Patient Comments: Congestive Heart Failure - Symptoms

Question:

What symptoms do you experience with congestive heart failure? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Texasgal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

Shortness of breath, yup, would wake me sometimes. I also noticed I was retaining water but did not put two and two together. I also have felt very fatigued for a while. I am a 61 year old restaurant manager, up on my feet active 10 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. Just thought my age was catching up to me. Then went to doctor who had an x-ray, EKG and blood test done that morning. Results revealed congested heart failure. Something not right in all 3 tests. So now I am going to the cardiologist this week.

Comment from: Goshen, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 25

I am female, 32 year old, 320 lb., 5 ft. 5 inches, 57 inch waist. I just survived a massive heart attack and have congestive heart failure. I am so obese, and a smoker, my doctor gives me less than 2 years to live if I don't lose weight. I can barely walk, very swollen legs, up to my thighs. I also have fluid in stomach. I don't exercise and eat what I want, plus smoke 2 plus packs a day of non-filtered cigarettes. I am always fatigued, can barely breathe. I need a triple bypass but have to lose 20 lb. in order not to die on the table.

Comment from: Lori, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have congestive heart failure. I had a massive heart attack in 2017 and died on the table. It was classified as a widow maker. They put a stent in and told me I needed a heart transplant. Since then I've had several heart attacks and at least 1 stroke. I have been in hospice 3 times and they gave me 6 months to live. I bypassed that in November. I had a heart attack in December and they put in a pacemaker/defibrillator. I started working in May and in August had a stent put in my right artery. I went back to work 3 days later.

Comment from: Lexus, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have congestive heart failure, with an ejection rate of 20 percent. I have had several heart attacks, including a widow maker. I have 2 stents and a pacemaker-defibrillator. I am experiencing burning in my upper back and armpits. Perhaps I should go to the hospital.

Comment from: Tammi, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: August 03

My mother has congestive heart failure. She is in hospice now and she is retaining so much fluid in her entire legs. The left is worse. She has fluid also in her belly but it has improved there somewhat. She is complaining of shortness of breath. She is on 100 mg of Lasix 2 times a day. I don't know how I can make her more comfortable. I feel she is suffering. All of her vitals are good. Just the breathing thing. I feel she is drowning in the fluid.

Comment from: joneskelly, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 01

My dad has heart problems, and only at night when he's going to bed his nose stops up and I'm lost. I don't know if that's a symptom of congestive heart failure. He is 65.

Comment from: OldOmega, 55-64 (Patient) Published: December 20

My first congestive heart failure (CHF) was in 2006, with ejection fraction (EF) of 15 to 20 percent. I had 3 stents and began working from home the next week. I had a 'normal' life until last month. Pretty severe myocardial infarction and diagnosis is CHF. All three stents were 100 percent blocked. Now I have 6 stents and an EF of only 20 to 25 percent. In 45 days post stenting an echo conclusion was severe left ventricle dysfunction. I have climbed 255 flights of stairs and walked at 2.6 mph on an inclined treadmill for 167 miles and no real improvement. Kind of a down day.

Comment from: King jeff, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 11

I have congested heart failure and I find it hard to restrict my fluid intake. The doctors said my fluid intake should be no more than 1400 ml in a day, now my question is if I've been drinking over 1400 ml in a day what are some of the things that can happen to me and my body. I drink lots of water over my restricted limit I just need to know if this is the reason I recently started spitting up blood or if it is the medication that's causing me to spit up blood.

Comment from: DaveG1970, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 27

I am a male, 48 years old. I had a valve replaced in July 2016. In December of 2017 I had a type 1 ascending aorta dissection. My cardiologist is having me have another echo cardiogram done in October. Since my 2nd surgery I've noticed I am unusually tired. Walking short distances I am out of breath. My memory is horrible. And I'm only 48. I am worried about congestive heart failure.

Comment from: Ann, 65-74 (Patient) Published: June 26

My symptoms of congestive heart failure were swelling of feet and lower legs.

QUESTION

What is heart failure? See Answer
Comment from: Lyn R, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: June 11

My husband is 80, has COPD, diabetes, and under a doctor's care. He seems more tired every day. He couldn't get his breath and broke out in a sweat. The doctor said he was concerned he had congestive heart failure. He's never had any heart attacks.

Comment from: Victorea, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 22

My husband is 61, he has a defibrillator pacemaker, 6 stents, and is on medications for congestive heart failure. He is getting more tired, I have noticed that he can't remember things, and his breathing is very heavy. I am very concerned he has been in and out of hospital. I know what to expect and so does he.

Comment from: L, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 22

My husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2013, with ejection fraction of 15. Nine days later he had a stroke on the right side. He stayed in the hospital for a month. His ejection fraction went up to 25. January 2018 he visited the heart doctor who said he was doing great, 'wow' he said. February 2018 he had a stroke, and was back in the hospital with ejection fraction of 15. Now he is weak, agitated easily, somewhat confused and tired all the time. I am worried if we are approaching final stage.

Comment from: DENISE , 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: May 21

My mom has severe swelling feet and ankles from congestive heart failure. She has a hard time breathing and fatigue, has an enlarged heart. Her blood pressure is 250.

Comment from: John, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: January 12

My father died of congestive heart failure at the age of 89. From about 80 he had been short of breath when walking any distance. He then got progressively weaker over the following years. In the final year he got mucus on his lungs. He thought he had a chest infection. In the final few months his feet started to swell up and he could not get his slippers on. He then started to collapse when walking to the front door to collect his post. The local doctors did not think there was anything wrong. He finally caught a chest infection and I took him to hospital. He did not have enough strength to overcome it and died after a two week struggle. Similarly, my 80 year old neighbor started to faint sometimes in the kitchen. He was diagnosed with a faulty heart valve. He decided to have a replacement but the shock of the operation was too much for him. After the operation he seemed quiet and a bit confused and his hand was shaking. He died the next week.

Comment from: millielou, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 05

Symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF) started suddenly. My knee swelled, and the doctor thought it was arthritis. Shortly after I had terrible coughing that I thought was bronchitis, but cough has gone on for weeks and I am also wheezing. I always have had tremendous energy, but now get tired just walking up our driveway with slight incline. My heart pounds when I go to bed at night. I do not smoke or drink excessively. I am 5 ft. 2 inches and weigh 114 lb., but have gained six pounds in one week. I was glad about that because I was too thin, but now wonder if it has to do with my CHF. I was diagnosed with this 3 years ago when I had an echogram for something else. The doctor did not tell me until very recently. I plan to see either a heart doctor or a pulmonologist. Glad I read this web site.

Comment from: patrick, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 28

I recently found out I have congestive heart failure. I thought it was walking pneumonia and decided I'd wait until the following morning to go to the emergency room (ER). I went to lie down and when I did I literally couldn't breathe. To the ER I went. I was in stage 3. Actually thought I was going to die. They have me on some medications and I use my wife's breathing machine. But every other night I awaken with extreme shortness of breath. It is like someone is choking the life out of me. I'm in panic mode. It feels like I have only a few minutes to get on that breathing machine or I'm not going to make it. What a feeling! Anyway it affects me every 2 to 3 nights. Seems as though I constantly feel or hear fluid in my chest.

Comment from: Darla, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 11

I just seem to have no energy with congestive heart failure. I walk back and forth doing laundry, cooking, whatever, but I feel exhausted. When I undertake a chore, my heart seems to beat a lot faster than normal. My legs are so tired and feel so heavy, that I have to sit a lot, the feeling of tiredness is on me but I keep on going. Lately, it seems I can rest better on 2 pillows rather than 1. I don't sleep well anymore, and I use my CPAP machine, but still wake up during the night. When my legs cramp, they are like a deflated football, the muscle is sucked inside, and I have to walk around to get them to relax, and spend the rest of the night in the recliner. I have a stent in the heart since 2009, but these symptoms have been over the last couple months, and I am just totally tired.

Comment from: ray, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: May 09

My husband had a heart attack 9 years ago. He has a pacemaker defibrillator. Now he has congestive heart failure and is in a nursing facility. His memory is impaired and he can be abusive.

