More benefits from heart surgery

May 18, 2010

I am now 31 sessions into Cardiac Rehab. Only 5 more to go. Ever time I go to rehab I get a strong reminder of the side benefits of my surgery. My resting heart rate has dropped. It is routinely in the low 60’s, and sometimes it goes into the upper 50’s.  This is great because it means my heart is not working as hard as before.  One of the goals of rehab is to get your heart rate up, and increase the maximum rate over time. My problem is that my heart has gotten stronger, and it is actually harder to get my heart rate up to the target. After exercise, it also takes a long time to get it back down to a near-resting rate. Unless it drops to a low-enough rate, I can’t move on to weight training or to hit the showers. I try to will it down, but that just seems to keep it high. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it is a problem lots of people wish they would have.

I will soon experience another benefit. I am due for a colonoscopy in late June as a follow up to my colon cancer., which was 6 years ago.  If you have had a colonoscopy (and you should have one if you are 50+) you know how horrible the prep is. You get to drink a horrible-tasting concoction to clean out your system and give the gastroenterologist a good view of you gut. In recent years, less-terrible tasting alternatives have hit the market. When I had my last colonoscopy I wasn’t allowed the new “improved” stuff because of my heart condition. This time I was hoping my cardiologist would give me the OK. I sent an email hoping for, but not expecting,  her OK. When she sent me her email saying I could go for the “good stuff” I let out a cheer.  It was like winning the lottery! Of course, getting another clean bill of health is  the outcome we all want.

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