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Grandma refusing Dr. Appts.

nicmarie75
Posts: 54
Joined: Apr 2010

My grandmother had Lung Cancer in 04 and is in remission I believe is the term. But now she has another health issue. She has been DX with Severe Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. says it will lead to heart failure (she is 76) and though there is a density in her lungs (they believe it is scarring or infection) that the new PH DX will take her life before any chance of her cancer recurring. My grandma is done fighting, she misses my mom, her oldest daughter (died in 99 at 42 from Kidney Cancer) she misses my grandpa who died from cancer in 95 and she does not want to live anymore nor be poked and prodded any longer. She feels she will go to her normal BP checkups, Eye and hearing appts. but does not want to do anything other than her inhalers and Oxygen to treat her PH. I don't know what to do. Other than normal forgetfulness due to age and steroids, she is still of good mental status. I am her POA over her health and want to make her go to her appts. but my sister says I need to abide by her wishes. I don't know what to do

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 267
Joined: Mar 2011

Depressing though it may be, I think you're pretty much legally and morally bound to abide by her wishes, assuming she's of sound mind as you say. I think she will need all your support in whatever decision she takes, including if that entails mainly keeping her comfortable for the rest of her life.

All the best to you and grandma.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 346
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband and I were in a similar situation with my late father-in-law, as my husband was in charge of his care. At one point my 80-year-old FIL was through with this world and he was ready to go and join his wife in Heaven. It was really hard but we decided that quality of life is better than quantity. We abided by his wishes and did not force him to undergo painful and aggressive testing for a mysterious illness that popped up. A day or so later he started saying he could see his late wife and in another day or two they were reunited.

Initially my husband felt some guilt for not having the tests run, but in hindsight we know it was the right thing to do. My FIL had made his decision, and like your grandma he didn't want any more discomfort in his life. He passed very peacefully as he just slept his way out of this world. So in the long term we have no regrets.

Wishing you the best during this difficult time.

gayletaps
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Nicmarie, I do understand your worry. I don't want to pile up on you with advice because the two you have received are excellent. All I can do is sum up another scenario. My mother is current 88 years old. She had a colonoschopy when she was about 76. The results of that test was that they found pallets??? Not sure I'm using the right term.
However, they wanted to perform surgery to remove them because there could be cancer. My mother actually talked with me about it and her Internist because she didn't want any surgery's because she felt it would deminish her quality of life for too long, thus permanently. I am currently 64 but was 52 at the time. I was able to understand her concerns and wondered if I were in her situation, I might make the same choice. Anyway she decided not to get surgery and is still walking to the groceries and excercises at the YMCA twice a week. I sincerely believe that that choice should only be made by the individual that faces the challenge...because that is what you would be denying (the challenge) by making the choice for them. You would be respecting your grandmother more by letting her proudly face the challenge. Take care, Gayle

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