Comment from: mimi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I am 54. My symptom when I had congestive heart failure was feet swelling and I started to get chest pains. Suddenly I got weak and dizzy and had shortness of breath. My blood pressure was 200/100, respiration was 28 with oxygen saturation of 88 percent. I was extremely short of breath. My heart rate was 140 and I had a temperature of 97.6 degrees. My blood glucose was 90 which scared me because I am a heart surgeon.

Comment from: Barbara C, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

My symptoms of congestive heart failure were swelling in my legs, cellulitis, and then shortness of breath and chest pain. I had been taking massive doses of pain killers for back pain for four years and I think that is what brought it on. My blood pressure was low, then suddenly very high. I was no longer as active as I used to be; I used to be very fit. Now I need to have a lot more sleep. Also I have no appetite, but I have gained a massive amount of weight and although I have tried very hard to lose it, I just keep gaining.

Comment from: Okie2015, (Patient) Published: April 24

I get very tired at times, have seizures where I pass out, and bad color in face. I also swell up in legs, abdomen, and chest. Congestive heart failure is a very hard disease to live with.

Comment from: Buger2$, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 02

Shortness of breath is my symptom of congestive heart failure.

Comment from: SKY, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 14

My mum is 69 years old and had a heart attack a week ago. She came out of the hospital and is unable to sleep on the bed. She sits and sleeps, her feet are swollen, and chest is very heavy. I am worried if it is congestive heart failure.

Comment from: Ang_s, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I am unsure of whether or not I have congestive heart failure CHF. I do know that my aunt, my mom's sister, had passed away from CHF. I am wondering if CHF affects only older people or if it does not pick an age. I have had some similar symptoms of CHF. And when I google it only things that pop up is CHF and adrenal fatigue syndrome. I am unsure of what to do. But the fatigue and shortness of breath gets worse every day. And I feel so weak. I'm always dropping things. Almost feels like I have no strength left in my hands or arms. I just feel like I can't even complete everyday tasks like laundry or dishes without getting extremely tired and out of breath. I get dizzy a lot also.

Comment from: hannah, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I am a 46 year old female. I was first was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2008. In 2010 I was fitted with a defibrillator. It shocked me once last year. The doctors said it definitely saved my life and that I would be dead. A year and a half ago I had a blood clot in my lung and heart, I took warfarin and cleared them up right away. The doctors told me I had six months to live and hospice was called. My ejection fraction currently is 23 percent. It has been so long I am wondering how much longer I have to live.

Comment from: caregiver needing he, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: January 23

I need advice who to turn to as the doctor didn't seem to be too bothered by the swelling of my husband's feet. He is 88, diabetic and has atrial fibrillation. I am his 24 hour caregiver/wife, and I am 75. He has just been through a nasty chest infection that cleared with 7 day antibiotic, but his feet are still all swelled up. I am worried he has congestive heart failure. I don't know whether to go to his internist, cardiologist (not a surgeon) or his general physician. These days, I find them wanting to be asked only in the 'department' that they're in.

Comment from: pat, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 29

My mother is in the hospital at this time with congestive heart failure and retaining a lot of fluids and cannot breathe without oxygen. I am worried if I should start preparing for the worst.

Comment from: Connie, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 29

My husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) about 6 years ago. The heart surgeon said he may go on a heart transplant list. His pharma regimen was successful and he eventually returned to golfing 2 or 3 times a week (usually 9 holes with a cart). He developed a horrible, dry cough that caused forceful retching sometimes to vomiting. It took a long time before he was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. It has recently recurred and the treatment is heavy dose of prednisone. It is just awful to go through, poor guy. Now he very suddenly has a terrible retching acid reflux when he lays flat, particularly on his left side. His right leg is swelling again and his usually thin frame has a small soft roll around his waist, about 10 extra pounds. Doctor says his heart and blood pressure are fine. He's getting a bit angry and annoyed by his new or returning symptoms; also much lower energy. Doctors don't find anything to be causing these symptoms.

SLIDESHOW

Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes See Slideshow
Comment from: G Bdoyle, 75 or over (Patient) Published: December 08

I have congestive heart failure (CHF), and all the symptoms of the disease. But I have developed a severe cough, day and night, especially at night. I wonder if this is another symptom of CHF. Also my heart beats only 20 percent. I just developed the cough after my last doctor visit this week.

