Transitioning after a Heart Attack

Hospital to home and then back on with life!

I hear from many people how stressful these first few days are…. you, the patient, have been wired up to machines and doctors/nurses telling you how you are doing.  Then suddenly, you are discharged, with a bag of meds in your hand, and back home on the next stage of recovery.

Some tips to help you!

  1. Follow Discharge Instructions: Your medical team will provide you with detailed instructions for medication, diet, and physical activity. If you have questions – then ask!  If you are home and forgot to ask, then phone the rehab team or speak to your GP or 111.  I speak to so many people who are worried about things like taking the GTN spray (when is it bad enough to use?!) or don’t know if a twinge is an ambulance job or just muscles settling themselves back down after treatment.  
  2. Create a Supportive Environment: Before returning home, make necessary adjustments to your living space to accommodate your needs. Keep essential items within easy reach and remove any hazards that might impede your movement. If you are on your own, then there may be a home visiting service to help you collect prescriptions or check in on you, to see that you are ok.  Your GP surgery can probably help advise.  
  3. Build a ‘cheerleading squad’ : Enlist the support of family members, friends, or neighbours who can help with daily tasks, emotional support, and transportation to follow-up appointments.  If you feel like more help is now needed, speak to your GP or Social Prescriber via the GP practice
  4. Medication Management: Organize your medications in a pill dispenser or set reminders to ensure you take them on time. Keep a list of medications and their dosages handy.  If this feels difficult to manage, speak to your pharmacist to see if they have ideas to help you manage your meds.
  5. Prioritize Self-Care: Allocate time for relaxation, hobbies, and activities you enjoy. Engaging in positive experiences contributes to your overall well-being and towards recovery.   
  6. Manage Stress: Engage in stress-reduction techniques like meditation, calm breathing, or gentle yoga. Managing stress supports your heart health and overall recovery.  List the things you are worrying about – and decide if you need to be worrying about them right now or can shelve them for a while.  The ones you still need to worry about – can anyone help you make things easier?
  7. Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small. Each step forward is a victory on your path to recovery.

 

How was your hospital discharge and return home?  Do you have any more tips that you think should be added to this list?  Send me an email on liz@heartsensecardiaccounselling.com and I’ll be happy to include the best, with a name check for you for suggesting it.