Everytime my mother calls me, it is an "emergency" and she expects me to drop everything and drive to her house, which is 35 miles away. Saturday, she called early in the morning insisting I come RIGHT AWAY as she had hurt her back and couldn't walk (her words) and thought she had an impacted bowel. I told her to call 911. Of course, that was not an option! I needed to be there immediately to help her because she was in so much pain that she couldn't stand it.

When I explained that we (my husband and I) would be having visitors in a few hours, my mother changed her tune and said I should come up after the visitors leave. Oh, and when I came, I should stop at the grocery store in her town and get some tv dinners that were on sale so at least she could have something to eat because she was unable to stand at the stove and cook. Also, my husband was supposed to come along so that he could move her garbage bins from the curb back to her garage and go pick up her mail from the post office.

After discussing this with my husband, we decided to go to her house just to see how bad she was. We stopped at the store, picked up a few tv dinners and some Exlax.

When we got there, it was obvious that she was in pain. I asked her when she had hurt her back and was told "a few days ago". I asked why she hadn't called her doctor. My mother replied that she thought the pain would go away. And, now it was Saturday, and her doctor's office was closed so she called me.

I asked what she had been taking for the pain. She replied, "Nothing." The woman is 83 years old, and doesn't know that she should take ibuprofen or SOMETHING for aches and pains??????????????????? I was more than just a little astonished. So, I found her ibuprofen and made sure she took 2 capsules.

I also plugged in a heating pad/vibrating chair cushion that I had brought and showed her how it worked. And, made sure she took some Exlax and had several bottles of water available to keep herself hydrated.

I told her that if the pain got worse, she should call an ambulance. My husband came in with her mail (yes, he had moved her garbage bins!) and we left.

I called her in the evening and she was obviously feeling better.

I know I am enabling her when I let myself be taken in by her "emergency" calls but I am the only child available (my sisters live in other states.) Since I don't know how bad things really are, I feel I need to go to her house just to find out for myself.


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vstefans: A person who threatens to harm you is NOT in their right mind and may be on the edge of dementia. The next time you see them, they may not even remember the conversation. One day they are fine, the brain works well and the next day they are angry, anxious and agitated. It is an insidious disease that sneaks up when you least expect it. Prayers for you both.
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It makes no sense because it makes no sense! You shouldn't have to lose sleep over it, but of course you do, because your mom is acting like it makes perfect sense (I suppose to someone who is either maniulative, demented, or both, it does,,,,) and she's your mom....

I'm currently trying really hard to get over a really hurtful thing someone, who is in their right mind, said to me today - I thought they were a good friend, but either they are not, or they are just struggling too, want someone to blame besides just getting older and having a harder time doing stuff that used to be easy, lost their filter and thought they could dump on me. First they threatened physical harm to me and then tried to take it back, sort of, but well some things once said can't be unsaid.

So what am I going to do? Besides just grieve the loss of friendship and mutual participation in an activity we both love, I will try to make the best of it and go on. Not as if it never happened, but hopefully as a little wiser and a little more mature, and less likely to ever do the same thing to another fellow human being. And I am having some good coffee. And once I have settled down a little more I will go on the bike ride I have been promising myself, before I have to get back to work.
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My mom belongs to a card club (but claims that she doesn't have phone numbers for any of the people she plays cards with...they meet at the bank 2 Mondays a month.) She also belongs to a button club that meets once a month and to the VFW Aux. that meets in a nearby town (9 miles away). I'm going to call someone from the VFW Aux. to see if there might be ladies who could at least take her to some of her appointments. Will see what happens.
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Not trying to increase your guilt. Mom is playing you. But.

Hey, is she lonely? Does she need someone local to visit her more often than you can? Is there a stay-at-home mother or young retiree you or she could pay to visit her and run errands - and be able to pop over to evaluate "emergencies" for you? Could you find someone through a church or the senior center?

She's seeking attention, but maybe if she got more attention she would behave better. She might be starting to have dementia, so if you can set up local supports early, she can live independently longer.

But still, have that glass of wine. I know she's driving you nuts.
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Clearly you are being manipulated, Mom plays the guilt card and you buy into it. This is attention seeking behavior, even making you mad makes her feel like she won. Stop letting her win. I bet if you check with the MD, she didn't even throw up in the office. Bite your lip and don't react, just say "Fine, I see you handled everything just dandy." We told Mom " Take your pain meds or call 911, but I'm not coming down there." So she took her pain meds and lo and behold there was a miraculous recovery in half an hour. Stop letting her play you, get off the phone when she starts. Now go have a small glass of wine, bang your head on the wall once or twice, take a hot shower and get some sleep. Been there, done that.
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Well, here's a new twist to this saga........

