If you recently suffered a heart attack or underwent major heart surgery, then your doctor might send you to a cardiac care center for cardiac rehabilitation. These rehab programs are designed to get you and your heart into better shape so that you can more easily and healthfully return to your everyday life. Here are some questions patients often have before they begin such a cardiac rehab program.
1. How long will you be in cardiac rehab?
This really depends on the nature of your heart condition and how quickly you recover. Some patients are only in these programs for a week or two, while others are in for several months. Your doctor should be able to give you a more specific estimate based on your medical history.
2. What does cardiac rehab involve?
Cardiac rehab is usually a multi-faceted program. You'll work with doctors and physical therapists who help you become active once again, all while monitoring how your heart responds to the activity. They'll likely adjust your doses of various medications, helping to find the right medications and doses that work for you. You'll also receive counseling in terms of diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Then, when you return home, you can use what you learned to continue living in a way that's healthy for your heart.
3. How can you go to cardiac rehab if you feel ill all the time?
Many patients who begin cardiac rehab feel ill and under the weather, and the entire idea of doing anything like rehab exercises sounds impossible. But rest assured that the medical professionals who work at cardiac care centers are used to this. They'll take things slow and recommend a steady progression of exercises and changes that help you feel better. It's okay if you feel sick now; you'll feel a lot less sick after some cardiac rehab.
4. How will you get to the cardiac care clinic?
If you are currently at the hospital and are awaiting admission to a cardiac rehab center, you may wonder how you'll get there. In most cases, if the hospital has recommended this rehab for you, they will arrange for your transportation to the rehab center. You might also be able to have a friend or family member drive you if you prefer to go that route.
Cardiac rehab can be invaluable for anyone who has recently had a heart-related episode. Take the program seriously, and it will help you out.