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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recovery From Cardiac Bypass Surgery: Day 9

I got up pretty early today. I hadn't caught much sleep to begin with during the night because my father had to be taken to the bathroom thrice or four times during the night. Moreover, the room was too hot. Being hot is not unusual, by any stretch of the imagination, where I come from. In fact, it is jokingly said that the weather here is either hot, hotter or hottest throughout the year. Being hot inside the bedroom was however totally unnecessary, but also quite usual. The bedroom has an air-conditioner and can be used to get the temperature down to something that would not feel like a furnace. But the air-conditioner is seldom used because my parents claim to be "allergic to the air-conditioner". Yes, they will magically and miraculously catch a cold if they are in a room that has been air-conditioned to something comfortable. I have given up on understanding the problem a long time back. My personal explanation is that my parents are allergic to comfort! Obviously, it is not really an issue most of the time when I visit, because I sleep in the guest room with the air-conditioner on at full blast (the bedrooms have separate window air-conditioners), while my parents bake in the oven called the master bedroom.

Unfortunately, I was sleeping in the master bedroom with my father this time so that I could keep an eye on him and help him with anything he needed during the night. Ultimately, after a restless night during which I am not sure whether I slept a wink or not, I got up around 6 AM. I helped my father do his exercises and walking, then I took about 20 minutes to do my regular karate warm-up exercises. I had intended to do this on a daily basis during this trip to keep in shape, but this was the first time I had managed to actually do it.

After that, I worked on my laptop, putting together a couple of blog posts about the previous day, and about Vedic Mathematics. I also helped my father exercise and get his walking at regular intervals during this time also. Unfortunately, the internet connection was still out, so all I could do was put together text files on my computer, not actually post to my blog. My mother called the internet service provider about the outage just before lunch, and was told that there would be no resumption of service for the next 10 days. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as I have said before!

After lunch, an orderly from the hospital came by to help us with bathing my father. We had asked him to come and help us for a few days after his duty time at the hospital, until we could take over confidently. The doctors had given us instructions not to get soap directly on his incision wounds (it is OK to get lather on the wounds, but not actual soap particles), and also to dry the wounds without rubbing them with a towel. Since the orderly was familiar with giving post-operative patients baths on a regular basis, he was the ideal person to come and help us out for a few days until the wounds were healed well enough and/or we familiarized ourselves with the procedure ourselves so that his help would not be needed anymore. It was also a way for him to earn some extra money on the side, so he was more than happy to do it for us.

After that, I went out and got all of my father's medical test results copied. My mother wanted to give a copy of all the reports to a physician friend who lived in the same apartment complex. It was a bear of a task as all the tests spanned over 70 pages. Many of these pages were of all kinds of odd sizes and some of them were stapled together atrociously. It took me almost half an hour to get it done (but it cost me only the equivalent of about 80 cents US!).

After that, I worked some more on my computer, putting together some figures for my blog post on Vedic Mathematics. It was really tricky because I realized how poor MS Paint was at the job, and the only other drawing program I had access to was Visio 2003, which seemed like overkill. Ultimately, I had to use the latter because it was impossible to get MS Paint to behave the way I wanted it to. It did take me almost an hour to put together the 11 figures I wanted to put together.

After dinner, I watched some sports on TV, while I finished writing up my day's activities as yet another blog post. Then my mother, who had been noting down my father's urine output and water intake for the past few days on instructions of the doctors, noticed that his urine output today was only about 1500 ml as opposed to his output of over 1800 ml the previous day. I tried to explain it away as being due to his being back home, in much hotter conditions today than the previous day, when he had been in the hospital room and had kept the air-conditioner there running on and off. But my mother was not buying that theory and started getting worried that there may be something more serious going on. Obviously, a single data point does not make a trend, and I was pretty sure it was the change in the quantity of sweat that was affecting the quantity of urine produced, nothing else.

After some argument and back and forth, it was decided that my father would spend more time tomorrow in the bedroom with the air-conditioner on most of the time just to see if his urine output would go back up under that condition. I certainly hope so, for purely selfish reasons in addition to the obvious calming effect it will have on my mother's nerves.

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