The paperwork never ends The Archives
Loved Ones - October, 2001 Archive Index CHFpatients.com

Phyllis E's 10-1 reply to Jon's 9-29     Medicare question
 
Jon's 10-1 reply to Phyllis E's 10-1     Medicare part B
 
Connie 10-1     is sleeping all the time normal?
 
Jon's 10-1 reply to Connie's 10-1     sleeping a lot
 
Jennifer's 10-1 reply to Jon's 9-29     good news update, thanks & more
 
Kat R 10-1     post-surgery infection question
 
Roseanne S 10-2     update on Charlie
 
Suzy Coulter 10-3     oxygen and traveling problem
 
Roy 10-8     question about starting more supplements for CHF
 
Brenda T 10-8     questions about post-transplant weight & rejection
 
Rita 10-10     scared about my dad
 
Ted K 10-10     how do I get my mom a CHF specialist?
 
Kat R 10-10     question about traveling
 
Kim S 10-15     can my mom travel? & more
 
Roseanne S 10-16     scare - living with an LVAD & more
 
Erica J 10-16     worried about that 5 year statistic
 
Kat R 10-17     update, note about diabetes
 
Kim S' 10-17 reply to Erica's 10-16     statistics & more
 
Sindy S 10-18     seek CHF doc in San Antonio, Texas
 
Kim S' 10-18 reply to Sindy S' 10-18     CHF docs in San Antonio & update on mom
 
Karen S' 10-19 reply to Kim S' 10-15     our experience & more
 
Kim's 10-20 reply to Karen S' 10-19     some caregiving questions
 
Brenda 10-23     need advice about my mom
 
Jon's 10-23 reply to Brenda's 10-23     I hope others also reply
 
Lisa's 10-27 reply to Kim S' 10-20     I hope others also reply
 
Janet 10-27     thanks, meds & meals and more
 
Davida S' 10-27 reply to Kat R's 10-10     driving
 
Davida S' 10-27 reply to Brenda's 10-23     helping your mom
 
Davida S' 10-27 reply to Kim's 10-20     helping your mom
 
Mandi 10-30     could sure use some advice
 
Jon's 10-30 reply to Mandi's 10-30     clots and stress testing
 
Jon 10-31     if your e-mail address begins with www.


Phyllis E's October 1 reply to Jon's September 29, 2001 - Hi Jon, I was without a computer for about 9 months. The first place I checked was you guys. I am so glad so many are doing well. My husband got approved for company disability after a lot of hard work. Praise Jesus! Now we have been dealing with SSD. Both the insurance company and SSA and us lost paper work in the mail a total of 5 times. It has finally gotten to the state and we are starting all over again. My question, which I can't find anywhere is, "when you get approved and are on SSD, how long is it to get Medicare part A?" I know Medicare part B is 2 years. We make too much money to qualify for SSI but Cobra is costing almost $500 per month. We can pay for the medicine with that when it ends, but a hospital visit could wipe us out.
     Thanks so much for still being here. My hubby has really cut down on his drinking and is trying to stay on a diet. He actually feels better than I do some days and to my knowledge I do not have CHF. Phyllis E. phernsberger@peoplepc.com


Jon's October 1 reply to Phyllis E's October 1, 2001 - Hi Phyllis, If you paid into the SSA fund enough to qualify, after 2 years of approved Disability you get Medicare Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you have to pay extra for it, and the premium will be deducted from your monthly SSA check. You'll need to talk to SSA about setting that up.
     I also pay for my old health insurance, even though under Cobra I am no longer guaranteed that option. My Union allows me to do so. The premium eats up most of my Union disability pension but it provides me with an excellent third insurance coverage and my only drug coverage. Bummer, ain't it?! Jon.


Connie, October 1, 2001 - Hi Jon, I'm posting this question for a caregiver. Is continuous sleeping a common symptom in a CHF patient who is possibly approaching end-stage? jimcon@ncounty.net


Jon's October 1 reply to Connie's October 1, 2001 - Hi Connie, It is not unusual in severe CHF for someone to sleep a lot. Jon.


Jennifer's October 1 reply to Jon's September 29, 2001 - Hi Jon, I'm out here. I've just been looking around. I found your site 3 weeks ago when my mom was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She had been rushed to the hospital for pelvic problems and she had tumors in her bladder, ovaries, uterus and colon. Then they discovered her heart problem. The doctors didn't know how much time she had left.
     My mom is only 52 and I was faced with her imminent death. It was so devastating. I looked for information and support everywhere. Your site has been such a blessing for me. The doctors wanted to wait 2 weeks to operate on my mom so she could get stronger. She needed multiple blood transfusions and she was weak from losing 50 pounds very rapidly. The surgery was this past Friday, 9/28. The whole family gathered because we didn't know if she would survive the surgery.
     The doctors ran more tests on her heart first, to see if she was strong enough for surgery. Many tests later they told us that her cardiomyopathy was gone! Her heart is normal! They are baffled and keep calling it bizarre. Also, when they operated, there were no tumors anywhere, just a small abscess on an ovary, which they removed. They cannot explain why her health recovered so quickly and completely.
     I felt funny posting here because I know that most cardiomyopathies do not reverse themselves. I don't want to cause anyone else any distress. However, you might want to consider adding some information on "septic" cardiomyopathy. Apparently, it turns out that this is what my mom had and it's caused by an infection. It might be a glimmer of hope to someone.
     Thank you for all you do. Just because you may not hear from everyone, you have no idea how many people lurk at your site and come away informed and comforted. May God bless you and strengthen you and grant you peace and joy. Your sister in Christ, Jennifer. merebear@ivillage.com


Kat R, October 1, 2001 - Hi, Just another update and question. My fella had profuse bleeding from his incision after the bypass. He returned to the hospital and it was discovered that he had an infection in the incision and a clot in one of the drain tube holes. They did surgery and he still has a large gaping incision in his chest. Has anyone else had this happen? His incision has been open for about 2 weeks. I'm just wondering what could have caused an infection like that overnight. Any ideas? Kat. krohrer@jacobsmarketing.com


Roseanne S, October 2, 2001 - Hi All, Just an update on my husband Charlie. He is home (after 15 weeks) on a Heartmate LVAD and a dobutamine drip. He needs to gain strength and weight before heart transplant. He is 1A on the transplant list. The good news for him is that they told him to eat anything he wants, including potato chips and ice cream. Thanks to all for the prayers and blessings, Roseanne. rschurick@seidata.com


Suzy Coulter, October 3, 2001 - Hello Everyone, Thank you again Jon, for this site. I do read it every day. I have a question regarding travel. We are flying across country in a couple of weeks. My CHF guy uses oxygen 24/7. We are very pleased with the supplier for regular use. However, when I began to make plans for the trip, what a nightmare! We can't bring the helois on the plane, the airline has to pack and ship it. They will provide oxygen. However our vendor resisted coming to the airport with an L20 tank and wanted to charge $100 each to deliver it and pick it up, which they won't do on Sunday. I finally had it delivered to the hotel.
     So, from the deplaning to the shuttle for the rental car and the trip to the hotel about half an hour away, my husband will be without oxygen. I'm very aggressive, but I can't fix this one. Any ideas? Prayers for all of you, Suzy. sskbc@optonline.net


Roy, October 8, 2001 - Hi everyone, I've been having problems with a decision and would value your thoughts. Mum has CHF, which at the moment (thank goodness and touch wood) is well compensated with regular meds and multi-vitamins. From reading a nutritional guide I realise that taking extra supplements (with ingredients similiar to those in MyoVive) could be useful. Part of me wants to ask mum to start taking these vitamins, minerals and higher levels of Q10 (at the moment she is taking 30mg), and the other part is scared in case they interact with the regular meds and mum's CHF worsens. Should I leave things as they are, or should I try and improve mum's health more? Any comments would be appreciated. Best wishes to all, Roy. roy_karia@hotmail.com


