A bit of back story. My mom is 68 years old. She’s always been a bit narcissistic and afraid of doctors. As an example, about 13 years ago she had (what I now think) was a stroke and didn’t seek out any medical care. She claimed that her loss of use of her left hand was from her rheumatoid arthritis but being older and wiser now I don’t think that’s the case. She has even referred to it to me accidentally as “when she had a stroke”. 4 years ago she got sick with the flu. I talked to her everyday and she just seemed to get weirder and weirder. Saying things that didn’t make sense, sending me nonsensical texts. Her and my dad have been married for 35 years. He’s 62. I told him that he needed to take her to the hospital and he refused. Told me to “mind my own f*cking business”. Okay, I thought it was my business, but sure. He told me she was “fine”. He didn’t believe she was acting strange at all. He finally took her to the hospital when he found her grey and unresponsive oh the couch. The doctors told him that if he waited until the morning she would have been dead. She was diagnosed with COPD and pneumonia. Her blood oxygen level was in the low 70’s. She was also diagnosed as being delirious. It took her more than a week to come out of it. I thought I’d never talk to my mom again. She was hallucinating and calling me terrified in the middle of the night terrified from the hospital. She couldn’t tell her hallucinations from reality at all. The last 4 years she’s been pretty normal. She recovered almost entirely from her delerium (she never went entirely back to herself but close enough). She was a heavy smoker from the time she was 15 until she was diagnosed at 64 with COPD and then quit.
A couple of weeks ago she caught a cold. Her respirologist told her that if she ever caught a cold and it went to her chest to take these antibiotics he had prescribed for her and if they didn’t work within the first 2 days to go to the hospital to get checked out. She took the antibiotics, finished the 7 day course of them but still didn’t feel better. Sunday afternoon (1 day after being done the antibiotics) she started to sound weird to me, using weird words for things, not answering my questions directly, just sounding a bit off. I finally convinced her to go to the hospital to get checked out on Sunday night. She wouldn’t go until she showered. When I told her that the hospital wouldn’t care if she showered she told me that she hadn’t showered in 4 weeks. She’s been sleeping on the pull out couch in the main floor the living room for awhile. The main floor only has a powder room (sink and toilet) She has had trouble getting upstairs where the full bath is since she was diagnosed with COPD but I never would’ve thought that my dad would’ve let her go 4 weeks without a shower.
Anyways, she said (so I don’t know how true it is) that the doctor at the ER checked her oxygen level, did a chest X-ray, blood tests and a CT scan and that they all came back normal. At 2 am I got a call from my parents while they were in the car on the way home from the hospital saying that they had left because “the doctor didn’t know what he was talking about” and thought that my mom might have had a stroke but that that was “bull**it” so they had signed my mom out of the ER against the doctors advice. My dad is obviously an enabler of my mom’s craziness.
My mom didn’t seem any better on Monday. After talking to her on the phone I noticed that she was still acting out of it and crazy. My dad works nightshift at his welding job (4pm - 2am) so I drove the hour to see her with my husband and she seemed normal in person. Everything I noticed on the phone wasn’t happening. I decided with the help of my husband that calling for emergency help wouldn’t work out (my mom would turn it away) and that I would continue to keep a close eye on her. Today (Wednesday) my mom still sounded a bit off when I was taking to her on the phone. I asked her again to go to the hospital to get checked out and she asked me where my positivity was. She then said “positivity. That’s a weird word. Did I make that up?”
Around 5pm she called me and told me that there was nothing to eat in the house and asked me to bring some food over. I asked her why she didn’t have any food and she told me that my dad didn’t go shopping over the weekend and gave me a list of things that she wanted. My husband and I brought over the things she requested. I did a quick check of her fridge and pantry and saw that there was food but it was expired. Eggs expired by 2 weeks, moldy bread etc. I asked my husband to step out for a bit so that I could be alone with her. I tried to convince her again to go to the hospital, that she needed some help. She yelled at me that I was stressing her out, that I was making her blood pressure go up. She said “don’t do this to me, don’t do this to me, don’t do this to me” and “give me just one more day”. My husband came back and she stopped the hysterics. I realized then that with how crazy she was acting but how she could just turn it off that calling an ambulance wouldn’t work. I made sure that she had everything she needed and went home. She said that my dad made her her a family doctor appointment for Friday morning. I’m worried that she’ll either be much worse by then or that her family doctor won’t realize how sick she is and just adjust her blood pressure medication, which is the only thing she plans to ask him about. So that brings me to where I am now.
I know that my mom is sick and needs some kind of medical intervention but my dad is no help. I think that he’s very possibly neglecting her and enabling her but I don’t know who to talk to. My dad has a history of physical and emotional abuse towards me and my mom and sister and honestly I’m a little bit scared of him and his temper. Where do I go from here?