Congestive heart failure (CHF) or heart failure (HF). It’s not a disability but can become a disability. No one wants to hear they have heart failure from their doctor, and no family member wants to know someone they love has a heart that could stop beating before its time. But when is time? We all will die. Today, there are options for congestive heart failure to assist in monitoring the heart, and offering assistance should the heart be in distress, go into an abnormal rhythm, or stop beating. ,
My mother has been fitted with the Zoll Life Vest. While this vest does not protect her from death, it can provide the same stimulation used by paramedics, or hospitals when shocking the heart back into beating (this is explained in very simplistic terms).
My mother has in the last year and a half found that her heart is no longer operating at one-hundred percent. In fact, in the last year and a half, her heart went from working at nearly 100 percent down to 55 percent and she needed a pacemaker. Even with the pacemaker implanted, it continued to fail until at a mere 30 percent working capacity, she suffered congestive heart failure on February 11. Luckily, she did not die and is living with me today tw0 weeks later. It is possible her heart may grow stronger again to work with her pacemaker. Until this occurs she will stay with me and if it does not if she may be able to have an ICD implant, (this link is from the Mayo Clinic). A Google search on implantable cardiovascular devices or ICD’s will bring up quite a list of resources.
Who can this happen to? Well, anyone actually can get congestive heart failure. Babies may be born with congenital heart defects or weak hearts for any number of reasons. Otherwise healthy individuals may develop heart failure as well for no known reason other than perhaps a role genetic play. Heart failure is yet another disorder, or disease, which doesn’t discriminate.
How can you help? By donating your time and helping research programs like the American Heart Association we can hopefully someday find a cure for yet another baffling disorder.
February is usually associated with the American Heart Associations Wear Red for Women campaign and other American Heart Association fund-raising campaigns. Check out www.heart.org to see what’s happening now, the progress made, and what they’re looking forward to in the future.