Saturday, October 20, 2012

Reflections from Ruth Redden

Reflections from Ruth ReddenIn March of 2002 I suffered a heart attack and became part of the rehabilitation program at the Field House approximately one month of being released from hospital. While in intensive care I was given literature about the CARG program at the Field house by one of the educational nurses as well as a dietician who encouraged me to get involved in the program offered as soon as I was able.

I took the education program offered by the nurse educators and began the "Yellow Shirt" program. Due to the severity of my event, I had a long recovery road ahead.

I continued to participate in the walking program as much as possible until I had bypass surgery and mitral valve replacement in December of 2002.

It took me approximately one year to earn my "Red Shirt", and all during that time I had support from the staff at the field house, encouraging me to continue and not give up.

During the past ten years, I met a number of people who have become valued friends and continue to be a great support to me some ten years later. As I realized the value of the program, I became involved as a volunteer in various areas of our program in Saskatoon as well as various other related programs within the Saskatoon Health Region and the Heart & Stroke Foundation who all support the rehab program here.

I have not had the good fortune to have a dedicated support walker with me and cannot emphasize enough how important this is for a patient to have - to encourage and prod you on when you don't feel like exercising. Somehow the laps seem shorter when you have someone walking with you.

We are so fortunate in this city that Dr. Merriman, Dr. Horlick and the many dedicated doctors and therapists had the foresight to implement this program, knowing that exercise would be beneficial to recovering heart patients. There are very few programs that are as comprehensive as the one here in Saskatoon. (Photo taken at the CARG Christmas party, 2008)

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