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  • Refusal of Dialysis

    New to this site. My mother was diagnosed with stage IV. Caused by years of high BP. She is monitoring her bp with meds and is keeping to a strict diet. Her and I very close and I feel as though she is not being completely honest about her condition. I do know that she is at a stage IV, on the low end. Because of her age, she has decided not to do dialysis or transplant and that I respect. I do want to know if anyone knows the life expectancy at stage four with out treatment?

  • #2
    Re: Refusal of Dialysis

    Welcome to the site.

    I think your mother's doctor would be best suited to give you an idea about length, and importantly, quality of life without treatment. Everyone is different, and many variables go into that equation.

    However, I do want to say that treatment is not necessarily a painful or difficult process. I think sometimes people are so scared of treatment, that they would rather not engage in it. The fear of the unknown is a powerful thing.

    Your mother may also be suffering from symptoms of depression. If this is the case, her physician can provide a referral to a therapist. Often, older folks with depression go undiagnosed and untreated. If she is depressed, this could also be influencing her decision to not treat her disease. That being said, I believe it is every person's right to make that (informed) decision.

    There are several people on this site who have more information about links/books on the decision to not treat kidney disease, and I am sure they will chime in soon.

    Good luck.
    Diagnosed Stage 2 CKD (lupus) 1985
    PD March 2009-present
    On Transplant List
    Husband is a match (undecided about that for now)

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    • #3
      Re: Refusal of Dialysis

      Thanks Annie,

      She is a retired RN, and has been thru several other health problems. She feels this is the best decision for her. I just want to know what time we have together. I will be going to her next appt with her, so I am hoping I will be able to ask the dr things directly, or at least pick up on their conversation.

      Thanks for the input.

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      • #4
        Re: Refusal of Dialysis

        It is hard to say for someone in stage 4. Stage 4 can last for years and dialysis is not even a question until stage 5 is reached. Another factor to be considered is the cause of the kidney failure and how fast it is progressing. Annie is right, your mother's doctor can give you a better idea because he/she will have knowledge of all the factors that would be in play here. The best anyone here can say is that you could have from months to many years before her condition would become precarious.
        To the stars through difficulty!

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        • #5
          Re: Refusal of Dialysis

          Originally posted by unwitly09 View Post
          Does anyone have info on this subject for the state of Wisconsin? If I win, what is the outcome and who must pay, employer or WC?
          spammer (spam bots typical are not quite on topic like this and his homepage reveals his true intent)
          Angie
          Kidney KornerDialysis Ethics Forum Kidney PixAwareness Shirts KidneySpace Donor Search
          I will be walking a Kidney Walk in Ontario Canada Sept 18th 2011
          • Peritoneal Dialysis = 4 yrs
          • Hemo Dialysis (in center) = 2 yrs
          • 2 kidney transplants = 1990 - 2001 & 2007 to present

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          • #6
            Re: Refusal of Dialysis

            Originally posted by chefnancy View Post
            It is hard to say for someone in stage 4. Stage 4 can last for years and dialysis is not even a question until stage 5 is reached. Another factor to be considered is the cause of the kidney failure and how fast it is progressing. Annie is right, your mother's doctor can give you a better idea because he/she will have knowledge of all the factors that would be in play here. The best anyone here can say is that you could have from months to many years before her condition would become precarious.
            Hi In response to the fellow with his mother refusing dialysis, I am in feeling the same about myself. I have asked my Drs what cause my condition and can it be slowed by some meds and I was told it was useless to go thru a kidney sample to find out why as it didn't matter and would be putting me thru undo pain for nothing. I am very confused as I have a very active life and don't know what else to do. Can anybody offer any ideas? Thank you Jerseygal

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            • #7
              Re: Refusal of Dialysis

              JerseyGal,

              A kidney sample or Biopsy won't fix anything, but it could tell you why you got it and what cause it or if it's hereditary. I've had 3 biopsies and hated everyone of them, but I did learn things from each of them. My kidneys failed in April of 2008 and I started right on dialysis. I was a very active person also. I hated everyday of the treatment and had toughts of just giving up completely. However I my wife donated one of her kidneys to me in Aug of 2009 and I felt better the second I woke up in recovery. Thanks to her I'm back to my active life and things are going good. No one has or will have any thoughts about giving up that I didn't already go through. Lucky I had some very good friends in dialysis that really helped me alot. Please feel free to ask me any questions and I will try to help as much as I can.

              Randy

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              • #8
                I have a friend that has had uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure for over 25 years but is now controlled due to having medicare - she was uninsured for those years and has not taken care of herself. She was diagnosed yesterday with stage 5 renal disease. She is refusing any form of dialysis. With that being said - she is 66 years old and her GFR numbers are 10-15. What can I expect for her going forward? She had tons of blood work yesterday to confirm all this and is also refusing to have any more lab work. I am all she has - no family or friends other than me. I want to make sure she has some quality to her life here at the end since most of her life has not been quality. Can any of you give me some advice? Thanks - Julie

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                • #9
                  Hello Julie,

                  Stage V ESRD requires dialysis (HD or PD) to remove toxins and fluid from the blood that can no longer be removed by the kidneys. Without dialysis, your friend will eventually begin to suffer the symptoms of uremic poisoning - nasea, vomitting, cramping, sleeplessness, fatigue, mental confusion and itching (phosphorus build up in the blood) to name a few, It is not a particularly painful way to expire but it can be uncomfortable. Depending on diet, she could remain in Stage V for months before experiencing these symptoms. A dialysis patient without other medical conditions is likely to survive 2 to 3 weeks without dialysis..

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                  • #10
                    Stmpr54

                    You really put it well. You know what you're talking about and I hope, really, really hope, the friend mentioned above takes your advice to heart.

                    Devon
                    Fistula - March 2008
                    Began Dialysis - August 2008
                    Fistula Revision - Feb 2011

                    Dialysis Patient Citizens, Patient Ambassador
                    NW14 ESRD Network, Patient Advisory Committee Member
                    CDC Infections Control Discussion Panel Member
                    National Kidney Foundation Peer-to-Peer Mentor

                    Blog: www.DevonTexas.com

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