My first appointment with the doctor was 1 week after my discharge.
The doctor recommended a few things.
· Use the chest strap, to hold the chest especially when coughing, or laughing
· Use the TDL stockings to prevent water retention on the leg
· Exercise using the Respiflo 2500, to strengthen the lungs
· Take long walks, climb stairs, etc
The TDL stockings, chest strap and the Respiflo are included in the physiotherapy provided by the hospital. I used the chest strap and the TDL stockings only for three weeks. To use the respiflo, you have to exhale, and then suck in through the hose, and see the volume inspired. Just after the operation, I only managed 750 cc. Slowly the figure rose, and now I can reach the maximum 2500 cc easily.
However there were other things suggested by the doctor. So I went to a pharmacy and bought myself three things :
1. An Omron BP meter, and
2. An Omron blood sugar tester, which requires accessories such as lancet, test strips, and alcohol swab.
3. A 200W Philips Infra red, which I used to warm up the affected areas on my leg, to replace the hot compress which was not very effective. This helped dry the wounds faster. Bruise marks on my arm and my legs disappeared by the 6th week, possibly aided by the use of this infrared.
My BP seemed to fluctuate – sometimes more than 140/100 sometimes around 130/90. But my heartbeats are high, most of the time around 90, and once in a while reaching 100, even at rest! However, when I used the treadmill, fast walk at 5 km/hr, doing almost 3 km at a time, my heart beat maxed at 130 only. The treadmill was bought by my son-in-law, to keep him fit for his regular game of futsal.
My blood sugar was okay, less then 5mmo/L. Maybe my regular consumption of diabetic milk from Abbot also helped.
A fellow who also had bypass surgery mentioned difficulty sleeping sideways. So I tried. There was discomfort at first, but now I can sleep sideways but I still have problems sleeping on my tummy, which thankfully is not my regular position.
Went to the optician last week, and my eyesight was back to ‘normal’ – no more fluctuating readings on the computerized eye tester. So I ordered my new pair of glasses.
Finally, the test drive ... You need chest muscles to steer the car, and with some exercises, I have been driving quite regularly now, without any problems. The only discomfort is the seatbelt straddling my chest, so I had to adjust it.