The definition of heart failure is when the heart cannot pump efficiently enough blood to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When the heart becomes weak or when it becomes thickened and stiff, the heart muscle cannot keep up with its workload.
Signs and symptoms of heart failure include
shortness of breath,
coughing (or chronic cough),
pounding or racing heart,
loss of appetite,
swelling in the ankles, and
rarely, chest pain
Symptoms are usually worse at night when lying flat
There are four stages of heart failure, used to classify the severity of symptoms, and I am at the forth stage.
Class I: no limitations in activity. Normal activities can be performed.
Class II: mild limitations and mild symptoms with activity; no symptoms at rest
Class III: noticeable limitations in activity; only comfortable at rest
Class IV: symptoms occur at any level of activity and uncomfortable even resting
The term heart failure can be frightening, but in reality, it just means that the heart is not pumping as well as it could be. When the heart muscle is weak, blood cannot be pumped efficiently enough to get oxygen to all of the cells. Sometimes the heart becomes dilated and weak. Other times it may be stiff and thickened. Over time, the heart cannot keep up with its workload. When this happens, there isn’t enough oxygenated blood reaching the brain and muscles, and fluid begins to backup in the and other tissues. The lack of oxygen causes the main symptoms of heart failure such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty completing tasks that require exertion.
Systolic heart failure (left-sided heart failure): When the heart loses strength on the left side (left ventricle) and cannot pump the blood into circulation, it is called systolic heart failure or left-sided heart failure. When this occurs, the heart becomes dilated and weak. The strength of the heart muscle can be measured with an echocardiogram that measures the ejection fraction. An ejection fraction of greater than 55% is normal. The term congestive heart failure, or CHF, refers to the accumulation of fluid in the tissues. Fluid can accumulate in the legs causing swelling (edema), into the lungs causing pulmonary edema, or into the abdomen where it is called ascites. A type of heart failure termed acute decompensated heart failure is an emergency.
The American Heart Association along with the American College of Cardiology grades heart failure in four stages, and takes into account that heart failure can be present even before symptoms appear:
- Stage A: No heart failure, but at high risk due to another medical condition that can lead to heart failure, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or coronary artery disease.
- Stage B:The heart has been damaged by the patient’s other medical condition(s) or other factors, but no symptoms are present yet.
- Stage C: The heart is damaged and the patient is experiencing heart failure symptoms.
- Stage D: The patient has severe heart failure that requires specialized care, despite receiving treatment (end-stage).
In other words I am at the end of the line, there is nothing left for me but the dying part and it will come soon enough. I don’t understand why my friend here does not understand all that and still believes that I can do anything that I used to do. I would love to be able to go outside and walk around my yard or play with my dogs, but most of the time it is hard for me just to stand and walk into another room when I need to. Maybe she just doesn’t want to see it like it is because she doesn’t like to see me like that., I am sorry but it’s not like I can change anything about it, that’s just the way it is and that’s all there is to it, like it or not, my time is coming to an end.
All I can say here now is that I have lived the best I could have being here where I am at, maybe it would have been better for me somewhere else, but this is where I chose to be, so I cannot blame anyone but me.
All I know is now I need to prepare myself for Gods love and be ready to go home, so with that I say to you that I am ready and I hope to see you all in Heaven one day.
Miss Bobbie Jean Chiasson
With a dream of a better life in Heaven.