Ventricular Couplets: A Cardiac Rehab Poem by Dr. Stuart Sanders
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By Stuart Sanders, MD, FACSM, MAACVPR
Stuart Sanders, MD, FACSM, MAACVPR, initiated and has served as medical director of Habersham Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Demorest Georgia since 1986. He chairs the World Heart Games and is an adjunct professor of cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Sanders, former President of Heart and Lung Foundation of the AACVPR, and previous vice president of AACVPR, has always had a great respect for the nurses, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and dietitians who improve the care and lives of cardiac and pulmonary patients through rehabilitation programs. He is also an Olympic physician who has worked at four Olympic Games, and serves as a physician for Team USA's figure skating team.
In honor of CR Week, we are sharing something special. The following poem was written by Sanders from a patient’s perspective in appreciation of the efforts of rehabilitation professionals.
Early one morn nestled warmly in my bed,
Chest pain and sweating suddenly filled me with dread.
The siren of an ambulance soon filled my head,
While ventricular tachycardia left me all but dead.
Now back in bed but in a sterile CCU,
Lying virtually naked for wandering eyes to view.
Lightening filled my chest and my tongue I did chew,
While burns simmer on my breast. Think I should sue?
The Doc told me that I should thank a clot buster,
But a weak smile and groan was all I could muster.
Having had my last stand and feeling like Custer,
My great plans and my life had lost all luster.
Then out to telemetry with an open gown to expose each bun,
Shaving my chest, spilling my urinal. Boy am I having fun!
"No smokes, less fat or else you'll be done."
Ambulation, emaciation and they call it Phase One.
Finally into Phase Two and I've got my life back.
Biking, rowing, walking, there is no time for slack.
Aspirin, vitamin E, and a statin to control my plaque,
Yoga, fiber, fish, and fruit but No Big Mac!
So thank you greatly Lord for my new found romance,
With caring rehab experts, my life to enhance.
But if cough and wheeze continue during aerobic dance,
Perhaps I should give Pulmonary Rehab a chance!