Cardiac rehabilitation educates participants about the potentially devastating effects of heart disease, which is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. As cardiac rehab staff, it is our objective to educate and help patients succeed in their health, fitness, dietary, lifestyle, and risk factor management goals. We develop close relationships with our patients as we get to know them individually, in order develop useful tools based on their unique situation and needs. We truly care about our patients’ short term, as well as long term success. Below is a testimony from one of our dear patients, who was unsure of her own abilities when she started. She has exceeded her own expectations for success and has been a shining example of dedication and perseverance to all who meet her.
“Cardiac Rehabilitation has helped me get my family life back. When I first went to cardiac rehab, I had several fears. I was unsure what kinds of activities I would be asked to do. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do exercises because of sciatica which was especially painful in my hip. I knew I needed to do cardiac rehab to help me get better, but I was afraid if I aggravated my hip, I would not be able to continue my therapy. That worried me because my condition might worsen, and put my future in doubt. I was 6 weeks post a cardiac stent, and I had a diagnosis of Cardiac Artery Disease. It was a scary time for me; not being able to do simple things with my family was isolating me from them, and made me think of what their life would be like if I was gone. It was a pretty dark time for me.
I started cardiac rehab and soon found out I had a great team in the cardiac rehab department. Mandi, Nikki, Whitnee, and Angela were all so kind, encouraging, helpful, and knowledgeable about heart diseases. They gave me hope and emotional support, as well as answered my questions about my new diagnosis. The first day of rehab was not what I expected. My new team gave me easy to accomplish activities, and didn’t push me to do anything that would aggravate my sciatica. With each day I was able to do a little more than the day before, and when I was ready, they increased my activities and cheered me on.
I saw I was not alone on this journey as I began to meet other people going through what I was. All of us at our own pace, but together. Cardiac rehab has given me a chance to interact with others who had been where I was, and seeing what they could do gave me more confidence. This allowed me to improve my heart and health. Today, I can do so much more than when I first started rehab. Not only is my heart getting better, but the pain in my hip has really improved. I am able to do things with my family that I couldn’t before, like going into the grocery store or helping do the dishes. I can even stand in the kitchen and help make a meal without having to sit down after a minute. Looking back, I am amazed to think of where I was and where I am now. Cardiac rehab has given me my life with my family back. I am finally able to see myself in my family’s future again, and that is a bright place to be.”
Heart disease and heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms, including, but not limited to:
Call 911 if you develop these symptoms suddenly.
Those who may benefit from cardiac rehab include individuals with recent heart attack, coronary stents, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve repair or replacement, chronic stable chest pain, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). For more information, call RAMC cardiac rehab at (608) 768-6250.