Why Support is Important When Living With Congestive Heart Failure

In this video, Ed and his wife share the ways in which they support one another, as well as the support they've found online that has helped them maintain a positive attitude after Ed's diagnosis with congestive heart failure.

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SHEILA: When I found out about Ed's diagnosis, inside I was panicking; outside I was composed.
Both of us recently in 2016 lost our spouses to cancer.
Neither one of us expected to ever meet anyone again. It was definitely true love.
Very shortly thereafter, Ed moved down to Georgia from New Jersey. ED: I came from a pretty big family up in the New Jersey
area. So coming down here, I was worried about having no family around. Thought it was wonderful and they've been so open
and so accepting of everything, so I feel blessed for that. My father towards the end of his life had heart failure.
So I was a little bit familiar with how things could happen. We educated ourselves, got as much information
as we could find, and we hoped he would get better. He did everything that the doctors recommended.
Immediately reduced sodium, was good about exercising, which at that time was just walking short distances.
We thought, well, if you walk three miles a day, will you get better faster? And they said, it doesn't work that way.
Luckily I don't have to walk three miles a day every day. I think the advice I would give to others is to help them find good options.
Eating out is more difficult. We look at the menu, we have apps on our phone where we can look up the sodium content.
ED: And some of your alternatives, like you can have a grilled chicken instead of having a fried chicken piece. Big difference in sodium.
Where'd it go? Uh oh. Uh oh. Not the first, won't be the last one.
SHEILA: You know, there are options out there. Some of it tastes good even though they are low in sodium.
And also to find a support system for yourself, too. Luckily for Ed and I, the communication is open,
so we're able to provide that to each other. Not everybody has that. We were very impressed with some of the online support
available. But I think my real value is going along on the doctor's visits, because I'm a little bit better
about anticipating questions. We remind each other about medication.
We both think it's critically important that you follow your medication schedule as prescribed. He has to be aware that he has some restrictions,
but I think it's important to focus on what you can do. Right, I agree. Not what you can't do. I agree.

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