Living well with a cardiac condition
You’ll work closely with your healthcare team to create a plan for recovery. This plan may include:
- Tests to check how well your heart is healing
- Treatments, such as medicines or procedures, to help your heart work better
- Cardiac rehab (rehabilitation) to help make your heart healthier. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral.
- Managing your risk factors. These are the things that put you at risk for another heart attack.
- Frequent follow-ups with your healthcare provider
Before your next doctor’s visit, download our Q&A tool to help you stay on track with your cardiac care.
You play the biggest role in your recovery plan. Only you can make the lifestyle changes needed to help prevent another heart attack.
- Ask any questions you have and get the answers you need.
- Ask for support following your plan, making changes, and learning new habits.
- Know your options and take part in making decisions about treatment.
- Follow the plan you’ve agreed upon with your healthcare provider. Always ask when you have questions.
Easing back into your routine
Once you’re home, your goal for the first week or so is to take it easy. Then slowly go back to regular activities. It may take about 4 to 8 weeks to get back to your normal routine. To ease the transition, let yourself rely on family and friends for support. And be easy on yourself.
Let friends and family support you
Don’t try to do it all alone. Ask family or friends for help. They may be glad to do something to show their concern. For instance:
- Let others help with chores. This includes washing dishes, making meals, or buying groceries.
- Ask a family member or friend to join you in relaxing activities. You could play games or watch a movie.
- Invite a family member or friend on your appointments.
For family and friends
Help your loved one ease into recovery:
- Offer to drive your loved one to medical appointments.
- Help your loved one remember to take medicines.
- Encourage your loved one to slowly be more independent.
- Spend time relaxing together. You don’t have to just sit around. Try going for a walk.
- Spend time talking about things other than health.
Be easy on yourself
Diabetics are at risk for heart trouble if they do not take care of their blood sugar levels. They might experience subtle signs of heart failure. Pain in the jaw, neck, arm, or between shoulder blades are standard. Individuals also experience anxiety, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, and headaches.
Learning to live with heart disease
While heart disease is one of the most common ailments afflicting Americans, it’s still tough to accept that your heart condition means changing your life—the way you eat, how much you exercise. But most people can live full, happy, active lives while maintaining their best health. To ensure success, visit your doctor regularly, and use your family and friends as a support system to keep you on the right track. We also recommend that you learn everything there is to know about your condition.
How to successfully recover from a heart attack
A heart attack is frightening, and it can change your whole life, but it doesn’t have to mean “the end.” We encourage our patients to relax and give their bodies some time to recover from this traumatic event or surgery that was performed. Taking care of yourself and being informed are your best bets for a successful recovery—but you’re not alone. We’re committed to helping you navigate your path back to health and live your best life. Here are a few tips for handling heart attack recovery.