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93 yr. old mother

Posted by Robert W. Killam on June 29, 1999 at 11:03:30
My mother is 93 and until 2 months ago was still active and even driving and living alone. She had a fainting spell caused by low blood pressure which required a pacemaker to be implanted. About 4 weeks later she had a major heart attack (50% loss of heart function), which she did not recognize as such for over a week. There is no history of heart disease in her family. An EKG by her GP finally identified it as such, at which time she was hospitalized for congestive heart failure for 5 days. She has been in a rehab. center since then (2 weeks). The problem now seems to be finding the right combination and levels of medication. One day she is fairly strong and alert and the next she is very weak and fatigued. Is this normal and if so, how long might it take to stabilize her energy level or is that even likely? Also, statistically what might the average remaining life span be for someone her age in her condition? We are hoping she will be able to move into an assisted living facility rather than a nursing home upon release from rehab.

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD JMF on June 29, 1999 at 17:04:54
Dear Robert,
It sounds as though your mother has had multiple recent illnesses all of which are fairly significant.  Each of these conditions bradycardia and a heart attack are major illnesses that will cause weakness and are likely to require rehab of some sort.  It is difficult to say how your mother will do without seeing her, but it is not unreasonable to think that she would be able to return to an assisted living facility if that is what you and she desire.
I hope you find this information useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Only your physician
can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire
online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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