Chapter 25. Back to work and teach again

As I mentioned earlier, I was finally allowed to go home after inhabited the ICU, Intermediate ISW+ IMW rooms and the treatment room at Harapan Kita Heart Hospital for 29 days. With a note, 15 days after the surgery I was actually allowed to go home, but apparently I quietly got a gastric bleeding (internal bleeding) that finally made ​​me passed out in my house bathroom. As a result, I stayed at my house only for one night and the next day I was rushed to the ER of Harapan Kita Heart Hospital. From the ER then I was transferred to the IMW Intermediate room for a week, and then transferred to the treatment room in Building II Floor 5.

Actually, since before the surgery I had prepared the required permission letter in order to be allowed to off-working and teaching. I asked the permission to the office for 2.5 months from February 8, 2011 (H-2 of my surgery) until April 16, 2011. Meanwhile, to the college management, I asked permission for off-teaching for the first 4 weeks of the lecture period (the first meeting to fourth meeting). So during my “house-boarding” at Harapan Kita Heart Hospital I always recalled and thought in my mind of when should I start to work and teach again? Did I have to stick to the original plan, which came to the office after 2.5 months off-working and started teaching at the 5th meeting of the lecture period?

About the letter to my office I scheduled when I should go to the hospital, when my surgery should be done, when I should be treated, and followed by the rehabilitation program phase I, II and III. At any rate, the schedule was complete until took 2 pages, then I submitted this schedule to my office secretary to be made the “cover letter” signed by my boss in the office (Campus).

Earlier in the office of my unit, there was a little arguing when I wanted to ask permission for the cardiac surgery. Some said, I should take a big leave for around 3 month –moreover for 31 years I worked I’ve never taken any leave which actually was the employees’ right every three years. Some proposed to create or fill out a leave form for illness which could be extended more according to the leave letter from the doctor. Both of the opinions felt strange to me, so I immediately went to SDMO (Sumber Daya Manusia dan Organisasi/Human Resources and Organization) bureau to meet Ms. Nita and ask about this. “Just write a letter for permission, then couple with the acknowledgement from your superior and send it here. Actually there were many of our employees asked permission for heart disease and the like”. Well, the words from Ms. Nita were the most logical, so I prepared a letter of permission for cardiac surgery and coupled with the acknowledgement from my superior…

While asking for permission in my office was very formal and procedural, the opposite happened in asking permission from my campus where I taught. I simply used the Facebook message to ask for leave teaching to the Secretary of the Department Mrs. Yen Lina. In an instant I got the answer, knowing everyone was currently having the Facebook fever, even from a simple mobile phone people could access Facebook. The point was Mrs. Yen allowed me to be absent for the first 4 meeting of the second semester year 2010/2011. Fortunately the cardiac surgery schedule that I got on February 10, 2011 was at the end of the first semester, the UAS (Ujian Akhir Semester/ End-term Examination) had been done, and I just needed to fill in the final grade of each student. After everything had been done, I submitted the final grades electronically to the Data Bureau, and before the surgery I still had the time to come to the Data Bureau to ask if everything was ok. Having been answered that all was ok, I then escorted by my brother’s driver headed to Harapan Kita Heart Hospital…

On the 10th day after the surgery, as I mentioned earlier, I then was transferred from the Intermediate Surgical Ward (ISW) room to the treatment room in Building II Floor, the floor which was specially provided for all ex-cardiac surgical patients. Since my awareness was getting better and better and I was able to get down from my bed and go to the bathroom alone, finally my backpack was returned to me by my wife. Of course the most important contents were my wallet and mobile phone. I then immediately checked my Facebook via mobile phone and wrote a status like this, “Hallo all my friends, I’m already conscious and my health is bit by bit improved. In a few days I will be allowed to go home from the hospital…” Of course my status made me like giving a drop of water for those who got lost in the desert… in a short time, a lot of comments appeared “Congratulation, Sir …,” “Congratulation, Bro…,” “Congratulation, Dad…,” “Congratulation, Uncle…,” and so on that showed what was the relationship between that friend and me…

