How can I stop the drama queen from her drama?
I have been taking care of my mother and father for 2 years in their home. My father is 91, very frail and withdrawn. My mother is 85, diabetic, and in failing health. Things are normally very quiet and boring around the house. There is nothing they enjoy doing much. They are hermits, so don't like people coming in. Even though things are quiet, there is a lot of drama going on. Lately it has been on the increase.
My mother is forgetful and confused, though not diagnosed with anything. We had a few incidents of drama she creates in the past. Since Thanksgiving she has been doing things every two weeks. It usually starts on Saturday, when she begins fretting over something. By Sunday she has worked herself up into a tizzy, then on Monday morning she gets on the phone to call in outside help. One time it was imagining my father had skin cancer, which took us to a trip to an oncologist for no reason. This seems trivial, but it wasn't since my father is agoraphobic with a great fear of doctors. Another time she began to fear the water heater was going to burn the house down, so she called an emergency plumber, who charged $2400 to replace the water heater! and spilled water all over the floor. Then she followed his advice to call in a flood cleanup company, who charged $5600 to clean up a little water.
The last time she was fretting about who was going to bathe my father, so called her doctor. He sent in a home health team, who have been in the house everyday for the greater part of the day. This has put both my father and her under tremendous emotional stress. She spends the day complaining about the stress she created.
Today she started fretting about the smell coming from the freezer. There is nothing unusual. I told her I would clean the refrigerator next week, but she is determined to call the repair company. I can already say that this is going to end up meaning a new refrigerator. People will tell her nothing is wrong, but she will not accept it.
I wish I could rip the phone out of the wall. Today I told her no, do not call them, that I was tired of the drama. I know there has to be something going on that makes her feel she has to keep everything stirred up. She won't listen to anyone, then gets on the phone. I'm at a loss about how to handle this short of assisted living. I always end up having to deal with the messes, because she no longer has the capacity to do it.
I don't know if anyone has any experience in dealing with a drama queen. I don't know why she needs to do it. It is very expensive and nerve-wracking, so I need to find some way to get her to stop.