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Old 08-16-2003, 09:58 AM   #1
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Post CHF at age 44, time to prepare the will?

Next week I expect to be diagnosed with CHF (Congestive Heart Failure). Just waiting for all the test results to come back. I'm 44. I just spent the morning researching it on the internet. Statistics say 50% die in 5 years, 20% in one year, very ssad.
____
Anyone out there have it and willing to share experiences?
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Old 08-16-2003, 11:21 AM   #2
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Yes...that's without treatment though.

First of all, how do you know you have congestive heart failure? and have you considered a heart transplant?

 
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:25 PM   #3
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farscape,

Not only is that without treatment, thats probably without any lifestyle changes. You have two choices here, and the latter is giving up. Take the other road and you can be one of the rare exceptions if you choose to do so. If you truly do have CHF, then read as much info on the topic as you can, and make the changes.

[This message has been edited by ubernier (edited 08-16-2003).]

 
Old 08-16-2003, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by projapoti:
Yes...that's without treatment though.

First of all, how do you know you have congestive heart failure? and have you considered a heart transplant?
Yes a heart transplant is the answer for those who do not know the life expectency for organ transplant patients! Unfortunately the same drugs that surpress the rejection of the organ, surpress the immune system.

My husband was recently "diagnosed" with CHF after the quack ignored his complaints for two years. Of course by the time that the cardiologist made the diagnosis, I had made the same diagnosis from the symtoms two weeks and $5200. worth of test earlier. (No, I'm not a healthcare provider but CHF isn't difficult to diagnose or I'm just particularly gifted in medical diagnosis.)

If you read much about CHF you should have asked yourself what is this statistic based upon. Remember Mark Twain remark regarding statistics. From those statistics you should have asked yourself what percentage of the patients in the study were over 65 years of age; what percentage of the people in the study had underlying coronary artery disease and what percent of those in the study had already suffered one or more heart attacks. What percentage had one or several other major health problems.

[Side note: As to the will, I would encourage you to prepare will but not because of CHF but because you may not like the state's intestate plan and since you don't know when you are going to die, it is a good idea to have one when you acquire property to devise. So if you want to devise property to persons of your choice rather than those who the state legislatures think would be your choice, get a will.]


 
Old 08-16-2003, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny_Pinto:
Yes a heart transplant is the answer for those who do not know the life expectency for organ transplant patients! Unfortunately the same drugs that surpress the rejection of the organ, surpress the immune system.

My husband was recently "diagnosed" with CHF after the quack ignored his complaints for two years. Of course by the time that the cardiologist made the diagnosis, I had made the same diagnosis from the symtoms two weeks and $5200. worth of test earlier. (No, I'm not a healthcare provider but CHF isn't difficult to diagnose or I'm just particularly gifted in medical diagnosis.)

If you read much about CHF you should have asked yourself what is this statistic based upon. Remember Mark Twain remark regarding statistics. From those statistics you should have asked yourself what percentage of the patients in the study were over 65 years of age; what percentage of the people in the study had underlying coronary artery disease and what percent of those in the study had already suffered one or more heart attacks. What percentage had one or several other major health problems.

[Side note: As to the will, I would encourage you to prepare will but not because of CHF but because you may not like the state's intestate plan and since you don't know when you are going to die, it is a good idea to have one when you acquire property to devise. So if you want to devise property to persons of your choice rather than those who the state legislatures think would be your choice, get a will.]

Ahh, you're not a healthcare provider, but you're "gifted" at medical "diagnosis" eh? Interesting.

 
Old 08-16-2003, 04:37 PM   #6
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It took 9 months to diagnose , the medical community can be very slow. I believe the statistics were with treatment not without. I have ordered info from the American Heart Association and am researching.
___
I will make lifestyle changes, but from all I read CHF is compared to Cancer and there is little hoope for a long life. At 44 , I will never reach retirement no matteer what I do.
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Old 08-17-2003, 12:56 AM   #7
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Farscape!
Please do not take a nihilistic attitude about this.
First of all your AGE is actually on your side.
There is great hope for CHF, especially in younger people.

As you must know by now, with researching, medication should VASTLY help improve your symptoms. If you follow your doctor's instructions on diet, rest,exercise if indicated, and medications, you will probably enjoy many years of near-normal living, and by that time, odds are there will be so many more different options for long-term survival....

