Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Cardiac Rehab

  • 1.  Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-02-2019 09:42
    I'm a heart failure patient living in rural TN, where it is hard to find easily accessible cardiac rehab programs and any kind of medical care that accepts my UnitedHealthcare/Medicare insurance. My UHC plan provides a free HF support program via telephone. The medical professionals I'm working with in the program are very kind and helpful, but the non-medical services (including a UHC "navigator") are a waste of time. Before I decide how much further and harder I should work at this search, I'd appreciate hearing from other patients who have participated in cardiac rehab. What services are offered (exercise, support group meetings, etc.)? With what frequency (weekly? monthly? or what?). Do you feel that cardiac rehab has improved your quality of life?

    thanks.

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    Jean McMillan
    TN
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  • 2.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-02-2019 11:59
    Hello Jean

    Did you see the email from Arsheen Ali dated 30 Oct about a trial program for online rehab? it is posted on this forum. This might be the answer you are looking for.
    As for using rehab, the answer is yes it does improve the quality of life. I am a firm believer in the program. After my Quad bypass, it did wonders for my healing both physically and mentally.
    You may also look to see if there is a physical therapist in the area that can also assist. Some of them are qualified to assist with cardiac rehab. Do not be afraid of checking into a sports medicine program either, again some of them can assist you if they have the credentials. 
    Good Luck,

    Richard Short
    Chapter 395





  • 3.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-02-2019 14:24
    Thanks so much for your very helpful reply.

    ------------------------------
    Jean McMillan
    TN
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  • 4.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 05:32
    Hi Jean:

    I too have had the pleasure of doing cardiac rehab after my triple by pass March 26, 2019.  It gave me the ability to learn my limits, increase my endurance and of course learn from others in my group as to their experiences.  They graduated me early into the program since I met all of the expectations in 12 visits instead of the 36 "allowed" by my insurance.  I went two times a week.

    The nurses and doctors that are part of that program at the hospital I had my services were amazing.  I knew going into the program that they would be right there if I "felt" anything while exercising.  They also encouraged me to see a professional since I was having issues with "why was I saved".

    I went back to work June 10, 2019 and have been doing my cardiac rehab in the traditional gym with the follow up staff.  I also walk 5 miles a day.

    I would suggest that you since open enrollment is coming up, check into other insurance plans that might have better options for the cardiac rehab services that you are needing in your area.  Just be sure that your current physician's accept any other insurance that you are looking to.  Also verify if your prescriptions are covered under any new plans.  Sometimes when you change insurances your prescriptions have a higher co pay that your current plan.  Also verify if your hospital that you have cardiac services in are in net work with any other plan you are looking into.

    Best of luck on y our cardiac journey.  This group is amazing.  They will guide you in the right direction.

    Also the suggestion about the online cardiac program would probably be a wonderful option for you in your situation

    Hugs thoughts and prayers coming your way

    Linda







    ​Original Message:
    Sent: 11-02-2019 09:42
    From: Jean McMillan
    Subject: Cardiac Rehab

    I'm a heart failure patient living in rural TN, where it is hard to find easily accessible cardiac rehab programs and any kind of medical care that accepts my UnitedHealthcare/Medicare insurance. My UHC plan provides a free HF support program via telephone. The medical professionals I'm working with in the program are very kind and helpful, but the non-medical services (including a UHC "navigator") are a waste of time. Before I decide how much further and harder I should work at this search, I'd appreciate hearing from other patients who have participated in cardiac rehab. What services are offered (exercise, support group meetings, etc.)? With what frequency (weekly? monthly? or what?). Do you feel that cardiac rehab has improved your quality of life?

    thanks.

    ------------------------------
    Jean McMillan
    TN

    ------------------------------
    LINDA GRAMZ
    MELBOURNE FL
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 08:21
    Thanks for your kind reply. I think I'll have to spend some time on the phone (not easy for me as I'm hearing impaired) investigating the various services and insurance plans. Unfortunately, the online program mentioned by Richard Short does not accept heart failure patients.

    ------------------------------
    Jean McMillan
    TN
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-04-2019 09:39
    I have triple bypass surgery 10 years ago and found cardiac rehab perfect for helping me get back my energy and strength.  The nurses on staff were encouraging and helpful, and I was monitored constantly while I was exercising.  I felt very safe using the equipment there.  For me, Cardiac Rehab was located in the hospital.  In addition, I met so many other heart patients and we became good friends as time went on.  I strongly recommend cardiac rehab as a great way to regain strength and energy.  It does get better!
    Barbara Grosch
    Redding, CA





  • 7.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-04-2019 13:26
    Jean and friends,

    After my quintuple bypass, in 2007, I participated in a "formal"rehabilitation program, meaning not one I created myself, to answer the question before any activity: will it help, or hurt, me?

    Sitting in my recliner would not hurt me in the short term, but it would not help me rehab back to a full life: and in the long term guarantee a return my heart stopping.

    On the other hand, physical activities would hurt (physical and mentally) in the short term but would help me rehab back.

    The rehab program offered by my clinic offered the security to overcome the short term risks necessary to pursue the long term goal.

    It turned out to be a great decision as the rehab nurses "discovered" that during my bypass the lubricant on the sides of my lungs was removed. Every breath caused friction between my lungs and the surrounding parts.
    My body did not reproduce the lubricant but did continually send fluid the chest around my lungs faster than my body could remove it. The result was the pressure from the fluid made each breath  little more difficult. In essence, I was slowly suffocating myself. Twice they removed two quarts from my chest, before lung surgery over three  months later doing lung surgery just days before it would not have been possible. When I "graduated" I knew my body well enough to be able to answer the question: help or hurt? I strongly recommend a formal program fro as long as it is helpful.

    After I left the formal rehab program, I studied the reasons for my heart stopping as the cardiologist either would not, or could not, identify them. While I was identifying mine as stress, I realized that I had no guarantees that preventing stress would prevent another cause: so I would reduce all possible causes. I decided to share my program in my book "One Heart-Two Lives: Managing Your Rehabilitation Program WELL." 

    In my 70's, I still find my program to be incredibly easy and effective enough that I still do physical activities, like skiing, and mental ones, like investing.

    Hope my experiences are helpful. 

    Brent Zepke       






  • 8.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-05-2019 12:36
    Brent, thanks so much for your post. I'll definitely check out your book!





  • 9.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 07:58
    My husband had a quadruple bypass on August 10, 2011. He still goes to
    cardiac rehab 3X a week. It is a modified exercise program with a
    cardiologist and a cardiac nurse on staff, and across the street from a
    hospital. The exercise is monitored. It is not covered by insurance, but
    is only $73 per month. It has really helped my husband.

    We also belonged to a local Mended Hearts support group that met once a
    month. Sadly, that group disbanded.

    Maria Feinman


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  • 10.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 08:23
    $73 per month is great! The nearest facility to me charges $100 per session!

    ------------------------------
    Jean McMillan
    TN
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  • 11.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 10:01

                  The cardio rehab program I was in was structured around the number of visits Medicare covered. It ran for about three months, three times a week, one hour per session. Each session consisted of a warm up and cool down period and thirty minutes of cardio exercise, 10 minutes on three different machines. There were weekly one hour meetings devoted to aspects of heart health care and a meeting with a dietician.

                  The big takeaways, which you can do yourself, are to encourage people to exercise 30 minutes a day, six days a week, for the rest of their lives, even if it's just walking. (If it's raining, walk in a mall or up and down supermarket aisles.) Feel like you are making an effort but not straining.

                  If you prefer machines, you can always join a fitness center. Our rehab place allowed you, upon completion, to use its machines for a nominal fee. Many people like that because you are part of a community of people like yourself who have been through similar experiences.

                  The program was definitely beneficial to me but, ultimately, it's up to the individual whether or not they participate in a formal one, and, yes I've become a six days a week guy.

    Bob Levin

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 12.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 15:23
    I'm not big on (most) exercise machines, but it wouldn't be a terrible hardship to use them. I already belong to a fitness studio where machine work is mixed with other types of training (weights, cardio kickboxing, circuit, barre, yoga). I love being there (5 days a week right now) with my workout pals, but none of them have any experience of cardiac illness, so it would be great to spend some time with other cardiac patients.

    ------------------------------
    Jean McMillan
    TN
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-03-2019 17:59
    Hi,
    welcome to the group. I have participated in a cardiac rehab program. It most definitely is helpful on many levels. Not only does it help to improve your overall health, it helps to provide peace of mind and confidence.

    You should talk  to your providers to see if you can start a group even if it is rather informal. At least start a support group if you can. They can help to link people in your area.

    Continue with whatever services they want to give you. In the beginning, it may not always seem  like it is working but over time, you will see the results.
    Hang in there and good luck.


    ------------------------------
    annette smith
    saxonburg PA
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  • 14.  RE: Cardiac Rehab

    Posted 11-04-2019 09:34
    Annette, 

    Starting a local support group is a good idea, if I can work my own stuff (doctor visits, volunteer work, taking care of my epileptic husband, etc. etc.). I have no local providers right now because of my insurance situation but the owner of the fitness studio I belong to, who has a degree in human health & fitness, might be a good start to learning more.

    Thanks