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A Heart Attack Story: Part 3 – Recovery

This is a bit delayed, and thinking back, I probably should have done it a bit sooner.

The first week out of the hospital was rough. It might have been even more troublesome if my wife didn’t have experience in cardiac nursing. I experienced frequent dizziness, and was extremely tired. My wife took my blood pressure frequently, and decided the problem was probably that my blood pressure was too low, especially for someone whose blood pressure usually ran very high. We cut back on one of my blood pressure medications for a couple of days and that seemed to help, and after talking with the doctor about it we continued on with the lower dose.

Week 2 was much better, though I was still very tired. Saw my regular doctor as a follow-up to the heart attack. Nothing major went down at the appointment, but it let him know what had gone on. Overall, I think he was pleased with things.

Week 3 meant returning to work. I was my cardiologist at the beginning of the week, then started working again mid-week. I was also able to start cardiac rehab during this week. It does 2 things for me: 1) I do some cardio exercises (treadmill and recumbent stationary bike to start), plus it takes me out of the office for a few hours 3 days a week, making it a little easier to get through the work days.

And since then, it is a blur. I’ve been taking all my medications every day, something I wasn’t very good at before my heart attack. I’m slowly increasing the difficulty of my walking and biking during rehab. They moved me from a recumbent stationary bike to an upright version meant to work my core more as I ride. I’ve even started walking at the farm again. I’m not doing full laps just yet, though I walk far enough that I could do a full lap, I’m trying to stay a little closer to the house in case I push it a little too far.

I’ve lost approximately 36 pounds since they day of my heart attack. I really need to start getting some photos taken of myself so I can see the change. My wife says I’m melting away, but some days I feel like I’m starving myself and seeing only small results. I just keep trying to remember that those 1/2 pound losses add up over time. I can tell that I’ve tightened my belt a bit, using notches I punched last time I was losing weight, but didn’t really use.

I’ve tried losing weight a number of times in my life, obviously unsuccessfully, but I feel like I’ve got a better chance of sticking with it this time. Perhaps it is simply the fear of death, or fear of leaving my family, but I feel more dedicated to continuing my efforts than I can ever recall feeling in the past.

And while we are on the subject of weight…it is a number I’ve been a bit afraid to share. I recognize that it is just a number. If you know me in real life, you can look at me and see how overweight I am. And if you’ve never met me, the number is just a large number, perhaps larger, perhaps smaller than you imagined after seeing photos. So let me just post it right here. My current weight is 357 pounds. If you do the math, that will tell you I was at 393 pounds the day I had my heart attack. A couple of years ago before my last try at losing weight I was 405 pounds.

So recovery keeps going slowly along. I still get tired more often than I’d like, and occasionally I get out of bed or my chair too quickly and I feel a little dizzy, but overall I’m getting slowly better. Thanks to everyone for the support.

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