Many people who suffer a heart attack don't see it coming. Lying in their hospital bed after surgery, they often remark that they thought they were just getting older.
In our own self-talk, we use certain expressions to explain the changes that we experience. Many call it middle-aged spread instead of weight gain or slowing down instead of losing fitness. We like to think that this is all part of the normal aging process. It's such a convenient explanation.
The reality is there were 1.2 million Australians with Heart Disease in 2017-18. More than 43,000 patients died that year from conditions related to blood circulation, accounting for a staggering 27% of all deaths. But it's not all bad news. 95% of patients who undergo a coronary artery bypass survive. I know, I am one of them.
I can still remember waking from my heart bypass operation in an Intensive Care room of a private hospital in Sydney Australia in January 2002. I found myself in a very fancy recliner chair surround by all manner of monitors, drips and devices and of course my South African nurse, Annie. The faces of my visitors provided a very clear message. I had dodged a bullet - for now.
After 36 hours I was moved on to an Acute Coronary Care ward and within 10 days I was home again. My hospital encouraged me to undertake a Cardio Rehabilitation program. Like 78% of all patients in Australia, I didn't attend. I was sure I could look after myself. Six weeks later, following my third visit to an emergency ward, I changed my mind and enrolled.
However the weekly rehab sessions were somewhat repetitive and depressing. They included lectures on how to read nutritional information on food packages; light exercise walking around and around a hospital ward and emotional out bursts by broken patients and their frustrated partners. But no-one wanted to talk about things I needed to talk about - the memory problems from the heart lung machine used during surgery; my self-consciousness about the huge scars on my body and the emotional toll the whole experience had taken on me.
Fast forward, 18 years and I have learnt how to live with heart disease effectively. I lead a full and active life as a certified Primal Health Coach assisting people with heart disease to regain the quality of their lives.
My 12 week Signature Coaching Program called Rebuild Your Health helps clients reduce their body's inflammation through nutrition and supplementation; attain a more healthy weight with minimal exercise; make improvements to the function of their heart and lungs and feel supported and accountable for the important changes to their lifestyle that are so often hard to do alone.
So if you have heart disease and would like to know more about the Rebuild Your Health coaching program, I encourage you to join me for a one on one, free Discovery Call to discuss if this might be of benefit to you.
Lifestyle & Wellness Coach