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Dilated Cardiomyopathy

My husband is 42 years old with dilated cardiomyopathy.  At first he was told that he had pneumonia and was on antibiotics for 2 weeks.  We rushed to the emergency room when his face lost all color and he could not walk across the room without having to sit down because he was out of breath.  We were in 3 hospitals with in 24 hours.  By the time we made it to the 2nd hospital his heart was only functioning at 13%.  He was hospitalized for 3 weeks.  Now his heart is functioning at 27% and is on  5 different medications.  His heart was also full of blood clots which thankfully have dissolved.  His memory now is horrible, many times he can't remember what the doctor has told him only a few hours before.  He has one eye that is constantly blood shot.  He is lucky to be able to walk 2 blocks without being out of breath.  He has been told that he will never be able to work construction again, which is what he has done since he was 19 years old.  We have been told conflicting information from his maybe needing a heart transplant, to having a defibrillator implanted, to his chances of living past 2 years was slim.  We were wondering what can be expected with this condition and what his possible life expectancy can be.  Is this a condition people can survive from?  Does anyone know if there is a special diet that would be helpful or if there are any new treatments that can be done?
2 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
I am very sorry such bad health has struck.  

I think you need to take steps to be put on a heart transplant waiting list.  I do not know anything about how to do that but heart doctors/hospitals and even the "Web" should be able to provide guidance.

A defibrillator may be something that can be done soon that will automatically help restart the heart should it stop.
976897 tn?1379171202
It sounds as though the dilated cardiomyopathy was probably viral. It's certainly a good sign that his LVEF has raised to 27% from 13% in just a few weeks and there is no way to determine if this trend will continue. Ensure he keeps to his medications and don't let him exercise too much. I would certainly consider the Defib implant because if his heart stops, then it will be restarted immediately. If his LVEF continues to improve, then this is just going to be a temporary measure anyway. Now you ask about survival which is understandable and I do sympathise with you. Thanks to new medications, many people with DCM now live normal lives. With his EF at 27% he will still be around in 2 years. I would wait a while before considering a transplant, in case his EF raises again. If it goes above 30% then he is no longer classed as heart failure and 27% is pretty damn close to that. So rather than go through all the risks involved with transplant, and the problems of fighting rejection, I would seriously hold off from that option for now. If his EF doesn't drop again, then I would probably forget that option altogether.
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