I am sorry for both of you, but there is no simple answer. The disease trojectory is different for everyone. That said it is a progressive disease and there is no cure. This question can be best answered by her doctor.
Like noheart4me said, there is no simple answer and everyone is different. Heart failure can be acute or chronic. My Dad, who is now 84, was diagnosed with heart failure about 3 years ago. He had heart surgery in July 2008 and today is doing well heart-wise and is able to walk and even go dancing.
How is your Mom's doctor? Does he/she listen well to your questions and concerns and explain things so you both of you understand? If not, my advice would be to get a new doctor. Please keep us posted and let us know how things go. Good luck.
Thank you so much for getting back to me. I get the feeling that her doctors should be telling me more and I don' think they like the fact that I read to get information.
I want to prolong her life as much as I can.
I don't know whether this will help, or not, but I'm 56 years old and have had CHF for about 3 years. The most important part of care is to make absolute postive sure that your mother is prescribed the medication she needs and that it is taken EVERYDAY.
The reason for the CHF has to be determined by her doctors, then the proper medications dispensed. In my case, they started me out on 40 mg. of lasix, 25 mg. Coreg 2x day, 90 mg. Diltiazem 2 x per day. I am now taking 140 mg. of lasix per day, the Coreg and 90 mg of the Diltiazem 3 x days, along with several other medications that have been prescribed along the way.
What can happen if the medication isn't taken everyday is that the lungs can fill up with fluid and cause a mad dash to the hospital for breathing therapy or fluid removal, or both. I can tell you from first hand experience that not taking the medication every day is not an option when you have CHF. It's one of the scariest things in the world to wake up and not be able to tell anyone what is going on because you can't breathe or talk. However, the good news is, IF medication is taken on schedule, the fluid buildup is well controlled. Also, if the fluid is well controlled, then the heart has less strain on it, so it will ultimately last longer. At least that is what my doctors say.
I'm sure my situation is different from your mother, in that I also have End Stage Renal failure, which is helped along with my heart's inability to pump enough blood to keep my kidneys happy. I've also had a virus within the last 3 years that caused my heart to enlarge, and weaken. And, I've suffered a heart attack within the last two months, which is the reason I'm taking such high doses of medication.
Anyway, the bottom line is, get the proper medication and take it regardless of what else is going on in life, and there will be more life to deal with.
I am a 64 year old woman who was diagnosed with CHF 10 years ago due to a virus. I got a pacemake/defib in 2005 and have been doing well. I run 3 miles a day, and lead a very active life. This past Monday however, my doctor who put the pacemaker in said my heart sounded stiff....I am seeing my cardioligist next week to see what this means....but contrary to what some experts say on here that life expectancy is no more than 5 to 10 years...you can prolong life with proper meds and a great doctor.
I am sorry to hear about your Grandmother. My grandmother passed from CHF. I also have dialated Cardiomyopathy and was in Heart Failure at 49 yrs. old, 8 yrs ago.I have been one of the lucky 1/3 if folks that w/the help of the wonder drug Coreg has lived a normal life w/ej of 55-60. I know it will eventually get me if something else doesn't but will keep on kicking as long as there is hope.
No one can answer your question but your doctors have a duty to tell you the truth. I woudl suggest you make a list of questions. However, because of the privacy act, you must be on her list of people that can recieve this information, are you? If you are not authorized by your grandmother to receive medical information regarding her health, I would ask her to put you on the list. She may not be aware this has to be done.
Wishing you the best. Hey Jude
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