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My mother has had a heart attack (6 stints), breast cancer (has beat it) among other issues. She has many doctors and none can find anything wrong with her. She either sits in the chair and watches TV or goes to bed and sleeps for hours on end. She's been diagnosed with depression but she does take an antidepressant. My father does all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and whatever else pops up. I go to visit and have been for the past two years attending every dr. appt with my mother. She has a constant cough but her pulmonology dr can find nothing wrong with her so he has tried many different things, inhalers, allergy meds, etc. Problem is she doesn't follow through with the meds, just won't use them or has to be told by my father to use them. Basically she has a clean bill of health. She doesn't drink enough fluid during her waking hours (my dad gives her Gatorade and Pedialite) when she is up but it doesn't seem like enough because she starts throwing up (dry heaves). My dad then worries and done this many other times, rushes her to E.R. and they give her fluids through an IV then send her home. Diagnosis: dehydration. My dad cancels appointments for her or decides to change up her meds occasionally and that is very frustrating for me. My dad depends on me pretty much, although there are 4 other children (2 which live out of state). My dad won't ask anyone else for help, he just counts on me. I'm very close to my dad, not so much my mom so I'm feeling the brunt of all of this and I'm very frustrated and I feel guilty as if I'm not doing enough. During her throwing up stages I told my father that if he took her to the E.R. I would not go because he knew what the problem was and how to deal with it. He's an impatient man and he's a reactor. He's a negative person and tells me that all the doctors can't do much for my mom because she's not better. I tell him that they tell him that because there is nothing wrong with her. Is she a hypochondriac? I'm starting to resent her for taking away my dad's life (he has to stay and babysit her day in and day out). She doesn't try to improve. She's done PT and she quits, says it hurts so she doesn't ever want to go anywhere, not even church anymore. If I make a suggestion to my dad about a senior center he immediately dismisses the idea. My dad is not the patient here, but as for me, I'm dealing with him who is dealing with my mother who is the patient and I just don't know what to do anymore. Just stay and listen to him babble on and on about her illness and watch her do this to herself and to him and to me? My dad even said one day that the easiest thing here would be for one of them to just die. I've never heard him talk like that before and it makes me sad for him. She is 79 and he is a very active 83 year old who is missing out on alot of life. My mom has been the sickly type person since her 50's. Does she just like the attention?

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Thank you all so much for the support. I've tried to find something local to actually attend a physical support group for care givers and there are none. So in the meantime I will continue to read posts on this site and ask questions when things come up. I will heed the advice about the dishes and see what I can come up with. Thank you all again!
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Commutergirl just caused a light to go off, do your parents use dishes that have been passed down to them? I read a book years ago and it was about the production of dishes and the amount of lead that was used and the dangers to all of us, especially someone like your mom who has been sickly for 60+ years with no known illness. Lead effects us all differently, dad's negative attitude could be a sign that levels are getting high in his system. Sometimes it is worth asking the doctor about hidden causes. I pray you find peace and balance and that your parents find a way and answers.
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I would ask how difficult would it be if you brought your mom to your house for a weekend or longer. Give your dad a chance to have a real break so that his negativity can also take a break. Not good for your mom. Have you checked their home for mold? Just a few thoughts.
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Great advise Blannie!
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Your parents are mired in a very dysfunctional dance and now you're being pulled into it. Like Eyerishlass and Isthisrealyreal said, you need to step away from the dysfunction and let them figure it out. You've tried and gotten nowhere.

My dad had a stroke when he was about 82. He recovered about 99% of his function, but my mom still waited on him hand and foot, which wore her out. He expected it and she complied. I tried to talk to him and tried to talk to her. It was stressing ME out. I finally realized they'd been married for 50+ years at that point and they each had their roles worked out. They weren't going to change. So I let them do their thing and listened to mom complain about being tired and watched dad take advantage of her. I just didn't let it get to me. It was their life and their marriage and I wasn't going to be able to change that dynamic.

Step away and let them do what they do. Detach and provide love but not necessarily support for their crazy/unsafe behaviors. {{Hugs}}
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I agree with Eyerishlass, you need to set boundaries and step out of the line of fire. Sometimes just saying, I'm not going to continue doing this and go off radar for a few days is enough to wake people up. Have you asked your mom why she finds it difficult to drink enough fluids? I for one can not do the sugary drink, maybe lemon, orange or strawberries in water would help, just a thought.

Have your parents always self medicated? That is something I would discuss with their Dr, that can be fatal. How do they have a current medication list if things are prescribed, then not taken or taken against Drs order.

Keep your self well cared for while trying to help your parents (dad). Also know that you can only do what you can, some people don't want help or to change, just someone to share their misery and that is your decision to make.
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Lying in bed all the time is very hard on the body. A body is meant to move and if someone is in bed much of the time they're going to have pain when they get up.

What is most concerning is your dad changing your mom's meds around. Why does he do this? Between this and your mom not taking her medications as prescribed it's no wonder she doesn't feel well.

You can support your dad as he cares for your mom but you can't change him. He's going to do what he thinks is best. Their numerous trips to the hospital are a good example. We all know the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I don't know if your mom is a hypochondriac. Maybe she likes your dad taking care of her. But all 3 of you are miserable. Your dad and mom aren't likely to change so the change will have to come from you if you want things to get better. You will have to change. That could include taking a step back from your parents or instilling boundaries or any number of things. You could be swirling around in this tornado for years if things continue on as they have.
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