Brenda T, October 8, 2001 - Hi Jon and all, I appreciate this site so much! It has helped our family so much during the last several months. My father had a heart transplant on September 2, 2001 and is doing great. He has had 4 biopsies and all have shown zero rejection. Is this normal or extraordinary? Is this typical or not?
     I'm not complaining, believe me, but am just curious as to whether other transplant patients have had such great results. Also, my dad is having a hard time gaining weight. Pre-transplant, he lost 40 pounds and now he's having a hard time getting around because his legs are so skinny and weak. I'm afraid of him falling down and hurting his new heart. Is this typical of new transplant patients to have such a hard time gaining weight? Take care everyone, and God bless. bjt64@aol.com


Rita, October 10, 2001 - Hello all, I thank God I found this site! My dad is very, very sick and I am so upset. He has a very bad heart but I'm not real sure if it is CHF. He has had bypass surgery 2 times and in January of this year had a massive heart attack and was on life support for over 30 days. He made it though and he is home now since March. I have noticed in the past few days that he is going downhill fast. His left side seems to stay swollen, mostly his left foot and leg. Last night I noticed his left arm was swollen. He is the type that will not talk about his illness. He goes to the doctor then won't tell anyone what she said. It drives me crazy. I do know that his heart is only at 15% and he doesn't have long to live. He seems to have a very hard time breathing. I can hear him wheeze.
     He is only 65 years old and before this all happened he owned his own business, traveled a lot, and fished a whole lot, but now he only sits at home. He has had to quit work completely and can only drive under 20 miles. He does walk some and drives to the Home Depot and walks. He has quit smoking.
     I am so scared. I am a daddy's girl and I can't imagine my life without him. He is home right now and I know he is wheezing right now and he won't go to the doctor. He said he is tired of doctors and I know that he is but he can't just stay there and die! I want him to fight this and to want to live. I really think he wants to die and he is ready to die. He is sick of being sick. Thanks for listening. I am just so scared! annietn34@hotmail.com


Ted K, October 10, 2001 - Hi, My 87 year old mother has CHF and had an angioplasty several months ago. She takes CHF medicines. Today she doesn't hurt or ache or have any greatly pronounced symptoms. What she does have is a general feeling of fatigue. She feels "limp." Her arms feel like weights to her. She goes to her PCP and he doesn't seem to understand her fatigue. I am wondering how hard it would be get a CHF specialist to look at her treatment and possibly make adjustments to her medicines. How would I go about getting her a CHF specialist to take over her treatment? She lives in the Cleveland Ohio area, has health insurance but her financial resources are not great. tjkitsos@home.com
 
Jon's note: See this page


Kat R, October 10, 2001 - Hi, Now that my fella has had all of his surgeries (bypass, implant, and 2 surgeries on his infected incision) and is finally on the road to recovery, I am wondering about traveling. Because of all of these setbacks and now being on insulin, how will all of this impact his traveling? The trip will be by car. I know that this will really be up to the doctor to decide, I just wanted a little feed back. The actual bypass was in early September. Thanks, Kat. krohrer@jacobsmarketing.com


Kim S, October 15, 2001 - Hi, My Mom was just rushed to the hospital Sunday afternoon, and we found out she's been diagnosed with CHF. I've spent the last 5 hours researching it online, and I'm so glad I've found this site. She's been having trouble with swollen calves, trouble breathing, and waking at night unable to breathe for about a month, but she's been too stubborn to go to the doctor. She's also been increasingly exhausted for about the past year. She's only 60 and she has a cruise planned to the Virgin Islands in 3 weeks. Do y'all think it's safe for her to go? I'm completely terrified about all this and just don't know what to do. Thanks for any advice, Kim. KimSeaton2000@yahoo.com


Roseanne S, October 16, 2001 - Hi, We had a bit of a scare over the weekend. My husband's controller came unscrewed from the LVAD - not a good thing! He started to pass out as soon as it disconnected. Had I not been beside him, he would not be here today. We learned a number of lessons from this experience:
Check the connection daily! The only thing keeping him alive is the LVAD. Most importantly, we learned to enjoy and appreciate every day God gives us together. Give your loved one a hug and say I love you. Prayers and blessings to all, Roseanne. rschurick@seidata.com


Erica J, October 16, 2001 - Hi, My mother has CHF. We just found out that she had it about a month ago. Her heart is not enlarged so I guess that's a good thing. The doctor says that her heart is almost functioning normally but she still has CHF. I'm thinking it is a mild case. She eats healthy and sticks to her diet and everything but reading some of the messages posted on this site is really scaring me - the 5 year thing. When I asked my mom's nurse how long can she live with CHF, she replied to me forever. Does the 5 year thing depend on how bad you have it? If someone could give me their input about this I will be very grateful. God bless all. ericajackson@hotmail.com
 
Jon's note: See this post. Let it load and it will go right to the correct post


Kat R, October 17, 2001 - Hi, Just an update on my fella. He has had a lot of surgeries in the past few months but is doing extremely well. One thing we did find out from the surgeon is that diabetes, mainly his high blood sugar counts, contributed to his needing a bypass. I am thinking that if he and his PCP had been more diligent in keeping his blood sugar under control, perhaps this would not have happened. Since the bypass, he has been on insulin and his blood sugar is way down and he is feeling a lot better. I just wanted to mention this for others with diabetes. The insulin injections are not as bad as he thought they would be, and he feels better now that his blood sugar count is in the normal range, Kat. krohrer@jacobsmarketing.com


Kim S' October 17 reply to Erica's October 16, 2001 - Hi Erica, My Mom was just diagnosed with CHF 3 days ago, so I'm still in shock and panic-mode; but I've decided (after pouring over this site and others for hours) that the 5-year-thing is hooey. CHF has too many different underlying causes and factors that affect post-diagnosis functioning and recovery. One statistic about survival rates is meaningless. Our moms are young, take good care of themselves, and will hopefully get great care and effective medicine from their doctors.
     I just got married 5 months ago and my mom doesn't have any grandchildren yet, so I'm not ready to even think about her passing. I know I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure she continues to live a good, long time! I live a long way away from her, which is very difficult, but I've already shipped her a ton of info including The Manual, and 4 books (Dr. Silver's book, one called "A Stronger Pump" and a couple of low-sodium cookbooks. Hang in there and best of luck to you and your mom! Kim. KimSeaton2000@yahoo.com


Sindy S, October 18, 2001 - Hi, I'm interested in someone referring me (my mother) to a doctor that specializes in CHF in the San Antonio, Texas area. She was diagnosed with CHF (EF of 30) this weekend after being admitted to a hospital there with chest pains. She is out of the hospital and on meds, and has a follow-up with the doctor that saw her in 4 weeks. However, she doesn't like this doctor at all. His bedside manner is terrible, he is rude to her and he refuses to answer any questions. He informed her that her condition was caused by alcohol use but my mother has never consumed alcohol nor has she smoked. When she told him this, he gave some response like, "Sure, you don't drink." When she assured him that she doesn't, he said, "Well, then it's just bad luck," and walked out of the room. She is dreading going to see him again, but when I contacted a CHF specialist in San Antonio, they told her they refer patients to the same doctor she doesn't like, and they won't accept her as a new patient. She needs a new doctor, one she's comfortable with. Any suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated, Sindy S. sindysanders@mindspring.com


Kim S' October 18 reply to Sindy S' October 18, 2001 - Hi Sindy, I just sent you a personal e-mail before I read this post. Jon has a listing of CHF specialists by area. San Antonio has two: Dr. Roberta Bogaev at 210-692-1414, and Dr. Manuel Garcia at 210-271-3203. This is the most efficient and well-managed site I've seen - all the links work quickly and consistently.
     The latest update on my Mom is not good. Her cardiac cath this morning revealed no blockages but a very damaged heart. Idiopathic cardiomyopathy? They're going to try Coreg, Altace, and Lasix to see if they help. Best wishes to everyone out there, Kim. KimSeaton2000@yahoo.com


Karen S' October 19 reply to Kim S' October 15, 2001 - Hi, On a cruise in December of 2000, my husband spent a day in the infirmary. He was released to our cabin with a diagnosis of "chest pain." The ship's doctor told us that if my husband did not improve, he would be taken ashore at the next port and hospitalized there. The remainder of the cruise was uneventful, but about 3 weeks later his heart ruptured, requiring emergency open-heart surgery. We wonder if the heart attack had been diagnosed correctly on the cruise (and treatment started) if the rupture could have been prevented. You are fortunate to have found this site so quickly. There is much to be learned here. gstilley@hotmail.com


Kim's October 20 reply to Karen S' October 19, 2001 - Hi Karen, That must have been so frightening, being far from home and feeling as rotten as your husband must have felt. I am so thankful for all the advice and support I've received from this site! After the cardiac cath, Mom's doctor has forbidden her to go on the cruise, or return to work any time soon. Her EF is 15%, so things are pretty uncontrolled right now. I'm going to stay with her from 10/25 to 11/11. I won't have easy access to the Internet. Yikes. Does anyone have any advice about things I should do for her while I'm there, or not do for her? Thanks so much, Kim. KimSeaton2000@yahoo.com


Brenda, October 23, 2001 - Hi, I have been so blessed to find Jon's Place. I hope you will read through my rambling and offer any advice you have. My mom has been living with CHF for 14 years come January. I have lived away from home for about 13 1/2 years.
     2 1/2 months ago she was hospitalized with pneumonia and her electrolytes being out of whack. She sounded like she was on her death bed, literally. She was so short of breath it scared me. I live in Illinois and this year I decided to home school my children - a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to go see her and help around the house until she felt better, leaving behind my very understanding husband and 115 pound Labrador that my neighbor attends to while he is working.
     I came down September 1 and am still here. She seemed to be getting better. She wasn't gasping for air, although she was using oxygen all night and needing it while at the store. Her heart rate begin to increase and she was prescribed digitek. At about the same time she began to take Coreg (having nausea for about a week). The nausea stopped. A few weeks later the dose of Coreg was increased and the nausea came back and didn't go away. She had diarrhea (water) and no appetite for 1 1/2 weeks.
     We went in again to see the doctor, who ran blood tests and told me the results were okay but the blood count was a little low so she made an appointment for my mom to see an blood doc. He told her that her blood count was more than a little low (14 is good and hers was 10). Sometimes I don't know who to believe. How could the diagnosis differ? He was giving her procrit and IV iron to help the blood. The doctor also sent her to a pulmonary specialist for the fluid problem. Days before, she had a chest x-ray which showed no fluid in her lungs.
     Along with having diarrhea, she had been gaining weight but with no swelling in her ankles like usual when she gains weight or retains fluid. He put her on an additional diuretic. October 7 she wasn't feeling well. Her pulse was in the low 40s and she had low blood pressure all day. We called the doctor and got the one on call. He said if you need to, go to the hospital. Of course, my mom waited until Monday. She stopped taking the digitek and Coreg, and her nausea stopped. She blames the Coreg.
     Monday, she had more blood work done. The doctor said everything was fine but that my mom should see see a GI specialist about the nausea. Of course, the doctor wants to know why she's come to see her (because of the nausea and wants to know what's causing it). She looks at the blood work from the day before and says, "You're also here about your kidney problem?"
     Our mouths hit the floor dumbfounded. I couldn't believe that the cardio doctor didn't know there was a problem with her kidneys. She says she needed to admit my mom to the hospital to get them straightened out and got a kidney specialist to see her. She was in the hospital from Tuesday evening and was released the following Sunday morning. The whole time she was in there she was either low on magnesium or potassium. When we asked the cardiologist about the low heart rate and low blood pressure he denied that it ever happened, even though everyone who took vitals for 36 hours asked if we realized her heart rate was low and blood pressure low.
     Of course this is just putting more stress on mom. I have no clue why he would say it didn't happen or think that it didn't make a difference. Mom has been home a week and is very tired. She nods off all the time whether in the chair or in the car. She hasn't been away from the house, not even to grocery shop. She only pays a visit for blood work. Even then they weren't concerned. In the hospital, she was still getting magnesium the day she left. Mom was concerned and wanted her levels checked. I recently spoke to another CHF specialist found on Jon's site. She seemed to care about mom and what she could do for her. My concern for mom is that she thinks doctors just want to use the newest drug on her without telling her what to expect. I tell her that these treatments react differently with everyone but that something out there is bound to help her. She just needs to keep trying.
     She says she can't be sick all the time from the meds; that that's no life and hard on everyone. I tell her that unless she tries, she can't do anything and that's no life. I've heard of Natracor. The side effects seem few if any. Has anyone tried it? Getting mom to try it is like pulling teeth. I know I must sound so insensitive. I care very much for my mom or I wouldn't have traveled 17 hours and stayed 7 weeks but my life goes on. I don't mean to sound selfish but I don't think she is going to get much better without other treatment. I'm thinking, how long will she go on?
     I need lots of prayer. Please pray for my mom Janet. I encourage her almost every day to see another doctor and try another treatment but with no success. Is anyone out there going through this? Thanks for listening! jnj@gvtc.com


