After the initial stage of not wanting to acknowledge they have a heart condition most patients come to the acceptance that they are heart patients.

Often heart patients just wish their heart condition would go away. They don't want to know about it. 

Some people refuse to go to cardiac rehabilitation, find out anything about their heart condition, read their instructions and in some cases create all sorts of reasons not to take their medication. It is a continuation of a form of denial.

However most heart patients come to accept their condition and in doing so accommodate it in their daily living.

The interesting aspect of reaching the Acceptance Stage is that the chances of future critical heart events diminish significantly. The reason being that most heart patients do not go through the "denial" phase gain. Instead of blaming indigestion or other reasons they seek medical help when experiencing cardiac symptoms, reducing the danger period of a heart event.

Heart patients who accept their heart condition are more likely to:

- take their medication

- exercise appropriately

- moderate their diet

- quit smoking

- manage their diabetes, blood pressure etc

- understand when help is needed

i.e. manage their risk factors appropriately

Acceptance Behaviours

- acknowledge self as a heart patient

- take an interest in their condition

- make lifestyle adjustments

- commit to action to minimise risks, diet, medication, exercise, give up smoking, control diabetes etc.

- take medication

- employ action

- get on with life

Acceptance Example

One patient had convinced himself that his heart condition was nothing more than a simple lack of having a "strong heart" and that all he had to to do was to exercise harder, longer and stronger. He would not take medication, visit his cardiologist or modify his diet. He became a fitness fanatic.

After his second heart attack and a bypass operation he was up out of bed 48 hours after his operation and running along the corridor rather than walking as advised by the physiotherapist. 

Within a few weeks however (after becoming depressed also) he sighed "I guess I do have a problem". From that day on he became a "model patient" and to my knowledge has been leading an active life ever since but not so extreme!

© Len Gould 2019 Heartemotions (Version V210118)