Viewer Comments: Congestive Heart Failure - Symptoms

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Congestive Heart Failure - Symptoms

For congestive heart failure, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

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Comment from: olive, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I experienced shortness of breath, extreme fluid retention, and a feeling that I could not take enough air. I also had a heavy feeling in my chest and arm.

Comment from: GailTD, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I have had foot and ankle swelling for many years. Circulatory problems gradually I started having shortness of breath and not being able to breathe when lying down. And shortness of breath and not being able to get my breath back during walking. Diagnosis cardiomyopathy ejection fraction 20%.

Comment from: Martha, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 26

I'm 45. There are days I can't take a deep breath. I have tricuspid and mitral valve malfunctions. I also finally have my blood pressure under control. It used to range 180/110. I have not had a heart attack. I'm on Linosopril and a diuretic. So far my heart rate is much lower. My blood pressure is normal. I still get fluid in my lungs but it's not as bad.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I am 70 years old and have a stent. I have had symptoms of CHF for about five years now, looking back on my shortness of breath especially when swimming. I injured my shoulder and had rotator cuff surgery. The swimming is not so sweet any more. I have had severe breathing problems after back surgery after a bone graft failed. I did not have any knowledge of Congestive heart failure of course before my back surgery. It has been difficult to know just how to digest this very recent diagnosis. There is just not a straight forward presentation of my presenting symptoms at this time.

Comment from: chip reuter, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 08

Congestive heart failure was preceded by years of hypothyroidism. Initial symptoms were cough, and a "wheezing" sound caused by fluid building up in lungs. I also had the need for sleeping 12 or more hours.

Comment from:, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 09

Actually, the only symptom I had to begin with was a shortness of breath. I noticed this mostly climbing stairs or even walking, and then it started even when I was sitting still. I could see my heart beating and felt that was strange. As it progressed in about a week I found I couldn't breathe without difficulty even if I was sitting still. There was no pain at all. Also, I found I couldn't walk too well for any distance due to shortness of breath. I am not now, nor have ever been a smoker. Heart problems run in my family but I thought I'd never have any because I led a healthy lifestyle. I was wrong.

Comment from: germanjohnson, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I got off my 12 hour night shift on a Saturday in June 2009.I had to go by the bank before going home. I finished my business and lit a cigarette as I got into my truck to go home. I decided to have breakfast before going home, so I stopped by a fast food restaurant, parked and sat there finishing my cigarette, before going in. I awoke on Tuesday in the CCU of an area hospital. According to the information I was able to collect, I was "dead" when the EMT's arrived. They could not get me to respond, so they rushed me to a local hospital, where cardiologists got me stabilized to send me to the area heart center 30 miles away. During the trip, I went out again. Upon arrival, emergency surgery was done. I had a 97% blockage of the coronary artery. I had no pain or symptoms, other than being tired which I attributed to working all night.

Comment from: Tiffany, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 12

My husband is 41, was diagnosed with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy at age 33. I'm now sitting here typing this while I sit at his bedside. He was stable for 8 years, and active with some fatigue, until 2 months ago. He was dramatically tired, experiencing mild activity, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and mild swelling in his ankles. He's had two bouts of chest pain in the past almost two weeks. My biggest fear has always been that because he was so well compensated for so many years, he would decompensate rapidly...too rapidly for a heart transplant. And now that fear seems to be coming true. .

Comment from: KJ, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 22

I first experienced congestive heart failure in Jan. 2008. The symptoms were mainly shortness of breath, particularly in the middle of the night. Being a heavy smoker for many years, I thought it was a lung problem such as emphysema or COPD. Then I noticed my ankles were swollen which ultimately led to the diagnosis of CHF. They did a heart cath and were planning to put in some stents. Then they realized that my heart was so plugged up I would need open heart surgery. So they did five (5) bypasses to try to get some blood pumping. As it turned out, the whole back-side of my heart muscle was virtually dead and even now it pumps at about 25-30% of what it should be. My breathing is better but I usually have zero energy. Walking up one flight of stairs is a real task. The good news is I finally quit smoking. They put me on Chantix which actually worked!

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Congestive Heart Failure:

Congestive Heart Failure - Prognosis

What is the prognosis for your congestive heart failure?

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