My father is 85, suffering for 5 years from congestive heart failure (CHF) following two heart attacks 10 years ago. His condition has been treated to date by use of lasix diuretic.
Two weeks ago, he gained water weight, and lasix did not work. The doctor prescribed Metolazone, a more powerful diuretic. This removed water, but from about 2 days after he started Metolazone, he began a downward spiral. He developed a potassium shortage, treated by a supplement. Metolazone was stopped, but he has become too weak to walk, and his thoughts are clouded. His water weight is normal. He has a small patch of pneumonia on the lung uncured for about three months now, and he has been on and off Levaquin.
The cardiologist saw this and told me that he thinks my father has months to live. He feels mental cloudiness and inability to walk are confirmation that the heart has become too weak to support normal function. The doctor holds out hope that if we can treat the pneumonia and any electrolyte imbalances that we might get him to snap out of this.
Can Metolazone bring on - or maybe just accelerate - a collapse like this? How can resolving an excess water condition could bring on a subsequent further weakening of the heart itself?
How can someone have symptoms of oxygen deprivation in their speech and thought when their oximeter readings are 97% saturation? Wouldn't an oximiter reading of 97 suggest that the brain and body overall are getting adequate oxygen?
Is it common in final stages of congestive heart failure for the patient to not be able to digest food? My father is fed liquid food through a feeding tube, and it seems to me he is not digesting it. He coughs up material that looks like a hardened form of the liquid food, and there is a foul smell coming from his mouth and the tube area. I wonder if the food is just rotting in his gut undigested.