43-Year-Old’s Cardiac Rehab Journey Makes a Difference

Jodie Tate may not seem like your typical cardiac rehab patient at Passavant Area Hospital (PAH), but the 43-year-old Virginia native appreciates the confidence booster after suffering a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) last November.

Seemingly healthy women in their 40s and 50s are most affected by this type of heart attack, though it can occur at any age in men. Common risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure or diabetes rarely show up in these cases.

Indeed, Jodie had no health issues leading up to the mild heart attack. That morning in the shower, she felt pressure on her chest, almost like she had pulled a muscle. She rested for a bit and the feeling went away. When she started doing household chores, the pressure came back along with the sensation of fingers pushing in a few inches under the armpits.

“I thought ‘that’s weird’ but let it go,” she said. “I tried different things to make it go away, even went for a walk. The pain wasn’t horrible – probably a six on a 10 point scale.”

Jodie had multiple tests done at PAH, a heart catheterization at Memorial Medical Center and finally a SCAD diagnosis from Mayo Clinic. Memorial recommended cardiac rehab, and Jodie signed up at PAH.

“Cardiac rehab has been really good,” Jodie said. “It’s a confidence booster because they pay attention to everything. Plus it allows you to exercise again in a controlled environment so if something happens, I’m already here.”

She goes to cardiac rehab three days a week for 15 minutes each of walking, biking and elliptical. She also does arm weights. The entire workout takes an hour.

Here are a few of the highlights Jodie appreciates about cardiac rehab:

  • Reports on progress are sent to cardiologist monthly.
  • Constant feedback about exercise intensity rate.
  • Small group camaraderie but customized workouts.
  • Free weekly screenings for heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Education day on Wednesday with handouts related to healthy diet, exercise, heart health.

For more information about cardiac rehab, talk with your doctor. For information about cardiac rehab at our affiliate locations, visit Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Center, Passavant Area Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital.