Heart problems are the biggest causes of preventable deaths in the western world, a frightening statistic. Heart attacks, heart disease and other cardiovascular issues are often a direct result of poor lifestyle choices. Eating the wrong foods, not exercising, smoking, drinking too much and taking drugs all take their toll.
Thanks to great medical advancements, fast transport such as air ambulance services and the fact that heart attack can quickly be recognised these days, more people are surviving them. However once you have had one you’re at risk of another unless you change your ways, so if you’re wondering what comes next after a heart attack, here are a few things to bear in mind.
Understand Your Medication
Your medications will depend on what the cause for your heart attack was. You should learn what each of these medicines does, and know exactly when you should take them and how. For example, will you need to take them with or without food, at certain times of the day or in combination with other medicines? If for example your heart attack was caused by hypertension you may need to take additional pills for your high blood pressure. You should also ensure you’re not caught short without them in an emergency, so if you’re travelling, for example, you will need to bring extra in case of delays.
Decide on Lifestyle Changes
Heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues are sometimes a genetic problem which is out of your control. However, if yours was due to lifestyle decisions, it’s paramount you make a change. Clean up your diet, and find out from your doctor what exercise you can do once you’re recovered. Swimming, walking and other low impact activities are usually good choices. Stop your drink, drug and smoking habits, get enough sleep and generally look after yourself. While a heart attack can be scary, but for some people, it’s what’s needed to shock them into action to make a change. Maybe you didn’t realise how bad your lifestyle was, or just thought ‘it will never happen to me’. Now that you know the consequences, you know what you need to do to live a healthier life in future.
Seek Support and Advice
Having people you can speak to about what happened, your fears and concerns are important. If you feel as though you can’t speak to loved ones, try a helpline or go on a forum for people in the same position. Those who have already had heart attacks will understand the situation you’re in and may be able to give objective advice as well as support.
Thankfully, many people go on to live a normal and healthy life after a heart attack. If you’re one of the lucky ones who survived, see it as a second chance at life. Use it as an opportunity to make a positive change. Eat better, make better decisions, spend time with loved one and don’t take life for granted.