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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recovery From Cardiac Bypass Surgery: Day 6

This was mostly an uneventful day. I woke up around 5 AM, but got out of bed only at 6:30 after trying in vain to get some more sleep. His son gets up at 5 AM 6 days a week to go to a tutoring class from 5:30 to 6:30 AM. Initially, the hardship seemed shocking to me, but then I remembered what I went through during my high-school days and it did not seem so shocking any more. I had breakfast, and then put together another blog post on my laptop. In the mid-morning, I played a game of carroms with my cousin's wife and kids, then played scrabble with them. I sucked at both, but it was still fun. Then I had my lunch and helped pack my parents' lunch.

Around 12:30 PM, my cousin's wife took me to the hospital in her scooter along with the food. I helped my parents eat their lunch. My mother told me that as part of the preparation for discharge, my father had undergone an ECG and an X-ray earlier in the day. I took my father on a couple of walks around the ward as part of his exercise routine during the afternoon. But most of the time, I did not do much. I had left my laptop at my cousin's place because I did not want to overload the small and under-powered scooter with too much stuff. So, I pretty much could not do anything productive between the times I was helping my father do something.

Part of my father's exercise routine also consisted of a few hand and leg movement exercises. The hand movement exercises were to slowly rebuild the strength of his pectoral muscles. The leg exercises were to prevent the leg from which the vein for the bypass had been harvested from swelling. The vein harvest was actually a much nastier looking wound in the leg than the incision in his chest, even though it was not very deep, so it was actually less serious. It looked wider and was not as clean or straight as the incision in his chest.

Another part of the exercise was to blow into an apparatus with three balls and make the balls move to the top with the force of his breath. This was to rebuild his chest and lung strength.

In the evening, we were visited by a couple more relatives and we were chatting about various things for some time. Then, the surgeon who had performed the surgery on my father visited with us, and talked at length about how things were working out and what to expect going forward. He seemed quite happy with the progress my father was making. The incisions were healing normally and all the vitals seemed quite acceptable. He said they were going to remove the sutures on Tuesday (the 8th day after the surgery), and could discharge my father either the same day or on Wednesday, depending on the results from the remaining tests.

At around 7:30 PM, I took leave of my parents and headed back to my cousin's place. His kids were working on some homework when I got there. My cousin was packing and getting ready for his trip (he was leaving by overnight train later in the night). After some time, we all had dinner, then everyone watched TV. My cousin had packed up his laptop (which had been connected to the internet) for the trip and switched off the router, and I did not feel like going through the trouble of setting everything back up to get on the internet. So, I did not have internet access today. My cousin left for the train station at around 9:30 PM. Right after that, I got too tired to keep up with any more TV watching or games, so I went to bed.

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