Hypochondria and sickness -- hard to know what I am dealing with anymore.
My mother has been ill for as long as I can remember. The last 10 years have been particularly bad. When I was living in another state, she used to call and complain about various health problems. Since I've been here as her caregiver, it is non-relenting. She wants to go to the hospital so often. She makes 2-3 doctor appointments a week. They rarely find anything wrong with her that we don't already know about -- diabetes, bad back, and dementia. Recently she developed a bladder infection. It seems to be better, looking at her overt symptoms. But every day she wants to go to the ER. We have gone to several doctors. When I tell her we don't need to go to the ER, she gets mad and tells me that she'll be dead in the morning if we don't.
She seems to get better when people pay attention to her. At the same time, she shuns people. And I can't pay attention to her all the time. The health complaints, symptom checking, and need to go to the ER have become so persistent now that I admit I am totally burned out. The sympathy well is dry.
I told her this evening that we might need to check her into "rehab" to see if they can get her back on her feet. That made her angry. Really, I am at the end of my rope, barely hanging on.
Has anyone else been through this? I would love to hear how you handled it. I am concerned that I will miss it when she is really sick because she cries wolf so often.