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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Loved one with Infected heart valve, needs pace maker

Loved One with Infected heart valve, needs Pace maker, has Diabetes , had 2 strokes ? We have a loved one in CCCU. I need to know if anyone knows if he will make it through this. He has an infected heart valve, diabetes, he had 2 strokes in the hospital (one of them was a hemoragic (spelled wrong I m sure)) He also is in need of a pacemaker. He has been on a ventilator and feeding tube for a 4 weeks. And the Drs. say that he is too sick for the surgery to replace the valve in his heart. And they are waiting for major improvement to even think about it. The Drs. aren t giving us any prognosis on what percentage he has to make it through this. We would just like to know if anyone has gone through this with a loved one or knows what the outcome might be I would appreciate it. (We need to prepare ourselves if needed.) Thanks, Blessings!
Thu, 16 Jun 2011
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  User's Response
HARD TO NOTE .... ITS REALLY TOUGH FOR A DOCTOR TO PREDICT THE THINGS ....ALL BIG & BAD THINGS HAVE OCCURED WITH UR LOVED..... DIABETES MAKES INFECTED SITES TO HEALL PROPRLY AND HEART IS A VITAL ORGAN TO FUUNCTION ...AND OVER THAT STROKE.......... I THINK THE TREATING DR CAN BE THE BEST GUIDE .....PRAY GOD
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  User's Response
Doctors won't give odds or a prognosis because it is so incredibly variable. You already sense that this is not going to turn out well, or you would not be seeking answers like this. I've been through something similar with my dad, who did pass away in the hospital. However, at many times in his situation, he had a small rally and was doing better. This is normal. Had one of his rallys 'stuck', he probably would have walked out of there. Overall health and other factors come into this, but the patient's morale is a big issue. The better he feels, the better his chances. It is smart to be ready for the worst, but he should feel like this is just a minor blip that will be over in a while. Try things to lift his spirits, without putting too much stress on him. Nice music he likes playing in the background, pictures that lift his spirits (photos or drawings) placed so he can see them easily, etc. If I had it to do over again, I would work on all of his senses- sight (pictures), sound (music), scents (potpourri oils if allowed), touch (gentle massages, caresses, snuggly teddy bear), time (one complaint of many patients is the lack of clocks. A small clock off to one side sometimes helps minimize the 'twilight zone' effect), etc. Whenever he was strong enough, I would use humor- the latest jokes from a website, a funny DVD, an audiobook of a comedian's routine, etc., and comfort foods- even if only small portions- of favorite candy or treats, or home-cooked foods. Now- having said all that, please be aware that often the person who needs the most attention from other family members is the spouse or primary caregiver. It is all too easy for that person to become horribly depressed and exhausted. While the patient needs help, remember that other people do as well. Good luck, and god bless.
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