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84 yr old grandmother very ill
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84 yr old grandmother very ill

3 weeks ago my grandmother had a heart attack, one dr said it was
a complicated heart attack with severe damage. At that point i was told she would probably not survive.  Well last week she went home almost as good as before the heart attack. (amazing women) Well that didnt last long, she is back in but this time no one is saying much, she is on a resperator now and hates every minute of it. when we brought her back in they said it was failure again and that fluid was squeezing her lungs? and that was why she couldnt breathe.  for the last 2 days they keep saying she is getting better and the resperator will come off the next day and everyday we go and it's still there and they say she just isnt breathing good enough to come off.  She sleeps most of the time and i know that she is 84 but my question is, what else can we expect from this disease? i'm not very familiar with it, she was just diagnosed and i need some input because i have to help my grandfather he is 86. I need to understand the progression of this and what to expect i dont really like her doctor, all he talks about is did we sign a DNR order.  and i would switch doctors but she doesnt want anyone else, and he does not give out info on what to expect next please help.
Thanking you in advance 9/9/99
ruth
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It is difficult for me to give advice about such a sensitive matter over the internet - you really need to speak to her doctor. It sounds like she had a large heart attack that she miraculously survived. However, she was left with severe heart failure. An 84 year old with severe heart failure on a ventilator does not have a good prognosis and in the unlikely event she recovers from this episode, she would likely face repeat hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays. I suspect this is why her doctor, whom she knows and apparently likes, is pushing for the DNR order - to spare her the trauma of repeat episodes on the ventilator. The DNR order does not mean that she would not receive appropriate care, it just means she would not receive heroic resuscitative measures.
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