Via my mobile phone I could also check what were written on my Facebook Wall by my friends, relatives, students, and blog readers. I thought I received more than 50 Wall which generally contained the hope for me to get well soon and all the diseases to be lifted out of my body by the power of God The Almighty. I then felt very deeply touched to read all of the Walls, so touched that I was so hesitated all by myself in the treatment room that I occupied it alone. By reading my Facebook Walls, I could confirm all the stories from my sisters, wife, and daughters about all the noises that existed at the time I had severe bleeding that up to 3 times after undergoing the “Bentall procedure” open-heart surgery…

I then replied all the messages written on my Facebook by writing, “Thank you for all my friends who have prayed for my healing through my Wall…”  Actually not all of them wrote on my Facebook Wall… many of others wrote on my Facebook message or SMS on my mobile phone. But the content was approximately the same, “Sir, how are you? Have you got well, Sir?” But what touched me the most and my spirit for healing became so passionate because there was a student who wrote a message on my Wall, “Get well soon, Mr. Tri… so later you could see me wearing a graduation gown …” Well, it’s definitely from my thesis-guided student, or from a non-thesis-guided student yet “I guided” her morally through my writings on her Facebook Wall…

Thus, although 15 days after I was treated I could go home and then only after stayed an overnight in my home the next day I collapsed in the bathroom that I was finally brought back to the Harapan Kita Heart Hospital Emergency Room and then was admitted to the Intermediate Medical Ward (IMW) room and after one week I was transferred to the treatment room in Building II floor 5 … in the end it was declared that my condition had been improved well and I was discharged from the hospital. I then decided to return to my sister’s home in Cilandak that someone could keep a watch of me when my wife and my sister worked. Another consideration was that Cilandak was closer to my office or campus so if had to take a taxi, the fare was much cheaper than if I stayed in my own house…

So after I was allowed to go home on Wednesday night of March 9, 2011, starting on Monday morning of March 14, I started to follow the Rehabilitation Program Phase II that I wore the red-white uniform (I preferred to call it the “red-belt”). My rehabilitation program in the red-belt was running smoothly. I then could follow the exercise that was held for 10 minutes, followed by riding a static bike for 10 minutes, and ended with a walk as far as 2 x 500 meters on the first day, and increased to 2 x 600 meters on the second day and so on. Once the walking road reached 2 x 900 meters then at the next meeting I was allowed to try to ride the treadmill that I called the treadmill as the most advanced rehabilitation tool because almost for all the motor racing until the Formula 1 athletes who got injury, the rehabilitation program was using treadmill also. The speed of the treadmill was from a slow one of 3.0 km/h, up to 4.0 km/h, from 20 minutes to 30 minutes per day…

After routinely following the “red-belt” rehabilitation program Phase II, I felt that I got better. Especially my legs were able to move more certain and steady –it’s where the core of the “red-belt” that to strengthen our legs. Although at the beginning of the rehabilitation program I was always escorted by The Lady who lived in my sister’s house, just in case something happened to me on the way, such as fainting. But there was not even one incident happened to me during that time; everything was fine and according to the plan…

After a week following the “red-belt” rehabilitation program Phase II, I then ventured myself to come to the office, although for the first time was only for 2 hours. This time I was still escorted by The Lady. Thus my work on my campus should also be started again because I had been absent from teaching for 4 weeks or 4 meetings. Therefore, at the 5th meeting I had already appeared in campus and guided the students in working on their thesis in “Non-class Thesis”. The difference was just if in the office, my office friends always said in discouraging tone, “Oh Mr. Tri … don’t come to the office first, please… don’t tiring yourself, first, Sir… just rest at home.” In my heart I thought, “Gee … When I will be healed if my friends’ attitudes were so discouraging like this…,” while thinking about what I had read on the internet that “a cardiac patient has better immediately returning to the normal activities such as before hadn’t got the disease.”

Otherwise, the staffs, faculty friends, and the students that I met in campus always said things in encouraging tone, “Wow, Mr. Tri… How are you? Hopefully you get well soon as before, Sir so you could teach again as before…”

Well … so it’s not strange that I finally preferred to come to campus than to the office…. (To be continued)

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