Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mama said go to rehab, but I said no, no, no...

I’ve had Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” in my head ever since I scheduled my first cardiac rehab session. Only, I just discovered I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics over and over and over again for weeks! This is not unusual; song lyrics have never been my strong suit. Amy (not Winehouse) will be the first to tell you that I only sing more loudly when I don’t know the words to a song – I either make something up or just belt out an indiscernible cacophony. It turns out there is no mention at all of “mama” in the song “Rehab” and the line I’ve been attempting to sing is actually, “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no.”

Anyway, when “they tried to make me go to rehab,” I said yes, yes, yes! I have now completed three sessions of cardiac rehab (slightly different from the rehab being referenced in the aforementioned song, of course). The workouts have been very light so far, but they will continue to get more rigorous over the next several sessions. Basically, we do five minute increments of various types of cardiac exercise – bike, treadmill, hand bike, elliptical – while hooked up to heart monitors. More than anything, I think I’ll benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing there are medical professionals nearby while I first stress my new heart. It’s scary to exert myself. Mentally, I know my heart is healthy and is strong enough to keep up with me. Emotionally, I’ve had some bad experiences with my [old] heart not being able to keep up. Proving to myself that rigorous exercise is perfectly healthy now will go a long way in my emotional recovery.

I think I would fit in better at Amy Winehouse’s drug rehab than at cardiac rehab! I am a little different from my fellow rehabbers. When I first walked into the gym, I easily brought the average age down by twenty years. The oldest patient has to be about 85-years-old. I feel a little weird on the treadmill next to him! The other patients are in their fifties and sixties, and I am the only one in my time slot that has had a heart transplant. So, the fact that I’m about half the age of my colleagues combined with the fact that I’m the only person there with a perfectly healthy heart makes me feel like Superwoman (minus the 6-pack in the picture below and with much bigger cheeks, of course)!


  1. Hooray for the cardio workout!!

    Please build on what you have started until you are getting a complete cardio workout. And then, and this is IMPORTANT, try to MAINTAIN that level or build on it even more. Don't simply do the standard Cardiac Rehab Phse II and walk away ...... keeping it going will reap lots of dividends!!

    Hugs to you.


  2. We sure think you are Superwoman! So glad you have started your cardiac rehab. You go girl!

    Bob & Melanie

  3. Isn't it amazing to feel that healthy heart beat after being sick for so long? I love that feeling-in 10 months it still has not got old.
    When I was in Cardiac Rehab for the first time, it was when I was 15 years old (after I got my first pacemaker) and I was the only person there under 75, most of their grandchildren where older than me! But the other patients were soooo sweet and because I was so young always talked to me, so it kept me occupied! Keep on Keeping on!

  4. I remember when you went to your first cardiac cath. You looked around at everyone else who was there and commented that you had more teeth than everyone else combined! I know that was a little freaky for you. Now, you have a 17 yo heart so you are really the young one. I can appreciate your current anxiety with this new heart and only hope that as time passes, you learn to trust it and are able to live your life to the fullest.
    I love you , Mom