Mom keeps coming up with strange symptoms and the Doctor seems to play along with her and gives her different drugs. Advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom keeps coming up with strange symptoms and the Doctor seems to play along with her and gives her different drugs. Advice?

Follow
Share

Right now she says she has had a constant low grade fever for months. She says her normal temp is 96.8 and now it is 98.6. The doc gave her an antibiotic, then tested her for TB and Valley fever -- both negative. Now she is convinced that she is going to have to go in the hospital for tests. I try to reassure her and suggest that her normal temp has just gone up a bit. She says she is always hot and her eyes burn. She lives in Tucson and has macular degeneration.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
10

Answers

Show:
Ideas: 1. Start reading her the side effects of medications. "Yup, there's always a risk versus the benefit to weigh. Do you want to treat the cause or just the symptom?" 2. Give her homeopathy. It works and yet it does not interact with any other meds and is considered by some (not me) to be a placebo. To decide which one, match up the "emotional symptoms" first. 3. Give her Traditional Medicinals Tea. It works too, especially for colds, immune booster. She'd feel she was getting something to treat her symptoms, and perhaps not need another doctor visit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If he is giving her an antibiotic for an infection, that's fine, but giving antibiotics for no reason can put her at risk later. I have relatives with macular degeneration and they do have burning eyes from the treatment, sometimes.
A second opinion might be warranted. (We have had a couple of docs who did unnecessary testing just so they could get so more money out of Medicare.)
As far as temps - my temperature has always been 98.6!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If he was giving her a sugar pill (a placebo), I'd be fine with it. But to actually treat a normal temperature with an antibiotic is STUPID in my opinion. We're all overusing antibiotics in this country anyway (I assume you're in the US) and this kind of irresponsible prescribing makes it worse. That's why germs are becoming antibiotic resistant.

I'd find another doc if he dreams up tests and treatments for non-existent maladies. Sounds like he's making $$$ off of her. He could listen to her and either reassure her that she's OK or give her sugar pills. Anything beyond that (with the example of her temp that you gave) isn't right in my opinion.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Its one thing to have the doctor prescribe a placebo, its something else again if he/she actually is prescribing drugs. All drugs, no matter how "safe", can have side effects, and antibiotic resistance is also a huge problem. I would have a heart to heart with the doctor about her hypochondria and see if you can come up with a better strategy.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I am "terrible sick" is the common refrain I hear. There are times it gets old...but often what is bothering Mom is not what is the problem. She is cranky and complaining about everything when she really has a UTI and treating that actually gets her to focus better. Perhaps your mom just wants to be center of attention. Our entire family has a normal temp between 97 and 97.2 - it does throw things off a bit when trying to figure out when someone is sick.

Mom keeps her place at 76 degrees summer and winter and uses blankets even at that temp....

Good luck with the revolving diseases. I finally told mom that she could not tell me that she was terribly sick unless it met certain criteria: Persistent vomiting, bleeding, unable to breath etc... Still happens but less frequently.

Perhaps you can find a new game...like something she can think and dwell on that is not an illness...or some other folks to interact with ( like at the local senior center).

I wouldn't mind Dr. doing tests...or prescribing B12 or vitamin D but extra antibiotics could mask a real problem without curing it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ok, I guess that is what I wanted to hear -- that he might have the right approach. I don't see any of the medical bills (it might be a good idea if i do!!), but I'm sure the antibiotic wasn't that expensive -- now sure about the tests.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Eva, I think your mother's GP might have the right idea, actually - he seems to be employing the "therapeutic fuss" strategy. As long as he's not financially exploiting her determination to have something exotic wrong with her, it's a legitimate approach - would you agree that essentially he is humouring her with minimal treatment and "hey, why not" testing? If it keeps her happy…

And, importantly, as long as it doesn't stop him seeing the real wolf if/when it does come along!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Eva, ah the battle of the thermostat, my Dad is always complaining how warm he is, of course Mom keeps the temperature at 78, so no wonder :P
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Mom is 92-- definitely not hot flashes (that is me right now!) and she has had macular degeneration for years and takes various drops etc for her eyes. I've suggested to her that her apartment is warm (the sibs and I all complain). She just wants to have something wrong with her!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she has macular degeneration of her eyes, her eyes probably do burn. Have the eye doctor recommend over the counter eye drops, that will help.

By the way, most of my life my body temp was 96.8, my Dad had the same thing, but as I got older my body temp finally got to the normal 98.6. Who knows why, I never questioned it.

By the way, how old is your Mom? Could she still be having change of life hot flashes? Or has she been put on a regular prescription medication that has a possible side effect of hot flashes? Does she keep her home too warm? How about seasonal allergies? That can make you feel a bit warm.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions