How does your PD parent react to being ill?

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jennsc85

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How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« on: June 14, 2017, 10:26:24 PM »
My mother LOVES being sick. Absolutely loves it. She relishes in it. She turns into a full on Waif/Queen (the worst traits of both!) when she's ill.

She loves having surgery, even if it's something small and routine. She loves talking in a meek little voice and having nurses wait on her and telling them how much pain she's in. She loves being escorted out in a wheel chair and she loves having a good reason to delegate things to me and write out "to do" lists.

She always thinks that she has a serious illness. If she has a cough, it's pneumonia ("I've had pneumonia five times!!!!" I HAVE to go to the doctor!!!") She acts all pathetic and upset when a doctor refers her to a specialist ("What if I have cancer? Wouldn't that be just awful?") but secretly, I really think she would love to be diagnosed with cancer or something else very serious. She would love being carted to constant appointments and would love to be fussed over.  I've gotten to the point that I don't feel much sympathy for her when she's sick because she just wants the attention that comes with it. Even when she really IS sick, she's still a miserable person and is still really horrible. I almost feel resentful when she gets ill.

She actually told me one time before I took her to an appointment to have a colonoscopy, "When I'm getting a procedure done, I AM GOD! OK? I'm God right now. And you need to do any little thing I ask of you." Yes, she really said this!

She's having a surgery for something in September and she's been texting me about how people say that this surgery will have her unable to care for herself for 2-3 days. She made it sound like she was upset about it, but really, I know she's elated. Having me there to care for her for 3 days? She would be in HEAVEN because I'm sure I'd do something wrong and then she could play the "poor me, my daughter won't even help me when I'm recovering" card. I'm dreading this and hoping that I'll be able to come up with something that doesn't make me crazy if she needs care for 3 days. Oh God.

So, how does your PD parent act when they're sick?

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practical

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 10:47:58 PM »
She's having a surgery for something in September and she's been texting me about how people say that this surgery will have her unable to care for herself for 2-3 days. She made it sound like she was upset about it, but really, I know she's elated. Having me there to care for her for 3 days? She would be in HEAVEN because I'm sure I'd do something wrong and then she could play the "poor me, my daughter won't even help me when I'm recovering" card. I'm dreading this and hoping that I'll be able to come up with something that doesn't make me crazy if she needs care for 3 days. Oh God.
At the prep meeting for the surgery she'll be asked whether somebody is available to care for her, in your case "No" as this is too much. They'll either keep her in hospital, release her to rehab or arrange for some kind of nurse. Remember there are people who genuinely don't have somebody to take care of them after surgeries - because there kids live far away, have their own lives or they don't have kids - Arrangements are made for them. So the key for you is to let your M know you'll not take care of her for example by saying "I hope you have talked to your surgeon about post-OP care." possibly adding "I'm not available." for clarity.

To your question, both M and F see illness as giving them special status, but M didn't really complain, while F complains, goes from doctor to doctor till one will fix him  :stars: .

That quote by your M is incredibly telling how she views herself and her accompanying expectations  :wacko: .
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Amadahy

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 11:47:50 PM »
I'm sorry -- this gave me a little giggle.  My dearly departed Dad, bless his enmeshed but kind soul, used to say of my N mom, "She'd be okay if she could just stay in the doctor's office."  And, so it was and is.  Sigh.   :wacko:

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VividImagination

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 12:39:28 AM »
I agree with practical...you're not available to care for her. Period. They can release her to an SNF or send a nurse.

My NM thought being diagnosed with breast cancer was the best.thing.ever. In fact, she "didn't notice" a golf ball-sized lump and other very obvious signs until she had to have a radical mastectomy. She was actually elated over her hair falling out, giggled through having it shaved off (lots of attention at the salon) and refused to wear a wig. She loved the attention until the effects of chemo and radiation really set in...and then it wasn't fun anymore.
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WomanInterrupted

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 02:38:32 AM »
Didi was exactly the same way - she LOVED being hospitalized and fussed over - until they told her something she didn't like, of course.  Then they were all mean and didn't know what they were doing.   :roll:

Sometimes real problems were downplayed or ignored, because they didn't fit in with her narrative - and her Makeitupitis would go into overdrive.  The things nobody could ever prove?  THOSE things bothered her more than anything.

She seemed to think cancer was the Crown Jewel of illnesses - she'd have a kind of cancer like Vivid's mom had - something that would scar her and leave her bald, but she'd survive and be cheered on by adoring minions for being SO brave and SUCH a fighter.   :stars:

The truth was they found out she had inoperable large-cell lung cancer, and it was a death sentence.  She did NOT handle the news well, because it *wasn't what she wanted.*  She wanted to be a hero - not dead (contrary to all the times she told me she wished she'd just get it over with and die) - and she was PISSED and weepy, at the same time - mostly because I just chalked it up to, "Yeah...caaaaaancer again.  Pull the other one..." and refused to budge from my Happy Home.

Jenn - I agree.  She needs to go into a rehab until she can be on her own again, and her doctor can arrange a Visiting Nurse for her aftercare.

YOU are not available.  Nobody in your family is available. 

