The Rehab Nurse reminded me of Gillian McKeith (“You are what you eat”). Friendly while being knowledgeable and firm. She had the difficult task of running (Louise & I) through what had happened, why, and helping us to start thinking about “What next?”.
We already knew I scored quite high on the heart attack risk factors:
- Smoking – I wasn’t smoking but had been up until about 9 months ago
- High cholesterol – A family favourite
- High Blood Pressure – Certainly stress has been a feature of my work life for years
- Being overweight / obese – Certainly room for improvement
- Lack of exercise – Check
- Alcohol – Check
- Male – Check
See the full list: www.nhs.uk/conditions/heart-attack/pages/causes.aspx
Addressing any of these, together with the medication would help me prevent recurrence.
The most difficult one for me is work (which leads to Stress, which leads to High Blood Pressure). I can see me making major changes to other areas of my life, but I need time to get my head around what changes I might be able to make at work. Hopefully addressing some of the other factors will make me fit enough to do what I do, and help change my approach / attitude to it. Let’s see. (The Rehab Nurse sees “one or two like me” every week… I’m sure we’ll come back to this!).
The only “Life Decision” we were ready for related to our holiday. The ladies had unselfishly decided that two weeks in the summer heat of Florida, chasing thrills and spills at the Theme Parks and bargains at the Mall probably wasn’t the best recuperation for me. Swimming with the dolphins would have to wait. It would be cancelled immediately… thank goodness we took the insurance!
As far as physical activity is concerned, I could start walking gently as soon as I’m free from the monitor. As soon as I leave hospital I should start walking 5 mins, twice a day, and then add a minute on each day, slowly building strength and stamina. We were also informed that we could re-start “bedroom activities” after a week… this information was as useful as being told at Ante-Natal classes not to have any “intimate relations” after the water’s have broken… yeh, right!