MIL Failing-Any Insight

cindymouseDecember 28, 2005

Hi All,

My MIL lives with us, for 8 years now. She's 80. Was a 50 year smoker until about 12 years ago. She has many underlying problems, ie. past TIAs, moderate emphysema, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, etc.

One of the main health issues is an aortic aneurysm. One year ago it measured 5.5 cm. Of course the surgeon wanted to operate immediately, but MIL said NO, given that the surgery was very invasive, she is frail, and not given to quick recovery. She even cancelled her appt. for ultrasound on it 6 mos ago. Just didn't want to know.

All in all, she's had a decent year. On Xmas eve morning, she swooned and fell unconscious, was unresponsive for 2 min. DH nearly started CPR, her breathing was so shallow. Tho he knew it would probably break her ribs. Anyhow ambulance came and hosp. admitted her. EKG was ok, chest xray, CAT scan, all ok. Brought her home on XMas day, and her weakness just intensified-she became very incoherent and nearly fell several times-we had to force her into bed.

Since then she has slept quite a lot, and is still very weak. Seemed to improve a bit last night. DH is now at Dr. appt with her, though this morning she started to swoon again.

Anyone with insight, please respond. She seems to go "great guns" for several months and then just crashes. DH and I are pretty well at wits end.

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Have her oxygen levels been measured? The "swooning" might be lightheadedness caused by insufficient oxygen to the brain. Any changes in medication recently (either in dosage levels OR in new medications entirely)?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:51PM
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The official word at the ER was orthostatic syncope, which we understand to be fainting due to sudden drop in BP. Oxygen levels were OK. DH just returned from Dr. visit with her, sounds like not much other than more testing and Dr telling her to be sure to take BP medicine on time. It sounds like there isn't much we can do, her body is just starting to give up on her.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 1:39PM
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