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I am confused about what I should do. Since last December my mother has complained of itching. We went to her PCP two or three times and a dermatologist once. They told her nothing was wrong and told her to use hydrocortisone creme. She also had some feminine itching, so she made an appointment with a gynecologist, who found nothing wrong and prescribed a hydrocortisone creme. For the last two weeks she has been wanting to go to the doctor again for her itching. I told her we had gone several times and I wouldn't take her again. She denied even going to the doctor, though I don't think she believes her denials. My mother loves to visit doctors.

This evening we received a recorded call from the dermatologists office to confirm the appointment on Friday. I don't know what to do. I haven't mentioned it to her. I know she will expect me to take her even after I told her I wouldn't. I know it is a waste of our time and Medicare dollars.

I haven't mentioned to her that I know yet, because I haven't decided what I should do. I thought I would ask what the people here would do. I dread another battle, but I am embarrassed to keep running to the doctors when they can't help.

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Oh Damn, radiation causes terrible rash and itchiness! Did I really miss that?!!
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JessieBelle; you didn't mention the radiation treatments. There are some cancer treatments that can cause extreme itchiness. Sorry if I sounded less than sympathetic! Hugs!
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Hey Ladies, PLEASE go to youtube and look this video up. IT'S A LIFESAVER! It's also hysterical!

Go Red for Women Premiere Short Film – Just a Little Heart Attack
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I think it's spring. I always get really edgy and nervous in spring. The young man who lives behind me and has schizophrenia is really losing it lately. I don't know if it's the rapidly changing weather, or all the pollens in the air. There are huge thunderheads building to the north of me. It may also be a body memory for me, I have them in autumn as well. Ok, well I need to run out the door and get Steve some smokes. I'll be back later.
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No, Christina. You weren't sounding edgy. I was referring to RnAllison's words that I was not supporting my mother in her attempts to find relief in this thread. I've been noticing many unkind remarks made to people in other threads and wondered why the group seemed more on edge than normal.
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I'm sorry-- was I sounding edgy? I apologize.
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RnAllison, I know you probably don't know as much about my situation as many do, but I take my mother to the doctor very often. Lately it has been 3-4 times a week. This includes her PCP, a gynecologist, a dermatologist, and an oncologist (radiation treatments skins cancer). Then there have been all the accessory trips to get the medicines and cremes to make her feel better. I thought I mentioned all the doctors here, but maybe not. Anyway... I had to chuckle about not supporting my mother. She probably does feel that way, though, since I finally said enough.

Everything is okay now. The last trip to the dermatologist did the trick. He found nothing wrong and prescribed the hydrocortisone again. I put if on her back a couple of times until she said she didn't itch anymore.

Is it my imagination or is the group starting to get pretty edgy?
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A few years ago, my Mother had terrible itching and I took her to MY doctor instead of the senior care group, who I soon dumped because of their condescension and rushed appointments.
It was difficult getting her on the table but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Her vaginal area and surrounding skin was bright red. Doctor gave her a cream-- I can get the name if you want at the pharmacy.
He said it could be from med reaction, or from prolapsed bladder, overall weakening of internal organs. She was going nuts over it, and that was beside the dementia. Please call your gynecologist and get her some relief. Let me know on my wall if you want name of cream. It worked . xo
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If she is still itching, then she has the right to see the doctor again. Because you aren't supporting her in her search for relief, she is of course going to make appointments in "secret" . Take her to the dermatologist, tell them it is driving her crazy. There are WAY more treatments than hydrocortisone cream. There are different ointments, pills, creams, lotions and potions that can help better than over the counter products. Sounds like she is being blown off by the doctors because she is elderly.
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Tonight I was playing with her. Since she has been itching, she has blamed this hapless tree that is in my neighbor's yard. She said she was allergic to that tree because she has been itching since she picked up some leaves from it. That was last November when she picked up leaves from several trees when we were raking. This tree, however, has become her evil demon tree that is making her itch. I hear about this tree several times a day now. Tonight I said that I knew what was making her itch -- the mailbox. I had to give that poor tree a break. What will be strange is if it ends up being that tree causing the itch. Doubtful, but always possible.

carolelpage, I'll have to read about the myeloma. She has had several blood workups, but I don't know if they were looking for anything except the normal chemistry.
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My mother had terrible itching for years, must have seen 5 doctors, all of which said they could find no cause and to use the hydrocortisone cream, Finally she was referred to a blood doctor who did a bone marrow test, She has some type of rare non-malignant myoloma. There isn't anything that can be done about it, but at least she knows what it is which helps. She takes Doxepin before bed so that she can sleep (sleep is a BIG issue, if you can't sleep your tolerance is so much lower!) Good luck, I hope that you can get it figured out, cause if momma ain't happy I know that you aren't either.
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AlwaysMyDuty, there is the Caregiver's Stories section which is supposed to be for brief, uplifting stories. (Sometimes it gets off track.) Setting a good example there would be most welcome!
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Nice idea, Mary. Have you started a thread yet? Hint, hint. xo
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Christina, lovely story about your grandmother! Sounds like you're having a good evening. I think it'd be nice for someone to start a thread to share positive uplifting stories about loved ones we spent our childhoods with, if that's allowed on here. It would be a diversion to a lot of the sadness. Smiling for the soul so to speak. :-).
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I'm enjoying your conversation, Mary, Jessie, & Jeanne. Feeding my Mother dinner, listening to Nat King Cole, reading:) My Grandmother took me to downtown Los Angeles on the Red Car a few times before try shut it down. We would go to Bullock's Wilshire and buy butter toffee peanuts for the ride home. I think it was a nickel, but I'm dating myself. WhooHoo !
Have a good evening, all. xoxo
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Thank you JessieBelle. My father was a wonderful, loving, generous, humble Southern gentle man. For my son to be like him is the best compliment. My dad got Alz in his 50s and left this world way too soon. He was my rock. Then there's my mom...at least I was fortunate and blessed to have one of the best fathers ever. Why some parents have to be so hateful and cruel like my mother is the biggest mystery of my life.
Hang in there with your mom. I'm sure she has some legitimate reasons for visiting the doctor. But it sounds to me as if she enjoys the attention, good and bad, all this activity results in. That's what is so offsetting and frustrating, it was with my mom. I'm a loner but my mom wanted or needed lots of attention so we never meshed on that topic.
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Your son and dad sound like two men I would like. Sounds like a great philosophy of life they had/have.
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jeannegibbs, yes my son took after my dad a lot. He puts up with nonsense from no one which included his grandmother. He shamed her for saying she would take handouts. He said as long as you have us, your family, you will never take anything that is meant for the unfortunate. We take care of our own. I wholeheartedly agreed with him.
It took me a lifetime but I finally quit being a doormat and I taught my kids to not allow it either. That was what my mom couldn't handle. She wanted us to do for her whenever she snapped her fingers. We would've been in the doctors' office every day if we hadn't set limits. She eventually had enough of not getting her way and disowned us. It was her decision, a very STUPID one, but it's in the past now.
Where my we lived the bus ride is free for elders. But it's a huge city and riding the bus was not safe for anyone much less an elder so that wasn't an option or believe you me, mom would've been riding all over town on a free pass. And I could never figure out where this attitude came into being because my parents never had that mindset.
Happy medium would be grand!!
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Wow, Always, I'm impressed that you found something that worked! Way to go, and good for your son! (Sounds like he's picked up some of Grampa's pride.)

My grandmother never drove but she managed to get anywhere she wanted to go in the city by using public transit. Then the city fathers decided to make bus rides free for senior citizens. Gramma was distressed. "Just because I'm old doesn't mean I'm a charity case!" She was too old to get by with just not showing the free bus pass. Bus drivers automatically put their hand over the money collector machine when she came on. Those who knew her said "I can't collect from you." And, sadly, she actually reduced her bus riding considerably.

Isn't it funny how some elderly refuse to accept "charity" even when it is perfectly reasonable, and others aren't the least concerned about ripping off an overburdened system? Too bad we can't take those attitudes, blend them thoroughly, and redistribute a happy medium to everyone!
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JessieBelle, I totally get it trying to tell your mom about overusing Medicare. I tried telling my mom the same. She told me she was old and everyone owed her and she would take whatever was out there to take. (My proud father had to be rolling in his grave!) When my son heard her say this, he had a royal fit and told her to knock it off with these unneeded doctor appts. She actually woke up and stopped making so many, that coupled with my telling her I wouldn't take her unless I approved. She was on oxygen and it was too difficult to take a taxi. She also was tight with her money and pretty lazy. She always got the required medical attention she needed but she considered these appts "social occasions" as weird as that was. We took her in the car somewhere about 4 times a week so I never figured out why she thought that.
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Thank you, Joan & Jeanne. It can feel like a dog chasing its tail. I talked to my mother about Medicare and cost to taxpayers. She was unconcerned because she had paid taxes when she worked. She didn't understand the logic of what if everyone did like she did in going to doctors. I thought it was worth a try to explain the impact of abusing Medicare, since my mother still has fairly good reasoning ability. It didn't work.

