Congestive Heart Disease....help!

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Hi,
I came to live with my mom when she was diagnosed with CHF. She is now quite tired, and short of breath. She still drives, goes to the market and cooks.
She also has diabetes, and is a recovering alcoholic.
She is quite funny and clear, and I enjoy being here with her.
I do not know much about CHF other than what I read on the Internet.
I do not know what I am "looking" at as far as the decline in her health.
I feel afraid sometimes...... especially when she is out, or I am gone from the house.
Does anyone here have any experiance with being with a person with CHF?
It would help me to feel more at ease........if thaT is possible.

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I'd like to chime in on managing a parent with CHF. My mom has CHF & A-Fib.
Setting up the medication schedule that works with their circadian rythms and keeping to it is very helpful. You must also take the reigns and manage their nutrition. If anyone is interested, I am happy to share what I know about nutrition specifically for CHF and co-morbidities. Getting their meds stabilized and nutritional needs met has positively affected my mom's mood - and I have seen it done in others. Keeping a wake sleep cycle as close to standard as possible helps as does going outside for sunlight.

Of course this is not to imply the suggestion is cure all; it probably won't help if there are personality clashes in the relationship - but it is helpful all the same. At least you have tried everything - and the bonus is if you are doing this planning for them, take advantage of it for yourself & family.

As Carol & other wise souls including our doctor & my grandmother (who made it to 103) have said, taking care of yourself & keeping a positive outlook is the best thing you can do when dealing with tough times. Laughter gets you through the poop & scares - smiling gets a wave from the neighbor.
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It sounds like a very rough rehab place we have one in a lower county they only accept pt.s who are very motived and almost kill them one neighbor went to PT 5 times a day and he has heart problems-former nieghbor. Do they let family members go in the PT room to see what is going on it is possible she is sitting a lot waiting for her turn and a lot of them will do spurts of exercises and some are simple like puting clothes pins on a line but I would observe and if you think it is too much for her go and get a unit nurse to do her vitals and definatly make a gentle fuss. my Mom stills drives at 90 but it is only short trips if longer my sister takes her. I am being firm about the husband either staying in the nursing home or comming home with 10 hr 6 days a week-my back still hurts and I am not allowed to bend or lift anything heavy and can only do housework comfortably about 30 min then sit for 30. I cut off my husbands cell-Jitterbug- he had 30 minutes and as of last week he had gone 50 min. over at .34 cents a min. and made serval calls since to me and my son repeating himself over and over since the company will not limit him I did he is going to br madder than a wet setting hen-but he can't call me LOL and he calls me dumb- that was aides for 10 hrs 6 days a week-unless the son wants to take some hrs.
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It is a roller coaster.......and I have NEVER liked the ride!
More to say........time to care for myself.
Thank you so much for being here!
Nancy
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Sorry to hear about it. So the driving is no long an issue at the moment. Everything else, o n e d a y a t a t i m e. How are you doing?
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Well....sigh............she fell last Friday. Just slipped from her walker, and fractured her hip. The femoral ball broke off. She was in traction for 5 days waiting for blood thinners to leave her system. Days of Percocet and pain and confusion AND ANGER . They moved her from the surgical floor on Saturday, and she is so weak (and in pain) she can hardly stand, and move to a chair. They are starting her with 3 hours of PT today..........THREE HOURS.....she can hardly stand up! I try not to think of the future: what will happen to her
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Dear Naus, you are so tactful. And Greysful, I wasn't trying to make you feel bad. But if there are loopholes in our system, we need to take charge. What happened with the mechanic? That was wise to pray for her guidance, Naus!
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Dear Greysfully, you are smart to be worried. Did you hear about the 75yr old woman in the news about a month ago? She killed someone while driving under the influence of her alzheimers/dementia medications. They want to throw the book at her, and showed her in shackles on the tv. This poor woman did not have a clue as to what she did. Do any of you want that on your conscience? I wonder how many people knew she had no business driving and didn't do everything they possibly could to keep her off the road. Imagine being the family of the victim, when the officer comes to your door to say I'm sorry your husband or your child is dead. And you will ask "WHY?" Good Luck and prayers to you for guidance and help. Nauseated
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My Mom blacked out behind the wheel of her car and hit a truck. Automatic losing of driving privileges in the State of Michigan for 6 months. But who would enforce it? I called the Secretary of State! I called her Physician and asked he put it in writing to the Secretary of State. They didn't follow through, but the Secretary of State (or DMV in some areas) sent a Physician's Statement to my Mom to have her Doctor fill out and told her to bring it with her when they "examined" her, and gave her a "driving test." The test never happened. She never went to the appointment, so automatically lost her license. She says I "took" her car. That's because she was driving without a license. The police won't prosecute you if you do them the courtesy! Now they don't have to take my elderly mother to jail. LOL It's not funny, really, but I asked their advice first. So when Mom says "You took my car..." I remind her that the State took her license. She had a lot of accidents before the last that did got her 5 days in a hospital, and a lower dose of narcotics she had been taking during the accident. No wonder she hit a truck. And thank God she didn't kill anyone. She cried the day they took her license, but it's better than crying at a funeral.

Two days ago, Mom told me, "I'll never be able to live without my pain meds." She made a choice. I won't give her car back while she's on Codeine, that's for sure! It's not "tough love," it's common sense. She doesn't have any, so someone has to be responsible. I volunteered. I thought today, I grew up. I'm no longer a little girl. I get to be fully responsible for not only my own, but also my parent's lives. It's interesting. I still need their love, but not their permission. I don't need their approval, but want their respect. And if they don't respect me, I can still respect myself for doing the right thing. I don't have to let their anger and disapproval rule me anymore. I am no longer a timid, cowering door mat. I am a responsible (not perfect) adult. At 50 years old, I am finally grown up! Yeah for maturity. I can choose to love, regardless of how they treat me. If they are angry, I can respond in love. It's not conditional. Yeah! If I don't like them, I can choose not to show it, and not to react in similar fashion. I think my Mom's choices have caused her poor health, and diminished cognitive function. Her bitterness is drying her bones. Forgiveness and love heals, and I choose both. I am sleeping better at night. I don't medicate myself. I forgive the past and don't need Psychiatry. I ask forgiveness when I speak rashly, and try to make retribution for wrongs. I quit smoking and don't ruin my heart. Life is better when I'm not angry at Mom and Dad. It took me 50 years to get to this place. Mom has always been angry, and her health condition reflects that. Sorry for the long vent... Thanks, Carol, Greysfully and Austin! Take care of yourself, all.
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I'll bet you're seen it all! School bus driving is tough. You're also very aware - moreso than even the doctors - about bad drivers. Anne's solution was right on. Having a POA helps. It's too bad when you have to go to court, but sometimes it has to be done.
Carol
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So, not much help from "Doc"........my mom is moving along with a new insurance company, and looking very happy about driving again. It appears as though no one really cares..........yeah!, just put her out on the road, and let the "cars" fall as they may. I now wonder what happens if she has an accident? Who is liable? What happens to the people who KNOW she shouldn't be out there..........a little personal paranoia here! BESIDES the nightmarish scenes I have of her actually BEHIND the wheel! Maybe I should just let it all go..........like her docs. I am a school bus driver, and I see pretty scary older drivers EVERY day. Driving through stop signs
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