How do I cope with someone else's chronic disease (espeically when they aren't taking steps to manage it)?
December 24, 2007 2:11 PM Subscribe
My mom has fibromyalgia. She cries a lot - she's obviously in great pain.
However, if it doesn't involve taking a pill, she's not interested in any methods of alleviating the problem. She will not make lifestyle changes in food, exercise, etc. Even if it IS taking a pill, she's mostly not interested in methods of alleviating the problem unless they work instantaneously and with great efficacy. Which, with fibro, is pretty rare.
I don't need to find out how to help her, because I've done the research, found her multiple specialists, and none of it has helped. I need to help me.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
So, a little more on my mom: she has had a tendency throughout her life to live in her own constructed reality which doesn't necessarily map to ours. She doesn't believe her meds could have bad side effects or interactions, even when I have graphs and charts to back me up.
I have sat with her in meetings with doctors, taken notes on what they say - and what she walks away with is not the same things the doctors are saying, or even close. (When they say they can't cure her, she says that they were mean, and told he she was crazy.)
She's got sleep apnea, but refuses to use the oxygen machine she was given (she tried it one night, said it was uncomfortable, and refused to get it refitted for greater comfort). And she's never taken good care of herself physically.
She also lies to doctors, and to me, about what meds she is and is not taking. This is not helped by her friends and cousins giving her various prescription pills.
She's had problems with depression throughout her life, not helped by the death of my dad. I've tried sending her to therapy - she takes great pride in the fact that she made her therapist cry out of pity for her (and now she won't change therapists, no matter what).
My mom is not elderly, looks to be mid-forties at most (she's actually early 60s) and there's no way I'm going to get her into a managed care situation. I fully believe that one of these days, she's going to wind up dead, and that may in fact be what she wants.
She's staying with me for three weeks right now (I live across the country), and the stress is bad enough that it's put *me* on meds. I have no siblings to help me with her.
What steps do I take next with regards to her? Tell on her to her doctor? Try to force her into hospitalization? Disengage and just wait for her to drop dead? I have yet to find a solution that doesn't make me feel like the most horrible person in the world.
And how do I take care of me in all this?
Yes, I'm planning to go to therapy, but I'm hoping someone in the MeFi world has had this experience and can give me some advice.