As your heart
failure gets worse, you may want to think about
palliative care. It's a kind of
care for people who have illnesses that don't go away and often get worse over
time. It's different than care to cure your illness. But
some people combine both types of care.
Edema is the medical term for swelling. It is a general response of the body to injury or inflammation. Edema can be isolated to a small area or affect the entire body. Medications, infections, pregnancy, and many medical problems can cause edema.
Edema results whenever small blood vessels become "leaky" and release fluid into nearby tissues. The extra fluid accumulates, causing the tissue to swell.
Heart failure tends to get worse over time. So you
need to decide what kind of care you want at the end of your
It can be hard to have talks with your
doctor and family about the end of your life. But making these decisions now
may bring you and your family peace of mind. Your family won't have to wonder
what you want. And you can spend your time focusing on your
You will need to decide if you want
life-support measures if your health gets very bad. An
advance directive is a legal document that
tells doctors how to care for you at the end of your life.
This care includes electronic devices that are used for heart failure, such as pacemakers. You also can say where you want to have care. And you can name
someone who can make sure your wishes are followed.