Originally Posted by Luna58
Dad came home on hospice, little to no alertness, shortness of breath, unable to feed himself or walk unassisted. Wanted to have pacemaker turned off so he could pass away.
My sympathies go out to your dad and his family and friends. I've been living with heart failure for over 20 years and it is a nasty disease that NEVER lets me forget that I suffer from it, especially at night when mine gets worse.
They turned off the diffibulator but left the pacemaker on for comfort. He has less than 24 hours to live. Since then has made great improvements. Can eat by himself, is alert when awake, walks unaided to the bathroom. Has made a 180 degree turnaround. Is this normal?
I can't conceive that turning off the defibrillator would have anything to do with the improvement in his symptoms, but I guess that anything is possible.
In my case, when my heart is beating poorly, I feel lousy, and when my heart is beating fairly decent, I feel much better. Perhaps, for some reason, your dad's heart started beating better. There are many things that can irritate a failed heart and make it function worse. If the things that irritate one's heart are avoided, then one can expect improvement in one's symptoms and health.
Or is it a plateau and he will decline again? Should we take him to outpt rehab? We are happy he is doing well but are unsure what this means. Any replys are welcome.
Over the past few years, I would assume, your dad's heart kept getting progressively worse. If something can be done to reverse the trend, then it might be possible to see an improvement.
My failed heart and my health have improved dramatically over the past few years primarily due to a small, frequent eating, low calorie quality diet. When you have heart failure, the body handles calories poorly. If more calories are eaten than the heart and metabolism can handle, it worsens heart failure and health.
I've documented my struggle with Heart Failure in the thread: The four essential steps, that I've taken, that help me live with Heart Failure
at the following link: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=641933
I don't know if anything in that thread could be of any help to your dad, but perhaps there is something there that can be of help.
I hope that your dad continues to improve and continues to feel better. The doctors are not always right.