“They will come at 6am to prepare you.”

“They will come at 6am to prepare you,” the night nurse told me. Mine would be among the first surgeries of the day.

Dinner the night before
Dinner the night before

It was a sense of relief to hear that because it meant I would finally be going through with the surgery, and that there is very little more I need to do. But later, that relief also turned to anxiety and fear, feelings which I knew I would have as the day drew nearer, although at the same time I had also been looking forward to the event.

And the next morning, just like clockwork, the nurses came into my ward and told me, “Mr Loh, we will have to prepare you.”

I looked at the clock and it was 6am.

I hadn’t slept much the night before. I kept running the whole operation through my mind, just to calm myself. I had had some last-minute nervous thoughts. Continue reading ““They will come at 6am to prepare you.””

Pre-op

Eating healthy to prepare for op
Eating healthy to prepare for op

It is 3 days to my coronary artery bypass graft (CABG – pronounced “cabbage”) surgery on 22 September. There are several things which I have to do to prepare for this.

The first is to stop taking anti-coagulent medication. In my case, this would be the drug called plavix. Doc wanted me to be on aspirin but as it turned out, I am allergic to that drug. (I am also allergic to naproxen, another painkiller.) So, plavix was recommended instead.

Here, I would like to explain that it is very important that you note your allergies. So that in time such as this, you are able to tell your doc straight away about them.

When they asked me for my allergies, all I could say was Synflex, which I later found out was known as naproxen, its medical name. When they asked if I was also allergic to aspirin, which I am told is a “cousin” of naproxen, I was unable to say for sure since I had not taken aspirin for a very very long time. Continue reading “Pre-op”

Triple bypass

Being wheeled into op room for angiogram
Being wheeled into op room for angiogram

It didn’t really hit me as shocking news. Ok, maybe a little. Actually, what I felt, when the news was relayed to me, was, “Ok, so how do we deal with this?”

It was bad news, of course.

A week earlier, on 6 September, I kept an appointment with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), for an Electrocardiogram (ECG). I had been feeling chest pains whenever I walked briskly, or when I jogged and swam. In fact, the symptoms had been there for more than a year. I just brushed them off as perhaps I hadn’t slept well the night before and thus was somehow physically weak.

I had taken comfort that after the initial first 20 to 30 mins of jogging or swimming, where I had to pause every short distance, I was able to continue exercising without feeling any pain in the chest.

So, I ignored the symptoms.

Then one night, while sitting in bed reading, I felt a shortness of breath. Continue reading “Triple bypass”