Hello Mary Ann,
Please remember that I am not a physician and this information is only from my own knowledge base.
First of all, yahoooooooo - you did not have a heart attack which is good news.
There are two main categories of heart failure - systolic heart failure and diastolic heart failure.
Systolic heart failure is when heart failure is caused by the heart not contracting well. The heart can't pump with enough force to push enough blood into the circulation. As a result, blood coming into the heart from the lungs can back up, causing fluid to leak into the lungs.
This is the most common type of heart failure, and the one doctors can treat and understand the best.
Diastolic heart failure is a different disease -- it's the heart not relaxing well. Very often, it's associated with high blood pressure and a thick heart. This form may lead to fluid accumulation, especially in the feet, ankles, and legs. Some patients may have lung congestion. Although doctors can treat blood pressure and fluid volume, there are not as many treatment options for this type of heart failure.
Also, there are stages of heart failure - Class I = mild through Class IV = severe. Many forms of heart failure are well controlled with medication.
My hubby has moderate heart failure and he does whatever he chooses without any problems. He is on a low sodium diet as well as a BP medication.
Please do talk with your cardiologist re your diagnosis and ask him your question re making good lifestyle changes. For my hubby, giving up salt was a bit of a challenge but it is good to see him checking labels for sodium content.
Do I worry about him ? A bit but as he has Crohn's Disease that is my bigger concern so big breath and know you are headed in the right direction with your goals. Happy Trails.