I have a parent in his 60's with diabetes. His doctors recommend amputation as infection has gone in to his bone. He refuses amputation. I know I cannot make him have his leg/foot amputated. I cannot get access to his medical information because he refuses along with making anyone his power of attorney. My question is, if he refuses amputation what will happen to him and what type of life expectancy does he have?
I imagine that the Dr.'s want to amputate to save his life. I'm sure that the Dr.'s have told him this. Your dad must be in a lot of pain as well. He's probably on strong antibiotics too. Despite all these measures the infection will most likely spread to his blood which would cause your dad to die of sepsis, a massive infection.
I'm sure the Dr.'s have told your dad all of this. Is your dad able to make healthcare decisions on his own?
Problem is that she ended up getting colitus difficultus (CDiff) from the month long couse. This can kill also. The infection went away, but because the clinic doc didn't bother to tell my mom to replace the "good" bacteria; the "bad" bacteria in the intestines which uses "spores" takes over.
If you choose this treatment: REPLACE the good bacteria...Lactobacilus (yogurt) and Sacromicies (health food stores) to avoid the CDiff.
If the infection continues untreated he may get gang-green or the infection may spread & kill him.
I'm praying for us.
I agree that your father's opinion is the one that matters most. Have you asked his doctor what will happen if he does not get the leg amputated? I believe that would be where to start. Make sure your father understands the implications of both quality and quantity of life without the operation. If he fully understands the risk to his life, you may eventually want to involve hospice.
I do beleive everyone has the right to make decisions. Recently, my mother was told she needed brain surgery. And while the issue didn't pose an immediate threat to her life, she would continue to deteriorate without it. It was extremely difficult, but I made her be the one to decide. I gave her guidance and support and even set up a conference call with my siblings. We went to great lengths to share both the pros and conns. And, even with limited cognition, I am comfortable that my mother ultimately made the decision she was comfortable with. By the way, this included a consult with hospice so she would know what treatment options were available if she chose not to have the surgery. Some of these conversations were difficult and sensitive and I felt it was important for my mother to have privacy with the doctors, so I did not attend. I did get a report from the doctors.
One thing I have learned: It is crucial that there is someone in your father's group of professional care givers who can mirror your role as quarterback. In a best case scenario, this would be a family physician. However, it might be a specialist or other professional. It is crtically important that you trust this person to keep you informed while understanding his/her commitment is to your father. Additionally, both of you must trust this person. Then, you can feel comfortable that you can be guided.
The mere fact that you are reaching out for support and guidance on such an important and life impacting decision makes me ask if you have such a person in your support network. If not, I would discuss this issue with your father before even beginning to debate the amputation.
You are in my thoughts; best wishes.
My question is, if he chooses not to have the recommended amputation nor see another doctor for a possible alternate treatment what kind of life expectancy and quality of life can he expect?
Best to you both with this difficult decision-
For information on diabetes and limb loss, amputation, prosthetics, and the ACA Peer Visitor program, please contact the nonprofit organization Amputee Coalition of America at 888/267-5669 or visit them at Amputee-Coalition.org.