She can take a taxi to the hospital, the hospital will arrange transportation to the rehab and she can take a taxi home from there.  Ray wound up having to do that because my car decided it didn't want Ray's incontinent self anywhere near it and died - and by died, I mean just that.  I didn't have a vehicle.

I always did like my Jeep - and her final act was to save me from being around Ray.   ;D

Make the decision now to NOT visit her - no matter what she says or how much she wails and complains.  NO.  You are not available and you are BUSY.

Also decide now if anything needs to be done, it will be done by phone, fax, and email.  You are NOT available for face-to-face meetings with *anybody* - including doctors, social workers, billing staff and *your mom.*

If you are her health care proxy, you can request a competency test while she's there - it'll be a neuro exam, and she'll probably do okay, but it'll be in her records.

You WANT that in her records, especially if she starts flapping her gums about Grandparent Rights or claims she's going to report you to X, Y, or Z for elder abuse or neglect.  (She won't report you - but it's good to have that GIANT red flag in her records.)

If your mom needs help at home - more than a Visiting Nurse, once a week or every two weeks - her supplemental insurance may cover home help for a period of time.

You can arrange that via phone with the rehab and they'll do the rest - and since your mom thinks she's GOD when she has problems, maybe they'll rustle up a couple of angels...   :upsidedown:

If she doesn't have supplemental insurance or they don't cover aides - tell the rehab you won't be involved and tell your mom, "I'm sure you'll think of something."

Your mom sounds so much like unBPD Didi, who really expected me to be her on-call, 24/7 SLAVE.

UnNPD Ray, as it turned out, expected the same thing - and tried using my inheritance as leverage.

Both times, I didn't budge.  I refused to budge.  Anything I could do from this little room - "Command Central" (the computer room, just off the dining room and a short jaunt from the kitchen) was something I *could* do - if I *wanted to.*

Anything else?  Off the table.  NO.

All I did was shore up my boundaries and really start playing hard-ball.  I became The Mythical Adult Daughter, sighted about as often as a leprechaun riding a unicorn.   :ninja:

I suggest you do the same - malfunction!  Don't do as she says - do what you WANT!  Put your FOC first!  Run with scissors!  And let *other people handle her problems* while staying OUT of them completely.

You *want* people to see what's going on with her.  That means leaving her alone and letting her navigate without you as a *buffer* and *enabler.*

For too many years, I thought I was protecting others from the full brunt of Didi and Ray's horrible personalities and behaviors, when I was really doing a disservice to *myself* by helping hide those things.

Let the professionals see what she's really like, unfiltered.  They can determine the best course of action.

And you can look forward to the end of her Reign of Terror - by putting *all* responsibility for her back where it belongs:  on her.

I know you can do this.  You've taken to boundaries like a fish to water - this is the next step.   :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

You've GOT this.   :)

 :hug:

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practical

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 08:21:57 AM »
Just for background, M was bipolar and during her depressive phases she would ask me again and again to come and take care of her, which would have meant 4-6 weeks, by the end of which she would have been off to her next manic phase and I would have been in a severe depression, so I kept saying No and JADEed as I didn't know back then that "no" is a full sentence. What boggled my mind is that she knew I had kids, a husband, a job, it all didn't matter, she was of the opinion she needed me and DH could handle all the rest without me. You have your own life and your M is clearly not healthy for you, so try to set a boundary and not expose yourself to her for three days.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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jennsc85

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 08:34:02 AM »
Just for background, M was bipolar and during her depressive phases she would ask me again and again to come and take care of her, which would have meant 4-6 weeks, by the end of which she would have been off to her next manic phase and I would have been in a severe depression, so I kept saying No and JADEed as I didn't know back then that "no" is a full sentence. What boggled my mind is that she knew I had kids, a husband, a job, it all didn't matter, she was of the opinion she needed me and DH could handle all the rest without me. You have your own life and your M is clearly not healthy for you, so try to set a boundary and not expose yourself to her for three days.

This sounds so much like my mother. She has called me numerous times in the middle of the night (before I started setting it to silent) and insisted that I take her to the ER for various "SERIOUS!!!" issues. When I mentioned my kids at home, she looked at me like I had sprouted an extra head and said "DH is there." Then she tried to spin in an odd direction and say that I was being abused by him and that I was scared to even help my own mother because I was worried about his backlash and I must not trust him with my children... what?!  :stars: I've got time to plan for this, since it's 3 months away so I'm going to really work at this major boundary. I don't mind taking her, or even picking her up, or even going to the store for her and picking some stuff up. But I DO mind sitting in her house and being at her beck and call and listening to her yell my name over and over with demand after demand for multiple days. I just don't know if I'll be able to do one or two things without being roped into doing them all. Would it be odd to call her doctor's office and ask them what they'd suggest doing? They LOVE her there (according to her, and I've spoken to this doctor before and she seems very fond of my mother) Or should I just tell my mother that I won't be available for the full 2-3 days and let her figure it out? She asked me which would be better, August or September and I said September because I didn't know *what* to say.

Quite from WI: "You can arrange that via phone with the rehab and they'll do the rest - and since your mom thinks she's GOD when she has problems, maybe they'll rustle up a couple of angels...   :upsidedown:"

This made me smile! She certainly thinks that she deserves and angel, and an angel I am not, according to her.

