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Forum Name: Congenital Heart Disease in Adults

Question: Congestive Heart Failure Look-Alike

 cielerella - Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:47 pm

I'm a 42 year old female. 5'4", 220lbs.
Sudden onset of these 3 symptoms at same time; Sceptic skin infection at site of hysterectomy scar and under eyes (symetrical), any scratch or cut becomes infected. Infection spots will almost heal but then come back with a vengence, exact same form as before.
Severe pitting edema, from toes to top of thighs. Was in hands too at first, but that became only occasional. Most days couldn't walk. No diuretics would rid edema, elevation didn't help either. Had for 5 months til doc gave me antihistamine and new antibiotic, then lost 20 lbs of water in 3 days.
Back pain in lower left area. Stabbing like knives and grabbing/twisting that took me to my knees.
Doc thought CHF. He was sure. But echo and Ekg showed heart fine. Then had kidney echo, showed fine. Blood tests for heart, liver, kidney, and liver, came back fine. Can find nothing wrong. Skin infection still here. Doc took me off antibiotics since they weren't helping. Off antihistamine too. Only diuretics now til bottle runs out, then see if edema comes back. Doc has run out of ideas. I don't want to not know what this was. I had the edema for 5 solid months, lost feeling in some toes - still lost. Whether edema comes back when off diuretic or not, I want to know what this is. And what about skin infection and back pain???
 Theresa Jones, RN - Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:40 am

User avatar Hi cielerella,
During your blood test was there also included a BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) which aides in the diagnosis of CHF? Have the recurrent skin infections been tested for a resistent bacteria? In my opinion, these are the first two things I would inquire about......
 cielerella - Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:30 am

Thank you for replying. I don't know if a BNP was in the blood test. My family doc wrote "Congestive Heart Failure" in my chart, but the cardiologist said he shouldn't have, because although I show all the symptoms, I just didn't show any signs on the EKG and echo.
My doc has not tested the infection. He only gave me different types of antibiotics.
I get so out of breath, red faced, and sweaty (soaking my hair sweaty) now when I do the slightest exertion (like attempting to clean the kitchen). I can tell that something is wrong still.
Having my feet and legs, up to the top of my thighs, swollen so severely the skin was tight and when there was no more room for water, my feet would take on odd shapes as big bumps were formed to hold the water. For 5 months. I don't know about this, but I would think that that would be HORRIBLE for a person's health, doing irrepairable damage to the feet and legs. Or am I wrong? Do people suffer such severe edema non stop for that kind of length of time with no ill effects? What would cause edema to go on that long?
I will call my doc today and ask him about the BNP test and resistent bacteria, thank you. :)

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