When someone close to you is diagnosed with a heart disorder, it can be a shock difficult to overcome. But clinging to the crippling feelings of anxiety or distress will help neither you nor your ailing loved one. What he/she needs from you more than anything is your support.
Here are a few things you can do to help out your friend/family member –
Stay in the loop
Accompany your loved one to the doctor’s clinic. Heart disorders are serious so in all likelihood, there will be a barrage of information, tips, advice that will be dispensed by the doctor. There will be tonnes of medicines that will have to be taken at specific times of the day. A person who has just come down with heart disease may feel too overwrought by all this information. So it is up to you to memorize everything. Remind him/her when it is time for medicine.
Do some research
Before embarking on a course of treatment, every patient must opt for a second opinion. Go online and research doctors, read the reviews posted by patients under their care. Dig out information about the most reliable diagnostic laboratories.
Learn about the disorder
Educate yourself on the disease itself, what to expect, what could go wrong, how to avoid complications. More importantly, learn how to administer CPR in case your loved one suffers a sudden heart failure that might save his/her life. Save your nearest hospital’s emergency number in your phone so that if your loved one falls sick, help arrives as soon as possible.
Be there for him/her
Different people react differently to the diagnosis of a life-threatening disorder. Whether your loved one is distraught, stoic or surly, he/she needs your moral support. Encourage them to talk and be there to listen whenever he/she feels like sharing the burden of trauma with you. It will show that you care and that would uplift your loved ones' spirits. Keep his/her mind occupied with fun activities, take them out on day excursions (consult with the doctor first), urge them to learn a new skill which will lower stress and anxiety levels which are the heart’s worst enemies.
Be a lifestyle coach
Once a person contracts a heart ailment, there will be a drastic overhaul in their lifestyle. There will be dietary restrictions, a specific exercise routine and a strict heart-friendly list of foods to adhere to. It is your job to ensure that your loved one sticks to the guidelines, does not sneak in an unhealthy treat, and gets all the exercise recommended on a daily basis. If needed lecture him/her on the importance of this routine.
Heart diseases are not fatal, and this is something you should explain to your loved one. It is not the end of the road and life can proceed quite normally.