Friday, August 18, 2006

congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is where the heart weakens and can no longer pump enough blood to the other organs in the body. This causes the person to become weak and unable to exert themselves. As blood slows in the body, it causes congestion in the organs and other parts of the body. Edema, or swelling of tissues, occurs. Congestive heart problems also affect the kidneys ability to process sodium and water. This water is often transported and deposited into the lungs. As the water in the lungs build, the person becomes unable to draw breath, and the added pressure in chest cavity often induces vomiting.

That was what my mother went through yesterday.

Within 12 hours, the doctors extracted over 3 liters of excess water via diuretic drugs and a cathetor. Most of the water probably came from her lungs. Blood test reveals that she may have secondary infections as well.

When I visited her in the hospital, she seemed to be doing well. She complains the hospital food is too bland and need salt. Salt is what's killing her. I guess 77 years of dietary habits are hard to overcome. We signed off Do Not Resuscitate papers.

It's funny that I don't feel a thing. It's not numbness. Just without feelings.

At her age, emergency chest compressions to revive her would break most of her ribs. Statistically she would only have 10% chance of revival from such procedure. She would live in pain and be immobile, constrained to a wheelchair for month should they were able to revive her.

She's doing better. I think she'll recover. With some dietary changes, maybe live healthily for years to come. It's the only mother I have, and I don't want her to go away. But she's so damn stubborn that I know she's going to do what she wants to do.

I wanna scream.

Alright. Time to go visit the hospital.


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