Cardiac Rehab at Rush Oak Park Hospital

I got a call from my cardiologist, Dr. Reddy,
who said we need to check things out. Found that one of my main arteries was 70
percent blocked. So he put in a stent. That was in February, and after that, he recommended
that I do cardiac rehab. And Rush is my hospital, so I did it here. I went to see the doctor. She scheduled a few tests and found out that
I had a blockage that needed a stent. Went back to the doctor and she suggested
this rehab. Um, rehab. She said yes, exercise. And, I said, uh, you know, I said OK, I’ll
try it. The Cardiac Rehab Program at Rush Oak Park
is an outpatient program. It is typically 36 sessions done two to three
times per week. The patient really decides if they can come
two times per week or three times per week. So it takes approximately four months for
them to complete the program. It establishes a discipline, which I think
cardiac patients need for complete and continuing health. Since I did rehab, my blood pressure has gone
down. And of course, I’m on medication. But I was before, as well. The information that they gave us, some of
the food that I was eating has too much salt in it, and that was surprising to me. Not a lot of red meat. Just a whole list of things that, things that
we shouldn’t eat. There’s often a fear that develops, especially
after a person has a heart attack. Do I push myself too much? That’s the advantage of cardiac rehab,
because with an exercise physiologist and nurses around you, they don’t bug you all
the time, but they monitor you. A very safe and controlled place. They have an EKG monitor on them, which is
cordless. So we’re monitoring every single heartbeat
that is happening when they’re at cardiac rehab. It’s nothing to be afraid of. You’re not going to have a heart attack. It’s going to help your heart. It would help you to breathe better, help
you to walk better, help you to do exercise. Each week we increase the intensity or the
incline and then we’re continuously adjusting or reinvestigating how are their risk factors
doing, their cholesterol, their blood pressure, their weight, as well as their psychological
health? I can do a lot of things that I wasn’t able
to do before I had this rehab and the stent put in my heart. I would go shopping. Of course I had to sit
down for a while, catch my breath. Now I can walk one end of the mall to the
other end of the mall and not get out of breath. I used to regret going downstairs to do my
laundry, but now it’s very easy. I think nothing of it. This is not about becoming a marathon runner. This is about getting back to being a productive
component of society, productive component of your family, and back to being who you
want to be. So we help that. Seven days a week, either I walk early in
the morning about 5 a.m. or I ride my bike about seven miles. And my endocrinologist, Dr. Cunningham, and
my cardiologist, Dr. Reddy, both seem to think that’s a good routine for me. I just like to go down the road, and I get to where
I go, and sit for a couple minutes to rest, and then bike back home.

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