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Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

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Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:48 am

Are you currently in Cardiac Rehab or are you a recent graduate?
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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by kodi30 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:05 pm

Never did any official rehab. My doc let me do what I wanted when I wanted. Never gave me any restrictions so just listened to my body.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by EugeneRunner on Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:09 pm

I went through the full 12 weeks of cardiac rehab after my MI + stent. Excellent experience. For good reason, my insurance company heavily pushed me to do it, and covered the complete cost with no co-pays or anything.

The only thing I wished they covered more was the emotional recovery. Having a serious heart attack at age 43, I recovered physically far faster than I did emotionally.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Rachel August on Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:03 pm

I can REALLY relate to the emotional recovery EugeneRunner!!!! It took me 3 months to recover physically - but about six months to get my confidence back to just do normal stuff.....and OVER a year to return to running!!! I'm still making my way back 2.5 years later!!!!

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Sumorunner on Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:24 pm

There was a rehab back when I had it done but my cardiologist knew how competitive I was and told me it would probably be a waste of time and I should know how to train myself back into shape. I did of course, but I was still nervous and took it very slowly.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by bsegall2 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:34 pm

My experience is similar to Eugene Runner's, after I had an MI + Stent. Fully covered by insurance, the people and atmosphere were very pleasant. However, I found it a low level of physical challenge and no help with emotional recovery. The most inspiring thing was meeting someone just a couple of months after getting a heart transplant who was so cheery and positive!

EugeneRunner wrote:I went through the full 12 weeks of cardiac rehab after my MI + stent.  Excellent experience.  For good reason, my insurance company heavily pushed me to do it, and covered the complete cost with no co-pays or anything.

The only thing I wished they covered more was the emotional recovery.  Having a serious heart attack at age 43, I recovered physically far faster than I did emotionally.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:30 am

I didn't have Cardiac Rehab but in retrospect it would have been good for me. Chalk that one up to my being bull headed... The emotional part was very tough for me too and there weren't any support groups like this back in 1999. I started running to get as fit as I could but I was never really sure if I was saving myself or killing myself. Finally in 2006 after extensive internet searching I met some of you on line and it meant the world to me... For the very first time I knew there were others doing it too and I could talk to them.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:09 pm

I did Cardiac Rehab because I wanted someone watching over me during exercise.  I asked for it when I had my pre-op, along with home testing my INR.  Both granted, happy with both.  I remember one run on the treadmill at CR, the nurse ran over and told me my heart rate was too high and I had to slow down.  LOL

In retrospect, I don't think I will ever get over the emotional part, like grief when you lose someone, you adjust and move on because that's what you have to do.  What triggers the emotions for me now is when I read someone else having to have surgery, all the emotions and memories come back.  This is a good thing, it keeps me in check as to how fortunate I am that the medical field has the ability to fix me and others so that we can live long, healthy, and happy lives.

The best to come from all of this is to meet people like HEART who all pay it forward, so I try to do so too.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Sumorunner on Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:23 pm

There is a period several weeks post-op when depression sets in like post-partum depression. I can recall a vacation we took to Florida a few months after valve replacement. I was already back to running a couple miles a day and the incision and bones were pretty much pain free, but I could not enjoy myself or the beach or any restaurants. I just simply felt miserable the whole time and couldn't figure out why. It passed in time but was very real deep depression for a while.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Marc Thayer on Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:08 am

I grudgingly went to Rehab...Surgeon didn't see any need for it but the cardiologist wanted me to go...of course it was on my dime...but I'm glad I did.

The physical part was somewhat less than challnging...but the support was invaluable to keep me in check as I trend to the over do it mode.

I go back to visit when I can.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Viking on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:50 pm

I did cardiac rehab after a serious MI in 1992 at age 43. The worst aftermath of the MI was emotional: I felt my body had betrayed me (distance runner, x-country ski and bike racer), that I had somehow failed, and that I could drop dead at any moment. Not a good frame of mind! Like others have said, it took a couple of years to begin to live again.

Unfortunately, in 1992 they didn't do emergency angioplasty, but waited several days for the clot to dissolve. Bad idea. I still have permanent damage and a reduced ejection fraction (41%)

Fast forward 20 years. In late November 2012 I had quadruple bypass. Wow, does that knock you on your butt! Here's the thing: cardiac rehab hasn't changed in 20 years! Now I am a big supporter of CR for one reason: it helps restore your confidence in pushing your heart rate and exercising. The diet advice was pathetic and not suited to most of the participants who, like me, had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. There was absolutely zero work on the emotional aspect, and at least half of the participants were, in my opinion, clinically depressed!

When I started rehab a week after surgery, I could barely spin the pedals on a stationary bike at zero resistance. By the time I left at about 10 weeks, I was the only one in the group using the elliptical machine. I had started snowshoeing and was pushing my heart rate up to 80% of max on my own. Since I hate indoor exercise, it made sense for me to continue on my own. Six months later I was doing 30 mile rides on my bike at about 16 mph. No racing for this old dude, but still not bad considering. I had a great year of cycling without a single illness, injury or setback due to training.

Cardiac rehab in basically a very good thing, but they need to get into the 21st Century and start treating this disease more holistically.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:05 am

43 is pretty young for MI or CABG, I was 46... Great way to learn what they mean by "mid life crises".

I don't think they get too many people like us in Cardiac Rehab so they probably aren't prepared but from what I've been reading lately they are at least starting to talk about pushing people more... My Doctor and Cardiologist are both very supportive of my running and have indicated they don't get very many patients who are really serious about taking care of themselves. Ultimately it will always depend on how much each patient is able/willing to push themselves but even that could be improved with good education and communication.


