My husband has stage 4 heart failure only 15% of his heart is working. What does that mean?

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And if he want stop drinking alcohol. My husband has been drinking for 28 years.3 weeks ago he had fluid in his lungs no energy and could not eat. Now we found out he has heart failure ,only 15 % of his heart is working and he is in stage 4. With the medicine he feels better ,but starting back drinking .What can I expect ? He has been working all his life, but I see him going down more and more. Should we try to file for social security disability? I really don't know what to do.

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I attend Alanon regularly. It has given me my life back. I live with an active alcoholicthay has cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Ejection fraction is @ 25-30%. He chooses to continue drinking and eating poorly. Doctors can't help him understand the seriousness of his conditions. He has been on disability for 1 year. I have come to a realization that I didn't cause it I can't control it and I can't cure his alcoholism. I have learned to take care of myself and put him in Gods hands. So I hope you will find the rooms of Alanon soon.
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Stage 4?. Yes to benefits. The sooner the task/ process of acceptance and the embrace of theadjustments & conciderations to daily life begin re: some new meds and routines etc. the sooner you can get busy living life. At the age of 47, I could no longer pretend it would soon pass, but I collapsed 1 day. I would have stood a good chance of improvement had I listened then instead of avoidance. There's a lot more I could say but I'll spare ya-laf..Take care
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Er, you're all being quite quick to write this poor chap off. Yes his stats are alarming, especially for a first presentation; but his symptoms have improved radically with treatment in only three weeks. Unless there are other, complicating factors in the picture (like other alcohol-related disease, for example) he could be with us for some time yet. My mother's being tottering along on one cylinder, so to speak, for eighteen years.

But Viola, he has got to start taking this seriously. I'm glad the medicines are working, but he mustn't think that everything can now go back to normal. Any news since you last checked in?
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Disability is not charity. It is what we as a society have set up to deal with people who have worked all their lives and suddenly find that they can no longer work. We all pay into this system as part of our employment taxes. Do not feel at all embarrassed or shamed that your husband needs this. Get the process of signing up started immediately.

This is apparently the first either of you knew about the heart failure, and it is already stage 4. This is very severe. Please make an appointment with his doctor and discuss exactly what the prognosis for your husband is. Is it time to involve Hospice Care? This is not charity, either. We all pay for Medicare and this is a service available through them.

Be very candid with the doctor. Will stopping drinking make any difference in your husband's prognosis? If he takes his drugs, how will that change the outcome? Would exercising help anything? What kind?

Personally, I would only encourage him to stop drinking etc. IF that could make a difference in the outcome. If the damage has already been done and nothing can substantially improve the situation, then I wouldn't use your last months together fighting about behaviors. However, if the outcome can be significantly improved, then trying to get hubby's cooperation is worth the effort.

So ... I think it is critical to talk to the doctor frankly about what impact various measures could have.
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His heart disease is fatal and it is advanced. His body is likely weak from his addiction. Medicare will cover hospice, ask the doctor. Look to place him in a facility, at home hospice requires a relative be present (at least the firm we used, had that rule). A facility would be easier on you, so you do not have to deal with the addiction issue yourself, leave it to the professionals.
Take care
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CM, I knew for quite awhile that my neighbors were not nice people, especially after having to shut windows to avoid hearing their swearing and shouting matches.

However, I wasn't mocking the live-in GF. If anything I was reflecting contempt for her attitude of using the system to get freebies instead of being responsible and working. But she's certainly not alone in that sense.

I too would be appalled to learn that someone was shooting up in my home. I often wondered in retrospect how many of the people I was working had been using something to enhance their performance over long working hours.
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I understood that the drug of choice on Wall Street and similar was cocaine. And after all, it was good enough for Freud. I was very glad when my nephew returned to the Engineering fold after a stint in Futures.

GA it can't have surprised you that your neighbour was really not a very nice person! But aren't all addictions an affliction that we therefore shouldn't mock? I have particular trouble with gamblers on that score, I must admit. Ok I don't mock, but I do feel intense irritation.

Rich heroin users also escape detection pretty much indefinitely. Ten years after the event, a publisher friend of mine confessed to me that he had injected himself in my bathroom during a lunch party I'd invited him to. I was open-mouthed - Sunday afternoon at my home, my little children round the table, my husband carving the roast lamb and this guy is in the bathroom shooting up??? The confession was part of his rehab, though, which I suppose was some compensation.

But this is a tangent. Viola, get a diagnosis - a nice tidy one that you can show the Social Security people - from your husband's doctor. If he does turn out to be permanently disabled, and he has worked all his life, he must surely be entitled to support. First step is to find out. You shouldn't worry - not because there's nothing to worry about, but because it doesn't help. Getting busy will take your mind off things, and I'd be surprised if you didn't get some very positive answers to your questions. Best of luck, let us know how you get on.
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Heart failure can be caused by excessive drinking over long periods of time. It is one of the few types of heart failure that can be reversed.
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ShakingDust, thanks for the insights. What you write about substance abuse and higher performance unfortunately isn't a surprise. What surprised and shocked me was when I learned that some attorneys use cocaine to get an edge and get through marathon projects like takeovers and mergers, especially in high pressure environment of competitive NY law firms.

Interesting observation about the abuses that occur when people are at "high functioning levels." I couldn't help thinking of the massive abuses that occurred on Wall Street during the Recession.

And I read in one of your posts that you worked on a trading floor, if I understood correctly. I'm sure you've seen a lot that happened there that enhanced performance and was only considered normal and necessary to maximize one's potential. The push to make money for those kinds of firms must be incredible.

The alcoholic who bragged to me was not of the highest functioning level. She also bragged about how she scammed creditors. I think though that her alcoholism wasn't such in her own mind, but rather something she could manipulate to get what she wanted without working. To my knowledge she never even held a job.

Thanks again for the insight; I appreciate your perspective on these isues. In some respects, it helps understand some of the situations I've encountered over my own work life and didn't understand at the time.
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Viola, start the SSDI application and do it now. Get Hospice in the picture too, because you need it now. So sorry
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