Prevent More Heart-Attacs
I got a small heart-attack in May 2011. Luckily it was so small it did not do any major harm, and now I am trying to re-build my physical abilities again to try to avoid any more heart-attacks.
I am the kind of person that works too much and take too little care of myself, but at about two years ago I started to wonder how well I really was. I had started to feel something that resembled heart-cramps and made an appointment for a health check-up.
The doctor understood me and sent me on to a bicycle test to find out the level of my capacity. That I weighed a little too much was very obvious, and the tests showed too high blood pressure (inherited) and too high levels of cholesterol. This could not continue, something that even I understood and had started to make arrangements to change. Then, a few weeks later the heart-attack arrived. It started more like an ulcer, that is, an intense burn from the stomach up through the throat. It calmed down a bit, but returned and was intensly irritating.
OK, time to go to hospital for a check-up. An ulcer was not part of my agenda and had to be fixed quickly. My wife drove me to the nearest emergency where I was promptly taken care of and then dispatched by ambulance with blue-lights on to the heart specialists at the Sahlgrenska University hospital in Gothenburg. Right after arrival I was given a balloon-expansion and at the same time they physically removed what was the "plug". Thereby the blood had free ways again. This happened in the front artery of the heart.
After this unusually small operation (it was all done through one of the veins i my left arm) I was grounded for a week in an ICU for surveillance, and another week at a post-op ward for further surveillance. All was well and back home on sick-leave I was given strict orders to start excercising. Was listed for rehabilitation exercises at which I could note that I had quite good capacity and energy after all.
Now Training Starts for Real
I got the advice to start with walks, as brisk as possible and as capacity allowed. It allowed a lot and after three months when I was back at work, another capacity test was made. I had very clearly regained my capacity in a good way.
Today I have started to loose weight but at the same time changed from weight of fat to weight of muscles by actively training twice a week. Don´t use a scale for measuring your weight, use a tape rule to measure your waist. One one-hour session of Zumba for capacity and one one-hour strength training for strength and agility. On top of this I try to do brisk walks at least two times per week. Works fine for me. It takes about three hours a week, that all.
Next part was food. Looking at it as it is now, we actually eat quite well as we have a diabetic in the family (my smallest girl - or rather lady as she is over 20 years old). This means that we normally stay away from the worst stuff. Our major "fault" is that we quite simply eat too much. So the job will be to keep the food as varied and healthy as possible and to keep the helpings to about half of what they were. Also this starts to work well. We discovered that if the food is served on a plate rather than putting the casseroles on the table the helpings actually becomes a bit smaller.
So far everything goes the right way. Capacity up, stress down, blood pressure down, as does the cholesterol, and my temper is calmer and general capacity goes up. Cannot complain about that.
If I may recommend something for those who read this and feel that they are closing in on a similar and perhaps dangerous situation, I would like to state the following:
- Stop smoking! - Smoking do have too many bad issues and affects the body far too much. I have done it a number of years back. The major motivator to me at the time was that I did not want to get throat-cancer like my father. He had to have a laryngectomy and lost his voice.
- Start exercising! - It is quite enough with a brisk walk a few times a week. You only need to get warm to get an effect from the training. This works wonders for both temper and blood pressure!
- Limit food helping sizes! - Since we humans are not generally as active as we once were, we do not need as much food. To eat varied and what you like is good. Too much or too little is bad, it should be "just enough" - and just enough is different for us all.
Three simple things, no miracle cures just ordinary adjustments of our living that will give very positive effects.
On my account this has resulted in that one year after the heart-attack I am at least as active as before, have better physical capacity, feels better, and and can do more. Can also cope with work stress in a better way, and as I like cooking, I make food that looks nice and tastes good, and only eats just enough.
I think this can be achieved by anyone if I can!