Mom diagnosed w/hyperthyroidism which traits sound the same as many here. Frustrated.

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My mother was recently diagnosed w/hyperthyroidism which traits sound the same as many on here, she won't even take 2 simple pills to get better? She's acting like her life is over when hyperthyroidism itself creates that very thinking and many other symptoms. Her doctor has given her instructions to take 2 low dose mg beta blockers for now but she won't even take those long enough to be able to work. I am so frustrated when all I hear is the same repetitive negativity every single 'conversation', every day for almost 3 months, telling me she feels worse every day, telling me a list of things she hasn't done that day, telling me she doesn't want to be here, BUT THEN when she won't take the simple little pill sitting there that could change everything? I tell her "that's like a kid with a splinter who won't take it out and then is surprised when it becomes infected and has to have leg amputated. Take the Splinter out Mom, just take the 2 little pills that will help regulate your thyroid and just SEE if that works"
And for people to say let her doctor know - does no good because she is stubborn and cancels appointments and won't do anything he says either.

16 Comments

Just Beta blockers? No anti-thyroid meds or treatments? Are you sure?
Hooka89, maybe your Mom is hypersensitive to the fillers/binders/coatings used on the pills. Fillers are used in pills to make them large enough to handle... the binders are the *glue* that holds the pills together... the coatings are to make the pill go down easier and to not start working until it reaches the stomach. Each manufacturer has their own formula.

I have that issue with pills, and it usually takes trial and error to find the right manufacturer of pills that I can use without the crazy side effects. Sometimes the medicine is worse than the illness.
I have the same question as Pam. Is your mother of an age where the doctor only wants to treat the vascular symptoms with the beta blockers? If your mother is otherwise healthy, I wondered why the primary cause -- the hyperthyroidism -- was not being treated. I have a feeling we are missing some information here.
Mom (90) has trouble swallowing pills. We get flavored applesauce (favorite is Mango Peach) and small baby spoons from the dollar store. She places each pill in a small spoonful of applesauce and takes them that way. Works like a charm.

It sounds like your mom might need a little tough love...take the pills and we can talk further...don't take the pills and we'll talk later. She has to meet you part way.

I too was a bit confused about the med choices...sounds like there is something else going on. What does dr. say about her not taking the pills?
I'm new on here so please forgive if I post in the wrong place...In response to pamstegma and 'only beta blockers'...Her doctor just wanted her started on just the minimum for now to get her started and keep her 'safe' as he put it. He said this was just a beginning but she won't take ANYTHING helpful, doubts everything helpful, and seems to want to just sit in her "poor me" syndrome, and its not that she can't swallow it it's that she's either being stubborn, dramatic or just plain 'working me' to do things for her. She comes up with ridiculous reasons like "What if I have a reaction?" Now mind you she did start taking them and in 4 months she actually said "I think I feel a tiny bit better" then stop taking them? Now we're back to the same circle conversations about her, and her, and her and how bad she feels, how she's not doing anything, how she's useless and wants to die. All I can say is take the d*mn pills Mom. I can't do this much longer, I can help with solutions, and I do help her with daily things when needed but if she can't do one little thing like a take a pill to try and get better it all seems just pointless.
To glasshalffull - I think you may be right abut the tough love. And her doctor is sharp and tells her the same things I tell her like "You know I can tell people 10 solutions to get well but if you don't try any of them then what good are they?" One day she said "I really want to feel better" The doctor turned and looked directly at her and said "Oh really, what's that called... condemnation before investigation...?" When she says things like "Oh that won't work"

Thank you all for your comments and I'm glad I found this place (never expecting to be one posting for myself - like many of you I'm sure)
And P.S. that ONE tiny pill 2 times a day to help with thyroid is ALL the meds my Mom is on but she swears she's a sickly old woman and to hear her talk she's on "ALL THESE PILLS" I will be honest and did tell her she should write a play with all the drama and made up tales... ;o)
To JessieBelle - About additional meds in addition to beta blocker....I think doctor just had to start with her somewhere - he had her on anti-anxiety meds (she stopped those too) then gave her some anti-depressants (she stopped those too) before getting blood work and this is where thyroid comes in - they called her and said to come in asap since they found what they thought was causing her issues (thyroid). Well she made 2 appts and canceled them both, so I MADE her go the most current time and that is when he started her on minimum meds. And wanted to keep an eye first on blood pressure etc...(I'm sure if he gave her TWO pills at once she'd never go back (*eyes rolling here*)

The doctor's office has called her the last 3 days probably wanting to know her vitals so they can move forward but she won't answer the call, and balks at "spending 'so much money on blood pressure cuff' that she won't use". The doctor has made it very easy for her too - just call in your readings (blood pressure/pulse) couple times a week and he can regulate dosage for her that way for now instead of her coming in (since he knows she probably won't) and STILL, THIS IS STILL all too much for her she says....proceed with pulling my hair out here
Some older people are definitely difficult, Hooka. We can provide them the opportunities and encourage them, but if they are set on not doing something, there is little more we can do. Sometimes we have to wait for a crisis that gives them a wake-up call, and hope that the crisis is not so bad. In your position, I would go ahead and buy the cuff and make the pills available. The rest is up to her if she is of sound mind. It doesn't sound like you can control her. Probably the more you say, the harder she'll dig in. We can hope that she has a change of heart. How old is she now? Do you think that she is in denial about her condition because she feels okay enough, or do you think that she doesn't want to prolong her life?
Hooka89, sometimes boredom will make an elder obsess over medical issues and the fear that taking a pill will cause. We have those darn law office advertisements on TV where if you took such-an-such pill and suffered this or that or had died, you could qualify for a settlement. It makes you not want to take a simple aspirin.

Does your Mom live by herself at home? Does she have anyone around her from her own generation? Keeping her busy could be the key to wanting her to take her prescription meds, as then she would want to be around the next day.
Hooka, if all they are doing is throwing pills at the symptoms and not correcting the thyroid itself, nothing will get better. I would be looking for a specialist.

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