Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cardiac Rehab Week Two

I'm in week two of cardiac rehab. I go to rehab three times a week. My target heart rate for exercise is 95-105 BPM. So far they have me exercising very lightly. My exercise HR is only in the 70s so I've asked them to increase my work load.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cardiac Rehabilitation Started

Photo: The Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Brookhaven Hospital on Long Island

I'm keeping busy with summertime activities while working on my recovery from surgery. I've started monitored cardiac rehabilitation sessions at Brookhaven Hospital here as well as an exercise program on my own with light weightlifting. I hope to improve my overall fitness level so that I can continue scuba diving and stay healthy generally. At 66 it's getting tougher to stay fit enough for some of what I want to do. But I can't complain. I'm lucky to be alive.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Exercise And Progress

In addition to my daily walks, I've started an exercise program that incorporates some exercises recommended in a recent issue of the AARP newsletter...stretching, body weight squats, touch your toes, etc. I'm combining that with a couple of exercises recommended by my scuba diving insurance company that are designed to improve upper body strength. I use two 20 lb hexagonal dumbells. The two exercises are pullups and pushups both done from a bent-knee position in the deck. Then I add some overhead lifts with the dumbbell one arm at a time, and some curls. I'm hoping that the body weight squats help improve the muscle tone in my left leg, which is somewhat atrophied due to a long ago bout of sciatica and arthritis in the knee. I'm trying real hard to stick to my low carb diet. My weight is good at about 190, down slightly from where I've been in recent months after my surgery. I stopped Warfarin last Tuesday with the blessing of my cardiologist so now the only pill is a daily aspirin. That made me happy. I have my first post op echo in a couple of weeks, but the valve seems really good. I have no palpitations or other symptoms and it really pounds shut. I know it's working, that's for sure! Finally, Monday I start cardiac rehab. I'm getting a late start due to the move to the summer cottage but I at least want to try some sessions to see if they are helpful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Off The Meds!

Three and a half months after my surgery I have stopped with the last of my prescription medications...Warfarin. My only pill now is a daily aspirin. I'm feeling physically good,I've started to lift light weights and do exercises and stretching, and I am scheduled to start cardiac rehabilitation next Monday. I am still depressed over the loss of our dog Bradley. The problem is that the death of the dog happened at the same time as my surgery and so the two events became intertwined for me. Therefore I don't feel like I will ever be fully recovered because I can't bring Bradley back to life. This is unfortunate because my recovery has been so successful otherwise. I don't know what the answer is. Getting another dog might help but I can't expect another animal to be like the Bradley.