My mother is 64 years old and has smoked since she was 12 years old. She still currently smokes about a half a pack a day. She was diagnosed with emphysema 6 years ago. She is on oxygen 24 hours at a rate of 2.5-3 liters per min, and she uses a Bi-PAP to sleep at night. Her FEV1 score is less than .25 liters. She is becoming markedly more breathless w/ activity (she even gets breathless dressing herself). She has had a number of exacerbations over the years including several bouts of pneumonia. Right now, she is having averaging a hospital stay about every 4 months. During the last 3 hospitalizations she has had to be intubated and put on a ventilator for for 24-36 hours. I feel sure that she doesn't have much time left...maybe a year...maybe she won't make it through cold and flu season.
My question is am I right that her life expectancy is poor right now? We can't really get good info from her pulmonologist b/c Mom won't discuss life expectancy at all. She has a great deal of denial. How can we help her accept her limited life span?
I would imagine that would depend on further exacerbations. She could go on like that for a long time. Heart problems result from emphysema as well so its hard to tell. She really needs to quit smoking. Otherwise she will go to take a breath one day and it simply wont be there.
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