I just don't know if it would be better to call the doctor and ask what their options are for people who don't have anyone after surgery, so that when I tell my mom I can say that I've already asked and set something up... or would the doctor wonder why her only daughter is not wanting to care for her. My mom would spin a tale, I'm sure. "My only daughter hates me and doesn't even want to care for me after this traumatic surgery." I can hear it now, and of course people would be sympathetic to that.

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VividImagination

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 10:44:53 AM »
You are confusing "unable to" with "not wanting to".  You are UNABLE to because it is harmful to your health.

People are not as judgemental as your mother has taught you to believe. And I bet someone at that doctor's office sees right through her.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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daughterofnarcs

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 10:46:51 AM »
My Nparents are hilarious regarding this.
Let's say transparency is not a quality that is valued with my Nparents.

If they are sick with something minor (cold, flu, etc), they milk it for all they can.
Looks like the world is ending and just because they managed to get appointments with the best doctors in that speciality, they are ok now.

If they are sick with something serious (blood cloth, hospitalization, cancer, etc), they tell me nothing. 0, nada, zilch.

Therefore, when they tell me that my father/relative has cancer/on their death bed, etc, I do not trust them. They are looking for N supply.

It is a little embarrassing going to the doctor and filling out the 'Family diseases/risks' section, as I really know nothing about what runs in my paternal/maternal family/relatives.

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daughterofnarcs

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 10:53:36 AM »
Just for background, M was bipolar and during her depressive phases she would ask me again and again to come and take care of her, which would have meant 4-6 weeks, by the end of which she would have been off to her next manic phase and I would have been in a severe depression, so I kept saying No and JADEed as I didn't know back then that "no" is a full sentence. What boggled my mind is that she knew I had kids, a husband, a job, it all didn't matter, she was of the opinion she needed me and DH could handle all the rest without me. You have your own life and your M is clearly not healthy for you, so try to set a boundary and not expose yourself to her for three days.

This sounds so much like my mother. She has called me numerous times in the middle of the night (before I started setting it to silent) and insisted that I take her to the ER for various "SERIOUS!!!" issues. When I mentioned my kids at home, she looked at me like I had sprouted an extra head and said "DH is there." Then she tried to spin in an odd direction and say that I was being abused by him and that I was scared to even help my own mother because I was worried about his backlash and I must not trust him with my children... what?!  :stars: I've got time to plan for this, since it's 3 months away so I'm going to really work at this major boundary. I don't mind taking her, or even picking her up, or even going to the store for her and picking some stuff up. But I DO mind sitting in her house and being at her beck and call and listening to her yell my name over and over with demand after demand for multiple days. I just don't know if I'll be able to do one or two things without being roped into doing them all. Would it be odd to call her doctor's office and ask them what they'd suggest doing? They LOVE her there (according to her, and I've spoken to this doctor before and she seems very fond of my mother) Or should I just tell my mother that I won't be available for the full 2-3 days and let her figure it out? She asked me which would be better, August or September and I said September because I didn't know *what* to say.

Quite from WI: "You can arrange that via phone with the rehab and they'll do the rest - and since your mom thinks she's GOD when she has problems, maybe they'll rustle up a couple of angels...   :upsidedown:"

This made me smile! She certainly thinks that she deserves and angel, and an angel I am not, according to her.

I just don't know if it would be better to call the doctor and ask what their options are for people who don't have anyone after surgery, so that when I tell my mom I can say that I've already asked and set something up... or would the doctor wonder why her only daughter is not wanting to care for her. My mom would spin a tale, I'm sure. "My only daughter hates me and doesn't even want to care for me after this traumatic surgery." I can hear it now, and of course people would be sympathetic to that.

Jenn,

Your mother is an adult and she chooses to behave this way.
She is having surgery and she is perfectly able to coordinate her post-op care for 2-3 days. She can hire CNAs, nurses, talk to a social worker to create a care plan, etc.

DO NOT DO ANYTHING FOR HER. Not shopping, not an errand, not offering rides, NOTHING.
I can see your anxiety is going up the roof in your posts.
Take care of yourself, please! Your kids and husband deserve a healthy and happy mommy/wife. They come first, not your mother.

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Inurdreams

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 12:00:30 PM »
Sounds exactly like my NGM!  She even kept a suitcase, packed with her finest pajamas, under her bed so that she would be ready for the next hospitalization.

She couldn't wait to wear glasses, of all things.  She couldn't wait to walk with a cane.  She thought somehow that was so amazing to walk with a cane, which she eventually did, although she used her cane more for pointing than anything else.  She wanted a wheelchair, eventually, but it impeded her from getting into her car and driving which she was not about to give up.

She absolutely loved being in the hospital.  And she was there a lot, usually for tests because the Dr. couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.

There were a few times when she did actually have something wrong, but after a while I would just roll my eyes when she called to say she was hospitalized.  She sure must have had some excellent insurance back then!

