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My 85 year old mother has refused a pacemaker

(3 Posts)
larry5 Fri 30-Oct-15 22:49:59

My dm has been in hospital for the last five weeks following chemical pneumonia (she vomited a lot and some went on her lungs). She is still on oxygen and cannot leave the hospital until she no longer needs oxygen.

When I went to visit this week (she lives 3 hours away) she told me that the doctor had suggested she have a pacemaker fitted as her heart is failing but she is certain that she doesn't want one as she doesn't want the pain and she thinks she is going to die anyway.

What I wanted to know was if she doesn't have the pacemaker is it likely to shorten her life. I know my mother doesn't really want to go on as she feels she has not got anything left to live for.

I would appreciate any info from anyone.

gonegrey56 Fri 30-Oct-15 22:56:38

I have no medical expertise, but can only say that my father was fitted with one when he was in his eighties, and quite poorly. It really helped him and he had some good years before he died at 90 of an unrelated cause . It is not a major operation to have one fitted . Perhaps your mother just needs a bit of reassurance - it may have been hard for her to grasp what she was being told as she is clearly still recovering . Could you talk to her doctor to find out the score ? And I hope some if the wise and experienced medical professionals on MN can help you .

Helenluvsrob Mon 02-Nov-15 00:10:58

Can you have a chat with her with the doctor and find out what the pacemaker will gain for her?

It's no great shakes to have fitted- dad has one send he's 91.

All cases are different clearly but if, for example her heart rate is too slow and missing / pausing for beats she will feel knackered and have blackouts . IMHO blackouts/ falls are worth every old person avoiding if at all possible. If she wants to feel dreadful that's up to her, but really she does not want to break a bone or two. That's serious impairment of ability to live as you wish. Break a wrist or a humerus- you can't cook, eat easily, drink a cuppa or maybe even wipe your bum. Break a hip - surgery inevitable , a significant mortality and statistically you never get back to the level of independence you had - so if you were mobile and self caring you'd need a frame and some carer help, if you had a walking aid/ care needs you may be wheelchair bound and maybe in a home.... Fall in residential care and break a hip and you will likely need nursing home care.

Bleak but factual. Sorry. Hopefully if she can see the consequences she'll take it up. I bet she just really feels so awful she hoping it means her heart will stop and she'll be out of all this (((()))). That's probably not very likely though over all.

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