I’ve posted about my friend who just had a baby by C-section. Today I got an e-mail from her saying that she and the baby are home after a week in the hospital and “doing well.” In the same message she says “Oh, by the way, in case you didn’t know, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 4 days after the baby was born.” :eek:
She spent 3 days in ICU and lost 20 pounds of fluid while there, which she says helped a lot. If she’s home, she must be in a lot better shape. She says she has lots of doctor’s appointments ahead: OB-GYN, heart, kidney . . . I know that pregnancy can carry a lot of complications, especially with a C-section, but boy, that CHF thing is scary. She’s 38 and has been quite overweight most of the time I’ve known her.
I’ve poked around on the Web looking for information. It seems to be unrelated to the pregnancy. Some sites (American Heart Association) are reassuring, saying that although there is no cure, people with CHF can be treated and go on to live fairly healthy, productive, active lives. Others (US government statistics site) make it sound like my friend has one foot in the grave, with scary statements like “Half of patients diagnosed with CHF will be dead within 5 years,” “One in five patients die within one year,” and “heart transplant.”
God, I’m hoping that all those scary things are referring to 75-year-olds who’ve been smoking for sixty years and have 17 other diseases as well, and not to under-40 women who just had a baby and (hopefully) have only a mild case that can be treated. Hoping that I’m overreacting as usual.