Heart attack is a serious medical emergency causing a great damage to the patient. Restoring health after a heart attack depends on how much damage done to the heart muscle and other condition. It may take weeks to months for recovery.
Upon returning home from hospital, the patients begin to get back to normal life slowly. A patient can resume his regular works or exercise gradually based on his/her physical condition. They need support and help from family and friends during the recovery.
• The patient is released from the hospital within a week if the condition is not much complicated. He or she has to take rest for a month upon returning. It does not necessarily mean that the patient has to be bedridden. The patient can walk for 10 to 15 minutes after 4 to 5 days. The speed and duration of walking can be increased gradually. He/she can walk outside if feels well enough to go out.
• It is better to stay away from driving cars at least for a month after the attack. The patient can resume driving after that but no heavy vehicles or taking long route.
• Bring changes to your food habits and overall lifestyle. Avoid eating raw salt and salty foods like soya sauce, foods containing tasting salt, pickles and so on. The patient must avoid eating fried and oily foods and red meats such as mutton or beef. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and minimum five types of fruits daily.
• Quit smoking once and for all
• A large number of the patients suffer from depression within three months of the attack. It requires special care and attention of the friends and family. They have to support the patient so that he or she does not lose heart. Motivate them saying medication and healthy lifestyle can help them live a normal life. The patient may feel denial, anger, anxiety, depression, fear or other mental emotions. If these conditions worsen, the patient should consult a psychiatrist as mental stress can affect cardiac condition.
• The patient has to go through regular checkups to diagnose blood sugar level and blood pressure. Follow physician’s chart of dos and donts. Take medicines regularly.
• Spend quality time with friends and family. Leading a stress-free, disciplined and happy life can help a patient return to a normal and healthy life.
* Sharadindu Shekhar Roy is a specialist at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat