The paperwork never ends The Archives
June 16-31, 2002 Archive Index CHFpatients.com

Joe S 6-17     questions about post-surgery wheezing, insomnia & more
 
Michael S' 6-27 reply to Cindy's 6-14     Atacand experience & more
 
Allen V 6-18     what can I take for hay fever?
 
Jon's 6-18 reply to Allen V's 6-18     taking antihistamines with heart failure
 
Dave 6-18     do anyone's feet get sore?
 
Jon's 6-18 reply to Dave's 6-18     foot pain
 
Jon 6-18     those Jon's Place games
 
Steve 6-18     EECP for CHF
 
Jack D's 6-18 reply to Jon's 6-18     ingredient name
 
Mike W 6-19     seek opinions on having cath
 
Elaine 6-19     update and a thank you to all
 
Joe S 6-20     fires too close
 
Linda O 6-22     seek CHF doc in KC
 
Jon's 6-22 reply to Linda O's 6-22     CHF doc in KC
 
Paul P's 6-22 reply to Mike W's 6-19     decision making about cath - my experience
 
Pat L 6-22     blood sugars and foot pain
 
Jon's 6-22 reply to Pat L's 6-22     blood sugars and foot pain
 
Mollie 6-24     a low sodium pasta sauce
 
Kelbert 6-24     falling asleep
 
Derald G 6-25     can't find BP differing on different sides posts
 
Jon's 6-25 reply to Derald G's 6-25     BP differing on different sides posts
 
Barbara 6-25     thanks to all
 
Jon 6-25     stuff
 
Gayle 6-26     seek others with an InSync style pacemaker
 
Patrick 6-26     SSA is withholding my initial Disability payment
 
Jon's 6-26 reply to Patrick's 6-26     my Disability payment experience
 
Craig B 6-26     Dr. Dean Ornish info
 
Jeff H 6-27     seek CHF doc around Phoenix
 
Kathy 6-27     Coreg and low blood pressure and pulse
 
Jon's 6-27 reply to Kathy's 6-27     Coreg and low blood pressure and pulse
 
Michael S' 6-27 reply to Jon's 6-26     getting benefits owed from Social Security for Disability
 
John Len's 6-27 reply to Patrick's 6-26     I had good luck with a patient advocate
 
Jeremy 6-27     seek others with low blood pressure, pulse
 
Tom Riedman 6-27     EECP for treating heart failure
 
Marsha H 6-28     seek advice on swollen hands & wearing rings
 
Pauline B 6-28     seek experiences with amiodarone (Cordarone)
 
Allen V 6-28     blood pressure, Coreg, heart rate questions
 
Pat M 6-29     questions about diagnosis
 
Jon's 6-29 reply to Pat M's 6-29     diagnosis
 
Heather's 6-29 reply to Pauline B's 6-28     amiodarone experience
 
Paul D's 6-29 reply to Marsha H's 6-28     walking style
 
Joe S 6-29     wheezing again, wondering why
 
Jacky's 6-29 reply to Pauline B's 6-28     amiodarone experience


Joe S, June 17, 2002 - Hi, It has now been 14 weeks since my aortic valve was replaced. I believe I am doing a lot better then I was 5 years ago when first diagnosed. My primary problems now are insomnia, nightmares, and wierd thoughts and wheezing when I lie down. Does anyone know if this goes away at the magical 6-month healing time all the docs mention. I only slept 4 hours last night because of wierd thoughts and wheezing. Help! Joe S. jes@gbis.com


Michael S' June 17 reply to Cindy's June 14, 2002 - Hi Cindy and all, I am on Atacand (candesarten cetilexil) for high blood pressure. Although my dosage is lower now because of Coreg and some other meds, I have been taking Atacand for 3 years prior to CHF. My doctor left me on it because I seem to be intolerant to ACE inhibitors, and from what I have read here and on other sites, that is what is done with cases like mine.
     I really don't know if it helps breathing or not. Now, almost a year after being diagnosed, I breathe better than I did. I agree with Jon that how you feel is very important. My cardiologist says I am between class 2 and class 3 heart failure but I feel like a very strong class one to class 2, which is also based on the classes and stages posted on this site. I know that exercising 5 days a week and watching what I eat are big factors in the way I feel. I feel blessed that I am able to do these things today. I tell those I know that I do pretty well for a man that died last July. I also live one day as it comes and am planning to do things, God willing, that I have talked about doing "someday." I now realize that someday never comes. Thanks for letting me ramble and I hope this helps, Michael. mikes@cpros.com


Allen V, June 18, 2002 - Hello everyone, I have a small problem that I need help with. I need to know if I can take any antihistamines. I never had taken any in the past because my hay fever was bearable, but it would seem that my hay fever (only in late spring and all summer) is worse since the diagnosis of my DCM in February 2002. Could it be something to do with Coreg or Altace? I doubt it.
     I purchased Claritin Non-Drowsy 24 hour but I am afraid to take it, even though the pharmicist said it would be fine. I heard that it increases heart rate and blood pressure in some people and I am having a hard time already keeping my systolic pressure low, with an average of 150/74. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless everyone, Allen. allenvicencio@hotmail.com


Jon's June 18 reply to Allen V's June 18, 2002 - Hi Allen, Generally speaking, Benadryl - without anything else, just plain old Benadryl - is okay. However, I suggest that you talk to your CHF doc as well as the pharmacist, and actually have the pharmacist run the ingredients through their computer checker, not just tell you something off the top of his head. ;-) Jon.


Dave, June 18, 2002 - Hi, Does anyone else out there have sore feet due to CHF? ddworak@adventisthealthcare.com


Jon's June 18 reply to Dave's June 18, 2002 - Hi Dave, I am sure you will get replies but you can also see discussions on some Archives pages. I posted here (let it load), and there is plenty of discussion about foot pain throughout The Archives. Jon.


Jon, June 18, 2002 - Hi everyone, I finally got most of my games back online including th tetris clone called Laser Blocks that a lot of people liked. You can find them at Jon's Place at www.jonsplace.org/index.html and just click on the "Games" link. I'll have the other 2 back online (Centipede and Bowling) soon as well, sorry for the delay. Jon.


Steve, June 18, 2002 - Hi, You might be interested in this press release regarding EECP for heart failure. sfraider@aol.com


Jack D's June 18 reply to Jon's June 18, 2002 - Hi, The safe ingredient is called diphenhydramine. Benadryl is the brand name. maddjak@hotmail.com


Mike W, June 19, 2002 - Howdy Folks, I'm a long time member of the board, being diagnosed in 11/97. So far I've done fine, with no Club Med and no emergencies. I have a new cardio doc I've only seen twice but I have an intuitive trust of him and he's a real human being who's willing to talk about pretty much anything.
     This past Monday I had a cardiolite stress test and I called for the results, which were that my film was "clean" but that I had some abnormalities on my EKG, which is normal at rest. He is suggesting that I now have a heart cath. I have pretty much decided not to have it. I won't get to see him to talk about it in detail until next week. However, as a layperson doing my homework, it seems generally accepted that the results of a cardiolite test with nothing abnormal on the film but with an abnormal EKG is considered a "negative" test. Given that, and that I have none of the classic symptoms of blockage such as angina or SOB, I don't believe I'm currently at enough risk to warrant the cath. Frankly, I'm also scared to death of the test, but I believe my reasoning is sound. If anything had shown up on the nuke imaging I would have the test. Does anyone have any similar experience or opinions? Regards, Mike Wafkowski. mikeyw@sohogurus.net


Elaine, June 19, 2002 - Hi, First of all thank you to all who contacted me by e-mail. I was very frustrated over this whole thing and got a few answers from the doctor yesterday. He freely admitted that my CHF came from fluid overload/blood tranfusions during and after my surgery. My EF coming out of ICU was 47% and he will repeat the battery of tests in September to see where we are. He suspects that my cough is not from the Zestril but other problems with fibrosis in my left lung. He put me back on the inhaler I was using a few months ago called Advair and it's helping all ready.
     So for now we just get on with life and do the best we can. Just to have my questions answered helped a great deal. Once again, thank you all, and a big thanks to Jon for this site. ElaineM43@aol.com


Joe S, June 20, 2002 - Hi, Well, I just found out the disadvantage of a high dry climate. I am surrounded by the biggest fire in this area in decades, and that tanker plane crashed just 1/2 mile away from my house. The smoke is causing a lot of problems, not with my heart but my still weak lungs from edema. Oh well, God has protected every home in my little burg of Walker, California, Joe S. jes@gbis.com


Linda O, June 22, 2002 - Hi Jon, I hope your mother in law is doing okay. I wonder if you could share your physician's practice? I have a feeling we will be coming to Kansas City one of these days and we do visit a lot. I am familiar with St. Luke's down on the Plaza. Across the street is a practice of specialists. We used to refer patients there when I worked in the medical field (100 years ago). <g> I just can't remember any names in particular and it really has been a long time ago now so it probably all changed. Linda O. norvalo@clarinda.heartland.net


Jon's June 22 reply to Linda O's June 22, 2002 - Hi Linda, That practice moved to KU. When I refer anyone, I refer them to Dr. Charles Porter at MidAmerica Cardiology, at KU Medical Center, in Kansas. It's within spitting distance of Kansas City, Missouri. St. Luke's still has an excellent cardiology program if you prefer, but Porter is the best CHF specialist in the entire area, in my opinion. That's why he's my doctor. Jon.


Paul P's June 22 reply to Mike W's June 19, 2002 - Hi Mike, I went through a situation a couple of years ago that has some similarities to yours. I was in my early 40s, with a family history of heart disease and stroke, and I had had borderline high blood pressure and high cholesterol for about 8 years at the time. Other than that I was basically healthy. I then started having occasional episodes of dizziness, general weakness, rapid heart beat, and momentary chest pains. I had myself checked out by my regular doctor and then by heart specialists. I had a number of heart tests done and everything looked good. I also took 2 stress tests - a regular treadmill and a cardiolite stress test. I passed the treadmill portion of both tests with flying colors. The cardiolite showed a small anomaly but it was deemed to not be anything.
     Based on this, we focused on stress, anxiety attacks, or esophogeal spasms as the cause of my symptoms. I continued to have symptoms and continued to think that something wasn't right with my heart. My cardiologist recommended a heart cath since it is the surest diagnostic test they can perform. He was concerned and absolutely correct in his determination that I would continue to seriously worry about my heart without the best test possible.
     I agonized over whether or not to have the cath. It is an invasive procedure and does have some risk attached with it. The numbers I have seen are that one in 800 cath procedures have some sort of significant problem during the procedure. I decided to have it done; I was tired of not knowing. I ended up having major blockages in 2 branches off my right coronary artery and a number of other lesser blockages in other places. An angioplasty and stent were done on each of the major blockages. In addition, I learned that I also have coronary arteries that are genetically more narrow than the norm. Lucky me!
     In the last year I've had 2 more heart caths because many of the same symptoms recurred. Everything stayed open and no new blockages have occurred so as it turns out, my symptoms were probably not even caused by my coronary artery problems! Here's my opinion on what I learned from all of this:
     If you show negative on a stress test, it's not a guarantee that you don't have a heart problem, it's just a good probability. If you have other risk factors, the probability of the stress test being a reliable indicator goes down.
     People who don't show classic symptoms may still have a significant heart problem. I'm a case in point. Many people don't have any noticeable symptoms until that first heart attack.
     Doctors know a lot, but I think that all would admit that they're playing percentages with some of the diagnoses that they make. We, as patients, need to be proactive in giving them as much information as possible, being as informed as possible, and actively participating in the diagnostic and health management process.
     Sorry for the long story. I hope it helps. If you do decide to have the cath, make sure that you have it done by someone who has a good reputation and has done many of them. The docs that did mine have done literally 1000s of caths and are both rock-solid. My experience has been that caths aren't that bad. I didn't experience much pain and was up and about within a day or two of the procedure. Hang in there and good luck with whatever you decide. skifree@athenet.net


Pat L, June 22, 2002 - Hi Jon and everyone, I started having bad foot pain about 4 months ago. The cardio doc changed me from Lasix to Demadex as a diuretic so I began taking Demadex each day with 5mg zaroxolyn, and 100mg Aldactone (spironolactone).
     Since then I have had worse foot pain. Several weeks ago, both my feet swelled up really bad around the joint of the big toes, so off to the doc I went again. He said it is gout and prescribed endomethacin, which did reduce the swelling quite a bit. A week later I had routine blood work done for potassium levels and so on. The nurse called me 2 days later and said my potassium was okay but my glucose levels were 216. We rescheduled the test. A week later after fasting 14 hours, my glucose level was 127, so off to see the the doc again. She said it could be diabetes. She also said the foot pain was paresthesis, possible neuropathy, and gave me referrals to 2 more docs. Since I can't get in to see either of them for 5 weeks, I did a search on this site and saw where Jon mentioned "watch out for gout" in the diuretics section of The Manual. I am wondering if all of these problems could be lumped together as related to diuretics. patlat@yahoo.com


Jon's June 22 reply to Pat L's June 22, 2002 - Hi Pat, Raised blood sugars may be caused by Coreg, if you take it. See the introduction at the top of this page, with more about it in the articles further down. Gout can definitely result from long-term diuretic use. Certain other drugs can be given to help with it, though. Off the top of my head, I can't remember what they are but maybe someone who has taken them can send us the names. Jon.


Mollie, June 24, 2002 - Hi, I have to share this. I found an off the shelf pasta sauce that has only 20mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving! It is made in Texas and is called Mother Teresa's. See www.italianfoodmot-teresas.com/. It's probably only available in Texas and nearby states but perhaps she could be pursuaded to market it elsewhere. It tastes great too! Molly.


Kelbert, June 24, 2002 - Hi Jon, Thanks for your web site. Bless you and all those with this condition. Living alone has led me to sleep in a "love seat" in my living room. I lean back in the love seat with my feet on the floor at about a 20 to 30 degree angle so most fluid stays away from my lungs. This really helps. When it's time for me to go to bed I put in a DVD movie from the 60s (I think), called "First Spaceship on Venus" that sends me to sleep. I know this sounds silly but if anyone out there is having a hard time going to sleep, try this movie. I've never seen it entirely because I always fall asleep. If you don't have a DVD and have a VHS, the movie "First Men In the Moon" should give the same results. I've never seen it all the way through either! Sweet dreams to all. Zzzzzzzzz. kta9560925@aol.com


Derald G, June 25, 2002 - Hi Jon, A month or so ago someone asked why his BP was higher on the right side than the left side. You supplied an answer for that, but I sure can't find it and I've used the search engine. Can you direct me or re-reply? deraldg@earthlink.net


Jon's June 25 reply to Derald G's June 25, 2002 - Hi Derald, Start here (let it load). I made a typo which had prevented my site search engine from indexing the right page. I fixed it and have sent a spider to recrawl. ;-) Jon.


Barbara, June 25, 2002 - Hi, I posted a few weeks ago regarding my dad's future and first visit to Atlantic City after he had an ICD/defibrillator implanted. Thank you to all who e-mailed me and posted responses. My dad went and although he broke even monetarily, the trip did wonders for his spirit. Equally important, there was no complication from being around the slot machines, Barbara and her dad John. BarbHutter@yahoo.com


Jon, June 25, 2002 - Hi everyone, A few things: I have deliberately slowed down a lot on my online efforts for awhile due to burnout, mainly from the research I had to do to get the pulmonary hypertension page up. Although I don't think the counter is working, the page is ready to be viewed at www.chfpatients.com/ph.htm. I also put up a new wallpaper I made at Jon's Place at www.jonsplace.org/wallpaper.htm.
     I have had the old insomnia bug lately and am just taking it easier for awhile. I could use some new low sodium recipes because I have been too tired to cook for the past 4 months, so if anyone has a favorite you would like to share with lots of people who need it (the Kitchen Corner section is a busy one!), just e-mail it to me here.
     On the up side, I am only 84 articles behind on my "to do for the site" list! <lol> Jon.


Gayle, June 26, 2002 - Hi all, I am considering the new VRT pacemaker. I was wondering if anyone else has received the pacemaker, Gayle. gmholmes@cris.com


Patrick, June 26, 2002 - Hi, The SSD folks are a bunch of crooks! My disability was okayed in May of last year and I got my first check in June of last year. They owed me over $9,000 in back benefits and they went ahead and paid my attorney his 25% (about $2,300) in July and it took them until October to pay me, but they only paid me the SSI portion of the total monies owed me (total owed was then $6,700). I only received $2,200 with a balance of $4,500 still owed. It has now been 13 months since I was approved and the back payments are still owed me.
     I keep calling them each month and I'd call more often but they tell me when I do that I can only call once every 30 days and if I call more often it doesn't do any good because they can only leave a computer message at the payment center once every month. I get all kinds of lies when I call. Back in late January they told me that they would be contacting me by mail and they have not done so. In February I was told that my check was processed on the 5th of that month and it would take anywhere from 30 to 45 days for me to get it in the mail. I have been calling each month and when the representative looks on the computer's message center bulleten board all it shows is the last time I called.
     I got Medical but they set my share of cost at $554 a month, which in essence is a monthly deductable. My meds for CHF and asthma run about $570 a month, which I can not afford so I have been cutting back and only taking 1/4 of my Coreg and 1/2 of my ACE inhibitor and none of my asthma meds; I'm starting to get worse again. I need my $4,500 so I can buy the meds I need to keep me alive! They don't seem to care if I die. In fact, they probably would like that so they wouldn't have to pay me monthly disability any more. I'm at my wit's end as each representative I speak to will not give me their last name nor will they let me talk to their supervisor so there is no one I can complain to.
     It has been 13 months now that they have owed me the money and I will probably end up dying waiting on it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you and God bless you all, Patrick. NarleyHarleyGuy@webtv.net


