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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Heart Failure

Question: congestive heart failer

 HappyLady27 - Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:49 pm

my mom has been saying she was stuffy and chest congested, she just has a stuffy noise no need to go to the dr. We were worried becuse last year, she was hospitalized becuse she had nemonia and her throught closed up fingernails turned blue and was very sick.
This happend again tonight. We have been trying to get her to the dr all week she wouldnt. They told us she had congestive heart failer. Is this from diabeties? one of her arteries in her neck are clogest, and they think she has a murmer in her heart as well. Tommrow they take her for a ekg. I am worried she has empazema she smoked for a long time. This is from her smokeing correct. Should I be extreamly worried?
 HappyLady27 - Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:52 pm

Im sorry im so nervouse im shakeing we took her to the emergencey room tonight she finally decided it was ok to go and thats when we found out all of this.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:53 pm

User avatar Hello happylady27 -

Your mom suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); emphysema accounts for a good deal of COPD, and smoking accounts for most but not all emphysema cases. People with COPD are far more prone to recurrent bouts of pneumonia. Pneumonia also "looks" a lot like congestive heart failure at times, since both involve the lungs having stuff (either pus or fluid) in them that makes them not work as well. Often they can coexist as well, although CHF is usually a chronic problem whereas pnuemonia will flare up from time to time. Even there, however, the two can be confused because CHF can be well managed, then get worse suddenly.

Diabetes is not a direct cause of CHF nor pneumonia, but it can in some ways contribute to the development of either one, and either one distracts from the usual diabetic care, so diabetic patients with either will get closer scrutiny inside a hospital than at home.

By symptom description alone it is difficult in this case to tell whether your mother was having another case of pneumonia (most likely due to history) or CHF (which would be a new development). In either case getting her to a hospital was the absolute right thing to do. Hopefully she subsequently responded to treatment and got better. Managing the diabetes carefully is one big part of this complex treatment plan. Also taking care of the COPD as well as possible is another. Recognizing pneumonia symptoms early is a third important thing for her. You seem to be aware of how all this works, so she is in good hands with you, but of course it is difficult to force another person to seek medical care even if you know they need it. This poses a stress for you as part of the cargiving team, so do be sure you take good care of yourself as well, and do not worry unnecessarily. You are doing your best to help your mom and that's the best anyone can do.

Please let us know how things have gone. Best of luck to you.

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