From "The Heartmates Meditation Journal; A Companion for Partners of People with Heart Disease," by Rhoda F. Levin:

In the early weeks after a cardiac crisis we (the mate of a heart attack victim) sound like classic cases of shock - and we have been shocked! Whether we are quiet or outgoing, organized or scattered, enthusiastic or detached, our nearest, though not dearest, companion is anxiety.

Some of us feel it in our bodies: we're stiff or we ache; we hold our jaws tight and almost wrap our shoulders around our heads for protection; we may be dizzy or shaky or nauseated.

Our feelings toss us like we're riding bucking broncos: we're hopeful then depressed; grateful then scared; relieved then sad; helpless then angry; even guilty.

Our minds feel thick and slow, or empty or scrambled. It's difficult to concentrate, remember, or focus. Recognizing our shock, we need to take small steps to take care of ourselves: Eat regularly and well; good nutrition is a must for your recovery. Nap and rest frequently; make up for disrupted sleep. Walk daily; exercise is essential to maintain health. Take time to do something you like to do by yourself.

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