Comment from: roxey, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I have had right side heart failure. I find difficult waking as I am out of breath; my everyday life is hard.

Comment from: jkid, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I constantly had to go to the toilet, couldn't while I sat on the toilet, and then went when I stood. I kept having bronchopneumonia for over a year, was breathing somewhat between coughs, but not seeming to catch any oxygen with the gasps I was able to make. I had dizzy spells. This was caused by rheumatism, which hasn't affected other body parts yet, so doctors found this to be new and different especially due to my young age (as far as heart surgery and congestive heart failure patients go anyway).

Comment from: Cj, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

With congestive heart failure, I have shortness of breath, tiredness, and up to 4+ edema even with daily diuretics.

Comment from: Luis Alberto, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 04

My ankles are swelling for the first time with congestive heart failure, I have no fatigue, dyspnea or shortness of breath.

Comment from: Scotchlass, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 09

With congestive heart failure I have tightness in the lower chest - as if I was wearing a corset and someone was pulling it tighter. I also have the urge to want to go to the bathroom.

Comment from: candledy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I didn't have any pain. For over 3 months, my breathing got steadily worse. I kept blaming it on bronchitis that I seem to get every year. It got to the point, I could not get my breath and so dizzy. I had refused to go to the hospital, and that day I was forced to go to hospital. I was on the very edge of heart failure. I'm doing much better now.

Comment from: Forever3k, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

I'm 19 years old and was diagnosed with CHF when I was 17 – a couple months before my 18th birthday. I became really sick, with lots of vomiting. I'd stopped being active, gained lots weight, and started swelling. I had fluid in my lungs and went to the ER, where I was then admitted me to a large children's hospital. Since then, I've been on all kinds of medications – fluid pills, baby aspirin, and blood pressure pills. I feel that none of them do anything. The fluid pills just make me pee a lot. I still have swollen feet and experience shortness of breath, but not all of the time. I used to work in a refinery and would climb 75 steps in four flights of stairs, and would have to stop and catch my breath. But I still got to the top. Other than that, nothing else has happened. I don't see my doc for another three months. The only thing that really bothers me is that my feet blow up like balloons, which makes me not want to go anywhere because it's really noticeable.

Comment from: Zoche, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

Recently, I was hospitalized for a week. When I entered, my blood pressure was very low and I was anemic. I have been suffering from swollen legs and ankles. My blood pressure goes up and down even though I'm on three blood pressure medications. I have lupus, but it has never affected my heart. I am experiencing extreme fatigue and when I do normal activities I sweat profusely. I have had several bouts with pneumonia and asthma. I had two heart catheters, which showed no blockage. Upon discharge, the hospital gave me information about congestive heart failure. The doctors never even discussed this with me. What should I do?

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

My feet swelled and I went to the doctors he gave me 60 mg. of Lasix I lost 15 lbs. in a week. My husband has brain cancer and I couldn't take my pills every day since I was his driver. Finally I couldn't breath, my feet were like balloons. I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with CHF and blood clots in my leg and lungs. Two weeks in hospital and 3 weeks of physical therapy I still am on Lasix and my feet are still swollen and I'm still huffing and puffing on oxygen 24 hrs. a day. I'm hoping that my next visit to the doctors will see an improvement. I don't want to spend the rest of my life hooked up to oxygen. Last year I had a pacemaker put in due to a heart rate that would be between 40 and 197 that they couldn't control with medication. I've never been healthy since.

Comment from: Dave, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 09

I am 46 years old. After losing over 100 pounds, I was diagnosed with diabetes, then lost a toe, after all this I started retaining fluid gaining 70 pounds in three months. I went to my family Dr. he treated me for allergies. I got a second opinion and was diagnosed with CHF. With the fluid retention I also have shortness of breath; I sleep in the recliner now. I have night sweats and no energy I want to sleep all the time.

