American Heart Month 2018*
Our Cardiac Rehabilitation program provides support and caring for people striving to improve their strength and stamina after a heart attack or due to another heart-related event. Cardiac Rehab participants exercise under medical supervision, knowing that expert help is close at hand if it’s needed. The program also provides information and education to help participants better understand their condition and what they can do to improve their heart health and overall quality of life. Camaraderie is another key benefit of the program. Many participants become fast friends, looking to each other for encouragement as they regain strength and confidence to move forward with their lives. Below are a few ways this life-affirming program has made a difference in people’s lives:
Mike Wolititch has been with our Cardiac Rehab program for three years, working his way up to the highest level. “I really enjoy group exercise and working out with people who have been in the same situation as me,” he recently shared. He said the program has helped him get his life back: “I’m able to do everything I was doing before my surgery.” Being part of Cardiac Rehab “can only benefit you,” he added. “I feel good after each workout. Exercise really is the best medicine.”
Roger Longstreet has been with the program for four years and, like Mike, now participates at the program’s highest level. “I joined Cardiac Rehab to save my life and get in better shape,” he said. “My blood pressure is down and I’m on much less medication. I feel good,” he shared. He noted that the regular workouts have significantly improved his stamina and also serve as a “great stress reliever.” Roger also said that he enjoys the camaraderie and working with the staff: “It’s fun!”
Donna has participated in CRMC’s Cardiac Rehab program for seven months. Her goal is to get back to her “normal self” after undergoing bypass surgery. “I like that I can exercise at my own pace,” she shared, and “that staff are available to help guide me through the exercises or if I have questions.” Donna credits the program with helping her build strength and stamina and getting her back to doing the things she enjoys. “I no longer need naps to get me through the day.” Another benefit to the program, she said, are the many friends she’s made. “The environment is friendly and staff makes you feel comfortable. This program offers so many rewards!”
John Rogers started exercising in our Cardiac Rehab program 17 years ago, when his cardiologist recommended he join the program as a safe and effective way for him to improve his heart health. “I had a cardiac cath procedure, and the doctor said I should take better care of myself,” John recalled. Today, thanks to the program, John’s life is much improved, he said. “I was never an exerciser before this. Now I feel like I am in better shape because of the program. It’s made me aware of the importance of exercise.” In addition to exercising, John said that the program has helped by offering companionship, convenience and a professional staff that is available when he has questions. The program has changed his life for the better, he said, and can do the same for others in a situation like his. His advice? “Just give it a try. There are a lot of benefits.”
Another participant, Dwayne Zobell, is on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Dwayne joined the Cardiac Rehab program in 2015 as a way to sustain his level of heart function until he can undergo a transplant. “This program has helped me know what to do with my situation, especially since it’s always changing. The staff can offer personal medical advice, which helps relieve stress.” Dwayne said he also likes that he has a built-in support group that he can turn to. “There’s just a lot of open communication and support.”
*This information was originally shared on our Facebook and Instagram pages in February 2018 as part of our focus on heart health during American Heart Month.
As a “new-bee” to the Cardiac Rehab center I found the entire staff friendly and engaging. My initial meeting regarding the treatment was with Lilli and she methodically covered everything in the Rehab folder and was very informative when answering all my questions. The Tuesday class was an excellent education and time well spent. The rehab sessions are first-rate with much individual attention given to how hard one was working out; advice on diet, special needs and the rotation of the exercise equipment that would best suit the needs for one’s physical condition. I noted that every newcomer is made to feel part of the “rehab family” by the entire staff. I take my hat off to the entire staff at the center and thank you for your dedication, attention to your duties and love for your profession. Without you the center would not be possible.
I have been going to rehab for over a month. My life has changed so much for the better. They have given me confidence to try things I felt I was not ready for. I drive now, go shopping, cook more, and do more around the house. I am now back working with my flowers and garden. The staff is wonderful. They are so supporting and caring. I have learned to trust myself more and listen to my body. I would encourage all heart patients to attend rehab.
I found Cardiac Rehab to be an invaluable part of my recovery and knowledge for me to continue my life. Their help with medication issues, physical, and mental issues kept me going in a positive direction. I simply would not have had such a successful recovery without Greta, Liza, Lilli, Carrie 1 & 2, Laura, Kim, Curtis, and the rest of the support team at Cardiac Rehab. I will always be grateful for their assistance with my recovery process. (July 2017)
Pamela A. Nash
The Cardiac Rehab Program was a lifesaver for me! After my heart attack I was afraid to do much of anything for fear of another attack. This class offered me the chance to learn to exercise in a safe and effective way, which translated into a better physical and emotional fitness.
The entire staff was very supportive of my classmates and myself. I felt like I wasn’t just a job to them but that they truly cared about my recovery. Carrie was especially attentive to my goals for recovery and always helped me to push myself to that next goal.
I truly believe that without this program I would still be living in fear feeling that my life was over. Now I feel like my life is just beginning!
I would live to volunteer to help others who are going through this life challenge.
Thank you Cardiac Rehab staff for helping me learn to live again.
Donald B. Hunton M.D.
I feel privileged to write these comments about Cheyenne Regional’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Facility. After my heart surgery I went through phases one and two and found them very helpful. I then did not continue with phase three. I believed, very wrongly, that I could do the exercise myself. I didn’t do it. When I had a second opportunity to stay with phase three, I realized I must do it. I have now been in the program for over six years and I am convinced of its great value. We exercise in a highly supervised environment and we all feel secure because of this. The cost at present is $50.00 for 12 sessions, and this is an important feature of the program. When you pay some money to do it you feel you have a greater obligation than when there is no out of pocket cost. (You have a dog in the race.) This is one of the motivations. The most important thing that has occurred is the camaraderie of our group. We care about each other; we encourage each other in exercise and in other parts of our lives. This is the part that holds our group together. It is the main reason why the patients who are invited to continue with phase three, will feel welcome, and have the comfort of knowing they are doing the right thing by staying. I strongly encourage all who can to join the program.
I have participated in Cardiac Rehab exercises for six years. I truly enjoy the three times a week workout for a number of reasons.
- The regimen is healthful.
- The staff are always cheerful.
- The social interaction with my classmates is usually entertaining.
- Going to rehab makes me get out of bed early at least three times a week.
One last note, CRMC East is convenient as it’s only three blocks away from my home.
A great program, the staff is top notch, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend this program to anyone that has a cardiac event.
Cardiac Rehab is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I feel better and stronger than I have in years. It’s all due to the wonderful staff. They make you feel safe, they always are happy to help you any way they can. They are always cheerful and encouraging. This is a great program. I have learned a great deal. Thank you, thank you.
CRMC is the best!