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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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My Grandma Has Congestive Heart Failure

About a few weeks ago my Grandma found out that she has Congestive Heart failure. The doctor gave her some medication and told her that it was nothing serious. I believe that nothing bad will happen to her, but my mom is extreamly worried about her, she thinks something bad is gonna happen to my grandma. My grandma takes her medication. Her blood pressure is good, but her ankles swell up a bit from time to time. Is this anything serious that my mom has to panic about? I m trying to tell her that everything is gonna be fine but she doesn t believe me. What can I tell my mom to convince her that my grandma will be alright? This all started when my mom s sister told her that someone she knew had congestive heart failure and died because he never took his meds. But I know that my grandma will be ok. The doctor even said she would still live for a very long time. Any kind of input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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To say that Congestive Heart Failure is nothing serious is a lie. With proper maintenance you can live for a long time, but it is very important to to take medication as prescribed and have regular follow ups to see that medications do not need to be adjusted. In the elderly, swelling in the ankles can be common and is often alleviated by raising the feet regularly to assist in blood return. However, with CHF is it VERY important to weigh daily, around the same time of day. It is usually considered best to do so first thing in the morning. If there is more than 1-2 pounds in a day, or several pounds in a week, then the gain is almost certainly fluid retention. This can lead to a very dangerous series of physiological events. In this case, the Dr might prescribe Lasix or something else to help get the fluid off. You do NOT want to wait while rapidly retaining fluids with CHF.
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