I was asked (demanded) to pick her up from the hospital once when she was being released.  I got there, found her still in the bed and asked her if she was waiting for something, like release papers or the Dr. or something.  No, she said she was waiting for them to bring her lunch. Said she always ate lunch, served to her in bed, before she left the hospital.

Once I was caring for her for a week after she had been released from the hospital.  She had a nurse who showed up every morning to check on her and even offer to do her laundry.  Then a dietitian or nutritionist or something like that who showed up around lunch every day to make sure she was eating properly, then a physical therapist who showed up every afternoon to show her how to lift small weights, while she sat in bed.  Oh she was a Queen and loving every moment of the attention.

And she was always "sick" with something.  And always had a cabinet full of medication.  I actually think she was a prescription drug addict, before that was ever medically recognized as a real danger.  She was forever taking pills that doped her up to the point she had to stay in bed.  Ironically, she hated alcohol and wouldn't allow it in her home or go anywhere it was served.  But she had no prohibition against drugs, as long as they were prescription.

She was a very young grandmother.  She was only 34 years older than me but I swear I grew up thinking she was so old and about to die of old age at any moment.  She lived until she was 90 and probably holds the word's record for number of times she was hospitalized, for nothing during her lifetime.
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all4peace

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 12:13:22 PM »
Yes, she loves it. Both PDms absolutely love it. They soak up as much attention as is humanly possible.
Now, when we're sick? Absolutely not. I spent most of last week in the hospital and found out that neither set of parents let even our siblings know, much less aunts and uncles who might have wanted to know.

When they're sick, it's all about them.
When we're sick, it's all about information control, who has it, who doesn't.

And when I finally saw my mom again in public? Not a single word. Not "how are you?" etc. While literally a sore joint from her has her moaning and rubbing the joint and stretching theatrically to try to get SOMEONE to pay attention.

It's exhausting.

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daughter

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 12:26:26 PM »
My NBM is a hyper-hypochondriac, a symptom-hunting ardent consumer of medical-services, a smarty-pants know-it-all who often self-diagnoses imagined serious illnesses and then collapses into self-pity without formal diagnoses.  An overt narcissist with many borderline traits, this is another example of NBM's attention-seeking behavior, demonstrating her need to be "center-of-attention" and "coddled" by family.  NBM's imagined illnesses have major role in my FOO Family dynamic, and cause for my early parentification, to "substitute" for what "mom can't do".  Rather than actual "self-injuring", she's imagining her "self-injury" in a high-functioning manner, via her frequenting of doctors, ER facilities (imagined heart attacks) and hospital stays, demanding medical tests and procedures (imagined cancer), and long periods of "bed-rest" over winter months (but never missing social events).  NBM rarely adheres to doctors' recommendations, if diagnosed with a routine physical illness, because she feels her body doesn't tolerate medication, and refuses to accept their repeated psychiatric referrals for "anxiety" treatment.  (My parents are loudly adverse to psychological/psychiatric interventions, even when highly warranted.)

I was, of course, expected to immediately heed each medical episode, to "drop everything and come running to help".  But as an adult woman, mother, wife, and full-time working professional, that demand to "heed and help", when each episode devolved into another imagined non-existent illness-condition, became a siren-call I no longer heeded.  When NF would call, again, from ER, again, with another NBM-imagined "heart attack", I began responding with "okay, call me if it's real".  NBM was furious, of course, by my lack of appropriate "attention", but frankly there were now more important issues for me to tackle within my own home, and I often told my NF, in all manners of context:  "NBM is your wife; she's your responsibility here, not mine.  You capable of dealing with this."  If NBM was home with seasonal flu or her inevitable "winter-sciatica" bed-rest scenario, it didn't require my intervention or aid.  Really.  She did just fine without me.

Here's how to frame your response to your mother's scheduled surgery:  what would happen if you didn't exist?  surgery would probably still occur, and your mother would make alternate arrangements for those several days of recovery.   You don't need to "drop everything and come running" - really, and can say to her now, well in advance of said surgery:  Mom, I'm not able to come for those two days; you'll need to make alternate arrangements.   This hyper-dependency won't stop until you compel that change.  She will object, will complain and criticize you, but you are your only "agent of change", who must deviate from established routine.   

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stasia

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 12:38:26 PM »
Hmm, I guess my M is the outlier here. She HATES being sick and will deny it and just keep going going going until it is so bad she is literally on the floor. Like a martyr, because of course "NO ONE will help me! I have to do this all myself!" She refuses to see a doctor for any reason. She is terrified of being hospitalized again. She will not seek any sort of preventive care. She won't even take an aspirin if she has a headache!

She almost never gets sick; her immune system is incredible and I can count on one hand how many times I saw her catch all of the disgusting germs I'd bring home as a child. I think that's why it was such a shock to me when she did get sick and didn't tell me until she couldn't get up and was demanding I rush over there and feed her and care for her cats and change F's dirty diapers.

My M does the same thing that many of you mentioned - since I have a partner, she thinks that he can handle our life singlehandedly so that I am available full-time to help her. She has said that he's not a supportive partner to me because he does not cheerfully do this. "If he really loved you, he'd understand that you have to put me first! " :stars: Whaaaaaaat?!

