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Alan's Story: Coping With Change After a Heart Attack - Alan's story

Keep a positive attitude

Even though Alan stopped working, he has never stopped learning—or helping others learn—about how to cope with heart disease. What has kept him going all these years? A positive attitude.

"You've got to have a sense of humor. Don't take life so seriously," he says.

Staying positive and finding the humor in any situation is a message Alan shares with everyone he talks with about heart disease. He is well known around the local hospital, where he often visits with people scheduled for heart surgery.

At one such visit, a man asked him about the pain after bypass surgery. How bad would it be? How long would it last? "I told him, 'It only hurts when you breathe.' He just looked at me for a minute. And then we both started laughing, and we couldn't stop," Alan says. "Sometimes it just takes someone who can say, 'been there, done that.' A nurse or doctor can tell you what to expect, but they haven't been there."

Alan's story reflects his experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Alan, to protect his privacy.

For more information, see the topic Heart Attack and Unstable Angina.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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