Perhaps due to lifestyle changes, or even due to environmental factors, a heart attack is not uncommon in people who are in their late forties. We are often advised to reduce cholesterol, work out often, etc. but just one factor such as the stress of a job can trigger this deadly disorder.
After a heart attack episode, more often than not, patients and their outlook head in one of two ways- most people start living life being very afraid to eat the slightest trace of oil, while a marginal few begin to take things lightly now that the worst is behind them. We must remember that unlike a broken arm or a leg that gets to recuperate without being moved around, an injured heart has to continue functioning. A recovery period is a luxury it cannot afford.
This is why it is so much more important to treat your heart right- give it the right amount of support required to keep it going. Recovery after a heart attack focuses on two aspects- cardiac rehabilitation and secondary recovery. The aim of the former is to restore heart function to a healthy level while the latter tries to prevent further episodes of a heart attack.
Having a heart attack can influence your physical and psychological state. The trauma of the attack coupled with fear of it happening again, plus physical weakness, can be debilitating. It is important to address all of these angles with a doctor and your support system. With enough time, and by increasing your activity level gradually, you can go very far with rehabilitation. Remember to trust your body and give it time- what took years to be damaged would need at least a few months to get back on track.
Secondary prevention involves making extensive changes to your lifestyle. If you’ve been sedentary before, it is now time to get moving. You’ll be asked to drastically cut down on fats- perhaps even go vegetarian. Smoking is a strict no at any point but becomes even more so after an attack. Same is the case with drinking. A healthy diet and adequate exercise can significantly reduce the risk of future attacks. You will still be monitored regularly by a doctor.
It may feel hard to have a positive outlook after an event like this but use this second lease of life to lead a healthier, happier life.