If You’ve had a heart attack . . .

I don’t know how many people might find this useful, but you probably know someone who can use this information – or will.

This is advice is NOT to replace any info from your doctor or medical professional. I do have to add that my heart attack was classified as “mild” and I have NO experience with any other kind. Also, I have been out of the hospital for about 6 weeks, so I’m still learning. But, here are a few things I’ve learned so far.

  1. Your life will change. What you can do for the short term is not what you will be able to do long term. Your diet will probably change that should be long term, very long term. Your activity level will change. That is probably short term, you can get active again, but it will take a while. If you were not active before, that will probably change if you will do it.
  2. Listen to your doctor – but also talk to your doctor. Ask questions and write them down so you don’t forget them during those whirlwind visits.
  3. If your doctor won’t answer your questions – find a new one. This goes for your family physician to your cardiologist and anyone else you might see.
  4. Do rehab. I read recently those who participate in rehab decrease chances of dying from a heart attack by 20-25%. Maybe those machines kill you – I’m just kidding! I didn’t plan to complete rehab. I was just going to go and get some ideas and stop. I’m thinking that probably isn’t a good idea now.
  5. Get plenty of rest. The tiredness does go away after a while, but if it doesn’t, it could be a side effect of some of your medicines. I guess they all have side effects and they affect different folks in different ways. But, if you’re not sure, ask your doctor.
  6. Involve your friends and family. They want to help and you should let them do whatever you need help doing. Depression is a potential side effect of a heart attack. I guess it could be a side effect of some medicines or combinations of meds, but it doesn’t have to be a “natural” side effect. If it is, your friends and family can possibly see it before you do.

I hope this helps someone. I was totally unprepared for my heart attack. But I’ve had a great support group including my family, my church family, my friends at work, my doctors and other medical folks and now beginning in rehab. Most of all, I thank God for His care during all of this, and I look forward to everyday He sees fit to let me stay here.


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