My grandmother is in the ICU being monitored. The cardiologist team hasn't been called by the doctors observing her yet. They want to see what is causing her heart rate to be so low. Here is the situation that happened last night:
She was taken to the emergency room for a low heart rate 35bpm. The performed numerous test on her vital signs, ekg, etc. The attending doctor decided she wanted to keep her overnight in the ICU. When I arrived a few hours later, they had set her up in the ICU for the evening. The nurse came up to me and asked me why my grandmother didn't wish to be resuscitated. She wanted to confirm that this was the case and asked for a living will. I told her that she does want to be resuscitated. She then asked if she was willing to accept a blood transfer. I said of course. I want you to do everything possible to save her life and asked her why she was asking all of these questions. She said that the attending doctor in the emergency room wrote DNR (do not resuscitate) on her chart. I immediately asked my grandmother questions about why she wouldn't want to be saved if something happened, and she said that she did.
I was pretty upset at this point and demanded they immediately change her status. She called the doctor that wrote DNR on the chart. The nurse needed authorization to make the changed. The doctor told the nurse that she wrote DNR because my grandmother didn't want to have a pacemaker implanted. In the doctors mind, that implied that she did not want to be resuscitated. How can a doctor make that type of decision? There is a difference between not wanting to have surgery and not wanting to be resuscitated. After I made the change, they brought in additional equipment (i.e. external pacemaker etc).
The nurse changed it and the doctor told them to withhold food, so she could have the pacemaker installed. The nurse pretty much said we need to find out if she was willing to have the surgery or not. I got the sense that it was either have the procedure or she would die. This scared a lot of my family members which led to an emotionally draining night.
If the surgery is just a pacemaker, it is not that bad of a surgery. Some leads are put in and the pacemaker. The pacemaker will keep her heart rate up to the desired beats per minute and the pacemaker will also provide information when checked to find out how her heart is doing and how much the pacemaker is working. Have a talk with your grandmother about the pacemaker. A lot of people have pacemakers including young people. If all that is wrong is her heart beat is slow, the pacemaker will make her feel a lot better. Sometimes it's just the electrical system of the heart that needs some help from a pacemaker and a person can live a long time. A person can live a very active life with a pacemaker.
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