Mynydd 6

Living With Heart Failure blog 3

Hmm. I seem to have taken a turn for the worse with the hot weather. It’s the opposite of what I expected – I thought the warmth would make things better, but I suppose I should have predicted fluid retention interfering with breathing. Looks as though I have to put up the dose of diuretic to cope with it.


I take a mix of tablets. Ramipril – an ACE inhibitor ( angiotensin-converting enzyme). It widens the blood vessels and helps to reduce the amount of water put back into the blood by the kidneys, by blocking angiotensin. Furosemide diuretic to reduce fluid build-up. Bisoprolol beta-blocker to regulate the heart rhythm better. Aspirin – the jury is out on the benefits of it, with latest research saying it doesn’t have any benefits at all. Spironolactone – another diuretic that stops potassium levels going too low.


All of these have side effects, the main one being low blood pressure, especially if the blood pressure was not high to start with. So I’m not sure where I go from here. I’m waiting for a call back from a heart assessment team nurse and my GP. So far I’ve done well to avoid most of the problems associated with heart failure but now it looks as though it’s catching up with me. I’ll survive. Can’t wait for the temperature to drop.


Back to 2016:

That was an extremely stressful year with both parents admitted to a nursing home within the space of a month and then the sale of their house to pay for private nursing care. No help from the council as they had too much in savings.


In May I had a bout of breathing trouble at night and couldn’t sleep lying down (which is what is happening right now). It was a one-off so I ignored it and only remembered it because I keep a daily diary and came across it when looking for something else. June brought a bad bout of flu, amazing because it was in June and not winter. I had a chest infection after it and thought that was the cause of the onset of breathing trouble. The breathing difficulty going up inclines and walking distances of less than half a mile increased. There was some infection that showed up on X-ray so it was thought that another dose of antibiotics would clear the infection and the shortness of breath. It didn’t, and now I know why.

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