Phone strategy questions

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Phone strategy questions
« on: September 17, 2017, 08:12:13 PM »
Couple questions!

1.  Does anyone else try to text their PD parent as much as much as possible as a way to control the conversation? what's your tricks for keeping the conversation to basics to avoid arguments, etc?
2.  Anyone else dealing with a parent who ONLY talks about her health problems? 



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Re: Phone strategy questions
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 10:35:25 PM »
#1, texting is better than conversation I agree.  Block feature on the phone and email have been required more than once to keep my sanity.

#2, I'm sicker and she knows it so it's rarely brought up, I am sympathetic and not rude but there is usually a lot of silence on my part when the health issues start.

I do want to say that mine has been asking for it and I think wants something to happen?  She's been having surgery after surgery, some elected some not but all scheduled near together and she knows dang good and well there is no way I could care for her if I were to lose my mind and consider this option if she does get worse.  Also, amazing how you can have so much surgery and still mow a half acre?
I ain't buying all that is being sold  :oh:



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Re: Phone strategy questions
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 02:06:21 AM »
Hi Alifewelllived - and welcome!

I didn't have that particular problem with trying to keep to texting  (unBPD Didi couldn't even work the remote for the TV she'd had for over 10 years!), but her poor health dominated ALL our conversations.

Please check out the Toolbox, especially the section on Medium Chill.  You'll be giving her light answers that are intended to keep the peace, but be *neutral* or put their responsibilities right back on their shoulders.

I'd call Didi and right away, it's she's so sick this, that hurts, the other  hurts, this bothers her, this pains, she's SOOOOOOOOO SICK...   :dramaqueen: :violin:

When she'd let me get a word in edgewise, I'd say, "That's a shame.  Have you called your doctor?"

She'd usually tell me she didn't want to BOTHER him. (that's your job, Dutiful Doormat!  Fix your mommy!)   :roll:

I'd reply, "That's what he gets paid for.  I really can't help you.  You have to speak to your doctor."

She'd slam the phone down and I'd consider that great success.   :righton:

Refer her health problems back to people who can help her:  her doctor, her specialists, her visiting nurse, her aides (if she has them), her physical therapist, her pharmacist, etc.

Every single time she'd go off on yet another health woe tangent, those were the answers she'd get:  Call your doctor.  You really need to speak to your doctor.  I can't help you.

It sounds simple, but hard, at the same time, due to our conditioning to just listen to them go on for a couple of hours, moaning and complaining, while offering advice they dismiss immediately, or trying to find answers on Dr. Google.   :roll:

Medium Chill cuts out *all* that nonsense.   :yes:

If she says her doctor can't help her, respond with, "Well, I don't know what to tell you, but I'm sure you'll figure it out..." - and end the conversation, ASAP.

Two hour conversations with Didi were over in less than 5 minutes, and usually ended with her banging her 70's issue rotary phone down in my ear, but it was *worth it.*   :yahoo:

She *will* be angry - but you said NOTHING offensive.  You were polite and speaking to her like a stranger you just met on a bus or a train, keeping it to light chit-chat about her hobbies, gardening or the weather.

That's another strategy - if she hasn't hung up already.  Wait a beat after a Medium Chill answer and just change the subject, aka "bean dipping"  ("Oh, that's very interesting...have you tried the bean dip?")

You know what topics interest her and won't set her off, so use your best discretion - but really try to stick to her garden or the weather.  They seem to go over best.

If she tries bringing it back around to her health -  Sorry to hear it.  Call your doctor.  I really can't do anything about that.

And *end the call* if you suspect she's just going to be doing it - you've got to run, somebody at the door, your break is over, the dog is on fire again, etc...

If you think you're going to blank, you can make a cheat sheet and practice phrases until they roll off the tongue naturally - that's what I did, and it helped me be *strong* with my boundary of not getting sucked into her problems.

If you can managed to go all-text, I think it'll probably be a LOT easier - and you probably won't get a lot of texts back.    :bigwink: