THE RECOLLECTION OF MEMORABLE EPISODES FROM A CORONARY ARTERY BY-PASS GRAFTS AT IJN.(MRN:128564, Episode OP1220346)
Dear friends, I have been inspired to write this ever since the moment I was transferred to a normal ward after two days in ICU at IJN. At the time, I still had reoccurring nightmares that I was desperate to record and share with others. I was especially inspired to share it for the benefits of those patients who are destined to undergo similar processes of transforming into a new and much healthier being.
My birthday, which was on the 21st of March, was celebrated 33days after my episode of heart by pass (coronary artery by-pass grafts).
It was my 59th birthday, and the celebration turned out a little extravagant .The birthday cake, for the first time in my life, was lit with candles and I was surrounded by all of my 8 grandchildren, 3 of my daughters, my son, my daughter in-law and my 2 son –in –laws (Only my 3rd daughter who works in Dublin was absent, however she had already called me that morning)
I was forced by my family to blow all of the candles, to test my lung functioning. (Usually, during operation, the lungs collapsed and breathing practices are needed to restore it back to its normal size).
I really wanted to begin writing earlier, on the bed of Bunga Raya Ward itself, approximately 10 days after coming out of ICU. Although I could surf the internet and chat with my daughter in Dublin everyday at around 4.00 am, I still could not gather enough strength to punch my thoughts on the computer.
I just could not stand the temperature of the room; it was just too cold for me to sit in front of the laptop on the bed. I had to get out of my room now and then, to an area without air conditioning, such as the lift, lobby and the staircase area to feel warm and comfortable.
One day, I even walked down from the 5th floor to the ground floor, to get to the physiotherapy unit, but I was scolded later by the nurse for it, as it was too early for me to be doing that; at that time, I was only allowed for light exercises as per guidelines by the physiotherapist.
For the first few days, I figured out about that sudden feeling of coldness ( I have been involved in air conditioning field for more than 20 years now) it must be caused by the control of the air conditioning unit not being properly installed and set. But I had no instruments to check it and confirmed it. Moreover, I was the only one in the area who complained of being cold. So I thought I must be wrong.
Then, after a few days, I noticed that I had lost 4 kg of my weight since my admission, and I realized that it must be the reason for my sudden feeling of cold. I had lost the fat, which all the while have insulated my body. So the body needed to adjust and adapt to the new less-fat-insulated body condition.
Today, is already 25th of March 2008, and I still could not finish formatting my recollections of all the episodes that I have been through in the IJN, as I was distracted by the daily political events that I had to capture and post it in my newly set-up blog, therefore when I woke up this morning, I decided to post this narration part by part instead of posting it up in one shot as planned earlier.
This feeling of urgency to complete this first part is because, at much earlier stage, I had planned to officially thank the various personalities involved in the process of reconstructing and rebuilding my being again. I feel, the “thanking” carried out through shaking hands and saying goodbyes was not enough. So I could not delay any further to post this in my blog for curious audiences (hopefully from IJN) to access it.
Therefore, before I could move on with my recollection of thoughts, I would like to thank the specialists; Cardiologist - Datuk Dr David Chew (consultant), heart surgeons- Datuk Mr (Dr) Venugopal (consultant), Mr (Dr) David, Mr (Dr) Kadiri, Miss (Dr) Sheila, Anaesthetists-Dr Tilu, Dr Sharif and colleague. The various technicians, radiographers, Sisters, staff nurses, the assistant nurses in the operation theatre, ICU, ward and everyone in IJN.
After going through the whole process, and feeling alive again I have only this to say syukaran! syukaran!, you have done a really good job on me…Alhamdulillah, I passed through the passage successfully.
To Dr Sharrif -I beg for your forgiveness, if I have hurt your feelings.
I recall when I was still in the ICU on the 2nd day, I have complained of excruciating pain below the abdomen and chest, especially when coughing.
Immediately, you had arranged the pain management system; which contained pain killer drugs, and had it connected to one of the several life-lines (tubes) penetrating into the veins in the body at several strategic points that were already tapped before the surgery, by the anaesthetist.
When in pain, all I needed to do was press the wired button to the system and instantly the drugs would go into blood system. The drug; the pain killer would have an immediate effect then.
However, the system had been programmed in such that I could only press it once in every 5 minutes. That means if I was still in pain I had to bear with it for another 5 minutes before the next dosage.
I think the idea behind this is to make the patient bear the pain and to gradually and finally surrender, and accept the pain as part and parcel of post surgery of this nature. Of course the hospital could give further dosages of morphine but this might have side effect such as continued hallucinations as happened to another patient that I have heard.
Mr Sharrif, do you recall when I asked you whether the pain management system really contain the pain killer or was it just a placebo to restless and impatient patients like me? You answered, in a quite serious tone that “No, it really does contain the pain killer and it react instantly when pressed.”
Actually, I was only joking as I had to appear that I was ok even in that excruciating pain of which only Allah Knows…after all, Datuk Vellu already thought that I was a very anxious man who keeps on complaining, so I had to enlighten the gloomy atmosphere in the ICU with a little humour..
In fact, I wanted to continue to joke, but I did not. I wanted to add on, saying that you should put a reward to those patients who uses the pain management system. The reward is, if the patient do not press the button (meaning he would rather bear the pain) the patient would get, say, RM 1000. Then probably patients would be less likely to press. The hospital would then ‘win’ and outsmart the patients by using simple psychological reward system.
Well, for my smart mouth, I really beg for your forgiveness…
I would also like to thank all my friends; Datuk Manan, Datuk Ibrahim Ali , YB Dr Maria (the newly elected MP) and her husband Dr Hakim, Sdr Nasir Ahmad, Sdr Z, Zul, Wan Azmi (ayah wang) and his brother in-law, Hj Alias who came all the way from Trengganu, Hj Khalid, Yc Chang, Raymond Oh .Cc Ong, Adlan, Hafis Nik, Misnan, my relatives; my sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, my own family; my wife, my daughters, son, my grandchildren for visiting me and for their comforts, moral supports, the well-wishes and of course most important, for their “doa”. And not forgetting all the well-wishes that I received from those who would rather not come to pay a visit out of respect, than to not to disturbed me at that moment, and instead, allowing me to rest first…..
Especially Mr Raft, my ward mate who really inspired me to be better and gain strength every day. He himself being longest in ICU (50 days) and it was his third by -pass where episode of removing one leg was unavoidable...it was really unfortunate...however, all are fated...but with full admiration, I wish him full recovery and pray he would be able to get his new leg soon and will be able to walk again.
Well. .see you on the next posting..
END OF PART ONE