This morning I began the long process of Cardiac Rehab. I’m expecting to be in this program for about three months. Basically, a trained Cardiac Rehab specialist will prepare an exercise “prescription” for me that I will follow each time I go in (three times a week). The prescription takes into account my current strength level and is adjusted as I go throughout the program. The way my body responds to the program will determine the pace at which the exercises are increased.
The overall purpose is for my original strength, before the heart failure, to return. After this morning I can tell this is going to take a little while. The secondary purpose, but probably even more important for me emotionally, is to increase my confidence. So far, I’ve been very hesitant to push my heart in any way. I don’t walk too quickly, I don’t get up too fast–pretty much I avoid everything with too much of anything. I do this because I don’t know how my body will respond or how my heart will feel. Having trained Cardiac Specialists who know exactly which exercises are best for me, how long I should do them, and what results they should produce, frees me up about my heart. I don’t have to worry about it. And this will enable me to push myself while being safe–and that will bring confidence. This process will be challenging, but right now it feels like a warm, comfortable blanket. And for the first time, physically I feel like I’m going to be OK.