Hi Pw, My Mom was diagnosed at age 85 with congestive heart failure. We noticed something was wrong as her feet and ankles swelled very badly. It was on Mother's Day and we had gone out to brunch and when we got home she said she was having trouble breathing. I immediately called the dr. and she went to the hospital. They drained the water out and she went on to recover and lived to 93. You are right that asthma can be confused with this disease. It is the swelling in legs and ankles that is the big clue. Don't you wonder why the drs. didn't give you heart tests to determine this? On the right meds I am sure you will live a very good and long life. And I am glad that you are all right. Take good care of yourself and post anytime you want someone to talk to.
Hi PW, I am sorry you are having to go through all of this. I had to have a number of heart tests this summer as the dr. thought my lung problems might be related to heart trouble. I had stress tests and an echocardiogram. I was at the cardiologists for about 4 hrs. Might I suggest that you have someone drive you and pick you up because you probably will not feel like driving after the tests. As far as diet is concerned there is all kinds of help on the internet and books on heart healthy cooking. It is very important to read labels as so many products have so much sodium in them. Don't be discouraged though, as when I had to change my diet my dr. said it is much easier to give up the taste of salt than any other flavors. Also, there are many salt substitutes that work well and many kinds of spices and herbs that you can use to flavor your food. Read as much as you can and if your cardiologist offers a program on managing your condition and healthy eatiing take advantage of it. If you have a big teaching hospital near you they often have classes on managing your care and cooking. The big things to stay away from are salt, butter and red meat. And you can stir fry with those no calorie cooking sprays. I find they work very well and always use them. They have flavored ones to enhance food. Please post after you have your tests and let me know how you are doing. I would like to help you as much as I can and will reply to your posts. Take good care of yourself and just take it one step at a time.