Jon's June 26 reply to Patrick's June 26, 2002 - Hi Patrick, I had the same probem after being approved for Diasbility from Social Security. Just call your federal Senators and Congressperson and tell them exactly what is going on. They have a staffer who does nothing but Social Security matters. When that person on my Senators' staff called me the next day, he told me he'd take care of it. Within 48 hours, SSA contacted me and said my check was on its way - and this time, it really was. <g> Jon.


Craig, June 26, 2002 - Hi Folks, Oprah had a fantastic guy (Dr. Dean Ornish) on her show the other day. It was a follow-up show to the "Heart Disease in Women" show a few weeks back. Anyway, Dr. Ornish had some advice I thought was great, and tips, diet ideas and things. You can check out more at www.ornish.com. He really seems to know an awful lot about foods, food groups, and the benefits of diet. It's well worth a look. bayce@optusnet.com.au


Jeff H, June 27, 2002 - Hi, Does anyone know of a good CHF specialist in the Phoenix, Arizona area, preferably one who takes HMO or Medicare? Thanks. jeff@ihot.com


Kathy, June 27, 2002 - Hi, My blood pressure was 117/72 before I took any BP pills. As the day went on my BP got as low as 105/52 with a pulse of 72. At one point it was 96/69 with a pulse of 98. I have just started Coreg and wonder if any of you have the same problems. It leaves me exhausted. I called the doctor and he said to take another 3.125mg pill tonight. I am very worried about my BP. At one point my blood presure dropped so low last month on different pills that my body was beginning to shut down. Thanks for all your help, Kathy. KathyStar2@aol.com


Jon's June 27 reply to Kathy's June 27, 2002 - Hi Kathy, This varies tremendously from one person to the next. The BP my CHF doc likes to see is around 100 over 70 in me, with a pulse not over the high 60s if possible. You see, the artificially low BP and heart rate lets our hearts do whatever healing they can do, and also lets them push more blood with less effort. In a time of extreme CHF, no one could even find my BP for several months, as we pushed my meds to the limit to rest my heart - and it worked. :-)
     Toprol-XL does not lower your BP quite as much as Coreg. This is because Coreg is also an alpha-blocker, meaning it dilates (expands, relaxes) blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure even more; Toprol-XL is a beta-blocker that is not also an alpha-blocker.
     Most CHFers adjust to the lowered blood pressure and over the long-term your blood pressure will probably rise with Coreg use. In my personal opinion, people should try to stick it out and see if they adjust. However, no one should ruin their quality of life in a "wait and see" game. If you really don't think you can handle it, talk to your doctor about using a different beta-blocker.
     Anyhow, that's my 2¢ worth. I am sure you will hear from others (I hope) so you can get some idea of a wide range of possibilities and experiences. Jon.


Michael S' June 27 reply to Jon's June 26, 2002 - Hi, Thanks for your answer to Patrick. After 5 years, SSA said they would send out the balance of what they owed in 45 days. I called back 60 days later and they said they didn't send it out as they owed me nothing. Of course my lawyer left his firm and his replacement said it was not worth pursuing for them. That was 4 years ago, so I am going to call in the feds now. By the way, I am also doing same with the VA. A friend of mine did and they awarded him after denying his. Thanks again. mikestarkeyusa@charter.net


John Len's June 27 reply to Patrick's June 26, 2002 - Hi, I agree with Jon but frankly I had better luck in dealing with my medical equipment woes and Medicare/SSA and my DME provider by getting a patient's avocate from Social Service to go to bat for me. a_lenny6@hotmail.com


Jeremy, June 27, 2002 - Hi, My blood pressure is low because of the drugs Coreg and Zestril but it changes so much that I wonder if others notice this. It ranges from 80 over 35 to 120 over 90. It does not matter what I am doing. It just goes up and down. I have CHF and DCM. My pulse rate stays the same at around 55. Jeremy@online-cad.co.uk


Tom Riedman, June 27, 2002 - Hi all, The FDA just granted marketing clearance for EECP in the treatment of CHF. We are still conducting a multi-center research study for patients with mild to moderate heart failure. If anyone is interested please let me know and I can give you more info. Study candidates need to have an EF of 35% or less. Stay well, Tom Riedman, RN. thomasriedman@yahoo.com


