They tried to make me go to rehab…

And I said: yes, yes, YES!

Apologies for the LOOOOOONG silence on my end. It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say, but rather I’ve been having trouble balancing my creative/communicative self with my work responsibilities. And on top of that, my energy reserves have been running low for a while now (more on that later).

When we last “spoke”, I was only a few months into my recovery. Physically, I was going on walks every day, each well a little longer than the one before. I was also doing physical therapy through the Visiting Nurses Association. Two to three times a week, my therapist would come to the apartment and put me through my paces. These visits were immensely helpful as they brought back my ability to lift and reach for things. Not to mention finally being able to open that damn refrigerator door. My therapist also had me start climbing stairs in preparation for returning to my own apartment in Queens, a three-story walk up. Believe it or not, my mom actually went to Queens to count the stairs in my building so I would know what I needed to work up to.

Stair mastering in the stairwell.

Stair mastering in the stairwell.

PT only lasted for about eight sessions though, and then it was time to take it up a notch. Enter Cardiac Rehab.

Image

New York Cornell Cardiac Health Center

Cardiac Rehab programs are designed for heart surgery patients to get back on their feet. They normal run for 6-9 weeks depending on the individual. My cardiologist prescribed an eight week program for me which translated into three sessions per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each session started out with a 15-minute warm up with light stretching, then three 10-minute rotations on various cardio machines, rounded out by a short workout with exercise bands. Cardio options included: stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, arm bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals, and treadmills.

rehab_center

So many options!

Image

Running in circles…er…ellipses.

Rehab was amazing for several reasons:

  • it was an incredibly supportive environment (both the instructors and the other patients)
  • it made me work harder than I would have if left to my own devices
  • it kept things interesting
rehab_me

All hooked up.

Rehab was also great because it was a protective environment. Before beginning, we were each hooked up to a portable EKG, the output of which was monitored for the duration of each session. The instructors kept records of our progress from week to week, upping the resistance level of our machines accordingly. And during each of the 10-minute workouts, we reported on our exertion level. By the end of the program, I was up to 2 miles on the bike, 1.75 miles on the elliptical, 1.6 miles on the treadmill (for a 15:00 miles at a 5 degree incline mind you!), and 2000 meters on the rowing machine. Yes, I’m bragging. 😉

Huge thanks to Andrew and Angela for all their support!

rehab_angela_andrew


Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Lee Lee

    Can’t wait to hike with you in the Adirondacks this summer! You’ll be leading the group, I’m sure!!! oxoxo Lee Lee

  2. ellen hunt

    So happy to hear from you… and that you are doing brilliantly! All hugs from still snowy Aspen… Ellen

  3. Jacquie

    You should brag, Summer! Great job and you look stronger from your experiences.

  4. Philip Armour

    Did you meet Lindsay? What’s she really like?? One day at a time….. Hugs, Philip

    ________________________________

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: