Finding out that you have a heart condition can change how you feel about many aspects of your life and you will have questions regarding your recovery and what you can expect. It is also an opportunity to begin the first day of the rest of your life as a healthier, fitter and more aware person.
When a family member is diagnosed with a heart condition, it is important to pledge your full support for their treatment plan and to assist them to make the lifestyle changes necessary to make a good recovery. It is an opportunity for the whole family to re-assess their lifestyles and to make positive changes that will benefit everyone.
Recovery from a heart attack, heart surgery or coronary angioplasty involves making permanent changes to your lifestyle. Following your procedure, you will be referred to a number of specialists to advise you on an exercise and nutrition programme to facilitate the road back to good health.
A dietician will advise you on a healthy eating plan to give your heart the best chance of recovery and will draw up a weight loss plan if you are overweight. A dietician will also be able to advise you on foods to avoid when you are taking medication.
It is likely that your cardiologist will prescribe medication to assist your body to recover and to prevent your heart from becoming damaged or overworked. It is important to understand what each drug is designed to do and to pay attention to the guidelines on when to take the medication for the best results.
A cardiac rehabilitation specialist will advise you on an exercise plan that is suitable for each stage in your recovery.
Regular monitoring will form part of your recovery. At these sessions, blood tests will be taken and your weight and cardiac function will be tested. This is a good opportunity for you to raise any questions you may have about your ongoing treatment. NB: Do not wait for your appointment if you are experiencing any symptoms.