Marsha H, June 28, 2002 - Hi, My hands swell to the point that I have to remove my wedding band when I exercise and also overnight. I watch sodium and fluid intake, and work hard to follow the rules for successfully living with my kinky heart. Any strategies for managing rings (I recently lost my wedding band of 34 years while on my almost daily 2.5 mile walk) would be sincerely appreciated. jeffsmimi@earthlink.net


Pauline B, June 28, 2002 - Hi, Is anyone out there taking amiodarone (Cordarone)? My specialist wants me to start taking this drug because of an episode on my last Holter test. I have read some terrifying information about possible side effects but would like to hear from anyone who has had a positive result from this.
     I'm a 44 year old lady from the UK with DCM and CHF for the past 3 years. Regards to all, Pauline. chloe276@aol.com


Allen V, June 28, 2002 - Hi, I was wondering what a good target BP and pulse would be for someone at 280 lbs with DCM and CHF taking 25mg Coreg BID and 15mg Altace daily. My lowest resting BP and pulse have been 136 over 70 with a pulse of 56, but typically my systolic pressure seems to be the only value that is increasing, sometimes up to 155, while the diastolic stays around the 70 to 80 range and pulse in the 56 to 75 range. I don't understand why my Coreg dose hasn't been increased. Could that be the case?
     When I first started 4 months ago, my BP was extremely low, around the 70 over 50 range for over a month. I remember Jon mentioned that blood pressure rises over time on Coreg. Aside from the numbers I feel fine, but as they say, high blood pressure is the silent killer, especially when you are challenged the DCM/CHF.
     Thank you Jon for the response regarding the antihistamine. I've been taking it and everything seems better, not totally symptom free, but better. Allen. allenvicencio@hotmail.com


Pat M, June 29, 2002 - Hi Jon, My tests came back that I have emphysema with 60% loss of lung function and hypertensive heart disease (LVH). Is there another name for this heart condition? I don't have the test results in my hands yet, but I will get them. Thanks for any info you can tell me about it. God bless everyone, you all are in my prayers as I read each post, Pat M. pmarble@tellico.net


Jon's June 29 reply to Pat M's June 29, 2002 - Hi Pat, I am not a doctor. Hypertensive heart disease just means heart disease caused by chronic high blood pressure, as far I know. LVH generally means an enlarged left ventricle - Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. What may result from that, such as CHF, depends on your particular situation. Emphysema is a respiratory disease about which I know very little. Sorry, Jon.


Heather's June 29 reply to Pauline B's June 28, 2002 - Hi Pauline, My husband Gordon has been on 200mg amiodarone for 2 years with no side effects yet. He feels pretty good. He has DCM and CHF and diabetes. He also has a defibrillator in his chest. He has had DCM for 9 years and has not been able to work since he got sick. We live in Canada but he was born and raised in Coventry, England. I hope this helps you a bit. Take care, his wife Heather. kanegordon@hotmail.com


Paul D's June 29 reply to Marsha H's June 28, 2002 - Hi Marsha, You may want to try holding your arms differently when you walk. Last fall, when I trained to walk a marathon (before my CHF hit me), we learned to hold our arms at a 90 degree bend at the elbow, and swing from the shoulder. Even people with normal hearts find their hands swelling after a few miles of swinging their arms in the regular walking style. The bent-elbow style takes a little while to learn, but soon feels natural and makes a big difference in hand swelling. I hope this helps, Paul. therealpauld@netscape.net


Joe S, June 29, 2002 - Hi, Just when I think I am so much better after the surgery, I start wheezing again just like it was when I was first diagnosed with CHF. My 2 sons and I went 4-wheeling twice this week and went up to about 11,000 feet in the hot sun. Could there be any any connection with that? Of course, I haven't been following my diet like I should. I keep thinking that if they fixed my heart why can't I eat a couple of dill pickles? Oh well, back to the old regimen of no sugar, no salt. Joe S. jes@gbis.com


Jacky's June 29 reply to Pauline B's June 28, 2002 - Hi Pauline, I have been taking amiodarone for 18 months. The only side effect I have is sun sensitivity. I cannot go in the sun unless clothed and sunscreened. This is a problem as I live in Texas! I even got a sunburn in England last year in May! It is a miracle drug for me. I was in permanent bigeminy which affected me physically. Now I only have bigeminy occasionally. Good luck. jackymwb@aol.com


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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