The large amount of readers of my blog about the heart disease I had, of course very encouraged me. That’s a sign that what I had been writing and sharing on this blog were appreciated by the readers, whether it was a would-be cardiac patient like Ms. Rika or a cardiologic student who was studying abroad like Mr. Fajar… and there were many more “silent” blog readers that have never given any comment.
To continue my previous stories, here I am going to tell the readers about anything I have experienced in the last 6 months after the cardiac surgery. For brevity, I recap anything I experienced from the first month after the cardiac surgery until the sixth month after the surgery.
In this first month at the first week I was still staying in the ICU room after the surgery and got a bleeding 3 times in a row as a result of the Bentall procedure surgery I had —a pretty dangerous surgery compared with bypass surgery (CABG), for example. At the second week, I was transferred from the ICU room to the treatment room which was called IWS (Intermediate Ward —Surgical) since my condition was getting better. In this IWS room my appetite was lost along with the healing of my surgery wound and the cessation of the remaining bleeding. In this IWS also, the three channels in my stomach which were called “ducting” were taken off because my stomach didn’t bleed anymore. After the “ducting” in my stomach was removed, I could sleep freely since now I could lean to right or left side. I then was transferred to the treatment room, in the building II floor 6 RSJHK (Rumah Sakit Jantung Harapan Kita/Harapan Kita Heart Hospital). Once transferred to the treatment room in Building II, each ex cardiac surgical patient was required to follow a rehabilitation program with still wearing the blue patient suit, which the program was called the Rehabilitation Program Phase I. The rehabilitation program was concerned with the patients’ ability to walk properly and quickly. On the 15th day after the surgery, I was allowed to go home (some patients were allowed to go home on the 7th day, 10th or 12nd day after the surgery, depending on the conditions of each patient). I then went home but it was lasted only one night, because in the tomorrow morning I passed out in the bathroom because of a gastric bleeding that caused my HB lasted 5.6 and my INR raised up drastically to 5.0 (super thin blood). For two weeks I had to stay in the IWM (Intermediate Ward —Medical) treatment room to recover my condition and to stop my gastric bleeding. On the 30th day I was finally allowed to go home.
In the second month I spent my time by following the rehabilitation program in RSJHK. Because the RSJHK rehabilitation was paid by my insurance, Askes, I decided to follow 24 meetings which were consisted of 12 meetings of Rehabilitation Phase II (called “Red-Belt”) and 12 meetings of Rehabilitation Phase III (called “Blue-Belt”). But with the pace of following the rehabilitation program for 3 times a week for 12 meetings in Rehabilitation Program Phase II, it means that this second month was spent by following the rehabilitation. I was still living at my sister’s house in Cilandak in order to be closer to RSJHK compared with my own house in Bekasi. Even if I had to take a taxi, the fee was only the half. Apparently this rehabilitation program Phase II was quite exciting; each patient was vying to quickly recover as well as possible. Many were quickly recovered, but some of them were slowly recovered. The rehabilitation program Phase II began with a 10 minute riding a static bike, and a walk of 1000 meters (2 x 500 meters) in the first day. On the second day it increased to 1200 meters, on the third day rose to 1400 meters and beyond. If it were up to 1800 meters, the patient might switch to the treadmill from the distance walking. At the 13rd meeting of the Rehabilitation program Phase II, the patient must follow the “Upgrading Test” of the Red-Belt to the Blue-Belt. The test was quite exciting as well, which was riding a treadmill and it was tuned up from super soft to super fast and the elevation was raised too… it felt just like a quick run up to the mountain … and if you could riding the treadmill for 7 minutes with a sadistic “menu” like this, you passed to Blue-Belt!
After upgraded from Red-Belt to Blue-Belt, now after 2 months passed, the top jersey that I wore changed from red-white to blue-white. A suit that was very meaningful to me who was sick but tried to be healthy again. Recalling of the upgrading test, it was very sweat-draining and particularly courage-draining. Imagine, in the upgrading test from the Red-Belt to the Blue-Belt the patients had to stand on the treadmill, on the flat floor with the speed of about 3.0 km/h. But this “relaxing time” was soon ended when the speed increased to 5.0 km/h by the operator. Shortly thereafter, the speed was set to 6.0 km/h at 20 degrees of elevation. So it was like climbing a hill but with high speeds, even to run a little. Luckily, I was strong enough on the treadmill before I shouted “Enough…. Enough… Enough…” so the treadmill was stopped by the operator. I held it for 7 minutes, when actually the “passing grade” was when the patients bear to be on the treadmill for 6 minutes. In this third month, I was still living at my sister’s house in Cilandak, with the consideration it was closer to my office and to the hospital. I then had begun “to work” again although only for 1-2 hours. I also had the courage to go to the hospital to follow the rehabilitation program without The Lady. In my opinion, in this Blue-Belt the pride as a patient who had just underwent a cardiac surgery was very maximal…. it was so manly…. because many other rehabilitation program attendances were still at the Red-Belt level, even still wearing patient suits. With the rehabilitation program menu which increased, especially using a treadmill, then my fitness and healthy were greatly improved. My confidence was also getting bigger, so I was more comfortable being in the office, public hospitals sorts, and so on. Only, I was still restricted if I wanted to lift things up to only 5 kg, not to be more than that. It seems that at the 3 months after the surgery, the patient’s heart would return to the starting position before the surgery; within the meaning that the heart swelling was still there, but only last the half. In the third month, I also had tried to drive a car, although only for riding around my neighborhood, and to get the car in and out the garage.
Three months after the surgery, I had a lot of significant progress. Not only had the strength of my legs been “created” from the Red-Belt, now in Blue-Belt I also got my arm strength back. Although I still hadn’t dared to lift things weighing more than 5 kg, but to pull or push things up to 10 kg, I had ever done it (note, this is pulling or pushing, not lifting). I was happy with the physical progress I have got. Because of the wanting to “live normally” and returning to my own home that I didn’t occupy for 5 months, then started from the fourth month of May 2011 I said goodbye to my sister because I would leave my sister’s house in Cilandak and return to my own home. Actually there was a doubt to start the “second life” in my house. You know, for 5 months I left my home except on weekends, my house already smelled musty, and to remove the smell the windows and doors needed to be opened wide. Fortunately, starting the fourth month my wife has allowed me to drive the car by again. First I learned to drive the car to the mall near my house, and then drive the car up to Matraman Highway Street where my wife is working, a distance of about 20 km. it was pretty far to me that the condition wasn’t fully recovered. In this fourth month, I also have come to work in full, which was five times a week. Luckily in the afternoon there was an office shuttle bus that would drive me until in the front of my neighborhood complexion where I lived. So it very eased me. I began to teach, although the load was only 4 credits, the class thesis guiding. But there was a missing feeling because I couldn’t teach as much as I wanted. Although it entirely due to the health reason. In this fourth month I’d proved that I was able to drive car again, and I was also able to ride the mountain bike that I had. What I couldn’t do was riding motorcycle, and even after I recalled I was also losing my Motorcycle Driving License and haven’t found it yet. And apparently I also didn’t have motorcycle anymore because my Mio motorcycle has been sent to Balikpapan to be used by my daughter… in this fourth month I still controlled my condition to my doctor, dr. Aryo Suryo, Sp.JP once a month, usually to report the progress I have, to be examined, and to be given enough medicines for one month….
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[Sorry for the inconvenience, under construction]