COMING BACK: A Guide to Recovering from Heart Attack and Living Confidently with Coronary Disease by

COMING BACK: A Guide to Recovering from Heart Attack and Living Confidently with Coronary Disease

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Reassurance for the heart patient from an expert triumvirate: cardiologist Cohn, Coronary Care Unit Head Nurse Duke, and Health Communications Specialist Madrid. Bending over backwards not to be didactic, intrusive, or demanding, the trio present their information and advice in a series of very short chapters with diagrams. You can read what it's like to have a heart attack, what the common causes and complications are (congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, angina), what treatments to expect, what psychological feelings to anticipate, and what the common course of rehabilitation and return to normal life is like. The emphasis is on letting you know that you are not alone; that others have suffered the same fear and rage and anxiety and denial and depression. The authors pinpoint the risk factors -- mainly smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure -- and tell what you can do about them. Technology and pharmacology, they note, have been a boon to heart patients -- but you needn't feel that bypass surgery is inevitable. And though you may have to change some aspects of your life, in most cases you can expect to go back to work and lead an active existence. Mercifully, they are economic in their use of cautionary tales, employing them mainly to illustrate common psychological reactions and the need to air feelings. The text is amplified by a number of useful appendices listing common medications, foods low in cholesterol, energy equivalents of various physical activities, and the like. Nothing is said on such sophisticated matters as where we stand on plaque formation; but by confining itself to generally accepted facts and providing the rudiments of physiology and a rationale for treatment, the book should serve patients and their families very well.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1979
Publisher: Addison-Wesley