Saturday, April 9, 2011

Congestive Heart Failure

Yesterday morning I received a text from my step mother regarding my father. He's been having a bunch of issues for the past 5 or 6 years and his body is basically giving up on him. He is dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Emphysema, COPD, and now the doctors saying he has Congestive Heart Failure.
I wanted to share some information regarding this condition with you.
Heart failure, is also called congestive heart failure. It is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. It is a chronic and long term condition and it can develop suddenly.

Heart failure is present when the following changes are present:
  • Your heart muscle cannot pump, or eject, the blood out of the heart very well. This is called systolic heart failure.
  • Your heart muscles are stiff and do not fill up with blood easily. This is called diastolic heart failure.

This means the heart can no longer pump enough oxygen-rich blood out to the body especially during exercise. As the hearts pumping action is lost, the blood may back up into other areas of the body which caused fluid to build up in places such as the lungs, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, and the arms and legs. This causes a shortage of oxygen and nutrition to the organs and can damage and reduce the ability for them to work properly. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.

Other heart problems that may cause heart failure are:
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve disease
  • Some types of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia's)

Since my father's already dealing with emphysema this could have caused or contributed to the heart failure. Other disease can contributed to heart failure such as severe anemia, hypothyroidism and hypothyroidism. My dad's my world and without him I would truly be lost. I love him with all my heart and the thought of him someday being 'gone' makes me cry. I don't know what I'd do without him. And I will do my best to cherish the years we have left together.

I love you daddy!