Jon's October 23 reply to Brenda's October 23, 2001 - Hi Brenda, I am only going to address the more technical aspects so I hope some caregivers can write with their experience dealing with mothers. <g>
     First, I didn't see any indication of selfishness on your part so I won't even go into that. Your concerns are real and well founded. My main comment is simple although putting it into practice may not be. She needs to find a good CHF doc and a PCP who is right for her. This is always a big topic for those with heart failure, as can be seen from the posts on the CHFers' side.
     While it may take awhile to find the right doctors, it helps in dealing with all those conflicting specialists, especially if the CHF doc is part of a teaching hospital. At such a medial center different specialists are used to working together instead of each treating the patient and ignoring anything outside their own specialty. With a good PCP and heart failure doc, often some specialists are eliminated altogether. Your mom simply has too many doctors each treating a piece of her instead of looking at her as a person. The right doc will take care of that. It is, of course, up to her to make the effort. It can be tough to find the right doc but the difference it makes in quality of life is staggering.
     Natrecor is IV only and is only used in acute cases of decompensated CHF. It is not a drug to be taken on a regular basis. inotropes are a possibility, but honestly I think a good CHF doc could make a world of difference in your mom with properly applied standard meds if she doesn't stop and start meds or change doses on her own. Jon.


Lisa's October 27 reply to Kim S' October 20, 2001 - Hi Kim, My dad has dilated cardiomyopathy, similar to what your mom has. His ejection fraction is around 20% right now. We have had our share of scares. We almost lost him in Januar. He was in cardiac arrest twice and had an ICD implanted.
     I am a total daddy's girl and so thankful he is still with us. He takes a variety of meds that seem to work well for him. They are Accupril, amiodarone (Cordarone), digoxin (Lanoxin), K-Dur, metotoprol, furosemide, Glucotrol for diabetes, and now Coumadin. The best advice I have is to watch your mom's diet - no sodium! Try to get her to walk some, but when she gets tired, let her rest. My dad's doc tells him to rest before and after every meal and any exertion. I wish you the best of luck. I also highly recommend getting CoEnzyme Q10 from the nutrition store and L-carnitine; they have both helped my dad a lot. By the way, he was diagnosed 7 years ago and is still going strong! Good luck! zeigler@zbzoom.net


Janet, October 27, 2001 - Hi, I just have to say thanks for your site! As a spouse, I always have someplace to go to read about my husband's VT and CHF conditions. He's still on Mexitil and Coreg with the usual warfarin. The consistency of "meals and meds" make a difference in the reaction he gets. He needs the full meal to help minimize the effects of the drug. At this time, also, he refused amiodoarone. Thank God for your site, Janet. janetajones@yahoo.com


Davida S' October 27 reply to Kat S' October 10, 2001 - Hi, In regards to car rides so "soon," if he is doing the driving he will probably feel fatigued sooner from the combination of meds and the ongoing healing process. I don't know about anyone else but even after a cold is gone it's about a week or two before I feel like my old self completely. If he is a passenger, I don't see any major concerns other than needing to get out and walk a bit to strecth his legs and get the blood circulating to ease any swelling in his legs. If he is doing the driving, I suggest he not do it alone because it may turn out to be a long trip on him and at least someone could share the driving. cavalier_1@msn.com


