I wasn’t offered cardiac rehab. As a relatively athletic person, rehab is a familiar term. Knee rehab is something that I’ve done after multiple surgeries. Given the numbers and importance of cardiac rehab, it’s shocking that so many doctors don’t recommend it.
Once discharged from hospital following my heart attack, I was gobsmacked by how physically frail I felt. Simply taking a shower meant a 20-minute lie down to recover. Just walking to the corner with my son, Ben, required me to clutch his arm for support. But it wasn’t only this new weakness that alarmed me. As a former distance runner, I felt suddenly afraid of any exertion that might bring on the horrific heart attack symptoms I’d so recently endured. That’s where cardiac rehabilitation (a 2-4 month supervised exercise and education program for heart patients) literally saved me.
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