Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is an illness that refers to a condition where the heart cannot provide as much blood as a person needs to allow all the activities that the heart’s owner desires to perform.
A diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure is not the same for everyone. It is more serious for some than for others. A doctor can define the differences. What I write here is only one person’s experience with this infirmity – mine. But I do hope that this article contains helpful information that others with my malady can use as they cope with their illness.
CHF does not necessarily mean that an individual cannot continue to live a life of usefulness and happiness. What it may simply mean is that the person needs to make certain adjustments that will enhance the prospects of acquiring that form of life.
When I learned in 2007 that I had CHF, I looked up this affliction in the Internet in an attempt to learn all I could about the disease. This endeavor is not yet complete. My thirst for knowledge in this area is ongoing. There is much to know about the disease and what is being done to alleviate the discomforts of it. As one copes with CHF problems, one knows that breakthroughs may occur at any time.
In the meantime, individuals needs to learn how to manage their lives so that the problems that CHF imposes can be minimized. There are changes that can be made in daily activities, food intake, medications, and points of view.
With me, my heart was beating more slowly than it should. A pacemaker was prescribed by my cardiologist and it was installed. The pacemaker provided the electrical incentives for my heart to beat at a higher rate. The doctor also prescribed medication that made it easier for the heart to perform the work it did. These actions helped a great deal. I did my part by cooperating fully with the doctor in following his instructions.
Understanding that the body requires a good deal of blood for digestion, I zeroed in on foods that make this process easier. Today, I eat less with each meal and at different intervals. I also abstain from certain foods that I have learned are harmful to me. I take a diuretic every day to ensure that water does not accumulate near my heart and self-monitor my blood pressure daily to ensure that it does not radically change unexpectedly.
At age 90, I still have a full-time job. I kept the job with the belief that maintaining as close to a daily routine as possible would be better than undertaking a life of inactivity. Happily, my job is a sedentary one that requires few occurrences of unusual physical exertion My heart has no difficulty providing the blood that moderate activities require. I no longer ask my body to shovel, dig, and haul as I used to and make sure that the rest I get is more than adequate for good health. I keep in touch with my doctor to make adjustments in medication as may be deemed desirable.
With the conviction that attitude is important, I have maintained an optimistic view of life. I do not hesitate to make plans that require months, even years to accomplish. CHF does not dictate that one should imminently expect death. My viewpoint is that, while death is a possibility for anyone at any moment, he or she should endeavor to live as full a life as possible for as long as possible!