Child or Nurse?

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    My Mother was recently diagnosed with Left sided CHF, COPD. She asked for me to be with her during all of her Dr visits and comes to me when she has exacerbations. She wants help at times regulating her medications and wants me to run over whenever she needs. When I encourage her to change her diet and exercise she calls me a “no it all ” and tells me that she was in better shape than me when she was my age and I have no room to talk. She has already started giving things away and I am getting the hint that she has given up. I am confused? She is only 54. Do I not help at all or do I help and get treated badly and risk my relationship with her. I am not sure if she will ever be compliant. When do I say I am not going to help you if your not going to listen or should I politely refuse to go to her appointments. This is torture to me. She was very verbally abusive when I was a child and after her oxygen level dropped very low her mind has not seemed right. I am scared she will become that way again. When do I back off?

    Profile photo of Shirley

    This is always a difficult spot to be in and I am right there with you. Every situation will be different but for me I no longer argue about the things I know my mother will not be compliant about. She has a physician and nurses at the office to tell her those same things. I will not contribute to bad habits by picking up things for her at the store that are bad choices but will help in other ways that I can. I do assist by going to Dr visits to help explain terminology and so I know what is going on in terms of treatment plan and meds. If my mother starts to say something mean she knows the visit is ended. Being elderly and ill is not a free pass to be abusive. For me the bottom line is that my mother have a place to live, food to eat, and to the extent that she will comply, the healthcare she needs. This is my duty to her. Being abused by her is not my duty and I will not allow that to become a part nor will I allow guilt about what I can’t do. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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    Thank you, I will try to take it one step at a time. I have already backed off some because it breaks my heart to see that she has decided to give up. I will take it one step at a time. She has another apt on Tuesday I will ask her if she would like me to go.

    Profile photo of Mistie

    I may have a very different relationship with my mother who has hypothyroidism. Every time she gets snappy, I snap right back. I fight every point that I can because every one that I win is one more that she is doing. When she tries to turn it back on me, I turn the argument back to her with something along the lines of ‘I’m not the one who needs to take synthroid every day!’

    Does it hurt? Absolutely! With my mom, whom I love dearly, by the way, tough love is the only way to go. That approach may not work in your situation. Just like the same approach does not work with every patient you have. Some of them need a soft shoulder to cry on and some of them need the authoritative voice.

    You have to figure out what works for the two of you. This is not an easy road, but you will get there in the end.

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