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The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery Paperback – June 13, 2006


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The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery + Back to Life After a Heart Crisis: A Doctor and His Wife Share Their 8 Step Cardiac Comeback Plan + The Cardiac Recovery Handbook: The Complete Guide to Life After Heart Attack or Heart Surgery, Second Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Open Heart Publishing; 1 edition (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977606309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977606306
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is simply written and easy to understand.
Julie Jeffery
This book goes step by step explaining how a patient can research and prepare for surgery - a real plus - along with tips to relax when faced with upcoming surgery.
xbwsx
It was truthful and honest from one who experienced this surgery..
bonnie kornblatt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Glowacki on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my Mom who is the caregiver for my Dad who had open heart surgery 8 weeks ago. She has stated to me that the book has been helpful to her. It has given her perspective and guidance. I was hoping that it would help with the complications he was having, but apparantly they have turned out to be unrelated to the surgery. All in all I would say that this a good book for anyone having heart surgery, or caring for someone having heart surgery. I did not find it until almost 4 weeks after his surgery. I would suggest to others to buy it BEFORE the surgery if at all possible.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Arloski on June 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Reaching people with health information and doing it well is a real art, and in The Open Heart Companion, Maggie Lichtenberg shows great skill as both writer and health and wellness coach. More than a book of things to know, it really becomes a true companion, much like a coach would be to you, a real ally. The Open Heart Companion, honors both the patient's need for the "story" of real experience, and the need for concrete information for both preparation and recovery from surgery.

Like the author, I am a valve surgery survivor/thriver, and like the author I am a wellness coach as well. I found great personal value in the book and continuously recommend it to all the coaching students I train, and all the medical institutions and organizations I consult with.
Michael Arloski, Ph.D., PCC, author of Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was one of the best books I've read on open-heart surgery and the things you need to think about when preparing for surgery.

We bought this book after my husband's first open-heart surgery. Two years later he had a second operation to replace his valve and reading this book helped us prepare ourselves for the second surgery.

This book also talks about rehab and what to expect.

I highly recommend this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MoJo on February 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book when I was informed that my aortic stenosis had progressed to the point that I would need to have a valve replacement operation. I had hoped that the book would provide me with an overview of cardiac surgery options and expectations of outcomes. Instead I found it to be an overblown collection of broad generalities fluffed out with the author's personal accounts of her experience with heart surgery. Apparently her operation did not go well and we follow her (at great length!) through her long convalescence, both physical and psychological. The book has many highlighted recommendations to prepare for the operation and its aftermath. Most of these are overblown and utterly obvious. As an example I quote the four items from the very last page of the book:
> Set up a journal in which you can report your progress.
> Prepare a calendar to deep track of follow-up appointments.
> Line up sources of psychological and spiritual support.
> Find the best doctor to advise you during the years ahead.

If you find this example to be helpful, then maybe you should buy the book. Otherwise, save your money.

BTW: I am 78 years old. I underwent a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement operation three weeks ago. I was walking after one day. One week after surgery I was walking one mile a day and two weeks later, three miles a day. If you are considering cardiac surgery, the most important thing to do is to get a good surgeon. Check out his/her credentials and performance history on the web. Once you decide, the surgeon and his/her team will provide you with all the guidance that you will need.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By xbwsx on January 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having had open heart surgery for valve replacement, this book is a great read for anyone who an experienced a heart related event in their life. This book goes step by step explaining how a patient can research and prepare for surgery - a real plus - along with tips to relax when faced with upcoming surgery. For after surgery - it is a great resource for both patient and caregiver. This book is very informative. There are very few books that focus on the heart - this one is an excellent resource for anyone.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By V. Castro on December 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is like speak with a person who underwent open heart surgery, with general tips and hints about a lot of things you might be asking to yourself. I like the fact that is useful for the patient and his/her family.

A must read but not the only one you'll need about going through OHS.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Mary on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for a friend who was facing open heart surgery and who I thought was not really aware of what was going to be entailed. Before I gave it to my friend I read most of it. In the book I found so much good information and advice, just what I had expected and hoped for. My friend also found it very enlightening and educational and it gave her a very good idea of what was to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By caroline on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 82 year old father had open heart surgery (mitral valve replacement) surgery in January. My family was all so focused on whether or not he would make it through the surgery itself that we forgot to discuss recovery with his doctors and surgeon beforehand. Depression set in during the recovery - a deep, dark depression that I feared he would not come out of. This book really helped, along with a good physical therapy program and some counseling. Dad just wasn't prepared for the long recovery - physically, mentally or emotionally.

I bought the book for him because it was written by a woman who had the same type of surgery as my dad. She is not a doctor and I thought that would help him relate to the book and her story maybe a bit more than a book written by a doctor who would have knowledge and wisdom, but no real firsthand experience. I'm really glad I got it for him. There are such great little nuggets of wisdom here. It really helped him to see that his situation was very, very normal, and that there could actually be light at the end of the tunnel!

I would highly recommend this little book for anyone preparing for or recovering from open heart surgery. Read it all the way through, take the information she has to give to heart, give yourself time to heal properly and know that you aren't alone in your suffering. This book will give you things to think about and will help you understand that what you're going through is par for the course.
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