit, both men and women, both elementary and middle patients until the elderly patients (age 60s, 70s). Wearing the baby blue patient suit which its buttons were minimal, almost all the ex-heart surgical patients’ chest areas were rather opened considering that the patient suits were lacked of buttons, only ropes which is seen. Except that, the female patients usually wore a t-shirt inside the patient suits…

I myself was quite impressed with the rehabilitation room of Harapan Kita Hospital because the room was adequate from its cleanliness, equipment’s completeness, instructors’ skills, the friendly nurses, and the old music accompaniments, Batakese gondang music, Padang malay music, until the Panbers, Koes Plus, D’Llyoid, reggae to the house music to accompany us exercising…

For me, following the rehabilitation program phase I which was only for 5 days was pretty impressive, especially my optimism arose since I was an ex heart surgical patient that if we were willing to try exercising in the context of medical rehabilitation, we would be able to restore our body and health conditions as they were before the cardiac surgery. Seeing my friends who were quick and nimble enough in walking made my heart glad, but to see the old men and old women who were staggered made my heart glad too, because I wasn’t that old…. Hahaha (To be continued)

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