Resource type: Article

"You've got to be determined"

Patients very often tell us how important their own "determination" is during the recovery process, particularly after they get home. While some people may always have had a determined personality, others told us that they had no choice but to be determined.

"You've got to have the will...and say, "Yes, I am going to get better. I'm going to try and get my life back."

It's important to stay focused on moving forward in your recovery, but it's also important to remember that you'll have good and bad days. Try not to get too discouraged if you have an "off" day and are feeling a bit down,tired or frustrated that you're not further ahead in your recovery.It can be tricky to strike the balance between pushing yourself and overdoing it.

"I still get a bit breathless.It can be the first wee while...sometimes I find if I'm walking more, it's not as bad, funnily enough. You'd think it'd be the other way round." 

Try to listen to your body and be patient. This can sometimes take a little while though, particularly if you've never really had to, and have mostly taken your health and fitness for granted (we all do!). If you had health problems before you ended up in Intensive Care, try to take these into account and don't push yourself too hard.

"I was getting breathless and I felt the pain I get from the angina, so I had to use the spray and calm myself.Maybe doing too much too soon...I dunno"

Don't be scared to talk to close family and friends about how you're feeling, if your determination temporarily wavers.

"Really...having that determination, it's not easy."   

It can be a bit of an effort, keeping a determined face on, so be kind to yourself. Others will understand if you tell them.

" If your face is tripping you...nobody wants to be around someone like that. So I try to walk, and even if it does hurt, I try not to show it.So that's a bit of an effort..."