Turning points for Ken and Gina!
The next hour was taken up with exercising. The room has exercise bikes, treadmills, a set of stairs that they have to walk up and down a number of times, hand weights, and various other items that you might find in a gym. As it was Ken's first day, the nurses assessed him as he attempted to keep up with the other patients, most of whom had been attending the classes for a while. They started off doing steps forward and back to music, stretching their arms up and out. I was watching Ken, and it didn't take long for him to get tired. He looked at me desperately, but the nurses had also been watching him, and told him to stop and rest. The next thing they did was sit on the bicycles and pedal for 5 minutes or longer if they felt they could. Ken went for about 7 minutes. After that, they took him through various other exercise routines, making notes on a chart after each one. The other patients in the meantime were doing their own thing. It doesn't matter when you start the program; after the first day when you are assessed, you are monitored by the nurses, who instruct you how much further to push yourself each week, and eventually, you know how much you can do yourself, so you just get on with it.
I was astonished at how well Ken coped with it all. When we were driving home, I said "I guess you're looking forward to getting home and collapsing on to the bed!" and he said "Not really. Why don't we stop somewhere for lunch? It's your birthday after all". So we stopped in Eltham and had a coffee and muffin snack, then we did a bit of shopping, which took up an hour, as I led him into the bookshop and chose my birthday present, as he hadn't had the opportunity to get me something since he came home from hospital.
When we got home, he did lie down for a little while, but some friends dropped around for my birthday, and later on, Ken's sister and her hubby came over, so it was a long day for him. On Saturday he rested up for most of the day, and the same on Sunday, although my oldest brother visited for a couple of hours and we took him up to see the birds. Today (Monday) we went to one of the local parks and walked for about half an hour. He truly has come a long way since last week, hence the blog title of a turning point. He looks and sounds more like the way he was before the operation, and he admits to feeling a whole lot better, even though he still gets tired quickly. He's got four medical appointments in the next two weeks, with the hospital and cardiologists, so it will be interesting to hear what they think.