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Grandma refusing Dr. Appts.

Posts: 55
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.

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, your grandma's wishes are all that counts. She sounds like a wise lady. Old age for some folks is excellent, for others it's not. Let your grandma call her own shots as long as she can. She probably knows more than the doctors about what's going on in her body. Good luck, it's not easy.

Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2011

I completely agree with Barbara53.. As hard as it is right now and as challenging as her choice is on your mind and soul. It's her choice on what she wants to do and how she is going to handle this situation now. it sounds like she has been through a lot in her life and suffered a lot of loss.
I am so sorry. I know her choice is a difficult one for you and considering all you have also lost in your life this can't be easy on you.
You are really strong. Don't forget that.

I_Promise's picture
Posts: 213
Joined: Aug 2011

What else do they want to do regarding the pulmonary hypertension? Are we talking about adding steroids? Another medication? Yes pulmonary hypertension is a difficult disease to manage but between doing nothing for it and doing everything there are shades of gray.

I understand about respecting someones wishes but is she making an informed decision? The agony of not having enough oxygen, the air hunger is a terrible feeling, long painful suffocation is a horrible state. And she could deal with not having air for years, on her couch hooked on some oxygen, unable to walk anywhere or to do anything for many many years. Her quality of life can be severely impacted by refusing treatment. So I ask again, what treatment course is her pulmonologist recommending? Is the treatment more painful than the disease of pulmonary hypertension? Does your grandmother fully understand the consequence of her refusal. If she does, then so be it.


LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

You need to walk a mile in Grandma's shoes. It is her life and her decision. Would you want others to make these decisions for you. A medical POA is a tool to be used only when a person is no longer capable of making rational decisions for themselves. Not a tool of persuasion. You have said yourself she is not mentally impaired to make her own decisions. Just because her decision is not the one you would choose, does not give you the right to win out. Don't try to control her. She knows what she wants for her own life.

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