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Could there still be hope for my dad with CHF ?

I just turned 17 a few weeks ago. My dad is older than the average parent. Believe it or not, he's 72. When I was 8 years old, he had a heart attack and got CHF. He has other health problems such as phlebitis, asthma, diabetis and chronic gout. He also has a pacemaker/defbribulator to help his heart beats. Hes on TONS of medications for his CHF. For the past year and a half his lungs would fill up once a month and he would go back into the hospital. If it wasnt his CHF causing him to go into the hospital, it would be something else that causes him to go to the hosppital. 3 months ago he had his pacemaker/defribuliter replaced. At first he was kinda weak but then he got better. I actually started to think that he was doing better. THEN just last month he got gout back in his arm. It was all swolen and he didnt feel like doing nothing so he sat in his chair all day and night long. The only time he would get up was to go to the bathroom. After this, he started to get weak and short of breath and he had a wet cough, and sometimes spit up phelgm. It kept getting worse and worse. Then last friday he went back into the hospital because of his shortness of breath. They checked his lungs and they said that his lungs were clear. Then they ran a bunch of tests on him and are going to do some more today. It seems like hes gotten worse sinces hes been up there. He can barely walk to the bathroom and back without huffing and puffing. They have been walking him though around the halls though. The last time he had his pacemaker/defibrulater changed, they put an extra wire somewhere to maybe see if this would help his shortness of breath.They said if that didnt work, then they were considering open heart surgery. I honestly thought that this last time he was doing great until he got gout. His EF is only 15%. It used to be 30% after he had his heart attack. Then it went to 25% just last year then went to 15%. The doctors were going to send him home today but this one doctor said "NO WAY YOUR NOT SENDING HIM HOME, HE'LL BE BACK HERE TOMMOROW, IM GOING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS AND FIND OUT IF ITS HIS HEART CAUSING THIS, AND THEN IM GOING TO SEE IF THERES ANYONE THAT CAN BE DONE". They were talking about a heart transplant years ago, but they said he couldnt be a canadate because he was diabetic and had other heart problems. They also mentioned that he has a blockage in his heart that was blocked and that "they couldnt do nothing about it". I kept crying today! I called him once and he had just got out of his chair and sat down on the bed and he was winded. He got mad at hung up the phone. It kinda scared me at first and I started crying again. Then afterwards I called him back later and he seemed to be doing good. He wasnt really short of breath and he was talking better. They said that they gave him a bunch of nerve pills because he constantly worries about getting the bills paid and just everyday stresses. He sounded doped up too because he was talking low. Everytime hes doped up, he talks low as hell LOL. He said that they walk him everyday that hes been up there but I dont know! I hate the fact that this will eventually kill him. I try to think of the best and maybe theres a chance that they could prolong his chances or survival by maybe a heart transplant or discover something in his heart that might be causing this.
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Oh Boy, I am sorry about your Dad - mine was old too but when I was 17 he was just retiring at 65... My Dad was not too healthy either, he had been wounded badly during WWII and still had bullets and shrapnel in his body - which had been too dangerous to remove... When I was about 7 he ended up in hospital with suspected TB for about 3 months. Just after he retired he had his first stroke which finally led to Alzheimer's and that old lung problem came back as Emphysema - he still managed another 10 years though, with an inhaler in one hand and his seemingly constant cigarette in the other!! I live near a world famous Heart hospital where amazing things are done every day, I belong to a group which fights to keep the local hospitals open - as the powers that be always want to merge them and move them to central London or out into the middle of no-where! We fought to keep that hospital - HAREFIELD - open and although we lost it is still there and it's replacement has fallen through, so maybe God wanted to save it too!! We are also fighting to save one of the best Cancer units this side of Birmingham open at Mount Vernon Hospital..... Miracles take place at both of these hospitals every day and every day there are advancements which make more people suitable for treatment... and most of our members are retired people, many of whom have survived treatment at one or both of them... I spent 3 weeks in hospital myself a few years ago, all those drips and needles and pills and poking about - as well as being squashed in a poky little space where you are lucky if you can get to sleep (Oh yes, and they copme around every night and inject you with something to prevent DVT - it hurts like hell)... He will be feeling like sh1t half the time - I will admit a few times when I had a little cry to myself, and another when secretly planning my escape I overheard someone else checking herself out against advise and thought "Silly Moo"... It sounds to me that your Dad has a great doctor on his side in this hospital - now what you need to do is be strong (well in front of your Dad anyway) give him and your Mum as many hugs as they can stand and make sure that they know how much you love them - this will not only keep everyone strong it will be great therapy for you.. Why, at 72 is he worrying about bills and things?? Could these not be put onto direct debit - presumably he is retired so he should be getting a pension... See if he needs you to make some phone calls for him - this may stop him worrying. I will remember you and your Dad in my prayers tonight and hope that his strength will keep him going for a good few years.. Keep your chin up Girl - GOOD LUCK!
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