My 82 year old dad is the primary caregiver to mom who is quite ill. A year ago she was diagnosed with a torn hip tendon, then had a fall at home and now also has a fractured pelvis. Both conditions are being cared for by a orthopedic specialist. However, I know there is an underlying illness that dad is in denial about and am having a difficult time getting him to take her to a doctor for a diagnosis.
He loves her, is doing all he can to care for her, but thinks the only thing wrong with her is a bad hip. She has lost weight, is nauseus, weak, fatigued and confused. I've recently noticed hand tremors.
I suggested she go to ER last month after talking to her on the phone and noticing slurred speech. The staff at the hospital ruled out a stroke but found some abnormalities in blood tests for her renal panel and high blood platelet count. They recommended a follow up with a kidney specialist and a hematologist. I made appointments with these other two doctors and delivered blood test results to their offices. However, mom and dad keep cancelling the appointments because mom doesn't feel well.
I've told dad that mom's blood tests could mean she has a number of undiagnosed illnesses and to get answers she'll have to go to these appointments. He just cries to me on the phone, says he doesn't think there are any answers, and hangs up.
I live an hour away and have a full time job and family. I've done everything I can, but unfortunately my dad will have to be the one to get her in the car and make sure she goes to the appointments I have made for her.
Dad doesn't seem to connect the dots that mom might be seriously ill and he doesn't seem to think it's important he push the issue with her to see these doctors. It is frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. What do I do?

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Can't find anything to add except to urge you to take a day off work to take Mom to at least one appointment with an Endocrinologist it sounds at the very least she has diabetes which needs to be addressed.
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Ah. The excellence of my own late mother's GP may have made me too optimistic.

Given yours is a bit of a dud, perhaps instead opt for one more specialist and find a geriatrician you like the sound of. But you really do need a qualified medical practitioner on board with this.
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Thanks for your replies. I agree having her GP be the one single point to oversee her is great BUT he has not done anything. That is one large part of the problem. I sent a note to him prior to her last appointment asking for help diagnosing symptoms of nausea, bruising, unresolved joint pain, and confusion and he did not address these and only gave her a new pain med. As her symptoms continued I asked his office to order various blood tests which he did but said "I hope you can find something because I'm stumped." I stopped trying to get blood from that stone and made the appointments for her myself after seeing results of blood tests showed high blood sugar, critically high blood platelet count, anemia and other high counts on her renal panel. I wish I didn't have to intervene like this, but her GP seems unwilling to do it and never even contacted my mother to follow up after her hospital visit.
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CM, you wrote exactly what I was thinking, in a much more thorough post.

Ginger, my first thought was that your father is afraid to address the reality of your mother's illness. He's afraid, perhaps overwhelmed, and in denial.

CM offers good suggestions on how to proceed. I hesitate to suggest this as I know how I would feel if someone suggested it to me, but is there any way you can take sick time to take your mother to a PCP to get the ball rolling again?
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I expect your father is terribly afraid that your mother might be seriously ill. He is not so much denying the problem as actively avoiding it, don't you think?

And, at the same time, I should think your mother does feel dreadful and doesn't feel up to going out to appointments. So she hands him a valid reason for not going, every time.

In your place I would:

make sure those recent blood results have made their way to mother's GP
report all of your concerns to the GP, written down in an email but calling first to make sure it gets to him/her
request that the GP contact your father to try to get the ball rolling again.

The key thing seems to be to get them back into a good, trusting relationship with their doctor, and the key to that is to make it easy for them to do. Multiple appointments with different specialists, each one to be got to and hung around for? If you can get this back under the control of a single co-ordinating generalist, one who can discuss their concerns in the round, it will be easier to develop a workable plan.

Hm. It also occurs to me that your father may already have been given news he hasn't wanted to share? Not that anything you've said makes me think so, but it is perhaps a possibility to bear in mind.
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