Last edited by tutt on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Sumorunner on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:31 am

Cardiac Rehab clinics are run by Physical Therapists (my son is one) or Occupational Therapists and while they usually have a doctorate, they are not psychologists. They can deal very well with structural problems, but depression is outside their scope. On the other hand, one of the best ways to combat depression is to get fit.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Viking on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:12 am

Sumorunner wrote:Cardiac Rehab clinics are run by Physical Therapists (my son is one) or Occupational Therapists and while they usually have a doctorate, they are not psychologists. They can deal very well with structural problems, but depression is outside their scope. On the other hand, one of the best ways to combat depression is to get fit.

You are certainly correct about the beneficial effect of exercise on depression. Unfortunately, it's a chicken and egg problem. Depression makes everything harder, especially making changes in your own life. That's the purpose of anti-depressant medication; it doesn't cure depression, but provides enough relief so the sufferer can begin to do those things that might help in the long run.

Regarding cardiac rehab, what I thought would have made sense is to have the rehabbers sit in a group to share their struggles openly and perhaps get a referral for more specific treatment. Depression is a very common (over 40%) after heart surgery or a heart attack, and it can be truly disabling.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by kodi30 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:56 am

Interesting article in the current issue of RunnersWorld about PTSD and veterans.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by eaglett on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:39 am

When I was in cardiac rehab I thought that we would interact with each other and discuss our recovery. I spent four days in rehab and my Dr. Told me that I had rehabbed after several surgeries so he left me to my own. Prior to my CABG X6 I had my right hip replaced in 2010 and my left hip replaced in July 2012, 2 months before I had open heart.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:31 am

eaglett wrote:When I was in cardiac rehab I thought that we would interact with each other and discuss our recovery.  I spent four days in rehab and my Dr. Told me that I had rehabbed  after several surgeries so he left me to my own. Prior to my CABG X6 I had my right hip replaced in 2010 and my left hip replaced in July 2012, 2 months before I had open heart.

I don't think they did you any favors by cutting your Rehab so short eaglett. Maybe they felt it was too soon after your hip surgery to be able to push you very hard but if that was the case they should have developed alternative exercises for you... Have you found an exercise routine with cardio that you can do now?

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by eaglett on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:26 pm

When I was in cardiac rehab I thought that we would interact with each other and discuss our recovery.  I spent four days in rehab and my Dr. Told me that I had rehabbed  after several surgeries so he left me to my own. Prior to my CABG X6 I had my right hip replaced in 2010 and my left hip replaced in July 2012, 2 months before I had open heart.[/quote]

I don't think they did you any favors by cutting your Rehab so short eaglett. Maybe they felt it was too soon after your hip surgery to be able to push you very hard but if that was the case they should have developed alternative exercises for you... Have you found an exercise routine with cardio that you can do now?[/quote]

I was 12 weeks post CABG X6 before I was sent to cardiac rehab. I went to rehab for 2 per week for three weeks. When ever I attempted to push myself they would want me to slow down. Prior to rehab I was walking 3 miles per day five times per week. When I spoke with the surgeon and cardiologist they said I was beyond what cardiac rehab could do for me. I was looking more for the emotional support from rehab and when I did not get it at rehab I found it through an online support group.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Rachel August on Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:19 am

eaglett wrote:I was 12 weeks post CABG X6 before I was sent to cardiac rehab.  I went to rehab for 2 per week for three weeks.  When ever I attempted to push myself they would want me to slow down.  Prior to rehab I was walking 3 miles per day five times per week.  When I spoke with the surgeon and cardiologist they said I was beyond what cardiac rehab could do for me.  I was looking more for the emotional support from rehab and when I did not get it at rehab I found it through an online support group.  

That unfortunately seems to be the norm at the cardiac rehab places. I experienced sort of the same thing it took me a very long time before I was mentally/emotionally ready to run even though my heart (according to a stress test I took 6 months after OHS) – performed physically above average for my age.

This group is what helped me return to running – and I’ll be forever grateful to all of you for that.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Threefeathers on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:35 pm

I graduated from Cardiac Rehab last Friday. My rehab group were all U S military, two of us old NCO's and two younger folks in their 30's. We were at the Sierra Vista, AZ hospital and the ex-army nurses were absolutely wonderful. They are a couple of tough women who knew exactly how to drive us and at what speed.
Today I hit the Nordic Track machines I have at home and I feel great. Oh, my HDL now is 140 and my LDL is 42.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Rachel August on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:03 am

Threefeathers wrote:I graduated from Cardiac Rehab last Friday.  My rehab group were all U S military, two of us old NCO's and two younger folks in their 30's.  We were at the Sierra Vista, AZ hospital and the ex-army nurses were absolutely wonderful.  They are a couple of tough women who knew exactly how to drive us and at what speed.  
Today I hit the Nordic Track machines I have at home and I feel great.  Oh, my HDL now is 140 and my LDL is 42.

Congrats on the Cardiac Rehab completion.....and WOW to your cholesterol numbers!!!!

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:09 am

Congratulations on completing your Cardiac Rehab.  Some folks bypass CR because they feel they don't need it, and that's ok.  CR gave me a lot of confidence as it has you.  Looking forward to hearing more about your fitness regimen going forward.  

Your cholesterol numbers are fantastic.

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Re: Cardiac Rehab Member Or Graduate?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:08 pm

It's great that you're doing so well Threefeathers! I'll bet those ex army rehab nurses were good.

Sounds like you're pretty serious about your recovery and that's great too... Attitude is 90% of success! I'm sorry if i missed it but did you have OHS?

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