Jenn, do NOT stay at that house with her. This is not healthy for you! I have done this, because I was told that I didn't have a choice and didn't realize I did. I started having suicidal thoughts while I was stuck there for weeks, and therefore will never do it again.

Do you really think she is going to be satisfied with you only being there for 3 days? What if there are complications? What if she just doesn't feel like "letting" you leave after 3 days? What if she has another "emergency" while you're there? This could turn into a situation where you're told that she cannot be alone - and since YOU are already there, that you should just keep staying there!  :stars:

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I've been there and my entire body started screaming "NOOOO! Run! Don't do it!" when I read your post.

You are confusing "unable to" with "not wanting to".  You are UNABLE to because it is harmful to your health.

 :yeahthat:

Jenn, does your T agree with VividImagination, that being in your M's house taking care of her would harm your health? I would bet he/she does. My T has said that if the social workers come after me again and tell me that I have no choice but to take care of my M again, she will intercede on my behalf and tell them that I cannot for mental health reasons. Not that I don't WANT to - that I literally CAN'T. Might that be something your T would be willing to do for you?

I'll be honest, a cynical part of me thought, "Thanks, T, that's nice of you and I appreciate the offer, but who would listen to you?" when she made that offer. But they are professionals, they probably know how to work the system better than we do, and it never hurts to have a professional advocate on our side who wants the best for US, not for our elderly PD parent!

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Terichan

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 01:51:02 PM »
jennsc85, this is my uBPDm too. She LOVES being sick, oh so sick! When she's sick and getting attention, her face lights up like a Christmas tree, she's so thrilled. She's been this way my whole life, and even blatantly lies about having illnesses to gain the attention she craves. She's told me the most outrageous lies about being "sick" -- when I was a child, she told me about the multiple miscarriages she'd suffered, in *very* graphic detail (not true, and even if it were true, who would unload on a small child with stuff like that?!?), when I was an adult she claimed she had an enlarged heart (not true), said she'd had multiple strokes (not true), on and on and on.

Oh, and if *I* was ever sick? Her focus was on *staying away from me*, because she might get whatever it was if she went near me. Heaven forfend! No chicken soup and cool washcloths on the forehead for little Teri, uh-uh. Mommy had to protect herself!  :roll:

One of the first threads I started here was titled "I don't believe my mother's claims of illness", because I was just so DONE dealing with my poor waify sickly weak widdle mommy, I was ready to scream!! So I totally get where you're coming from.

I did want to point out one part of your post that really struck me, because I used to be the same way:

I just don't know if it would be better to call the doctor and ask what their options are for people who don't have anyone after surgery, so that when I tell my mom I can say that I've already asked and set something up... or would the doctor wonder why her only daughter is not wanting to care for her. My mom would spin a tale, I'm sure. "My only daughter hates me and doesn't even want to care for me after this traumatic surgery." I can hear it now, and of course people would be sympathetic to that.

I used to worry about stuff like this, too. What would other people think of me! I'd better take care of my mommy! But... really, who CARES what your mother's doctor thinks of you? Let's say, worst case scenario, your mother says that, and then her doctor thinks oh, yeah, jenn must be a horrible person. And... well... so what? First off, YOU know you're not, you're simply a woman who's been pushed to the limit by your toxic mother. And also, why do you care what some random stranger thinks? Is her doctor one of your friends? Someone you know well, whose opinion of you is important in your life? When you wake up in the morning, do you think "Hmmmm, I wonder what my mother's doctor thinks of me today? What should I do today that would make my mother's doctor happy?" Or when the doctor wakes up in the morning, do they think "Hmmmm, I wonder what jennsc85 is doing today? I wonder what she wore today, and what she fed her kids for breakfast, and if she's taking good, good care of her poor sick mother?" I'm guessing not!

This is a common theme among those of us who were raised by PD. They trained us to think that everyone else was judging us, analyzing us, and deciding that we were horrible. The thing is, it's not true. Our PD parents WANT us to think everyone else is judging us and finding us wanting, because that way they can hold it over our heads and make us do what they want. But if we break free of this kind of thinking, and focus on what makes US happy, what WE like, what WE want and need... it's incredibly helpful and healing. So eff what your mother's doctor, or anyone else, thinks. You do what's right for YOU.

 :hug:
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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Jakeblue

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 09:43:23 PM »
Wow!! I so needed to read this!! Ty!!!!
Didi was exactly the same way - she LOVED being hospitalized and fussed over - until they told her something she didn't like, of course.  Then they were all mean and didn't know what they were doing.   :roll:

Sometimes real problems were downplayed or ignored, because they didn't fit in with her narrative - and her Makeitupitis would go into overdrive.  The things nobody could ever prove?  THOSE things bothered her more than anything.

She seemed to think cancer was the Crown Jewel of illnesses - she'd have a kind of cancer like Vivid's mom had - something that would scar her and leave her bald, but she'd survive and be cheered on by adoring minions for being SO brave and SUCH a fighter.   :stars:

The truth was they found out she had inoperable large-cell lung cancer, and it was a death sentence.  She did NOT handle the news well, because it *wasn't what she wanted.*  She wanted to be a hero - not dead (contrary to all the times she told me she wished she'd just get it over with and die) - and she was PISSED and weepy, at the same time - mostly because I just chalked it up to, "Yeah...caaaaaancer again.  Pull the other one..." and refused to budge from my Happy Home.

