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For the first ten weeks avoid the following, as they can place additional burden on your heart:
Your body will generally dictate when you are ready to do more; listen to it. If you experience discomfort avoid that particular activity for several days then attempt it again, but at a lesser degree.
It is not expected that you will encounter problems once you are home. However, if any of the following occur, please contact your local doctor, surgeon or hospital:
Your local doctor, surgeon or hospital can advise you on what to do should any of these things occur. Do not hesitate to ask for help or advice.
You are advised not to begin driving until six weeks after your discharge. This is because your range of upper body movement will be limited and driving may cause muscle pain and strain on your broken sternum.
You can sleep in whatever position is most comfortable for you. The number of pillows you use will depend on how easy your breathing is. It is best to avoid water beds as they are difficult to get on and off and require you to push down with your hands. Keep a small, firm pillow next to you as this will be handy to use for chest support should you sneeze or cough. You will know yourself when you no longer need this.
This information is meant to be a guide only. The best indicator is how you feel yourself when performing particular activities. Your doctor and rehabilitation co-ordinators will discuss the best time to resume specific activities such as resuming work and driving a car. Once at home, you can:
The decision of when to return to work should be discussed with your surgeon at your check up. When you return to work is dependent on a number of factors including:
Wait until you have discussed your options with your surgeon before making any final decisions.