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Father newly diagnosed - please respond:

So my dad, 65, has confirmed heart failure. Symptoms began to show a week ago with bad breathing and coughing, became progressive over the weekends

Saturday night he went to ER, got a series of tests done. Found out today he had water in his lungs due to his heart failure … I’m freaked out, do not know what to do. I’m 24.

My dad is a stubborn ass old man, smoker since he was 12. He’s been smoking since.

First thing he did when he got home was smoke a cigarette.

He’s known to devalue the seriousness of things with regards to his health. Earlier this year he went and got evaluated for a similar heart issue, he didn’t say much. It appears that all of these years of smoking and bad dieting he’s type 2 diabetic) have finally gotten to him.

Here is the thing:

He is very stubborn & plays the seriousness of situations. He is not going to stop smoking and is very adamant about it … he’ll take the medication necessary, but that’s it. He doesn’t have any real desire to get better if it involves dropping cigs.

1.) Is this fatal, likely?

2.) What is the prognosis from hereon? In your opinion … I know most of everyone here are not doctors, I am just seeking some guidance since I am new wholly to this forum.

3.) Any advice, experience?

I am graduating from university this upcoming Saturday, and as I sit here, creating this count, writing this post, my father is in his bedroom ... coughing, constantly. He is taking some pills for his diabetes as well as his heart failure. But he is not doing much else to mitigate it, I confronted him about the situation, and potential death .. his response?

"Well, we all got to die of something!"

I suggested perhaps we look at alternative means to nicotine, if he won't stop? He won't chew, won't use a patch, I don't think. He smokes multiple cigarettes a day, not even joking.

He had water in his lungs.

He continues to tell my mother he "cannot sleep in the bedroom" because there is "something in it! -- that is, affecting his breathing, but my mother did a massive deep cleaning before he came home from the hospital. He constantly argues with my mother that there is something in the air in our home, when there isn't, causing these coughs.

I just don't know what to do, I am not a medically-inclined person to any measurable amount, nor am I someone who plans to attend medical school, but from everything I am finding, the prognosis is not good for someone in his age bracket, with the issues he has, diabetes, now this, and constant smoking (occasionally chain smoking). He has been smoking for 50 + years. It is as if he refuses to do anything about it.

I tried to also get him to consider vaping, instead of cigarettes. He says no interest, because they do not know what it will do ..

Please help :/ We come from a middle class home and I really need advice on what to do.

  1. Hi , I'm glad you found our community. It sounds like you truly love and care about your dad, and what you're dealing with sounds really difficult. It can feel so helpless watching a family member downplaying the seriousness of their health. It's important to understand that changing lifelong habits can be extremely hard, even if there's an imminent threat to health. Unfortunately, there's usually little we can do to change people's minds or get them to take their own health seriously, so it's important to just be there for them and meet them where they are. Sometimes, love and support are all a person needs to start making healthier changes.

    Also, try to only worry about things you CAN control (easier said than done, I know). As they say, you can't pour from an empty cup, so make sure that you are getting the care you need during this difficult time. While you may not technically be your dad's caregiver, I think you may find some of our articles written for/by caregivers to be helpful. I have included them below.

    As far as your question about prognosis, that is difficult to say. The life expectancy for people with heart failure has improved over the last 25 years, but there are many factors that go into determining prognosis on an individual level (and, as you mentioned, we cannot give medical advice here for your safety and ours). I have included a few articles that discuss life expectancy for people with heart failure. I hope this provides some helpful information.

    I know this is a difficult time for you, but please know we are always here for support. Feel free to reach out anytime you need to. Hang in there! -Jessica, Team Member

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