Out of the chaos surrounding my heart attack emerged one overriding obsession: to just be normal again. I was desperate to feel like my old self, all the while feeling that nothing around me felt remotely normal any longer. I was tired of being “sick”. I wanted my old life back.
And I didn’t want to be a heart patient anymore. One day, in fact, about seven weeks after I’d been discharged from hospital, I marched around the apartment gathering up all the get well cards and bouquets of beautiful flowers that filled each room – and trashed them all. (It didn’t work, by the way. I still had heart disease, albeit one with a tidy home!)
What I really wanted was some kind of guarantee that I’d recover perfectly one day very soon. But according to psychologist Dr. Lisa Holland, even promising patients that we will “recover” may simply be setting us up for a situation that’s essentially unattainable. Instead, she warns, all we can do is rebuild our lives and move forward. Continue reading “We survive it – but do we ever recover from a heart attack?”