Post heart attack care can be started after your doctor has re-evaluated your case. He needs to update you regarding the various aspects of recovery process, your present health status, factors which could have led to the attack, ways to control your unhealthy habits and so on. Such sessions help you to navigate from the fear, confusion which occurs after an attack and will empower you to a faster recovery and improve your chances for survival.
It is important to review all the measures, educate yourself in order to stay on track for a smooth transition. Listed below are some frequently asked questions.
1. How severe was the attack?
Severity of an attack depends on the extent of damage done. This will help you to have a clear picture and assess the gravity of the situation. It will also give you an idea of the time needed for recovery, future complications, etc.
2. Which complications can arise in future?
The intensity of the attack holds key to further complications. In case of less severe attacks, complications might not develop and one can very well manage by making necessary changes. Complications like arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and stroke can occur in more severe cases. It is important to know about the emergency signs and ways to identify them in order to reach out for prompt medical attention.
3. How much time is required for recovery and for resuming daily activities?
This once again depends on the severity of the attack and the amount of disability caused as a result. Getting back to one’s routine may take a few months but can vary on the extent of damage done.
4. What is the permitted range of physical activity? What are the exercises which are advised?
Rehabilitation programs under guidance are best preferred as they are designed as per your condition. Even though exercise is very essential for heart health, it is better not to overdo it. Exercise helps to improve your over-all health status. It is important to pursue only those activities suggested by your physician.
5. How frequently should you get yourself checked?
This depends on the severity of the attack. Frequent visits as advised, especially to a cardiologist in more serious cases. People who have suffered mild attacks also can get themselves checked at regular intervals by a physician.
6. What are the dietary regulations and other lifestyle modifications?
In cases of severe attacks, dietary regulation plays a major role as your doctor may suggest you to have moderate portions of heart healthy foods along with others. You may even be advised to consult a dietician for a more specifically designed diet plan. Role of physical exercise, stress management through various relaxation techniques may also be emphasized.
7. Which medicines are prescribed and what are their side-effects?
Your doctor may prescribe many medicines, it is important to ask and know about each medicine, dosage, side effects, frequency of usage, food to avoid during intake, etc. It is essential to stick to the drug regimen and follow other instructions as given by your doctor.
8. What are the emergency signs and risk for a future attack?
Many people are prone to a second attack and the symptoms may not be the same. So, ask your doctor for all the emergency signs which signal an attack and also keep information ready about places which provide immediate medical help during an emergency.
9. How much care and attention is needed?
This also varies from one individual to other basing on the disability and extent of damage done to the heart. Basing on such factors, your doctor will suggest activities you are allowed to do and for which extra-care and attention is required.
10. Details of support groups, if any?
Information about the support groups and other organization can be best retrieved through the hospital staff and people who have suffered from the same problem. Getting involved or communicating with such groups improves your awareness, availability of resources, etc. to deal with your condition in a better way.