Congestive Heart Failure Community
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667923 tn?1421466324

scared-do I have cardiac edema?

Hello to all,
     I am sorry to bother yall, but have a question concerning me swelling so badly. My abdomen is huge as if I am ready to deliver and have been that way for @ 6mos. to a yr., but my ankles here lately have gotten so big. They are almost 3 or 4 times there normal size. I was told by someone that they thought it might be cardiac edema. I am so concerned since I do have some chest pain. It is right under my left breast and sometimes I can barely touch it. It is really sensitive and it scares me. I do smoke and am trying to quit, but if anyone here has knows how hard it is. I really want to, but I don't know why. Anyway, I am worried because I can actually push in my skin and it stays for over 10 seconds. The feeling I get around my heart area feels like a stinging kind of pain. I am 44 and I weigh 192 and that is mostly because of Lyrica, I believe. I am trying to get off it, but have severe nerve damage. I believe also I have a SCI( Spinal Cord Injury), due to having an ESI(Epidural Steroid Injection), I was hit while having the ESI and I jumped on the table and ever since I have had nerve problems. I do have pain so severly in my legs,especially underneath my knees and it runs up my thigh. I didn't want to worry anyone, but this stuff is pretty scary and have been dealing w/it and it is so hard to get into see a doc. I have had Medicaid for the past 1 and a half, but now have Cigna and am suppose to go see a great NS soon. I just don't want to die in the meantime. I do feel that way. I do worry @ it and I would love to get some response to see what you all think. I am sorry for what is happening to you guys and I will pray for you. I know it must be difficult to go through what you do. May the Lord be with you. If you can give me anything on it, I would appreciate it so much. I can't even wear socks..they hurt and leave rings and indentions. I do have indentions also that stay in my legs. I don't know what has caused it, but they are rings around my legs in some places. I have severly painful legs and I am so swollen in my whole body. I know I need to eliminate the Lyrica..on it. Tomorrow I should start down to the 75mg instead of 150 which is a start. Then I am going to take Topamax. I hope that one will help w/the nerve pain...I will just have to stand it until I get to see the NS.
I wish the best for all of you and hope that I hear from some of you..Best of wishes and always...GOD BLESS..Karen
24 Responses
Avatar universal
First of, I am NOT a doctor.  However, I have been through the horrible swelling you're talking about.  It went on for about 7 months before I finally decided to heck with going into debt, I had to find an answer, so I went to the doctor.

What I have is diagnosed as Congestive Heart Failure, and it is treated with lasix, along with medication for high blood pressure.  IF you do not get medical attention, you are right, you may die.  I don't want to scare you, but let you know that you ARE in danger and NEED to get attention ASAP.  

What can happen is even worse than what you are now going through.  If left unchecked the swelling can go to your lungs and make it extrememly hard to breathe, if you are able to draw a breath at all.  After two years of living with CHF, I was rushed to the hospitl with lungs that were experiencing a total whiteout on xray, which meant they were completely full of fluid.  It was really scarey when I awoke from a nap and was unable to breath.  So, when you do get lasix, TAKE IT without fail.

Also, since I waited for 7 months to see a doctor(no health insurance), I now will live the rest of my life with a weaken, enlarged heart, and probably won't have near the lifespan I should have had.

Besides the lasix, you will need to cut salt out of your diet, and work on trying bring your weight down.

The good news is...if you get to the doctor and get some lasix, you will lose several pounds in the first week of using it.  I lost almost 40 pounds, and several pant sizes just from taking the lasix....it felt so GOOD.  Of course that is ONLY if you do have CHF....

I hope this helps.


Chris F.
Avatar universal
i have this same type swelling and have gained 20lbs in last 4 months/all the heart test and scans show normal,I have terrible chest pains/dizziness,confusion,cough up some blood ,my heart rate is in the low 50's. What test determined your CHF ?
Avatar universal
There wasn't any one test that determined CHF, it was the symptoms I had.  The fluid build up was the first clue, then I went through a 3 day stay at one of the largest cardiac hospitals in the US, where I was hooked up to 24/7 monitors, and my heart readout showed a constant heart attack.  After the 3rd day of running into my room, thinking I was dying, my doctors finally relaxed and called it CHF, which covers a lot of different symptoms, but which means your heart isn't pumping properly, or strong enough to pull the fluid out of your lower body, hence the Congestive part(a real understatment when you experience it) of the name, and since your heart is responsible for doing the pumping, and it's "failing" to do so, then the name of the affliction is called Congestive Heart Failure.

