My mother has scleroderma. She was being treated and everything seemed to be working. She began with fever so I took her to the ER. Her doctor was out of town, so another physician told me that she was about to die. Which was a shock to everyone, with a therapist and the doctor we told her that she was going to die but we were never sure the diagnosis was correct. So we took her to another hospital to get a second opinion and the diagnosis was incorrect and what she had was an intoxication for the methotrexate that she was taking for the scleroderma. She immediately improved with the new treatment and because of the pandemic was discharged early to keep recovering at home. The doctors said that it was going to be an slow process. She is now better, the doctors keep checking in her blood and vitals and she has improved in the words of the doctors quite miraculously. My mother was always kind of depressed and she never took her mental health seriously. The problem now is that as
she is getting better she is starting to “pretend” symptoms like throwing up, saying that she cannot move her legs. And lately that she cannot breathe even when her oxygen levels and vitals are more than ok. The doctors said that she is depressed and she just took an antidepressant drug, she is being seen by a psychologist and all the doctors agree that she is faking her symptoms. I have even seen it, because when she falls sleep her breathing goes normal. I don’t know what to. The doctors recommend that I need to be away from her that a nurse should be taking care of her. I don’t really know what to do. I feel that all her love and respect that I have for her is getting away. If anyone has gone through this, could someone give me some advice to deal with this.

thank you

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Regardless of whether your mom is ‘faking’ it or not isn’t what is most important in your life at this point in time.

You say that you feel like your feelings for your mom are leaving and curious if others have felt this way.

Yes, I have gone numb where I couldn’t feel the emotions that I once felt.

I think it is because I devoted so much time to my mom that I lost myself.

I desperately desired to have my life back. I suspect that you are feeling the same.

This isn’t selfish of you to feel this way. It is actually better to let go of the responsibility of caring for her if it has robbed you of your life.

It is also better for your mom because she deserves to have someone care for her that isn’t resentful.

It’s truly not anyone’s fault. Your mom is who she is, ‘faking’ or not.

You are frustrated and tired. Get some rest. Speak to mental health experts for yourself this time, instead of mom. Take care of yourself.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Does she live with you or at her own place? If her doctors say that she's acting then believe them. Her ongoing health crisis symptoms are probably to get attention. What I'm going to say might sound harsh, but I've been an elderly caregiver for many years. The best thing for any person is that if they can do for themselves, they must. If you wait on her hand and foot and go running every time she summons you, that's not helping her. She will not get better if you coddle her and treat her like a baby. The doctors are right about you being away from her and let a nurse and a CNA take care of her. I'll be willing to bet you're the only person she will pull the drama on. A nurse or a CNA won't wait on a person hand and foot. They're nice and compassionate, but they do their job and it gets done. She will probably do great with a nurse and a CNA and will become more pro-active in her own recovery. My mother tries to pull similar on me. The minute she gets in the doctor's office her conditions improve a tenfold. I call her out in front of her doctors now though. I let them know that five minutes ago she was dying in the car, and they now understand what's going on. My mother's new game is making as many doctor's appointments as she can with ones who aren't onto her yet. I refuse to take her and that puts it to bed well enough.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

Antidepressant meds take several weeks to get to therapeutic levels.

Did the doctors actually say "faking"? I would find a new group of doctors if so. A geriatric psychiatrist will have the most experience in dealing with this sort of panic or conversion disorder.

When you say they told you that YOU shouldn't be caring for her, are they saying she needs a higher level of care with medical professionals on staff?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Depression and anxiety are short circuits in the brain that are not under the control of those who suffer from them, as someone who has experienced panic attacks I can tell you that even though there is no physical reason for the debilitating symptoms I feel I am in no way "faking" them, in fact I can't wish them away no matter how hard I try. Her doctors agreeing that she is "faking it" make me believe that they aren't very experienced in dealing with mental health issues or in dealing with them, hopefully you can find someone who is - a geriatric psychiatrist perhaps?
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Reply to cwillie

I don’t have an answer. It sounds really challenging. I just want you to know that people
are reading this even if they don’t have answers. I wish you the best.
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Reply to Homecare123

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