Serial Symptoms -- just venting.

Started by

My mother has several problems. She is diabetic, has spinal stenosis, hypertension, drug dependence, and what acts like dementia. She is also dependent and narcissistic, creating what I think of as a princess complex. She expects people (me specifically) to stop and wait on her. She also has a tendency to play the victim. It drives me crazy because she will consume my life if I let her.

With so many illnesses and a love for being the victim, she picks out a symptom and dwells on it until she drives herself and me crazy with it. Much of it is created by something she did. If she takes Lasix, she tells me she has a urinary infection because she can't quit going to the bathroom. If she takes a laxative, it is proof she is sick. Until I took charge of her diabetes medicines, she was taking too much Metformin, then feeling sick and bloated. (This drove me crazy for about 2 weeks one time until I figured out what she was doing.)

A few weeks ago, she came down with a yeast infection. She knew it because she had one before. My cousin doctor wrote a prescription for Diflucan and I got her all the OTC products. Then we went to a gynecologist. No yeast infection then or ever.

The it was a bladder infection, which was slight, but occupied 3 weeks, 4 doctors, and an ER visit. Sometimes I want to rip the phone out of the wall. Yes, I have wondered about Munchausen's.

Now it is hypertension. Her systolic bp has been up. But I find myself wondering what she might be doing to cause it. She was pathetic with it today, but I could find no sympathy. I am just so, so burned out with her serial symptoms. The fable about crying wolf is so relevant here.

The shame of all this is that she is ultimately going to have a real symptom and no one will pay attention. Personally I think that her high bp is being caused by her not wanting to go on a road trip Saturday. I expected her to come up with something and I was not wrong. Anyone want to wager if she will go on the road trip or not? I bet she will be too sick.

Strange thing is her bp was just fine at the doctor's office yesterday, but has been elevated each time at home. And our meters are correct. It makes no sense. The bad thing is that her symptoms end up consuming my life one day at a time, no matter how I try to pull away. Sometimes I think I must have done something really awful in a past life to have been sent to hell in this one. Dysfunction just never lets up. All we can do is pull ourselves back emotionally, but still it does not keep it from consuming our time.

If I could say what I really feel to my mother, it would be "Grow up!"

Vent over. No advice needed. I just needed to get rid of some frustration with some people who would understand what I'm talking about.


Argghhh! How very frustrating.
Group Hug!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the support. We went to the doctor again about her systolic hypertension. He gave her a new drug, HCTZ, to add to all of her other medications. I am trying to take charge of all of her drugs now. My room is starting to look like a pharmacy. The drugs are serious ones, so I have to double-check that I'm giving the right ones at the right times.

She is already semi-canceling the road trip on Saturday, saying that either her bp will still be too high or her new medicines may be too much for her. I'm still betting that I go alone. And I wonder if her bp will come down after Saturday. (I forgot to mention she also has an avoidant personality.) Poor mom. I pick on her so much.
I'm betting that you take the road trip alone. And won't that be more pleasant for you?
My mother has paranoid personality disorder and Alzheimer's. My nick name for her is cruella deville. I need to add the humor or I'd go insane. It sounds like your mother obsesses about her health like mine does. Are you there with her when she takes her bp readings? Crossing your legs or extending your arm out straight will give a higher reading. Also, the digital machines they use in the dr. office give a higher reading than manual. I'm guessing you will have a much more pleasant road trip alone, I know I would.
We were able to get her bp down some today with the extra medication. Now it is her back that is killing her. She doesn't know how she is going to sit that long in the car. She said that maybe she can lie down in the back seat. Of course, that is not going to happen. I don't let anyone ride with me without a seat belt on.

She was complaining about her back all night during dinner. I knew she was just setting the stage for avoiding the trip tomorrow. I ignored her and as she kept on, I just said, "I can't hear you," in a joking manner -- like Sgt. Carter used to do on Gomer Pyle. Silence can be golden. :)
Excellent response Jessie!! I am glad you are standing your ground with your mother. Sgt. Carter response is a Golden Response!!
You, as well as many others on this site, are a saint!
Htcz is a diuretic, just like Lasix. Wondering why the doctor didn't just increase the Lasix. It would have been one less medication bottle to deal with.How much Lasix is she taking?
Well, we lost our bet. My mother went with me on the road trip and said she had a good time. I was a bit challenged. It was raining heavily for most of the way home and she talked non-stop. :-O But it was worth it.

caringone, the doctor put her on HCTZ because she wasn't taking her Lasix enough. She has a hard time staying out of the bathroom when she takes Lasix. So now she takes HCTZ every day and holds the Lasix for when there is swelling. On Thursday, when her systolic bp was still 170, he prescribed Tenex to add to her Lotrel. She is already taking the max dose of Lotrel. The Tenex is helping. For the last couple of days her systolic bp has been 140 to 160 -- still too high, but better than it was.

My mother says maybe she should just quit the bp medicines, since she is getting old now. I told her that having a stroke was not the way she wanted to end her life. Chances are it would just leave her severely handicapped. That registered with her, so she decided high bp is not the way she wanted to go.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support