Jenn - I agree.  She needs to go into a rehab until she can be on her own again, and her doctor can arrange a Visiting Nurse for her aftercare.

YOU are not available.  Nobody in your family is available. 

She can take a taxi to the hospital, the hospital will arrange transportation to the rehab and she can take a taxi home from there.  Ray wound up having to do that because my car decided it didn't want Ray's incontinent self anywhere near it and died - and by died, I mean just that.  I didn't have a vehicle.

I always did like my Jeep - and her final act was to save me from being around Ray.   ;D

Make the decision now to NOT visit her - no matter what she says or how much she wails and complains.  NO.  You are not available and you are BUSY.

Also decide now if anything needs to be done, it will be done by phone, fax, and email.  You are NOT available for face-to-face meetings with *anybody* - including doctors, social workers, billing staff and *your mom.*

If you are her health care proxy, you can request a competency test while she's there - it'll be a neuro exam, and she'll probably do okay, but it'll be in her records.

You WANT that in her records, especially if she starts flapping her gums about Grandparent Rights or claims she's going to report you to X, Y, or Z for elder abuse or neglect.  (She won't report you - but it's good to have that GIANT red flag in her records.)

If your mom needs help at home - more than a Visiting Nurse, once a week or every two weeks - her supplemental insurance may cover home help for a period of time.

You can arrange that via phone with the rehab and they'll do the rest - and since your mom thinks she's GOD when she has problems, maybe they'll rustle up a couple of angels...   :upsidedown:

If she doesn't have supplemental insurance or they don't cover aides - tell the rehab you won't be involved and tell your mom, "I'm sure you'll think of something."

Your mom sounds so much like unBPD Didi, who really expected me to be her on-call, 24/7 SLAVE.

UnNPD Ray, as it turned out, expected the same thing - and tried using my inheritance as leverage.

Both times, I didn't budge.  I refused to budge.  Anything I could do from this little room - "Command Central" (the computer room, just off the dining room and a short jaunt from the kitchen) was something I *could* do - if I *wanted to.*

Anything else?  Off the table.  NO.

All I did was shore up my boundaries and really start playing hard-ball.  I became The Mythical Adult Daughter, sighted about as often as a leprechaun riding a unicorn.   :ninja:

I suggest you do the same - malfunction!  Don't do as she says - do what you WANT!  Put your FOC first!  Run with scissors!  And let *other people handle her problems* while staying OUT of them completely.

You *want* people to see what's going on with her.  That means leaving her alone and letting her navigate without you as a *buffer* and *enabler.*

For too many years, I thought I was protecting others from the full brunt of Didi and Ray's horrible personalities and behaviors, when I was really doing a disservice to *myself* by helping hide those things.

Let the professionals see what she's really like, unfiltered.  They can determine the best course of action.

And you can look forward to the end of her Reign of Terror - by putting *all* responsibility for her back where it belongs:  on her.

I know you can do this.  You've taken to boundaries like a fish to water - this is the next step.   :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

You've GOT this.   :)

 :hug:

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jennsc85

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2017, 10:05:50 PM »
She absolutely loved being in the hospital.  And she was there a lot, usually for tests because the Dr. couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.

There were a few times when she did actually have something wrong, but after a while I would just roll my eyes when she called to say she was hospitalized.  She sure must have had some excellent insurance back then!

I was asked (demanded) to pick her up from the hospital once when she was being released.  I got there, found her still in the bed and asked her if she was waiting for something, like release papers or the Dr. or something.  No, she said she was waiting for them to bring her lunch. Said she always ate lunch, served to her in bed, before she left the hospital.

Once I was caring for her for a week after she had been released from the hospital.  She had a nurse who showed up every morning to check on her and even offer to do her laundry.  Then a dietitian or nutritionist or something like that who showed up around lunch every day to make sure she was eating properly, then a physical therapist who showed up every afternoon to show her how to lift small weights, while she sat in bed.  Oh she was a Queen and loving every moment of the attention.

This all sounds SO MUCH like my mother! It's almost scary, actually. I used to jump immediately when she said that she needed to be taken to the hospital because, I mean, HOSPITAL! hello! it must be serious. But after so many times of jumping through her hoops and realizing that nothing all that serious was wrong... it just made me angry. She had a dental surgery when I was in high school and was calling my name at all hours of the night for various things. I remember thinking I was going to go insane. And here I am, upteen years later and I don't feel much different, except thank god I don't live with her.

The waiting for lunch thing sounds like something my mom would do too. I picked her up from an inpatient surgery last winter and she told me she wanted to wait for the nurse to tell her (again) that she could get out of bed. She said she was feeling faint and needed something to eat and asked them all pathetically if they could bring her something because low blood sugar blah blah blah. I felt like such a crappy daughter but I was there with my arms crossed rolling my eyes.


When they're sick, it's all about them.
When we're sick, it's all about information control, who has it, who doesn't.

This is so true. So so so true. The being privy to information is a big thing.


My NBM is a hyper-hypochondriac, a symptom-hunting ardent consumer of medical-services, a smarty-pants know-it-all who often self-diagnoses imagined serious illnesses and then collapses into self-pity without formal diagnoses.  An overt narcissist with many borderline traits, this is another example of NBM's attention-seeking behavior, demonstrating her need to be "center-of-attention" and "coddled" by family.  NBM's imagined illnesses have major role in my FOO Family dynamic, and cause for my early parentification, to "substitute" for what "mom can't do".  Rather than actual "self-injuring", she's imagining her "self-injury" in a high-functioning manner, via her frequenting of doctors, ER facilities (imagined heart attacks) and hospital stays, demanding medical tests and procedures (imagined cancer), and long periods of "bed-rest" over winter months (but never missing social events).  NBM rarely adheres to doctors' recommendations, if diagnosed with a routine physical illness, because she feels her body doesn't tolerate medication, and refuses to accept their repeated psychiatric referrals for "anxiety" treatment.  (My parents are loudly adverse to psychological/psychiatric interventions, even when highly warranted.)

It absolutely amazes me how similar PD mothers are. I mean, I could have written this word for word about my mother (minus the psychological aversion part- although I'm not sure its helping much!!) My mother loves being coddled too and I guess being ill is the easiest way to do it. I almost would rather her say that she's excited about getting a complicated procedure done than *act* all miserable and upset over it when I know that she absolutely can't wait because then she'll be waited on, hand and foot.

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jennsc85

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2017, 10:13:00 PM »
Do you really think she is going to be satisfied with you only being there for 3 days? What if there are complications? What if she just doesn't feel like "letting" you leave after 3 days? What if she has another "emergency" while you're there? This could turn into a situation where you're told that she cannot be alone - and since YOU are already there, that you should just keep staying there!  :stars:

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I've been there and my entire body started screaming "NOOOO! Run! Don't do it!" when I read your post.

You're absolutely right. 3 days wouldn't be enough, I'm sure. She would want to drag it out as long as possible. She already does that by having me run little errands when she's out of work for health related reasons. You know, your T suggestion, I thought the same thing you did! But you're right- a T probably would have some merit when it comes to discussing whether or not I'm mentally able to deal with something like that. I think mine would agree that I'm not, considering I start crying and shaking when I talk about my mother. I've got to drill it in my head that it's not that I don't WANT to, it's that I am mentally, physically, etc unable to, like VI said. That day a couple weeks ago that earned me a week of ST... it wasn't that I couldn't have picked her up that day, it was that I would have probably had a mental breakdown if I had. I have to approach this the same way I suppose.


Oh, and if *I* was ever sick? Her focus was on *staying away from me*, because she might get whatever it was if she went near me. Heaven forfend! No chicken soup and cool washcloths on the forehead for little Teri, uh-uh. Mommy had to protect herself!  :roll:

This is my mother, 10000000%. If the kids and I go to her house and me or one of them coughs, she immediately bristles and asks WHY didn't I tell her that we were sick. I'll explain that we're not sick, someone just coughed. Then she launches into a speech about how she's elderly and her immune system is not good and if she gets sick she'll be out of work for a week and I'll be caring for her pets and I have to promise to take her to the doctor if she's sick because it's *my* fault. Geeeesh. On the plus side, if she ever wants to see the kids and I want to stave her off a little I just have to make up something about a stomach bug. That's sad, isn't it?

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I used to worry about stuff like this, too. What would other people think of me! I'd better take care of my mommy! But... really, who CARES what your mother's doctor thinks of you? Let's say, worst case scenario, your mother says that, and then her doctor thinks oh, yeah, jenn must be a horrible person. And... well... so what? First off, YOU know you're not, you're simply a woman who's been pushed to the limit by your toxic mother. And also, why do you care what some random stranger thinks? Is her doctor one of your friends? Someone you know well, whose opinion of you is important in your life? When you wake up in the morning, do you think "Hmmmm, I wonder what my mother's doctor thinks of me today? What should I do today that would make my mother's doctor happy?" Or when the doctor wakes up in the morning, do they think "Hmmmm, I wonder what jennsc85 is doing today? I wonder what she wore today, and what she fed her kids for breakfast, and if she's taking good, good care of her poor sick mother?" I'm guessing not!

This is a common theme among those of us who were raised by PD. They trained us to think that everyone else was judging us, analyzing us, and deciding that we were horrible. The thing is, it's not true. Our PD parents WANT us to think everyone else is judging us and finding us wanting, because that way they can hold it over our heads and make us do what they want. But if we break free of this kind of thinking, and focus on what makes US happy, what WE like, what WE want and need... it's incredibly helpful and healing. So eff what your mother's doctor, or anyone else, thinks. You do what's right for YOU.

Thank you so much for all this, it really puts it into perspective. I've always felt hyperaware of everyone around, like everyone is thinking something about me and they're thinking something negative. I'm not a super self conscious person. I don't consciously care what others think about me but I always always ALWAYS assume that they're judging my every move in some way. Really, I'm sure that they don't give me and my actions much of a second thought.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2017, 02:11:30 AM »
Glad to be of service, Jakeblue!   :)

Your mother's doctor won't CARE, Jenn. 

