New to this site and really lost on what to do. My mother who is 80 yrs, had spleen removed 2 years ago. She is very headstrong.The doctor told her that getting sick would drag her immune system down and they would not be able to help her. She sits in her home day in and out. We cannot get her to leave but only to ride around for short time. Everyone is afraid to visit because not wanting to make her sick. Her doctor told her to get out and enjoy life, just wear mask, and make good decisions. We know not to take her out in large crowds, etc. I live hour away and my brother closer. I try to go up every other weekend. One day she is up and about and the next, she is telling us her time has come. She hasn't had doc appt in awhile and I think she misses that attention. I told her yesterday I was making her an appt for this week and today she refuses, saying what can they do? All her doctors are over an hour away from her so farther for us but she doesn't want to find any closer. I would like to talk to her doctor but usually she wants to do Telehealth call with us both. I made mistake of telling my mother I think she is depressed only to be yelled at for an hour. My brother and I are at a loss on what to do. I just been praying a lot on it. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

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Your mother sounds mostly fearful but also depressed, so a combo between anxiety & depression, imo. I had a mother with similar behaviors, so I called her doctor PRIVATELY (as mom's POA) and told him I suspected she was depressed. Mom would have had a fit had she known I was 'going behind her back' to make such a call. This was after she'd been hospitalized 2x and lost her zest for life, was hiding out at home and refusing to leave. The doc prescribed her Wellbutrin as an anti-depressant and told her she had to take it, so she did. And turned around on a DIME as a result, got back to her old self and went out of the house, etc.

There was no point in saving your mother's life by removing her spleen if she's now choosing to end her life by sequestering herself away in fear like a hermit. If her doctor 'orders' her to take anti depressants as a 'trial run' to see if she feels better, at your urging, perhaps THEN she will choose to start living again, with gratitude instead of fear ruling her life.

It's hard, I know. My DH had a liver transplant in April and is immuno suppressed. The Mayo Clinic told him to LIVE LIFE and that's what he's been doing. Otherwise, what was the purpose in him getting a new liver to begin with?

I hope you can help mom see the light. If not, leave her be to live life the way she sees fit. You don't have to join her in her pity party, however, she can stay alone with that. If she wants to see you and your brother, she'll need to pull on her big girl pants and participate in life now. Sometimes tough love is what's needed with 'headstrong' elders who can't see reality for the life of them!

Best of luck.
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Reply to lealonnie1
Alamama Jan 7, 2023
I wrote big long reply and lost it. Sigh. My mother is sane but obstinate. She will live her life her way. I told her other day I thought she was depressed..wrong thing to do. I was yelled at for an hour. She wants to stay holed up in that apartment because she likes it. She has doc appt in February so maybe we can talk to her then. My brother and I will continue to see to her needs. I just have to stop and pray a lot when I am around her. Thank you
What health problems does she have aside from a missing spleen? People can live mostly normal lives without one.
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Reply to ZippyZee

Thank you. She has an appointment in February. I told her I could see if she could get in earlier. Yesterday she was all for it, today is complete turn around. My mother only likes the doctors there. She will not budge on it. We have tried for years. My brother and I feel like nothing we do or suggest will ever be right. Hopefully the doc in February will help then. I am very thankful I found this group. Needed people who understand. Thank you
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Reply to Alamama

Would she agree to Home Health coming in to visit her rather than her going to the doctors office? If so find out if her doctor offers that if not are there any in her are that will do house calls?
I think getting a full check up for her would be first thing on the list then go from there.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Alamama, welcome to the forum. If your mother has you arranging all of her medical appointments, maybe you can try a "theraputic fib" to get Mom to have you find a doctor who is closer by. You could tell Mom that her current doctor is moving so you will need to find a new doctor.

In fact, a new set of eyes [new doctor] is sometimes good to see if he/she has other ideas to improve your Mom's health.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer
Lymie61 Jan 1, 2023
Well said freqflyer. Maybe her doctor an hour away could suggest or refer her to one closer sighting the need to see someone more frequently now (since spleen removed) or something. Even say he or she will work with this new person who is closer and let that fizzle out naturally. Is there a system like My Chart where you can message her PC about all of this and maybe suggest helping you get her to a team closer Alamama?
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