CHF and difficulty breathing

My husband has a Medtronic 2 lead ICD - implanted 10/06. Since he's had the ICD he's developed CHF and we've been to the hospital at least 4 times for difficulty breathing because his lungs fill with fluid. After IV lasix and c-pap machine he comes around. They have told us to watch for swelling in his feet and weight gain which he has not had in the past when the problem starts. However, last night and today I have noticed that the tops of his feet are kind of puffy (no weight gain). So far he has not had any breathing difficulty and I have given him a little extra Lasix (which has been o.k.'d by dr.). They are still puffy - has anyone had this experience and what did you do? Could it be from the heat & humidity? (I kind of doubt it - but maybe?) Thanks for the help. Kathy


2 Comments

CHF and difficulty breathing

by kathybnc - 2007-04-28 11:04:12

Tammy, thanks so much - your post was very comforting.
I'm hoping it's the humidity - today is drier, so we'll see. I agree about better to be safe than sorry and he knows that as well, but also hates going to the ER (as wonderful as they are there) because he hates needles. I monitor his salt intake very carefully so I don't think it's that. Thanks again, I'll just keep monitoring the situation. Kathy

re:

by blessed - 2007-04-28 12:04:06

Hi~ I by no means know everything about CHF but do have some thoughts on what you are asking. It is a good sign that your husband is not having trouble breathing and that he has not gained any weight. Puffy feet can be caused by many things but because your husband has had so many problems with CHF you are right to be concerned. I live in a place that is very humid and it does cause my feet to get puffy and swell. I think taking a little extra Lasix was a good call~ you just want to make sure he isn't getting to much extra as not to cause dehydration. If you and your husband are comfortable with the wait and see method(as long as he has no symtpoms) I think , at least with what you are reporting, that you could do that without to much concern. However if you feel there is something more going on don't hesitate to go in. As a nurse (& one that has worked some ER) I would rather someone comes in to be checked out instead of staying home because they didn't want to be a bother or feel that their complaint isn't valid. To me~ I would rather be safe then sorry. Also could there be another reason for the swelling? Maybe eating something more processed or salty, standing on his feet more than usual? If he isn't on a fluid restriction maybe he could try drinking a little more water and see if that would help flush things out. Ultimately I suspect you and your husband know his CHF very well and will know when/if you need to head to the doctor's office or ER. Good luck with everything!!
tammy

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