Cardiac Surgery Rehabilitation

Posted by Heart Hugger on May 27, 2015 10:59:00 AM

cardiac stethoscope

We have always regarded the heart as a center of life. When we were little, the heart seemed to be a soft-edged, lovable little shape that rested somewhere within us. As we grew older, we learned that the heart was in charge of nearly every movement of our body, responsible for our survival. And, as our lives went on, we often revisited that idea that the heart was the center for emotion--and, whether it was heartbreak or joy, the heart seemed responsible. We've always thought of the heart as our center, one way or another. But now, after heart surgery, that idea becomes more prominent than ever--because, it seems, a cardiac surgery patient can't make a move or take a breath without thinking about how it will affect their heart.

After Heart Surgery

Cardiac surgery rehabilitation takes our focus on the heart and turns it into something much bigger. However, it's important to remember that your heart isn't really working against you. It can certainly be a difficult journey. Eventually, you'll begin to find that, throughout the course of your rehabilitation, you're gradually coming to regard your heart as a true center again--not just a center of issues and complaints.

What to Focus On

It can be helpful to have a little bit of direction in what to focus on during your cardiac surgery rehabilitation. Here are a few tips to get your rehabilitation off to a good start, so that your heart can go back to being a center of life and emotion again.

  • Exercise. Exercise is one of the most important aspects of rehabilitation. You must start exercising as soon as possible, avoiding anything that requires you to lift more than five pounds. Something like a ten-minute walk every hour from the first moment you return home is crucial to your continued health.
  • Sleep. While you will need to rest multiple times throughout the course of an average day, you have to keep in mind that long naps will destroy your sleeping pattern. Try to avoid this in order to sleep through the night.
  • Medications. Medications are important to your cardiac surgery rehabilitation, but they can often seem a little overwhelming. All you need to focus on is learning why they have been prescribed and how they help, and, most importantly, taking them according to your doctor's instructions.
  • Food. You may not have a full appetite for the first few weeks of your rehabilitation, but you must establish a strong diet that can last a lifetime. You're likely to lose some weight. You also may need to take some iron supplements as recommended by a doctor.
  • Testing. No matter what, your vitals and blood are going to need to be tested regularly. For now, your healing is being monitored--but this is a lifelong journey, and checkups and tests will become common for you.
  • Emotion. Cardiac surgery rehabilitation comes with some emotional baggage too. You're likely to be anxious, stressed, depressed, and more--but it's important to remember that the worst is behind you.
  • Pain. This is one of the biggest challenges of healing, and one of the biggest enemies of cardiac surgery rehabilitation. The simple truth is that you are likely to experience pain for a few weeks after the surgery. It is important to consult your doctor concerning the use of pain pills, but it's also good to keep in mind that you'll eventually need to minimize your reliance on medication.

Looking for more information on cardiac surgery rehabilitation? Contact us today!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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