Carmen and I went to see her cardiologist last week. First of all, he started out by saying he was "very proud" of her progress. She really has come back from a very bad place. Her breathing continues to be good, 3 breaths per ten second intervals. I don't know why but my cardiologist has me measure that way instead of per minute. The norm is 5-7 breaths per ten seconds, so she is doing great here!
Despite the very aggressive regimen of Lasix, Enalapril, Spironolactone and HCTZ, her kidney values are completely normal. He noted her heart size has also reduced.
However they did find a spot on her lungs which was not there before. He confirmed through a white blood cell test that its not cancer (Thank God!) but they think it is some sort of infection. They know its not fluids.
Two questions: any idea why she would develop such a lung infection? I know that for a long time we just lived with a small amount of fluid in her lungs, can having such fluid in the lungs over prolonged periods cause infection? Right now in addition to all her other meds, she is taking antibiotics (poor thing!) and has a re-check x ray scheduled in two weeks.
Second, regarding heart size, the cardiologist said her heart disease obviously worsened over the summer since her first episode of CHF (she's had three episodes between July and October). While I know she will have to be on meds probably the rest of her life, how much "room" is left for the heart to improve? How do you judge how close this heart is to a "normal" heart? I know these are questions I need to ask the cardiologist, so here am just looking for some feedback or other experiences.
I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, please hug all you kitties for me! I know that this Thanksgiving was particularly special as I was not counting on Carmen to be here with me, let alone with such good progress.
Ildiko (with Carmen and Miranda)