Living With Heart Failure
People living with heart failure often have other serious conditions that require ongoing treatment. If you have other conditions, it is likely that you are taking medications for those conditions as well as for heart failure. When taking several medications, there is always a chance for side effects and interaction between the medications. Tell your doctor immediately about any problems that you notice with your medications. Also, talk with your doctor before adding any new medicine. This includes over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements.
It is also important that you try to avoid respiratory infections like the flu and pneumonia. Ask your doctor or nurse about getting a flu shot and pneumonia vaccination.
It is helpful to have certain information on hand in case you need to go to the hospital or doctor right away. You should plan now to make sure that you have:
- Phone numbers for the doctor, hospital, and people who can take you to the hospital or doctor
- Directions to the hospital and doctor's office
- A list of the medications you are taking.
Heart failure is a progressive condition that can generally be expected to get worse and eventually lead to death. If you have severe heart failure and experience symptoms at rest, you can expect your condition to worsen. It is important that you and your family discuss what you can expect and your final treatment options with your doctor while you are able to do so. The time may come when you are unable to participate in discussions about your healthcare.