Godmother was diagnosed with failure

  1. My Godmother, whom is also my aunt and I love dearly is very ill of late. She is 65 and been diabetic since she was 4. She is brittle. She has heart failure, afib, a history of uterine and bladder CA with no signs of anything now (several years ago). She recently was diagnosed with end stage renal failure which is new for her. Until now her kidneys were working good. They said due to her heart ailments she is not a candidate for treatments\-dialysis. Since hem/onc is my base of nursing, I wanted to ask a renal nurse how long it usually takes to proceed from end stage without treatment to death. I know no one can quote anything I just want to hear what other people have seen since these clients always went to the renal unit and did not stay on our floor. Anyone care to give me an educated guesstimate of a time frame? The dr. said he did not know what to tell her.

  2. Visit renerian profile page

    About renerian

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 7,472; Likes: 46
    RN, MS home health


  3. by   P_RN
    I'm not a renal nurse, but I just want to say how sorry I am for what your godmother is going through. You must be a wonderful niece.
  4. by   PennyLane
    So sorry to hear of the sad news. I don't have any advice, sorry. Enjoy the time you have with her.
  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I'm so sorry for your news.
    Did the docs say she can't even have peritoneal dialysis?
    At my dialysis unit, we have many very ill, unstable pts with serious co-morbidities.

    How long she has depends on a lot of things. How much kidney function does she still have? How much does she still urinate?
    Is it "good" urine, i.e. how well is she able to clear urea?

    Have they put her on a renal diet and fluid restrictions? Renal meds?

    I would definitely get a few more opinions.
  6. by   renerian
    They are not putting her on renal meds and said she would not be a candidate for any dialysis. She has 13% of her function left which I know is bad. I think 10% is a cut off to sustain life without treatment. Her K+ was 8.9 and they told her to lay off the OJ which she drinks for hypoglycemia as she takes insulin 4 to 6 times per day, regular and Long acting. She can still urinate but the urine is dilute with little clearance of waste products. Her bun/creat are elevated but I do not know the exact ammount.

    Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and thanks hello for responding.

  7. by   babs_rn
    I would definitely get another opinion...or just clarify what the doc said in the first place. Have a nephrologist called in...NOW. You'll be looking at a matter of just a few (very few) weeks without dialysis.. We have a number of patients here with all the other health problems you mentioned plus aplenty more. I really think there's a loss of communication somewhere. A K of 8.9 is VERY dangerous to the heart.

    What is her doc's specialty? Has he called in a nephrologist? No other type of doc has the right to say who is and who is not appropriate for dialysis...

    Good luck!!!
  8. by   renerian
    Yes that came from the nephrologist. He pretty much told her he could not do anything for her. She saw him after the renal Dr. she was seeing wanted an opinion for dialysis. I am thinking they sent her home to die. She is also going blind from eye complications from the diabetes. I talked to the Dr. today and he confirmed this. I talked to my aunt about hospice but she is not ready to hear that yet. Thanks for responding.

  9. by   TELEpathicRN
    Many times we see pts whose hearts are too weak, and dialysis won't do them any good. If they don't have a strong "pumper", dialysis doesn't clean enough of their blood to do any good.

    Sometimes, people are put on renal diets, phosphate binders, and fluid restrictions....gives them more time. Sorry you are having to go through this. As you already know, her time left is unknown. Probably will be approx 2-3 weeks.
  10. by   renerian
    Thank you everyone for caring enough to respond. I appreciate it. Your right you need a healthy heart.

  11. by   jnette
    So Sorry, Ren... just noticed this thread.

    All has been said above and I concur. I'm glad this came from the nephrologist.

    I'm sorry about your Aunt/Godmother... I wish there was something more hopeful we could tell you.

    Hugs to you.
  12. by   renerian
    Thanks Jnette. Your a sweety to stop and post to me. I knew it was bad just was hoping against reason I guess.

    Thanks so much again for posting and tell your dtr I said hello!

  13. by   moonchild20002000
    I don't have any advice for you but I just wanted to let you know you and your Godmother are in my prayers.
  14. by   renerian
    Thanks moonchild......I appreciate your kindness and prayers.