Handling the homecoming blues: the third stage of heart attack recovery

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Today we look at the third stage of The Four Stages of Heart Illness from Dr. Wayne Sotile’s excellent book called Thriving With Heart Disease, a must-read for all heart attack survivors and those who love them. Dr. Sotile, a cardiac psychologist, describes the heart patient’s journey through a series of “separate, identifiable stages”.  He believes that your recovery will have fewer surprises if you are familiar with these four stages and know what to expect.*


Stage 3:  Handling the homecoming blues: You’re suddenly on your own, reality sets in, and the whole team must adapt to its new normal.

You’re now home from the hospital, and you’re expected to surf a bewildering wave of emotions, anxieties and procedures. No longer are nurses and doctors checking, monitoring and calming you.  Now you have to decide what you can and cannot do, and you may feel under-qualified for the job.

What used to be simple is suddenly unbearably complex.  Making the bed, a doctor’s appointment or even a tuna sandwich can overwhelm you and bring you to tears. You feel childish and emotional and terribly alone – no matter how many people surround you at home.   Continue reading “Handling the homecoming blues: the third stage of heart attack recovery”

Not just for soldiers anymore: PTSD after a heart attack

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

When I was at my WomenHeart Science & Leadership training at Mayo Clinic, we watched a short film about women and heart disease. A 40-something woman onscreen told the interviewer that ever since her heart attack had happened, she was afraid to go to sleep every night, because now she wasn’t sure that she would ever wake up.

I began to weep when I heard her say this.
Continue reading “Not just for soldiers anymore: PTSD after a heart attack”