Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank You, IJN!

In a nutshell, Alhamdulillah, it all went well.

I guess there was a silver lining from the postponement of the surgery after all. Because we had spent a week at the first class single standard room, we knew how the rooms looked like and how the nurses were, and therefore we enquired about upgrading ourselves to a deluxe room. And surprisingly, I found out that for private paying patients, the price for a single standard and a deluxe room was exactly the same! I only had to pay a (refundable) deposit, in case of insurance coverage issues.

And the best part was, it was the only ward which had no stipulated visiting hours. Therefore Aiden could come in and out anytime he wanted (or rather anytime I found to be convenient for us), and there was no rush to get him out of the ward before 8pm!

Huge windows with plenty of sunlight - definitely good for a recovering patient!

The view from our window, although we can barely see KLCC since there was a gigantic building under construction blocking that view.

There was even a welcome pack!

The comfortable waiting area and the nurses' counter.

So if you're ever in IJN (which I sincerely hope you avoid), get a room on level 4!

Once we had moved in and had a late lunch, the nurses brought us to see the physiotherapist at the IJN old block. There, we were counseled about how the lung was going to collapse during a bypass surgery and the exercises that Hubby needed to do to increase his lung capacity back to normal. Then we met the junior surgeon who explained how the surgery was going to be done and the risks associated with it. And finally, close to 7pm (these poor doctors work around the clock, do they?), we met the anaesthetist and signed a consent form for the surgery. By the time we got back to the room, panic had began to set in. Like a sudden realisation that the surgery was going to go on in the next few hours!

Hubby's family arrived just after Isyak and by the time they left (including Aiden), it was close to midnight so after prayers we both just laid side by side on the hospital bed, watching TV, not saying a single word. It was simply our way of comforting each other without saying anything.

Since Hubby's surgery was scheduled to be the first one in the morning, come 530am I was already up, getting ready to pick up Aiden from my aunt's house to bring him to the hospital. Meanwhile, Hubby's family unfortunately had overslept so they drove over with F1 speed and managed to arrive close to 7am. Hubby was wheeled in at 730am.

This was after we had all sent Hubby to the OT. Aiden insisted on going on the same bed his Daddy used to get to the OT so the nurses offered to wheel him back to the ward. I did not follow since I had to wait at the OT waiting room, but according to my SILs, he behaved really well!

Since the surgery was estimated to be about 4-5 hours, we assumed that the surgery would only be done by 12ish, therefore Hubby's family returned home for a shower and breakfast while I waited (with my sister, who arrived just minutes after Hubby was wheeled into the OT). There was also another family waiting at the waiting area and they all recited the Yassin as a group, so you can imagine how intense the atmosphere was for us. And it didn't help that the last time I waited at the waiting area (during Hubby's minor surgery), a lady was called into the OT by one of the nurses who told her that the doctor wanted to see her. And when the lady returned to the waiting room she was sobbing as she called her sister to tell her that their mother had passed away. So yes, it was a very scary moment for me.

At about 10-ish, I saw a couple of nurses from the fourth floor wheeling the second patient due to be operated after Hubby. I had befriended a chinese lady sitting beside me, who was a supplier for some medical equipments and was waiting for a meeting with one of the doctors. Since she was really well versed with the hospital, she told me that it was normal for them to wheel down the second patient when they were starting to stitch up the first patient. Immediately I panicked. 3 hours in and they were already closing in on my husband??? It could only mean that the surgery was an easy success or it was bad news. I started pacing up and down the waiting area. I simply could not think.

Alhamdulillah, the surgeon came out at about 1130am and told us the good news. He asked where Hubby's parents were so I had to make up a white lie about them being on the way! Hubby was eventually sent to the ICU close to 1230pm. I took pictures of when he was still asleep, with all the wires running into his body and a huge suction hose in his mouth - but they are pretty personal pictures so I cannot publish them here.

Hubby was in the ICU for 2 days and then at the HDU (High Dependency Unit) for 1 day. Finally he was moved back into the normal wards. When we escorted him from the HDU to the wards, he was shivering in pain and was so down and depressed. Why was he shivering you ask? Because it was the first day that they had cut his morphin and put him on panadols. Yes, you read that right. Panadol! Orang migrain bolehlah makan panadol, but after an open heart surgery, you give panadol??? Poor Hubby couldn't even talk since he was in pain. And as his lung had collapsed, there was a lot of liquid in his lungs which came out as phelgm. He was literally shaking from the pain when he had to cough his phelgm out. Our request for a higher painkiller was only approved in the evening as the surgeon was in the OT all day long, and after the painkiller, I finally saw a smile on his face.

During the recovery period, we were given the biggest room (excluding the suites) on the floor.

Very spacious!

Hubby's relatives from Perak (his Dad's side) made a trip down to see him and we managed to fill up the whole room! Cannot imagine how much noise we must have made that morning.

Godiva chocolates from Hubby's department mates.

Thank you to all who came to visit us - our relatives, our neighbours, the BBGS gang, the ex-office mates, the current office mates (and even the owner of Hubby's company!) and last but not least, thank you IJN for the successful surgery, the extremely capable surgeons and cardiologists, and the excellent bedside manners your nurses provided to us during the past 9 days.

Alhamdulillah, it all went well!
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