If the congestive heart failure becomes so advanced that diet, rest, and medications cannot help, you may be a candidate for heart surgery. There are so many variables with CHF only you and your physician can map out a course of action for you. You may one of those people who need surgery to repair a small area of damaged heart tissue or a leak between the chambers of your heart.

As for heart transplantation...don't even GO there yet.

But yes, in appropriate candidates, as a last resort, heart transplants can be very effective. Heart transplants have been performed for YEARS with increasing success.

The fight against CHF doesnít end with management, though.....Current research, such as that being performed at NEMCís Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, is underway to discover the molecular codes that prevent replacement and repair of heart tissue. These codes hold the answers to growing new heart muscle cells that will someday make CHF a thing of the past. Given how young you are...if you indeed have CHF, you could continue for many years with standard therapies and then voila! all the ongoing research being worked on now will become available for you and the millions of others who have CHF.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) supports a wide range of basic, clinical, and epidemiological research to better understand the causes and improve the treatment and prognosis of CHF. The studies include investigations of how the heart contracts normally and what goes wrong in CHF, the development of NEW drug therapies and other innovative treatments of CHF.

Some studies are trying to stop the loss of cell function that happens in CHF. (which I mention above) Muscle cells die or no longer function properly, which causes the heart to lose its ability to pump blood. In studies on animals, researchers have begun inserting healthy muscle cells into a failing heart to replace damaged cells. Results so far have been REALLYpromising: The grafted cells appear to thrive and function normally. This animal research has shown that the grafted cells can even come from muscles other than the heart, such as muscles of the leg. Furthermore, it may be possible to genetically engineer grafted cells to make them stronger.

Other studies are developing drugs with multiple actions to treat CHF. Such a drug would have several effects. For example, a drug might improve the heart's pumping ability, open clogged arteries, and prevent tissue damage from free radicals, a byproduct of the body's metabolic processes. Free radicals are thought to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. And by the WAY, one of these multiple-acting drugs has already been tested and appears not only to lengthen survival but also to improve symptoms for those with CHF.

And of course, investigations also are being done constantly to improve heart transplantation for CHF patients, but you are hopefully a long way (if ever) from that option.

Researchers are continuing efforts to develop better devices to help the damaged heart function. Already in use is a small mechanical pump called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The ventricles are the heart's main pumping chambers. These chambers enlarge as CHF progresses. Muscle fibers stretch, and the heart loses strength. The LVAD is now used as a temporary assist for patients with severe CHF who are awaiting a heart transplant. However, researchers have found that the heart in patients with an LVAD often IMPROVES after months of use--so much that a transplant is no longer needed. Thus, efforts are underway to identify patients who may benefit from a longer-term LVAD.

Below is a link to MEDLINE'S website w/info from many sources such as the National Institutes of Health including their clinical trials , the Amer. Heart Assoc., the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, and the National Library of Medicine, among others.
[url="http://search.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/query?DISAMBIGUATION=true&FUNCTION=searc h&SERVER2=server2&SERVER1=server1&PARAME TER=congestive+heart+failure&x=26&y=7"]http://search.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/query?DISAMBIGUATION=true&FUNCTION=searc h&SERVER2=server2&SERVER1=server1&PARAME TER=congestive+heart+failure&x=26&y=7[/url]
No pessimism allowed! Work closely with your physicians, make all the lifestyle changes you can and hang in there because real hope is just around the corner.

I mean it!

zuzu xxx



[This message has been edited by zuzu8 (edited 08-17-2003).]

 
Old 08-17-2003, 05:47 PM   #8
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Hello, check out Life Extention Foundation and seriously consider their protocol for CHF. Combine it with that of Matthias Rath's theory and you will do well.

Sal
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by projapoti:
Ahh, you're not a healthcare provider, but you're "gifted" at medical "diagnosis" eh? Interesting.
Actually what I said is, "(No, I'm not a healthcare provider but CHF isn't difficult to diagnose or I'm just particularly gifted in medical diagnosis.)" The word "or" is disjunctive, although in this instance I could have used the conjunctive "and" appropriately.

I realize that as a medical student you would like to believe that only a doctor or someone studying to become a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis. This is patently false. People without any medical training whatsoever have been making accurate diagnosis of their ills for years. If they know their symtoms and they know the symtoms of the disease (or have access to that information--e.g. Merck Manual or the Internet), they can do it.

I made my own diagnosis that I'd had a heart attack and located a cardiologist and two weeks later that diagnosis was confirmed via objective manifestation of a catherization. (Incidentally the cardiologist thought that it was just angina not that I'd had an actual MI until he saw the results.)