Published: July 28

I have been very recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. My signs and symptoms mainly consisted of shortness of breath, but it was more like gasping for air, and there was a lot of wheezing. Turns out it wasn't wheezing at all, but fluid in my lungs. Saw my doctor and she treated me for what she believed was either asthma and/or emphysema. When I demanded a chest x ray after 3 weeks of this, I was told to go to the ER, where they did a chest x ray and discovered fluids in my lungs. The next few days in the hospital required many tests such as more chest x rays, an echocardiogram, EKGs, and a CT scan with and without contrast. After 2 days on Lasix and steroids, I apparently released 10 lbs of fluids in my lungs, 10 lbs! More than a gallon of water. I am feeling much better breathing wise, but I have a long road ahead of me. My next step is a heart catheterization.

Published: July 24

The 1st indication I had that I was experiencing CHF was severe loss of energy. A simple walk up a flight of stairs, and I was huffing and puffing, practically gasping for air. That's when a friend who happens to be a para medic, pointed out to me that my ankles were unusually swollen. I passed the lack of energy off on the fact that I was about 35 to 40 lbs. overweight and did not exercise. I was what you could call a lazy couch potato. I smoke about a pack of cigarettes a day, and although I don't drink anymore; I went through about 12 to 15 years as a very serious alcoholic. (1 QUART of Jack Daniels per day plus 12 to 24 beers). It was when my testicles got swollen to the size of a couple of grapefruits, that I went to the ER. The diagnosis was Congestive Heart Failure. I've been hospitalized 3 times since that fateful day, most recently for an infection on my lower leg that oral antibiotics would not cure. I take a lot of diuretics and am on a strict diet with my goal being to loose 40 lbs. I still smoke cigarettes, but have cut down substantially. The doctors tell me I won't die, THIS TIME!

Comment from: Al, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 11

I wonder if vomiting is connected to congestive heart failure.

Comment from: AV, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I have fever, cough, wheezing, am very sick to the stomach, very weak with fatigue, and off balance. I am concerned if I have congestive heart failure.

Comment from: Donald, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 04

I had a heart attack 4 months ago, had open heart surgery where 4 arteries were replaced in my heart. The heart doctor's report said he wouldn't recommend anymore surgery because 84 percent of my arteries and veins are clogged up. I am a 62 year old male. I wonder how long I can expect to live with congestive heart failure.

Comment from: CourtneyP30, 35-44 (Patient) Published: March 19

My husband's right foot is retaining water and it is cold. I am worried it could be a symptom of congestive heart failure. He is 40 years old.

Comment from: Lake, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I had my upper eyelid surgery 3 days ago. The more I looked at myself in the mirror, the more I regret going through with it. I can only open my eyes 1/3 to half of the way due to swollen upper lid. My eyes don't shut when I sleep (my daughter told me). My eyes are not even, one eye is more open than the other. The skin has been pulled too much on one eye that it hurts right after the surgery. My eye shape is no longer the same. The surgical line is long-- it goes way past the eyes and stops at both sides. The doctor told me that he had to do it otherwise the lid will droop. I was so shocked to see the line. I used to have big open eyes and was proud of it. Blurred vision is what I have encountered in the last 3 days. All I can do is wait and see how it turns out after a month. I truly hope that I don't have to go to another doctor to get them fixed to look normal again.

Comment from: milojune, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and started having episodes of extreme dizziness and felt as though I was passing out. I went to the emergency room and after close observation my heart was pausing. They put in a pacemaker; but since then my legs and ankles swell terribly; I suffer from serious fatigue. The support stockings help some, but not a lot... I still swell badly.

Comment from: Caregiver, 75 or over (Caregiver) Published: April 12

My mother is 84 years old and suffers from CHF. She is on two medications for high blood pressure and a thyroid medication (since removed) and high doses of Coumadin for recent episode of severe blood clots in her lungs. Her lips turn blue at times, even with slight exertion. I'm wondering if she would benefit from having oxygen in her home to help with her shortness of breath.

Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 05

I had sharp leg pains and gained 40 pounds in a week. Also, I had insomnia and was waking up, gasping for air. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Fatigue is my biggest issue, along with dizziness. But the worst is feeling like I'm out of sorts and having the shakes. The doctor just looks at me like I'm crazy when I describe this. I don't know any other way to describe it. I sleep a lot because exercise gives me even small amounts of palpitations. It kind of sucks waiting on the government for a defibulator.

