08.17.20 Roy has Congestive Heart Failure and AFib

Roy said this morning he hasn’t felt this good in months. Here’s how that came about.

I started writing this a few days ago because so much was happening. I wanted it all to be documented for us to be able to look back on this post in the future to know what and when things happened. If you are not interested in learning about Roy’s health issue, please feel free to not read beyond here.

Roy’s Urologist, Dr. Kidd, performed some tests on Monday, August 10th at Cypress Pointe Hospital in Hammond. I could not stay with Roy or even wait in the waiting room because of their Covid rules. When I dropped him off I went to Chip’s house and had a wonderful visit with sweet Madisyn.

After the main procedure was done I received a phone call from the doctor. When I picked Roy up both the anesthesiologist and the nurse talked to me. They all made a big point of telling me Roy needs to see his cardiologist as soon as possible. I learned that Roy was put on oxygen before the procedure at Cypress Pointe because his heart rate was very erratic. They said they couldn’t emphasize enough about Roy getting to the cardiologist, Dr. Georges Khoueiry. Other than that Dr. Kidd’s tests showed Roy’s platelets are low, he had an abnormal CT scan. These last couple of concerns will be addressed by Dr. Kidd on August 26th when Roy sees him for his follow up.

I picked Roy up from Cypress Pointe Hospital and immediately made an appointment for Wednesday at 3:30 pm for Roy to see his cardiologist, Dr. Georges Khoueiry. At that appointment, Dr. Khoueiry found fluid around Roy’s lungs and heart (congestive heart failure) and sent him to the Emergency Room at North Oaks Hospital to do more testing.  Dr. Khoueiry called the Emergency Room so they knew Roy was on his way and told them the tests they wanted the hospital to get started on.  They took Roy back to Triage right away.  In the ER they started him on Lasix and he peed, and peed, and peed and peed.  Roy hadn’t eaten or drank anything that day yet lots of pee came out. They put him on oxygen now to help his labored breathing.

Before all of this, Roy had been having problems being out of breath and the morning of the procedures he said he felt like he was being suffocated. Recently when we went to the grocery Roy had to stop and rest a few times as we made our way throughout the store.  At home when he walked up our hill he was very out of breath.

After having tests in the ER Roy was admitted to the hospital at 10 pm and taken to his room. Because of Covid 19, all of the two-bed hospital rooms are now one bed private rooms so we had to wait a bit for a room because they have only half the capacity they usually do. When they were ready to take him to a room I was told that in the hospital rooms visitors are only allowed from 7 am to 5 pm. And only one visitor a day. If you leave the hospital you cannot come back in. While this sounds rough its a lot better than no visitors allowed at all like it has been.

While in the hospital he was on a 24 hr a day heart monitor and oxygen. They agreed with his cardiologist’s initial finding of congestive heart failure. They drained over 7 liters of fluid with Lasix that first day and more was drained after that. They did a lot of tests. His cardiologist and primary care doctor have been by to review everything. Roy had difficulty breathing even while on oxygen the first night. A nurse stayed with him until he was better.

Chip stayed with his dad one day which meant I stayed home and rested. Chip brought his dad donuts and a PJ’s coffee. I couldn’t top that! When the doctor came to see Roy that day Chip called me so I could hear what the Doctor said.

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

Roy came home Saturday with new medicines and lifestyle changes and having lost almost 20 pounds from all of the fluids they got out of him.  I am having a hard time understanding or retaining what the doctors and nurses tell me. I asked Dr. Khoueri if I could videotape him on my phone giving us his summary of what they found when they let him go on Saturday. While at home I tried to learn about congestive heart failure and afib. One thing I did learn when I picked him up was that the afib is what brought on the congestive heart failure due to it weakening his heart muscle by his heart muscle having to work hard to keep up with the irregular heartbeat.

There will be changes in our life from this but I know God will be with us through this journey as He always is. Roy was sprung from the hospital on Saturday! He was sent home adding Lasix and Xarelto to his daily medicines, increasing Metoprolol XL to two times a day, removing aspirin and Meloxicam. The new medicines along with Potassium pills and Magnesium pills were picked up at our local wonderful pharmacy.

He has appointments with the cardiologist, Dr. Khoueiry on August 25th, urologist Dr. Vincent Kidd, August 26th, and primary care doctor Dr. Valdes on August 27th. No appointments this week which I cannot thank God enough for.

This morning we had a wonderful phone call with Faith, the Peoples Health RN who helped us so much understand things and get appointments with Dr. Khoueiry and Dr. Kidd. We talked to her for over an hour and now have a clear idea of everything we need to do and more.

Roy still has to get back to using his CPAP which was prescribed 10 years ago and hasn’t used. That should definitely help. He needs the aortic aneurysm rechecked he was diagnosed with last year and treated if needed, and to learn more about his platelets being low.  I am hopeful Roy will be allowed to get back to the fitness center soon and I’ll join him in that.

I use to refer to our experiences while living on the road, as adventures and I find I still do that even if it is not a wonderful adventure. This health event is one of the not so good adventures that we plan to turn into a good healthier Roy. Even though Roy is back home his adventure in congestive heart failure (CHF) is ongoing. He is home because they were able to get him stabilized, not because it’s gone away. I have more to share but this has been a beast getting put together correctly. So many people have been praying for Roy and I want them to know how best to pray for him. We both appreciate the prayers so much.

I looked back through what I wrote to see where this should be included but I couldn’t tell. One of the things Dr. Khoueiry said they may do to get his irregular heartbeat back to being regular is by using shock. I thought the doctor was kidding but he wasn’t.  We’ll see if that really happens! If it does happen I ask for prayers that it will be successful in getting his heartbeat back to normal.

In the last few years, Roy has been my dementia caregiver. Now I am taking on the role of his CHF caregiver. Please add me to your prayer list that I will be able to be the best-focused caregiver he could have.  It’s also going to be rough for Roy to get used to a low sodium diet and any other restrictions that will be placed on him when we see the doctors. If any of our followers have CHF or AFib and would like to share any practical information that you have learned, please send us a message at rosalyn@selu.edu

We are off to the pharmacy to meet with our MedPak representative about the changes to Roy’s MedPaks.  Then on the grocery to pick up nonsodium filled food items!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

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