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I’m 46, happily married for 20 yrs, & have a wonderful 17 yr old daughter. I’ve been very ill myself w/ thyroid/auto-immune diseases for past 7 yrs. I moved into my parents house the month before dad passed to help care for him, assist my mom, caregivers, & hospice. It was a horrible death, he passed in my arms. My mom was unrecognizable/cold to me when he was ill, & after he passed. During the funeral I tried to hold her hand, put my arm around her. She completely pushed me away, told me to get away from her b/c I was too sweaty. The sweat was caused by Graves Disease & I had no control over it. I still managed to give a lovely eulogy. I have horrible nightmares/ptsd. I have an older sister who has never been close to our parents, moved away from them yrs ago, & was nice when she needed money. She always talked badly about them. Prior to my pregnancy, my husband & I physically moved so we could be close to my parents. We knew as my parents aged, they would need help/support. My husband & I wanted to be part of their lives. We gave up ALOT to be near them, but it was ok b/c in our minds, nothing was more important than family. And, it was good for them & our daughter to have a close bond.
Over the past year, I have been hospitalized for a total of 73 days due to Thyroid disease/related complications. Thus, moving in w/ them while I so ill was incredibly difficult, but I hid it well & I would not have had it any other way. Taking my dad to radiation, walking w/ him, comforting/caring for him was an honor. It may sound strange given the fact we knew he was dying, but doing those things gave me joy & warmed my heart.
My mom & I have always maintained a loving, close relationship. But, during the last 6 months of my dad’s life, she turned into a virtual stranger. She’s a retired Registered Nurse who was experiencing caregiver burnout. My husband & I helped her get caregivers into the home & other additional benefits through the VA, as my dad was a Veteran. We wanted my mom to enjoy him as her husband in the last months of his life. And at age 77, she was unable to physically care for him w/ just me. The relationship I had w/ my mom changed so much, especially during the last month of dad’s life. I found out she wasn’t following doctors orders. She was severely under medicating him by not giving him his prescription narcotic meds. When cancer spreads to most of the bones, it’s excruciatingly painful. My dad was a Vet & a Law Enforcement Officer, always the tough guy. He was never one to complain & the only time I ever saw him cry was at my wedding due to joy, & during the last month of his life, from pain. He gave me notes & left msgs on my voicemail telling me how much pain he was in. He also told me that my mom wasn’t giving him medication for pain. He was bedridden & unable to medicate himself. I finally confronted my mom, & she told me to mind my business & she made the decisions, she was his conservator. She took his cell phone away after she found out he was sending me msgs.
All meds had to be logged when given. One very bad day, I was going to give my dad his meds. I asked my mom about it b/c I couldn’t find them. She purchased an indoor safe & I found it. Inside were pill bottles & log sheet. I confronted her about the fact she was withholding meds, etc. She became very nasty, held the key to the safe to my face. She told me there was only one key, & I would never have access to it. I knew she loved my dad very much, but other than withholding meds, I caught her doing some really mean & unethical things to him when she thought she was alone. I ended up reporting her to Hospice. Going to Court wasn’t an option b/c he was so close to passing.
After dad passed, I was admitted to hospital for 8 days, Thyroid removed & I was diagnosed w/ Cancer. I told my mom, sister, other family. Haven’t heard from anyone. Mom blames me for everything & they all think I’m lying. I’m beyond distraught & now mom & sister are inseparable.

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Wow, what a terrible story on so many levels, my heart breaks for what you've gone through, and what you're being forced to go through still. My condolences, first of all, on the loss of your dear dad. Such a hard thing to cope with, especially since he was in such pain in the end.

For your mother to have withheld relief from the husband 'she loved' at the end of his life and to have taken the preposterous measures she took to prevent ANYONE from getting relief to him is unforgiveable. Maybe she is mentally ill. Or maybe she has dementia. Those two scenarios would be the only reasons her actions could possibly be explained, or forgiven. Doing 'mean & unethical things' to her husband on the sly has no rational explanation behind it either.

Maybe your mother is just a mean & unethical person, that's also a possibility. Who knows what drives people to do terrible things? Especially people we love, who we want to make excuses for, even when a logical excuse can't be found.

You've been through hell & back with your own health crises, hospitalizations, the loss of BOTH of your parents & now your sister, so I feel like you need to step BACK from ALL of this and take care of YOU now. I say you've 'lost your mother' because, in essence, you have. You've lost the mother you were close to for many years and the loving nurturing woman she once was. Hopefully, she will get to the doctor for a full medical work up before she inflicts any more pain and suffering on anyone else. That is my hope for her.

My hope for your sister is that she opens her eyes and sees reality; realizes her sister is an honest & loving person who's in need of empathy and closeness from her only sister right now, and not judgement, blame (for WHAT, exactly?) and accusations of lying. Who would 'lie' about being ill, and isn't spending 73 days in the hospital enough 'proof' for the two of them that you truly ARE ill? For crying out loud, how much blood should you shed before you're taken seriously??

