My mother wakes up every day with symptoms of something. It has been like this for six years and goes on all day long. It may be a rash that she turns into a disease. Or quite often it is something nobody can see but herself. This includes the doctors. She has had digestive issues that no one could figure out, cancers that weren't there, ear aches with no symptoms showing except for what she says... I quickly figured out that her main illness was that she sat in her chair and fixated on herself. I think the symptoms could be real to her, even if they are only in her mind.
I am into my sixth year of listening to it every day. I have to admit that I've become pretty immune to it. That worries me, since I may miss something that is really wrong since she cries wolf so much. She has also gotten into a habit of calling the drug store or my cousin doctor if I don't act fast enough to fix her problem. Good grief.
My mother has vascular dementia, diabetes, and spinal stenosis. The only other thing we've ever found wrong with her is a urinary tract infection. Her factitious illnesses are driving me nuts, though. I can't even be around her for more than a few minutes, because it is all she wants to talk about. There's nothing I can do about factitious ailments except worry that they may not be factitious.
An easy answer would be placement in a NH. She isn't sick enough for a NH yet, though, even though to listen to her you would think she is. I tell her that good food, good exercise, and socializing are the best medicines. Those are "pills" she doesn't want to take, though.
This is more of a vent to keep my sanity. Thanks for listening. I know that other people out there will be able to relate.