Davida S' October 27 reply to Brenda's October 23, 2001 - Hi Brenda, I echo Jon regarding getting another doctor. I don't mean to scare you but I feel like I lost my mom sooner than I had to because of an insensitive doctor who was not thorough. With this in mind, it's unfortunate that she is so far away. Are there any siblings close by or who can share the caregiving with you? Your mom needs some mental support and encouragement. You are doing your best but it's obvious you are limited alone and you do have a family. Is it even conceivable that she move to your area of the map?
     CHF in most cases is manageable enough to make most patients comfortable. The meds do tucker you out, coupled with CHF. My husband's doctor has proclaimed him healed and all his heart tests come back normal. His EF is in the 50s. If he maintains this great heart function he will be weaned off his meds next year. He already has reduced his Lasix and takes no more potassium but his meds make him sleepy/tired. Moms are so set in their ways from years of experience.
     Please try and appeal to the side of her that wants to feel better again because there are so many combinations of meds, and the right doctor will work with her to find the right combination. Based on your mom's attitude, she can't go to the docs alone because you may not get a straight story. If she must go alone, make sure you follow up with a call to her doctor. You may need your mom's permission first. Most importantly, pray for guidance and pray that she will receive the guidance and encouragement she needs. cavalier_1@msn.com


Davida S' October 27 reply to Kim's October 20, 2001 - Hi Kim, Do all you can for her; encourage her to let you pamper her, even if it is just to get a glass of water. Allow her this time to recoup and heal mentally, physically and spiritually. Find out what the doctor recommends for exercise, if any. Just help her follow the docs' recommendations and learn to take care of herself with CHF.
     I did everything for my husband that he allowed me to do in the beginning, but as he got stronger it was a struggle that I have to respect. Even now, if I see he's had a long day, I try to do as much as I can for him. Keep her on a very low sodium diet. Preparing meals for her is a fantastic way to assist. Under no condition are you to add salt to anything. Shop low sodium and help her get used to shopping for low sodium items. Lots of fruits and fresh veggies are great fillers. cavalier_1@msn.com


Mandi, October 30, 2001 - Hi, My boyfriend, who is 30 years old, had a brain aneurism 3 years ago which lead to an infection in his heart, which then resulted in him having heart surgery, leaving him with 2 mechanical valves in his heart.
     Last week he was scheduled to have a stress test. When he arrived, they gave him an echocardiogram and seemed to think there was a blood clot in his heart. He is already taking Coumadin. Anyway, he was not able to take the test. I guess I am frustrated because they could not give him any answers on what his next step should be. All they said was he may have a blood clot and he could not perform the test.
     Well, now he is scheduled to have a Vo2 test next week. What is the difference between a stress test and a Vo2 test? If he has a blood clot, how can they find out for sure? If he has a blood clot, what could happen? I started dating him about 4 months ago and I feel clueless. I want to support him and I am trying like mad to understand everything that is going on so any insight would be so helpful for me and my state of mind right now. Thanks. mandi@streetmktg.com


Jon's October 30 reply to Mandi's October 30, 2001 - Hi Mandi, If he cannot take a stress test due to a clot in his heart, he certainly should not be taking a Vo2max test, which is every bit as strenuous as a stress test, and more dangerous than a chemical stress test by far in such a situation, I would think.
     I would guess that many docs would try dissolving that clot through an IV drug therapy and wonder why they are not doing that prior to any sort of exercise test. Jon.


Jon, October 31, 2001 - Hi, This is to everyone who is using an e-mail address starting with www.. Please switch to a standard e-mail address so I can put up your posts. The beginning www. indicates a hypertext address, which cannot properly be used as an e-mail address, only as a web page Url. Thanks, Jon.


All information on this site is opinion only. All concepts, explanations, trials, and studies have been re-written in plain English and may contain errors. I am not a doctor. Use the reference information at the end of each article to search MedLine for more complete and accurate information. All original copyrights apply. No information on this page should be used by any person to affect their medical, legal, educational, social, or psychological treatment in any way. I am not a doctor. This web site and all its pages, graphics, and content copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Jon C.

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