"Showtiming" frustrations.


Mom is very good at "Showtiming" when she has a doctors appointment. I took her to see her cardiologist after her recent hospitalization for A-fib and a small heart attack. The doctor ask her if she is having any problems with her new meds and she said no. I informed the doctor the reason she was not having any problems was because she was not taking the meds. Mom denied this even though the bottles were full and had no pills missing. The doctor believed mom even when presented with the evidence. The doctor told me that if I was a better daughter mom would be better taken care of. I AM SO ANGRY!!!! I do everything I can to help her but it is never enough. Yesterday I took her to see her G.P and brought all her paperwork from her hospitalization. He proceeded to tell her that the results were rubbish and I was making things up. He couldn't see any evidence that indicated anything wrong with her heart. I was again accused of making things up. I drove her home, helped her up the steps (she fell) got her into the house and then I left. I cannot get her help if the doctors don't believe there is anything wrong. She makes doctors appointments and then when she gets there acts like nothing is wrong and makes jokes. I know it's the dementia that is causing this but I am having a hard time dealing with this. Sorry for the vent. Very discouraged.

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Get another doctor. And complain about this one to the practice he's affiliated with.

I'm not sure how a doctor looks at a full bottle of pills and says it's your fault that she didn't take them, UNLESS he feels she is not capable of taking them on her own. If she were capable, then it would be on her. If she isn't capable of taking them on her own, then he thinks the fault is on you. That's how I would interpret his comment.

Maybe, he knows she's not able to administer her own meds. Has he diagnosed her with dementia? Has she had a mini evaluation? How do you think she would do? If she would pass, then it's unlikely you will be able to do much to exercise control over her. She may have to progress further with the dementia, before her healthcare providers will get on board with you in order to help her.

I know from experience that getting dementia patients to take mediation can be a challenge and really, you can't force someone to take meds. Even a nursing home can't do that.

Sherridene, the next time you go with your mom to the clinic - REHEARSE the visit. You now know - since it happened twice - that the doctors will blame you. Practice in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and role play the scenarios. If you practice enough, you will automatically respond on the Real visit to the clinic. It's time to speak up and defend yourself.

I also recommend you start a journal when you visit mom. Every day you visit, log in the day, date and time. Write a note on what you did, discussed with etc... What you fed her, meds she took and did Not take. Note what pills were still in the pill box when you arrived, and what pills she refused to take when you were there. Bring this notebook with you daily. Do not leave it with mom.

When you go to the clinic with mom, bring a separate small notebook. Note what the visit is for, what was discussed (esp. the doctor's comment to you and Your Response.) You do Not want to bring the daily journal with you. The small 6" notebook will do - and it's not as intimidating to the doctor as a regular journal/diary. You don't want the doctor to get defensive and exercise the HIPAA policy.

This notebook is for YOUR protection. It sounds like if anything happens to mom, the doctors will accuse you of elderly neglect.

Your doctor made a serious medical mistake in alienating something that is very important to your mother's help -- his caregiver. What I think his snide comment to you meant was that he didn't want to be bothered with it. He was putting it off on you. All you can do is give her the pills to take. If she won't take them, you can tell her she needs to talk to her doctor about what will happen if she doesn't.

What kind of results from the hospital was the GP looking at? An EKG or something similar? That was a strange one indeed. Who knows? Maybe your mother isn't taking the pills because she knows she was creating symptoms? It's hard to figure this one out.

The showtiming can drive us nuts. At the office, they say, "I'm great. No pain. No problems." Then at home it changes, "I'm dying. My back is hurting. Can you get me my pillow?" Ack.

So does your mom have dementia? You just mention age-related decline in your profile. How far into dementia is your mom? Is she always this way? Can you reason with her at all? I'd find it VERY frustrating if I was you. I'd either find new doctors or if mom was at all "with it" I'd threaten to leave her to her own devices if she's not going to comply with any doctor's orders by taking her meds. Hugs to you - what you're going through is frustrating as all get out!

I have set up her meds in a medication box clearly marked am, noon, pm, bedtime. Mom usually is very good about taking them. She told the doctor that I did not explain what the meds were and how to take them. She also complained that she was not able to lift the plastic tab to get them out of the box. She will not take them if I hand them to her. I couldn't believe the look of disgust in the doctors eye when he told me I was a bad daughter. I understand he comes from a different country where they take care of their elders differently but can't he see that she is not telling the truth.

"The doctor told me that if I was a better daughter mom would be better taken care of."
Seriously? No wonder you are angry, I'm p!ssed and it's not even directed at me! How dare any doctor/nurse/social worker try to lay that crap on a family member! You say she was hospitalized with a-fib and a heart attack, so how can they now say nothing is wrong? There is something seriously out of wack there.

If she's not taking her meds properly perhaps you should arrange to have them put into blister packs at the pharmacy, that way it should be immediately apparent if there is a problem. Has she signed the paperwork necessary for you to talk to her doctor? Perhaps a little one on one without her present would help you get your point across. Even if he/she won't speak to you directly there is nothing preventing you from detailing any problems you see in a letter. I would keep it short and to the point, and resist the urge to call him an a**hole. LOL

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