My hope for you is that you're able to step back from your mother & sister and take care of yourself, your husband & your daughter now. Say a prayer for both of them that they will get medically diagnosed for whatever is wrong with them, and leave it at that. You're entitled to be healthy. You're entitled to have a life. Your father wants that for you; he sees and knows what you're going through right now and wants only the best for you. Believe that, and honor him by honoring YOURSELF now. You deserve to.
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Take a step back and let your body heal. You will likely be starting thyroid meds and your body will need to adjust to those as well. Eat well and spend time with those who show up for you. My mother blames everyone for everything and it is extremely toxic.
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Yes, Thyroid problems do run in families. My Mom had Graves in her Mid 80s. My Aunt had hypo in her 70s. I have labs every so often to have mine checked now I am in my 70s. Untreated, it can run havoc with you body. It effected my Moms heart rate. She lost weight.

Moms reaction seems really strange and I would also wonder where she was coming from. Was she angry at your Dad because he was dying? Maybe she felt you should have done more? (I know, why not sister) But to not give him his pain killers? Withholding contact with you?

Maybe there is something physical going on with Mom. Dementia could be an answer. Those in my Dads family who had ALZ were diagnoised in their late 70s. Maybe Mom was mad because you were sick too and weren't there. But, this is Moms problem that she needs to deal with. None of this is your fault. As an RN she knows how it works.

My SIL had Thyroid cancer and had the Thyroid removed. Same with a friends daughter. It is curable, correct? So now its just a matter of getting the meds adjusted? Dads death is still new. It maybe a while before Mom recovers from it. Sister now is involved, good or bad, but she is there. This is the time for you to heal. Stress is not good. It will be hard, but let it go for now. 2020 has been a rotten year.

Maybe your DH should contact Mom and sister and tell them you have not been lying. That your health problems are real and that you were especially sick the month that you helped with Dad. And because Dad was dying, you kept things to yourself.

I think Mom and sister are self-centered and you never realized. Was the relationship with Mom good because you just went along with whatever she said or did? Out of the 3 of you are you the most compassionate? The one who can be made to feel guilty? The one that Mom says "I need" and you jump? Have you ever told her No, set boundries? Why is this your fault? Did you cause Dads sickness? Is it your fault because you were sick and couldn't be there? Look up the word Narcissist. Does Mom and sister fit the description in any way. If so, I bet some of your questions have been answered. And Narcissists hang together. You will never win with people like this because its always about them. Its never their fault its always yours. To keep your sanity, best to stay away from them.
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I’m sorry for what you’re dealing with, both the estrangement and the health challenges. Your mother has had a bad reaction to her husband’s illness and passing, it could be any number of things making her so different including the start of dementia. But for now your job is taking care of your own health. Back away from this family drama, just leave it alone, and give it some time. I wish you the best in recovery and finding comfort and peace
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Hugs and hugs. I’ve been hyper- and hypo- thyroid for over half my life, and you’re absolutely right, it’s no picnic.

I think you need to carefully consider the fact that your mom may very well be suffering from the negative effects from aging, including the possibility that she is in the early stages of dementia OR effects of chronic thyroid disease.

Depending upon your sister’s age, she too may be experiencing early dementia, OR the possibility of emotional issues resulting from diagnosed/undiagnosed, treated/untreated Thyroid disease. Runs in families, right?

You have wonderful memories of your dad, but also wonderful memories of your mom. You have come to the point when you need to cherish those memories, but consider the fact that your mother has left those times behind, whether she has wanted to or it happened without her even noticing.

For your personal health, physical and mental, you’re going to have to begin the process of letting go. Believe it or not, if there is distance between you and your other and sister, that can be much better AND SAFER, for you.

There is NOTHING in your past or your father’s past, or your other family members’ past, that you can change. Let it be in the past. Relish the joy of your husband and daughter.

I wish I didn’t know this from experience, but I do. And believe it or not, my own situation has resolved to a much more peaceful place than when I was the most frantic about it. Let go. You’ve done the best you could. Be good to yourself and those whom you love who can and will reciprocate, and for now, let all the rest go.
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I'm so sorry for what your family has been going through.

A long marriage between your parents, a previously loving and close relationship between you and your mother, and yet now you find yourself traumatised and (apart from your husband and daughter, thank God) alone.

Repairing the damage done during the last phase of your father's illness will not be easy or quick, but I wonder if you have considered approaching a family therapist/mediator for help?

You were doing your best to support your mother and comfort your father, we outsiders can completely understand that. But.

You reported her, a retired nurse with a professional career to her credit, a dedicated wife, for elder abuse and maladministration of medications. Are you really surprised that she is angry with you?

Did you ask her why she was withholding prescribed medications? What did she say about it?
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