my mom is in congestive heart failure. which isn't as bad as it sounds. she has to go on a low sodium diet (which she was predominantly on anyway), exercise regularly (which she already did), and watch her weight. apparently, they want her to weigh herself every day, and if she gains more than 2# ina day or 4# over a week, then she goes to the doctor.
her heart valve is in relatively good shape. both the leaflets are moving like they are supposed to, consdiering the dang thing is 21 years old. they've got her on diuretics, which is making her pee like a racehorse.
they did say she's in atrial fibrilation off and on. however, there are two schools of treatment for this. the doctor thinks that it may have been happening for years. according to her records, when she had the valve replaced in '86, she was in a-fib. it didn't s how up when she got her pacemaker in '05, but it could have just been behaving, as she was only in the hospital for 4 days over that.
anyway, there is one theory that they medicate the piss out of her to control the fibrilation at any cost. however, the medications they use can be toxic over the long haul, and she comes from a long-lived family (grandma was 3 weeks shy of her 97th birthday when she gave up). also, while her kidney function isn't bad, it's not the absolute best it could be, which is typical for a woman of her age, and those types of meds make that worse.
the other school? leave her be. deal with the heart failure, and let the a-fib slide, but watch it. apparently, they did a study a few years ago, and discovered that the people they didn't medicate lived as long as the ones they did, with little ill effect, and none of the side effects from the meds. the doctor who checked her pacemaker is of the second mind. why give her drugs that could cause scar tissue in her lungs, especially when they have to watch her lungs because of the heart failure.
i don't know. lol. we're supposed to talk to the cardiologist tomorrow morning. but the prognosis is very good, considering her age, and that damned valve.
as for the rest of us? mark is maintaining the homefires while i'm doing all this hospital/doctor stuff.
thanksgiving? dunno, but i don't expect her to be home by then.
the christmas trip? still dunno, but i have higher hopes for it than i did before. wheeeeeeee!
and thanks to everyone for the tea & sympathy. it is hard, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and between you guys and the folks over at the L&V message board, plus the local yokels doing what they can for me, i'm feeling a lot less hopeless, and a lot more hopeful.