How I wish I’d discovered Dr. Wayne Sotile’s wonderful book Thriving With Heart Disease while I was still a patient in our hospital’s Coronary Care Unit following my heart attack.
A large hint: if you or somebody you care about ever experiences a cardiac event, get your hands on a copy of this book before discharge from hospital.
The book’s second chapter is called The Four Stages of Heart Illness. Dr. Sotile, a cardiac psychologist, describes the heart patient’s journey through a series of four “separate, identifiable stages”.
These stages don’t always proceed neatly in sequences, but Dr. Sotile believes that your recovery will have fewer surprises if you are familiar with them and know what to expect.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring each of these four stages along the cardiac journey.
Stage 1: Surviving The Crisis: Illness strikes, and patient and family begin the journey. Continue reading “Surviving the crisis: the first stage of heart attack recovery”