If left unchecked, the results can be devastating, or life threatening, as the Congestion builds up to the point of filling your lungs, and making it impossible to breathe, or talk, or, as in my case, your heart becomes enlarged, and weak and the amount of lassix it takes to do the job increases, and the BP meds increase, and the hospital stays become an expected part of your life.

If you look up CHF online, it will scare the daylights out of you.  It will tell you that your life expectancy is about 6 months.  I've had CHF for over 2 1/2 years and I'm still going, so don't just give in, but DO get a doctor who knows about CHF, and get what you need to take care of the swelling before it takes care of you.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the info. The local ER has all but told me not to come back because their EKG's & Blood work show nothing .The pain is in the left chest area also is under my arm & neck . my head has a numb tingly feeling and it is unbearable when I lay down. The lack of  health insurance  has caused me to spend all of my savings. I have never smoked and quit drinking completely 5 months ago when these symptoms came on. I have been turned down for medicaid because i have more than 1 vehicle although only 1 runs . I have 6 dependants ,a 16 yr old daughter,a13 yr old daughter,a 9 yr old son ,a 6 yr old son and a beautiful 35 yr old wife,I try not to act sick around them but whatever this is has worn me down.I have my own business and pay outrageous amounts for workers comp and liability but have never been able to afford health insurance ,I don't know what to do
Avatar universal
I know exactly where you are coming from.  I was without insurance when I landed in the hospital the first time from the CHF.  The bill was well over $50,000.00.  Then, after I was diagnosed, it was next to impossible to attain health care insurance due to pre-existing, and I didn't/do not qualify for anything.  I now pay almost $600/mo for insurance, and pay off the CHF bills as I can.  Putting food on the table is tough now days.

Instead of going to ER, have you tried going to a family doctor and telling them what is going on with you?  This isn't something that you can let go, and hope it gets better, it only gets worse if left untreated.

I know of a woman who was engaged to be married to one of my husband's Legion brothers, and she had CHF which she tried to ignore in hopes it would get better.  She ended up dying in the ER, while the ER staff were trying to decide to/or not take a long needle, insert it into her lungs and remove the fluid enough for her to be able to breathe.  She, in effect, drowned in her own body fluids.  Personally, I can't think of a worse way to die.  However, I've been to the point of not being able to breathe and I know from first hand experience just how awful it really is.

IF you do have CHF, then you can't give up.  You HAVE to keep trying until you find a doctor who will listen to you.  You certainly have a lot to live for, and it's worth fighting to be around for all of them, right?  If it's not CHF, it still sounds like you have some serious things going on that need to be addressed.  

I wish I had some answers for you, short of winning the lottery, there isn't much a person can do but keep pushing until someone will listen.  Then worry about paying for it later.  

I waited so long that I almost died twice because I didn't have health insurance.  The thing of it is, whether you wait until you're almost ready to expire, or whether you run up the bills now, the end result is it will cost, and it's a scarey situation to be in.  However, the longer you wait, the higher the bills will be, due to longer hospital stays, and more medical treatment to get you going again.

Just one last thought.  Which side do you normally sleep on?  If your left side is normal for you, try switching sides of the bed and sleeping on the other side for a while.  Perhaps you have some nerve damage going on, causing the pain. Very real pain can be caused by something as simple as sleeping on the same side every night.  

The pain can be in the shoulder, under the arm, in the left chest, and up into the neck, even causing horrible headaches.  The same pain can appear in the hip, causing what feels like appendicitus(sp?), due to hot nerves. I suffer from both hip and shoulder pain, and usually the pain subsides when I switch sides of the bed and sleep on my right side for a few nights.  It's something to try, and the advice is free.  I hope it helps.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice ,I have a appointment with the internal medicine Doc next week,I feel terrible, the situation seems hopeless,I use to think as long as I'm still breathing there's still hope,I'm starting to doubt that theory. I am having difficulty breathing,and coughing up green and black who knows what,fits of sneezing, stabbing pain in the chest along with a constant pressure,my vision is extremely blurred.These symptoms don't make sense ,It burns when i go to the bathroom and has weird stuff floating.
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