Just because she said they're so concerned and caring, doesn't make it true.

Didi also had stories like that - oh, they're so WORRIED about her since she's got *nobody at home to take care of her...*   :roll:

Um...no.  She had Ray.  It may not be much, but she wasn't there alone  - with no food.

That's a good one, coming from a bona-fide food hoarder!   :blink:

The only time the doctor's office will be concerned is if they notice obvious problems - then they might call you and ask you to get involved.  You can tell them to buzz off, the answer is NO and if they want to figure out something, be your guest.

I did that with Ray's doctor's office, the social worker at his insurance provider, the social workers from the rehab - and APS.

I'm still here, and no, I didn't do a bloody thing.  I can be *very* persuasive when my back is up against the wall, and, "NO" really is a complete sentence.   8-)

Since we all seem to have variants of the same mom (mostly - Stasia's mom seems to be something of an anomaly), I'm going to throw this one out there, because I bet we all have the same response to this question (even Stasia   :wave:   :bigwink:):

Say you decide to care for her.  Will she actually *listen* to you and follow her doctors' orders, or will she just ignore those orders - and your entreaties to *please* do as the doctor says?

Didi and Ray both never met a doctor's order they didn't ignore or try to bend - only to wind up making things MUCH worse.

Ray was just as stubborn as a mule (and probably psychotic for most of his adult life!   :aaauuugh:), but I think Didi would do it intentionally, for MORE attention, pity, and trips to the doctor, hospital, ER or urgent care.

What if you're there and your mom refuses to take her meds, use a cane or walker, keep her sutures clean and covered, limit her activity or any of the other instructions on the aftercare sheet?

The answer is there is NOTHING you can do.  She's an adult (marginally), can make her own decisions and if you try *forcing* her to do things, THAT can be seen as elder abuse, even if it IS in her own best interest.

And that's how you can explain it to anybody who wants you to get involved:  I'm the LAST PERSON ON EARTH she'll listen to.  If I tell her to take her meds, she'll throw them at me and have a tantrum, so NO, I will NOT be doing a thing or going over there.  YOU will have to figure this out, without me.

That's what I said to all the people I talked to:  Ray will *not listen to me or anybody else.*  Ray will do as Ray wants, even if it's harmful or dangerous.  If I tell him to NOT go down to the basement, he'll race to the bottom of the stairs and scream that he's FINE and I can't tell him what to do.

When you talk to these people, tell THE TRUTH.  It will set you FREE!   :yahoo:

Tell them your mom is abusive, tries to take your belongings, screams at you, has tantrums, tries to block you from leaving, threatens you with calling the authorities when she doesn't get her way, tells you you're mentally unbalanced, makes mountains out of molehills, and *will not listen to a damned thing you say.*  She has the mentality of a spoiled, selfish toddler and you will NOT be doing a thing for her, now or ever; do NOT call this number again.

Please get used to telling the truth - you'll be doing it a LOT as she ages and needs more and more care.  People forget, notes get lost, staff changes, and sometimes that whole big, long dissertation magically doesn't get put into their computers, in the hope that maybe someday, somebody will get you to change your mind.   >:(

NOPE.  It never happened - it only made me dig my heels in *more.*   :no_shake:

You have to be stubborn.  You have to be persistent.  And you need to look around you - especially at your kids, DH and pets - to remind you WHY you are fighting so hard:  to preserve THIS.   :yes:

It may not be perfect and it may not be shangri-freaking-la, but they are your family and they ARE worth it.   :cloud9:

And take a good look at that face in the mirror.  She's worth it, too.  MORE than worth it.  She *deserves* peace and quiet, while other people take over and figure out *exactly* why you won't get involved.   :)

If I could do it - you *definitely* can.   :boogie:

 :hug:

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Inurdreams

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Re: How does your PD parent react to being ill?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2017, 11:02:07 AM »
 :yeahthat:

Oh so true!  They are worse than caring for an infant.  In fact, it's not really "caring" for them, it's "serving" them.

When I was "serving" NGM after a hospitalization, she was given several meds.  There was one that had instructions on the bottle that read take 1/2 tablet every 4 hours.  So I had to cut the tablet in half and took to her when it was time for that dose.  She looked at it and asked me why I had cut it in half.  I took the bottle to her and read the instructions.  Well, she insisted it wasn't right and that she needed the entire pill.  We argued about it for a while and eventually I just relented and gave her the other half.

Knocked her out for 4 hours.  She knew this particular drug better than I did.  She knew it would either make her loopy or dopey which is why she demanded the entire tablet.  She wanted it her way.

Honestly, I was glad it knocked her out like it did.  It was the only peace and quiet I got.  I even got to go to the bathroom without her calling me to do something for her.

You just can't reason with some people, like my NGM.  All you can do is refuse to get roped into serving them.  If someone thinks you aren't doing it right or that they can't understand why you refuse to serve them, then just step aside and hand it over to them.  I found that the reason I got the "job" was because no one else wanted to deal with her.  Lucky me.  But it was the last time I made myself available for the job.



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