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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

I'm so glad this forum exists and have been turning to it for answers, support, and like-mindedness.

My mom had a fall last year and didn't tell my siblings and I until several months later. There's a history of my parents hiding health-related problems from us. She hurt her left side, especially her arm. When she finally told us, my sister and brother encouraged her to go to physio and she finally did... twice a week.

Unfortunately, it didn't help much and on top of her pre-existing heart problem (atrial fibrilation medication and blood thinners are used for this), she started to feel more weak than usual in December, again without telling us.

In January, the pain was bad enough for her to finally admit she needed medical attention and we wound up in the hospital. They did a myriad of tests, X-rays, MRIs, etc. on her and upped her heart medication and looked to switch her off Warfarin (her blood thinner) that had a lot of side effects.

Long story short, they found a UTI, of which she's had three others, since then, tendinitis and arthritis in her hip, and spinal stenosis. She's also had on and off swelling in her legs/feet, for which the doctor prescribed water pills, but because her pharmacist warned her of potential kidney or liver damage, she decided not to take them and suffer instead. She will randomly go off her water pills completely without weaning off of them and not tell anyone or consult her doctor, leading to the swelling coming back.

Since January, she's been in the hospital three more times and us siblings no longer know what to do or expect. Every night, I dream about her and the guilt is getting to be a lot to balance with our everyday lives. She's seen no less than 20 doctors and specialists and they have no idea what's going on and cannot find anything either.

Whenever we offer advice, she doesn't listen and says she knows her body best. We also recently found out she wasn't taking her heart medication as directed or at all for a day or two (this explains her most recent visit to the hospital because she complained of heart palpitations) and they found another UTI.

She can hardly walk either; she shuffles inch by inch and an occupational therapist came to the house and even told her she could go faster, but is extremely paranoid of falling again, so she seems to limit herself. Several doctors have told her part of her condition is in her head and she doesn't listen. She's always been very negative and we've all told her to be positive and keep up with treatment (massage therapy, physio, acupuncture, chiropractor), yet she cancels the appointments because she says she doesn't feel well. We found a roaming massage therapist and she cancelled that too and went to the hospital because she said she wasn't feeling well).

My mom typically listens to one of my sisters and that's it. When we're one-on-one, she'll tell us she cries when we're not around and asks us why she doesn't have a more loving husband.

With the last hospital visit, they didn't do anything for her and she had us at the hospital waiting with her for 13+ hours to see doctors, lifting her in and out of bed, etc. and she said she felt "so much better", yet they didn't give her any answers or medication, other than Tylenol. We suspect she felt better because we were there giving her attention.

We suggest homecare and she says no. We suggest her and dad to list the house for sale and she says no. She wants to see us more, but she's not willing to do anything to help us do that. We all don't know what to think anymore. The doctors can't find anything other than what I've listed above. Is it in her head? Do I have this all wrong? My siblings and I have all spent considerable time driving back and forth, missing work (some of us have two jobs), buying her remedies, etc etc and nothing seems to be enough. We don't doubt she is going through pain on a daily basis and we're all getting frustrated, including my dad. My mom seems to always just end up in the hospital and still don't get answers.

Hoping to get to the bottom of this,
Mike Gamble

Super Moderators
Posts: 55
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Christina,

Have you or your siblings asked your mother's doctor(s) about depression? The reason I ask is because depression is the most undiagnosed condition among seniors.

Here's an article we wrote about this problem: Signs and Symptoms of Depression. Hopefully it will be helpful for you.

Stay strong,

Mike Gamble

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Oh WOW! Mike, thank you for creating this forum and for the quick reply!

This article has it pretty much bang-on. I must admit that we all had a hunch she's been suffering with depression for many years, except as far as I know, no doctor has suggested this.

She's never really been a happy person and really takes things out on my dad for whatever she feels were his transgressions. When I lived at home, I remember her having horrible dreams where she would scream and leap out of bed, hitting her nightstand, falling on the floor. Eventually, she ended up tying herself to the bed. I'd suggest she talk to her GP about it and have herself checked out or go to a sleep clinic, but she doesn't exactly listen to me.

It's been rough.... every time one of us goes to help her or visit, she tells us what another one of our siblings is doing wrong or how terrible my dad is. My dad was singing recently, something he loves to do, and she said to him, "What are you so happy about?" Breaks my heart when I repeat it.

Thank you for the article, Mike. I will definitely share it with my siblings.

Any other advice or thoughts are welcome as well We need it!
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