I do think she itches. However, I don't think it is any worse than the itching that most people get occasionally, especially in winter. A large part of the problem, I'm sure, is sitting in the chair all day, being absorbed in herself, and scratching at a normal itch. If she were young I would say get up from there and do something. Stop dwelling on yourself. That sounds rather mean to say to an older person with mobility problems, though.
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I do understand, Jessie. There is having health conditions and there is using one's heath conditions for attention. Mother does a lot of that, and I believe loses credibility from doing so. A manipulator will use anything for attention. It is hard to know where to draw the line. (((((hugs))))
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I don't have an answer, but I feel for you Jessie!
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The end result was I asked her if she wanted to cancel the dermatologist appointment. She said no, so we went. She has a red rash, but he said it was nothing to worry about and prescribed a hydrocortisone creme again. I am starting to wonder if she is allergic to that.

I have been thinking about what we need to do about the rash. I think we may have run into the problem of crying wolf so often that no one is paying attention. The most irritating thing to me is I have a feeling that the rash may be caused by her sitting in her chair all day with the heat running. I suggested this, but she said that wasn't it. She is not willing to make any personal changes to help her condition. It is frustrating.

I don't know if I can be much more of a personal advocate in pursuing her health problems. We are already at the doctor's offices more than the law should allow. It isn't just one doctor, it is many, all saying the same thing -- nothing bad is wrong.
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Jesse, is she using the hydrocortisone creme as directed?

IF you decide this is an unnecessary appointment, then stick to your word. She made this appointment in secret and I suppose she expects to spring it on you at the last minute, expecting you to drop everything and take her. You said you wouldn't take her again. Don't. Make plans for that time. Tell her to take a cab and wish her luck with the appointment.

There are two issues here. One is whether seeing yet another doctor is appropriate. I can't help you with that. The other is the total disrespect for your time and sneaking an appointment that she will then expect you to facilitate. That one I'd not cooperate with.
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i can only speak from my own experience. my mother had excruciating itching for a few months. fentanyl patches cause sporatic and random itching i know cause i tried them myself. in addition to the patches causing itching we eventually discovered a bed bug problem in our home. if you want to discount this possibility check the mattresses for fecal stains and the sheets for blood stains caused by engorged bugs getting smashed accidently. there is an epidemic infestation across the entire western world and especially in densely populated cities. it has nothing to do with social status or cleanliness. home care workers may have introduced them..
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Hi Jessie -another possibility for itching could be a yeast infection. You can have a "feminine" infection without any obvious symptoms except itching. Cortisone is the worst thing for that. Are there OTC creams etc. available for yeast infections in the US? As we get older our immune systems are not as effective, and problems can develop for no obvious reason. In my experience the medical profession are not very good with these infections. I had one for quite a while that went untreated, and that combined with antibiotics resulted in me ending up with it in my gut and spreading systemically so I was quite ill. I am still on meds for it 3 years later. The only doc that helped was an infectious disease specialist. I think ruling out allergies is a good idea too. I do understand that your mum likes visiting the doctor. Mine does too, and I think a lot of it is attention, and perhaps they forget how recently they have been.
Let us know how you make out. Your are doing such a good job with your mum. (((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) Joan
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Nothing is worse than a doctor telling you nothing is wrong when you have a symptom or symptoms that will not go away! They think you are crazy, they do nothing for you, they send you away, and you are still suffering. It Sucks!

So I agree with everyone else here, if you see that your mother is scratching, assume that she really IS itching and advocate for her. Itching can be a sign of a lot of things, allergies, liver problem, hormonal imbalance, nerve damage, etc.
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Obviously, if you see her scratching (when she doesn't know you're watching), then you'll keep looking for a solution. Itching can be maddening.
But, assuming you believe her itching to be more about her known love of doctor visits (that's oddly not unusual, though it's hard to imagine one will reach a stage in life where sitting in a doctor's office is an enjoyable experience!). I'd be tempted to cancel the appointment. However, she'll just call again. It's a tough problem and it's very easy for someone on Medicare to load their schedule with specialist visits if they want to. It's sad, but I think life gets so uneventful for some of the elderly that a visit to the doctor's office (where the staff is friendly and they know you by name) is a welcome diversion from a very boring daily routine.
You're absolutely right - it's a huge waste of healthcare dollars.
The real solution may be to get your mom busy somehow. Volunteering at her local library or involved in a church senior group or in adult day care if she is not longer capable of those sorts of activities; anything to fill her days with human contact might keep her out of the doctor's office.
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Something to remember when a doctor tells you nothing is wrong...when a patient has a symptom and the doc can't find a reason for the symptom, it REALLY just means that the doctor hasn't found the cause. Women, especially elderly women, are often dismissed as having "imaginary" symptoms. My MIL kept passing out, the doctors told her "it's all in her head". It was--she had an undetected seizure disorder. Only insisting that they continue to look for the cause made them look more closely.
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