Dad was diagnosed with severe heart failure earlier this month. After I’d joined the LifeLines project, I invited Mom and Dad to join as well. Mom did so fairly soon, but Dad didn’t until this year. While most of the results from his base line test were okay, the heart graph was off.
To figure out why, he had to go to the hospital where they did another heart graph, which was also off. So last week he had to come back again, this time for an ECG. Then they would have to come back about a week later for the results.
Halfway through the Mom called me (I was watching the dog) to tell me they’d be home later than planned, as the ECG wasn’t good and they would get results the same day instead of later. And indeed, after another doctor came to check on Dad, they brought in the cardiologist who informed them that Dad has heart failure. He was put on medications right away, has to be low active and eat a lot less salt, and had to stop smoking right away.
Last Monday they had to go to the Heart Clinic for a follow up appointment and check up to see how he was doing so far after a week on meds and new regimen.
So, it turns out Dad’s heart has a very low pumping rate, only about 30%, which is like half it should be. He’s getting four different types of medication now: a beta blocker, an ace inhibor, two different ones to help get rid of fluids and something to widen the arteries.
The beta blocker (iirc) has been increased slightly after Monday’s check, and I expect the rest of the meds to be increased and fine tuned over the next few months. So far Dad’s saying that he’s not noticing a lot, eiher good or bad, from the meds. I’m glad he’s not having any side effects (yet?), but I wonder if he should feel different anyway.
Although this could be, of course, because his activity level was low to begin with. So the missive to not do anything intensive is easy, in fact we kinda needed to push him occasionally to do go out and walk or cycle before this. The quitting sigarettes is harder. It went well for a few days but then Mom caught him with a fresh pack of tobacco. She yelled at him and hid the stuff. When I came over Monday to watch the dog again, I then got rid of it.
Mom got him nicotine tablets (afer consulting with the doctor) that he can use if the urge is strong. I’m thinking it’s also just habit for a great deal. He has his set moments where he would go for a smoke out in the garage and that’s his routine. Routines are hard to break.
The Parents were already considering moving house, but this news put that into a higher gear. The yard is really too big for them to properly maintain (and they’re getting kinda sick of the neighbourhood as well). Conveniently, the Housing Cooperation is building new senior appartments in a town nearby. They’d talked about this development before, but Dad vetoed it then. Now, he reconsidered, so Mom called the Housing Cooperation.
Turned out there was one place left, so they immediately signed up for it and were selected. It’s expected the appartments will be ready by next spring, although some sources are saying next January. Since Mom and Dad are the first tenants of the place, they get to pick out the bathroom tiles and what kind of kitchen cabinet doors they want. Dad’s not really into that sort of thing, so I helped Mom with the choices. Fortunately, we agreed on everything right away 🙂
As for the rest, it’s wait and see for now.