First, sorry to hear the news. Next, try to relax since CHF is easy to control with medications such as digoxin
) and a diuretic
There are two forms of "normal" CHF: Right sided and Left-sided.
Some people get both. The coughing is an indication he may have right-sided CHF. This is when fluid retention is in and around the lungs. (The sides refer to the two sides of the hear). The right side of the heart pumps dexygenated blood to the heart to pick up oxygen
. The left side pumps blood with oxygen through a lare arterycalled the aorta
through the body.
In answer to your question, he should try to stay off his feet. Elevate his legs/feet so they are above the level of his heart if possible. Gravity is the bad guy here with the fluid retention around his ankle. (This is called "edema.").
Obviously, limit fluid intake, but don't dehydrate him.
We need to find out the etiology (cause) of the condition. Was he born wih a congenital heart problem?
Eliminating sodium chloride
(table salt) will help a bit as well until he gets checked. For now, though, keeping him off his feet is important. He does not likely need to be stuck in bed, though.
Medication such as digoxin usually works well. The heart is a muscle. Sometimes the heart muscle has to pump against resistance (such as against a lot of fluid). The drug digoxin (brand name, LANOXIN) works by making each beat of the heart more forceful so the blood gets a extra "push" coming from the heart. This, combined with a diuretic, should help treat his condition.
I'll say a prayer for him, and you, too.
Legally, I have to say that although in the medical field, I am NOT a doctor. DO NOT take this or any advice without consulting with a physician who knows your boyfriend.
Please keep me (us) posted.