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Old 07-11-2008, 03:39 PM   #1
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Husband, 69, congestive heart failure....HELP PLEASE!!!

Within the last 3 years, he's become more and more unsteady when walking, has a fear of falling, walks extremely slow and has resorted to using a cane and feels a walker might be next.

I am so afraid for him and am wondering what is in the future. The doctor says he has "mild" congestive heart failure but I'm questioning if he is in advanced stages. I really feel like I need to be completely informed on this as I'm his only caretaker and I want to be prepared.

We've been married for almost 44 years and always taken such good care of each other and I don't want be "in the dark" for what might be coming.

Can anyone relate to my situation? I feel like I'm close to losing him, considering how quickly this has advanced.

Last edited by snowfether; 07-11-2008 at 03:45 PM.

 
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:02 PM   #2
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Re: Husband, 69, congestive heart failure....HELP PLEASE!!!

Your husband's chances of improving his health and wellbeing are greatly improved through a healthy diet and exercise. If anyone, including your husband, in your home smokes, that decreases his chances for improvement. Alcohol can irritate a failed heart, so can stress, pollution and chemicals.

I am close to your husband's age. I've battled congestive heart failure for over 20 years.

When my heart failure was much worse, the slightest exertion would cause breathing problems for up to three days. My ankles and legs swelled. I suffered from fatigue, chest pains, oversweating, shortness of breath, weakness, etc. I started on a diet targeting Insulin Resistance, in Dec. 2004, which I documented on HBs, [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229[/url], and ever since then my heart and my health have gotten dramatically better, and keep improving.

I also started with a mild exercise program, walking 30 minutes per day. Then I increased it to 30 minutes, twice a day. Then I started half lifting a couple of 10 pound weights, just a few times per day. I slowly increased my weight lifting until I got up to six sessions of lifting the weights 60 times, or 360 lifts per day. I've also slowly worked my way up to 360 steps on my stepper, for each leg, per day. Your husband knows his exercise limitations and would have to start an exercise program suitable for him, and OKed by his doctor.

It's also important to take the most effective medications, that lower the blood pressure and help his heart to have a more healthy beat.

So...... despite heart failure, there is a lot that your husband can inexpensively do to improve both his health and his wellbeing.

Give him my regards and best wishes for a healthy recovery!
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⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Unhappy Re: Husband, 69, congestive heart failure....HELP PLEASE!!!

Thank you so much for responding to my post. He has never smoked and hardly ever drank in all our 44 years together. No one else in the household smokes either. As for his diet, he's diabetic so we eat very healthy around here.

He doesn't seem to want to do anything but sit and watch TV all day long. It seems as though almost on a daily basis he's slowing down more and more. He did express an interest in one of those 3-wheel adult tricycles just this evening. But I just don't know if he'd actually get up out of his recliner every day and go outside and ride it if I wasn't here to prod him.

I will show him your post and see if it might inspire him to try to do more for himself. Sometimes I see him just staring off into space. He went to get out of the car tonight. I came in the house (I drove), 10 minutes later I watched him as he sat there, then got and just stood there, moving so slow I could hardly see him move. He then looked off down the street and I thought maybe he was talking to a neighbor, but no one was out there. All told, it took him almost 20 minutes to come in the house after we got home. I went out 3 times to check on him.
I approached him tonight about not driving anymore. I think he's okay with that, which surprised me. I just don't know what to think.

Last edited by snowfether; 07-12-2008 at 07:56 AM.

 
Old 07-12-2008, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: Husband, 69, congestive heart failure....HELP PLEASE!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowfether View Post
Thank you so much for responding to my post. He has never smoked and hardly ever drank in all our 44 years together. No one else in the household smokes either.
Sounds like a healthy household! Congrats on your 44 years. That's quite an achievement these days.

Quote:
As for his diet, he's diabetic so we eat very healthy around here.
The diet is the most important tool in fighting heart failure, especially when heart failure is compounded by Diabetes. Small portion, balanced meals, stressing foods with a low glycemic index and load glycemic load, have greatly improved my health.

Quote:
He doesn't seem to want to do anything but sit and watch TV all day long. It seems as though almost on a daily basis he's slowing down more and more. He did express an interest in one of those 3-wheel adult tricycles just this evening. But I just don't know if he'd actually get up out of his recliner every day and go outside and ride it if I wasn't here to prod him.
Twice each day, my wife and I put some cds in the player, and then walk for 30 minutes, just listening to the music and talking. We walk from the start of our place, down the hallway to the end of our place, and back, over and over again. We really enjoy it. It's something we can do together.

Quote:
I will show him your post and see if it might inspire him to try to do more for himself. Sometimes I see him just staring off into space. He went to get out of the car tonight. I came in the house (I drove), 10 minutes later I watched him as he sat there, then got and just stood there, moving so slow I could hardly see him move. He then looked off down the street and I thought maybe he was talking to a neighbor, but no one was out there. All told, it took him almost 20 minutes to come in the house after we got home. I went out 3 times to check on him.
I approached him tonight about not driving anymore. I think he's okay with that, which surprised me. I just don't know what to think.
Both heart failure and Diabetes cause excess hormones to be pumped into the body, such as Insulin and those from the Adrenal glands. These hormones, when pumped in excess, can have all kinds of nasty, damaging side effects within our body, including mental confusion and disorientation. Combine these side effect with medication side-effects, and the tiredness he gets from his heart not working correctly, and that could explain some of what your husband has to deal with. One of the most difficult challenges, for me in the past, was pushing myself to exercise, or to do anything, because my health problems were causing me to feel that, any effort was just too much for me. I didn't want to do anything. Mentally, everything was too big a chore for me. Just getting up to get the mail felt like a big effort. Heart Failure and Diabetes plays tricks with your mind.

He is lucky to have such a caring, thoughtful wife. Best of luck with your efforts to help him.
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
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