From heart-sick to heart-smart

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Heart attack survivors often celebrate two birthdays during the year: the actual day they were born, and the fateful day they survived that heart attack. When I read Elizabeth’s reflections last month on the occasion of her 4-year heart anniversary, I asked if I could share her journey of recovery with you here. 

With her kind permission, here’s what this 47-year old Virginia mother of two wrote:   Continue reading “From heart-sick to heart-smart”

We survive it – but do we ever recover from a heart attack?

by Carolyn Thomas

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?”

A post-heart attack checklist

You’ve just experienced a heart attack or other type of cardiac event.  You’re overwhelmed and frightened and wondering what happens next on this journey towards recovery. Knowledge is power – here’s when you need to take charge of that recovery by learning everything you possibly can about your heart health.

Complete this important checklist to make sure you are on the right road.  Continue reading “A post-heart attack checklist”