My mother finally went to the doctor for her back pain. I was unable to take her because I couldn't get off of work, and the (supposed) person she had asked to take her backed out (I don't believe she ever asked anyone...I truly believe she expected me to do it even though I told her I wouldn't be able to.) So, my mother drove herself to the appointment. Anyway.....

I called her last night to find out what the doctor had said. Here's what my mom told me:
1) When she got to the doctor's office, she was in so much pain, that she threw up
2) The doctor has ordered xrays and prescribed some pain medication and sent her on her way
3) My mother had the prescription sent to a pharmacy that is 10 miles from her home instead of to the one right in her town
4) After her appointment, she went to the senior center and had lunch and then listened to a speaker tell about changes in the Medicare coverage due to the new ObamaCare plan
5) She had someone she knew (who was also at the Medicare meeting) go into the grocery store for her so she wouldn't have to get out of, and back into, her car.
6) She drove herself home and wrestled with the groceries, her walker, etc. until she got everything into the house.

When I asked her why she would have the prescription sent to another town, she replied that the local pharmacy charges more for prescriptions than the one in the town 10 miles away so she decided to save herself $10 and just have it sent to the cheaper pharmacy.

Now I was getting pissed (sorry for the language!) I said to her, "I simply don't understand you! You're in so much pain that you throw up when you get to the doctor's office, but when the doctor prescribes pain medicine that will help you feel better, you have it sent to a pharmacy far away? And, because of this, you haven't taken any of this medicine that is going to help you feel better? Why would you do that?"

I continued on, "What would you have done if I wasn't able to take you to the pharmacy today?"

My mom replied that she would have driven herself to the pharmacy to pick up the pain medicine.

Oh, and when I take her to get her medicine, I'm also supposed to take her to the dollar store, to KMart and to Great Clips, so she can get her hair cut.

What am I missing here? Is there some twisted logic here that I just don't "get"? How can someone be in so much pain that they throw up but yet expect to go shopping and get their hair cut?

I'm so frustrated that I'm not sleeping (I've been awake for over 2's almost 3 a.m. here.)

There is no one else to help me with this. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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You are being played like a fiddle. If she won't call 911, you call them and they will take her to a hospital. After we did this with mom, and she got the bills for the co-pays, her nonsense stopped. You can expect a repeat performance very soon until you put your foot down.
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Thank you for the replies.....

Yes, I do think, "WHAT IF?????" But, I also know my mom is using me to get attention. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.

I usually go to her place once a week to mow the lawn and do whatever else she needs done. It's not a specific day of the week since my work schedule varies. And, about once a month, I take her shopping and we have lunch somewhere. So, it's not like I'm neglecting her or never see her.

I just got a voice message from her....she has made an appointment at the doctor's office for THURSDAY and wants me to take her and also stay for some kind of Medicare meeting that she is scheduled to attend that afternoon. But she also said that she's going outside to talk with the neighbor guy about possibly being able to take her trash down to the curb and bring it back up to the house this week. Then tells me that she is in "so much pain" she can hardly stand it.

Again, she's using me and not telling me the truth. She can't be "in so much pain that she can't stand it" and feeling good enough to go outside and talk with the neighbor. It can't be both ways.

I have to work on Thursday so can't go up there and just called her to tell her so. I got her voicemail so left a message saying I couldn't take her to the doctor. I also told her that it is ridiculous to wait until Thursday to see her doctor when she's so uncomfortable. There is a chiropractor's office just one block away and she could easily get there, using her walker. I also told her that sitting around is the worst thing she can do...she should be doing some easy stretches and trying to walk even for a little bit.

I suggested she call one of the ladies from the VFW Auxilliary or from her card club to see if one of them could take her to the doctor.

Will see what kind of a phone call I get now!
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Maybe you're afraid that the one time you don't come when she beckons you it actually WILL be an emergency. That's what I would think if I were in your place. What if......

Can you and your mom arrange days when you visit her, go to the grocery for her, and help her with whatever she needs around the house? That way you don't have to drop everything you're doing to rush over to your mom's. If she calls you in between these times with an 'emergency' talk to her on the phone about what may be causing her to think she has an authentic emergency. If her back hurts advise her to take ibuprofen. The "emergency" is a smoke screen to get you over there and/or to get you to do things she needs done. I think you're being manipulated. And if you don't want to be on call everyday find some days that are good for you and use those days to help your mom out with whatever she needs. And once you and your mom make a schedule that works for both of you, stick to it no matter what. Mom needs some boundaries.
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Oh the guilt it's our worst enemy. You know the answer already but it's so hard getting past the guilt...

Next time don't give into her and she'll just have to wait till you are available.... Good luck...

I don't know how old she is but maybe you can pay someone a couple hours a week to take care on trash barrels and run to the store...
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