Comment from: SHARON, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 07

I was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). My first signs were severe loss of energy and endurance on job in nursing. Just extremely tired all the time. I had a bad day that I was vomiting for approx 12 hours and then chest pain kicked in. I took nitroglycerin and got immediate relief from both. Over a period of maybe 3 weeks I just couldn't do much of anything, exhaustion and extreme amounts of sleep. Still tired. An episode of extreme shortness of breath and lightheaded and chest pain sent me to ER. Admitted same night and diagnosed with CHF over 3 weeks ago. I went back to work part time but still can't do much at all on or off job. Probably the scariest medical issue I have ever experienced.

Comment from: sue321, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

In 2002 I had four hours of morning vomiting, back spasms, severe headache and exhaustion. I had been treated for sinus infection and was on antibiotic during the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF) symptoms. When my lungs began to wheeze heavily, I remembered that the lungs can fill with fluid as a backup system for heart problems, so I laid down in my hallway and told my son to call an ambulance. This was the beginning of a ten day Myocarditis congestive heart failure. Not fun. It took four months to recover fully. However, today I have exercise induced "cardiac urgency" which was recently translated as congestive heart failure probably related to the Myocarditis.

Comment from: astrogirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I had swelling of my legs and feet. This was prior to having to have an open-heart surgery at the age of 42. At the age of 47, I experienced swelling in my right leg. It was determined that I had an extreme iron deficiency brought on by the excessive bleeding during menstrual cycles due to uterine fibroids. The red blood cells carry oxygen through the bloodstream, and I was deficient in red blood cells. I received a blood transfusion. Several weeks later, I had a hysterectomy and the symptoms abated. I haven't heard of anyone else who has had this complication due to congestive heart failure (CHF), so I thought I would mention it here.

Comment from: Moster, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

At my worst, my doctor said I had “one of the most enlarged hearts I had ever seen.” Being a 25-year smoker (I'm now 45), I immediately quit. I had also become a full-raging type 2 diabetic and would inject 100+ full units of insulin per meal. I weighed 364 pounds at the time and clearly was going to die. I opted for gastric bypass surgery, and I now weigh 190 pounds (my high school weight). I am 6 feet 2 inches tall. I have reversed my congestive heart failure, I am no longer a diabetic, and I ride my bike at least 12 miles every day and feel like a 21-year-old again. No kidding! I eat only whole foods, veggies, no meat, bread or rice. I'm a combination carb/protein type and have a protein shake once or twice a week or salmon. I am, and I feel, completely recovered.

Comment from: Cyndie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy about four years ago but just recently began having trouble breathing when lying down. I attributed it to my weight at first but grew concerned when I could hear my lungs crumpling and wheezing with every breath. As it got more and more difficult to breathe and people across the room could hear it, and I felt weaker and was feeling chest pressure, I decided to go to the ER. They diagnosed me with congestive heart failure.

Comment from: CarolAnn64, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

With my congestive heart failure, I had a bloated stomach on and off. I also experienced insomnia, a pressure feeling on my chest as if it was caving in on me, and chest pains. My other symptoms included coughing, bad upper back pains under my shoulder blades, weakness, and light-headedness. Sometimes I had palpitations. The glands just under my armpits would hurt a little. I would have fatigue that seemed to come out of nowhere and I would have to sleep immediately. I was unable to make it up the stairs without having to stop for a break in between because of lack of oxygen and because of weakness. I had to prop myself up on pillows when lying down at night so that I could breathe. Lying on my left side made my chest hurt more.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I have very painful fibromyalgia and asthma and COPD. I was tired all the time and spent most of the day in bed or asleep. I was also very depressed. In October I went to the hospital to have a colonoscopy. I never had it done because my heart rate dropped below 40 two times. The second time I woke up in ICU and an hour later I was having a pacemaker put in that works on the top and bottom of my heart. I was told I have CHF. The nurse in ICU said I should count my blessings because had I not been in the hospital I probably would have died.

Published: July 18

I'm 34 yrs old and I was diagnosed with CHF 6 months ago. My symptoms were shortness of breath, exhaustion, I couldn't breathe when I laid down flat, my tongue had white splotches on it. I have CHF because of meth use.