Second time I diagnosed another MI in the ER and sure enough the blood enzyme test came back positive. I've made many accurate diagnosis. My only regret is that I didn't make the one on my husband during the first two years before he lost another 12 percent pumping percent. It may well be that the cardiologist will come to regret that as well. I'm a lawyer.


[This message has been edited by Johnny_Pinto (edited 08-18-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Johnny_Pinto (edited 08-18-2003).]

 
Old 08-19-2003, 09:48 PM   #10
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Good response Johnny. I have found the folks on this board far more helpful than the "qualified" physicians I have seen.

Last edited by crabbycdn; 01-04-2004 at 05:41 PM.

 
Old 08-21-2003, 01:19 PM   #11
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Hi,

I just wanted to make a couple comments.
First, my great-grandfather was diagnosed with CHF in his early 50's and lived to be 75. He ended up dying in a car accident not because of CHF. I know that every person is different, but it's not necessarily a death sentence.

Second, attitude is everything no matter what kind of medical condition someone has. Everyone is going to go through a period of sadness, anger, frusteration, denial, etc. That's just part of it. Once you get through all of these emotions, it is so important to stay positive and keep your hopes high.
I am going through treatment for thyroid cancer and was overwhelmed with negative feelings, at first. I have dealt with the fact that I have cancer and all of the emotions that go along with it. Now, I have taken on a much more optimistic point of view and I feel so much better.

I wish you the best. Please try to stay as optimistic as you can. It really helps.
Hilery

 
Old 08-21-2003, 02:13 PM   #12
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I am slowly getting over the initial shock of it all. The extent of the damage is yet to be determined. Tomorrow they are doing a 4 hour nuclear isotope stress test of some kind. From this theyy will know how much damage there is and what the best treatment will be. I only hope it can be treated with drugs and not surgery.
They put me on nitroglycerine patches to prevent further heart attacks. The EKG shows a small heart attack that I was apparently unaware of in the past.
___
This is all so scary. I allready had conquered type 2 diabetes (H1C of 5.1) and my blood pressure was perfect, cholestorol was 142, I had lost 75 lbs, I was doing so well and saw a future, then this hit me and knocked me for a loop.
___
Sort of like sticker shock on a new car.
___
I pray daily for help. 44 may not b too young to die, but I had hoped for a few more years. I was just getting my life together and making a new me.
___
Now I have the new me with a new health problem.
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Old 08-22-2003, 06:29 PM   #13
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Farscape- You are going to get MORE than a "few more years"....try not to panic. Let us know how you do with the isotope stress test and the results.

My father's best friend had a massive heart attack @ 46...was told there was too much heart damage to do much for him ...ineligible for bypass...developed CHF 4 years later @ 51...told he wouldn't make it past 60. He lived to 79! What had happened was that in the interim, newer drugs came along and he not only felt better but his heart muscle got stronger and my god, he had more energy than all of us put together!

There are too many stories out there with really strikingly good and hopeful news....Just take it a step at a time. You are making catastophic leaps in your mind and you don't have all the facts in yet.

This is NOT tantamount to a death sentence.

zuzu xx


 
Old 08-23-2003, 07:18 PM   #14
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Hi, just to let you know a friend of mine was diagnosed with chf at least 15 years ago, she is very overweight, diabetic and does not take care of herself at all, plus she is not being treated by a cariologist. she is in and out of the hospital for different things and everytime she goes in is told she has chf.

My bil was diagnosed with chf also and is seeing a cariologists and is on meds. He is doing fine, working everyday and a is always doing something at home.He was very frightened also, but the drs. told him that as long as he takes his meds. and listens to them he will have a long life, he was diagnosed at 49 and is now 56.

wish you luck, and do not worry.

------------------

pa235
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Old 09-11-2003, 08:00 AM   #15
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farscape,
First of all, what kind of heart condition do you have? MOST IMPORTANLY-- Please visit the website: 4hcm.org. I cannot tell you how great this is for information and support. The moderators consult with doctors who are specialists. I may have had a CHF episode last November as a result from an upper respiratory infection..but have been fine since. What I was told by a top heart specialist in Boston was that CHF is VERY managable..diuretics and other meds can control it. Diet is important...cut down on the sodium. I know people who have had CHF for 20 years! The doctor told me that the words "congestive heart failure" are very scary, but it is a symptom and can be managed. Please visit the 4HCM.org website!!

 
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