As you can expect, after just having a baby and having heart surgery, I was extremely weak and tired. My body had just gone thru a LOT. A few days after I was released from the hospital, I received a phone call from Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation at Baylorworx in Waxahachie. They wanted me to set up an appointment for an evaluation for the Cardiac Rehab program. At that time, I really thought that I could get back to normal on my own. I was young and could do anything right? And, wasn’t rehab for older people?
I was So Wrong! What was I thinking? Once I stopped taking pain pills, got out of bed and started moving around a little more, I realized that I had a LONG way to get back to feeling normal. I couldn’t walk but a few feet without becoming out of breath and feeling dizzy. My doctor had me on medication that kept my blood pressure low so that my heart would rest and not work too hard. As a result, the low blood pressure made me feel terrible. I think the hardest thing after surgery was not being able to take care of my kids nor myself. I was slightly depressed and hopeless. Yes, I was VERY Thankful for the surgery being a success and my heart being fixed. But at the same time, I did not know how to get back to my normal life. So, I gave in and made that appoinment with Cardiac Rehab at Baylorworx.
Making that appointment was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was at my first appointment that I learned why I needed Cardiac Rehab. The goal of Cardiac Rehab is to provide education and counseling services to help heart patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms, improve health, and reduce the risk of future heart problems. It is a prefessionally supervised program that helps heart patients recover from heart attacks and / or heart surgery. Cardiac Rehab was exactly what I needed! At Baylorworx, my wonderful, awesome team consisted of John Shelton – Physical Therapist and Gaybrielle Lee- Registered Nurse. I also received help from other Trainers – Lucy and Bonnie, but my main team was John and Gaybrielle (pictured below).
I cannot say enough about them. They are wonderful! Three days a week I was at cardiac rehab. Every day, Gaybrielle took my blood pressure, hooked me up to the Heart monitor, and watched over me while John got me moving. I started out only being able to walk on the treadmill at a slow 2-3 miles per hour pace for 10 min. to jogging on and off for 30 min at a 5.5 miles per hour pace. John even had me lifting weights and doing all types of endurance exercises. By the end of the program John and Bonnie had me exercising for 45-60 minutes long while keep my heart rate at a good healthy range – without medicine!
When I started the program, my only goal was to get my energy back and be able to do daily life activities at home and at work. However; by the end of the program, I had mastered my first goal and had made a new goal – to run a 5K!
Three to four weeks after completing cardiac rehab, I ran my first 5K – the 9/11 Fallen Heroes Run in Dallas. I ran the entire race and never once stopped to walk. What a feeling of accomplishment! Not only was I Proud of myself. But, I was so THANKFUL for God’s grace…… for him sending me angels – all my wonderful doctors at Baylor and everyone at Baylorworx – who saved my life and helped me become a much stronger person!