Published: July 08

I first noticed the symptoms about three days before they forced me to go to the emergency room. In retrospect I realize that the symptoms had been going on for some time and I had adjusted my life style to accommodate them. The day before I had to have medical attention it took all of my energy to do simple tasks. I felt as if I were wading in water and I had to stop and get my breath many times during my work time that morning. When I returned home I crashed in the recliner and slept most of the rest of the day. From there I went to bed and slept until about 2:00am when I awakened unable to get my breath. I'm the type of person who thinks "if you ignore things, they'll eventually go away", so I fought my way through the night and went to work the next day. I lasted about 45 minutes before I went to the Doctor. I could breathe but felt as if I were getting no oxygen. I was exhausted. To my knowledge I had no swelling and I did not experience any dizziness or disorientation, I even drove myself to the hospital.

Published: July 02

I first noticed it when I enrolled in a line dancing class. The first two dance steps were alright. Then the pace picked up a bit and I found it hard to breathe. Eventually during the third dance I had to stop and stand against the wall to calm my heartbeat. It felt like it was going ninety miles an hour. And it was, as I find out more about CHF, my heart was trying desperately to pump more oxygen to my brain.

Published: June 27

i had congestive heart failure (cardiomyopathy) 7 1/2 yrs. ago and it triggered my kidney's to fail, is that normal?

Published: June 19

Hands and legs swelling thick and foamy saliva hard to breath sick to my stomach and bad muscle spasms.

Published: June 04

Shortness of breath, unable to lay down without congestion and coughing, pain in stomach.

Published: June 03

I have swelling of the legs and ankles and trouble breathing and fatigue with insomnia.

Published: May 27

I have swelling of my lower legs ankles and feet also heaviness in the chest.

Published: May 23

I have had swelling of the legs, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.

Comment from: daiseyann, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

Hello. I am a 54 yr. old female and I am morbidly obese. I am a type 2 diabetic. I am always tired and can't catch my breath. I do something around the house and then I have sit to catch my breath. I constantly have the feeling of a cement block sitting on my chest. My oxygen level at the doctors when sitting is 93 while walking I don't know. My legs and feet are so swollen that I have a hard time walking.

Comment from: Claudean, Female (Caregiver) Published: October 06

Every evening I would get chills from the inside out. Shake all over, cover up, use hot towels, electric blanket, and wear gloves. I have a very bad heart and have been told by my doctor, there is nothing else to be done. Sometimes when I am chilling, my fever runs to 101 - 102 degrees, and I vomit. This happens every evening, or sometimes earlier in the day. What do you think about this, and do you know of anyone who experiences anything like this?

Comment from: mdsman, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 06

I was just diagnosed today with CHF. When the physician was finished with me and gave me a list of medications he wanted me to take. I scanned the list and said, “this looks like an old persons list of medications". I am an assessment nurse and very familiar with the common diseases of the elderly. I am 67 years old with a family history of CHF, my Mom, Dad, and Sister have it. I am not surprised. I will make the changes I need to make and continue to work.

Comment from: skippy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

It is always comforting to know that there are other people like you out there. Last fall I had a severe lung inflammation. It took away my voice and the strength of my muscles, that when it was time to take me to the emergency, I had to be carried in by my husband. I had been treated for a chest cold, etc. but, nothing worked for me. Then this past February I had a heart attack, possibly side effects for the steroid I had been put on for my lungs. Anyway, I am recovering, but still do have trouble with my breathing and loss of breath sometimes, especially at the end of the day, and of course I don't have my full energy back. I get rather frustrated and depressed at times. What can one do, but have patience.

Comment from: jillz66, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I experienced shortness of breath during and after movement and sweating after eating or movement. I was hospitalized last Febuary for CHF.

Comment from: peaches, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 25

My brother in law was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He has had asthma due to allergies all of his life. He could not breathe and his ankles were swollen. He thought it was a fall-time allergy, and went to the hospital.

Comment from: RosW, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I had extreme tiredness and no energy. I had a mild heart attack in 2006 and surgery on carotid arteries 2008.

Comment from: Believe6406, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I had a massive heart attack at age 43 in June of 2006. I was shocked once and brought back. About three months after that, it was difficult walking up my stairs, out to my car, at the supermarket, etc. It was as if I had run a marathon.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.