Mom refuses help. What do I do?


My mother has spinal stenosis. She is now in so much pain that she cannot do normal activities and can barely walk. She has been spending a lot of time in bed or laying on the couch. Her neurologist ordered a CT Scan and called her with the results simply saying that it was bad and he wanted her to go to the emergency room. She refused. when I found out about this I went downstairs to talk to her and convinced her to go to the ER. So.... we spent 10 hours in the ER... they did an MRI... saw that the stenosis was severe and suggested that she be admitted for 2-3 days to see if they could get the pain under control and decide what to do next. She refused. I told her I thought she needed to stay to no avail. She told the dr that she just wanted pain meds and she would be fine. My husband was extremely upset and is yelling at me on the phone telling me I can't bring her home because she needs to be treated... well, I know that but I can't force her to stay! He just wouldn't accept that so he just kept yelling at me about it. So now, she is home and my sister called me to tell me that my mother told her that she "won this battle". That I always get my way but I wasn't going to this time because she is going to stick to her guns. She also told my sister that she (my mother) will just have to put on a "brave face" and not tell me anything that is going on from now on. She refuses to have anybody come in to help her even though she can barely walk. She has lived with us for 3 years and I feel like this is just the last straw. How do I move forward from this? I'm not sure I can get past this because how do you help someone who views this whole thing as a battle of wills..... a competition of her vs me. i'm stunned and so angry that she wasted a bunch of peoples time and energy including my own. Oh... and the reason she said she wouldn't stay? She doesn't like the food. I told my husband I'm done but he can't seem to accept that. He accuses me of wanting to do to her what she did to my grandmother. My mother put my grandmother in a nursing home even though my grandmother had the resources to stay at home and my mother lived with her in HER home. My grandmother was so unhappy that she starved herself to death. My mother wears that fact like a badge of courage. So now I feel trapped and hopeless. I'm just not sure I can past get the anger and resentment that I feel to keep her I just feel like I'm being used by her. How can I do anything to help her when she has decided that she doesn't want it and refuses to let me know if she needs it. I'm having a hard time even feeling empathetic towards her now and now my husband and I are fighting over this. What a mess.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing


Thank you both so much for your responses. Freq... yes, I too wonder what she wins with this attitude because there is no doubt in my mind that she will only degrade more and end up in the ER again in even worse shape. Eyerish... you have hit the nail on the head. I have been speaking with my sister and niece. We have decided that a united front needs to be presented with a strategy that my mother must adhere to or she will need to make other living arrangements. I'm not sacrificing my family and my health for someone who feels they can lord control over me in my own home. I'm done and she will agree to have in home care from a third party or she will move.
Helpful Answer (2)

I can just "hear" the frustration in your post. I think anyone would be frustrated in your position.

Your mom lives with you because you and your family have been kind enough to allow her to. She doesn't get to call the shots when it comes to doing what she needs to do to help you out and to help your family out. She's not the queen sitting atop your house bestowing favors upon your family. She'll do this but she won't do that, this other thing is out of the question. She doesn't get to cherry pick according to some battle of wills. It's YOUR house. And she doesn't get to refuse all offers to help her.

With your husband and figure out what your mom needs. What does she medically and what does she need from you. If you need a little extra help caring for her or just for respite then hire a caregiver. If she needs to be seen by a Dr. then make the appointment. Once you've made these decisions you take them to your mom and let her decide which one she'd like. Saying "no" to all of them isn't an option. She must choose. And if she refuses then you and your husband might want to discuss alternate living arrangements for your mom.

No one should be allowed to hold your family hostage like your mom is doing. Your husband sounds like he's at the end of his rope. That relationship needs more attention than your mom does right now.
Helpful Answer (1)

Interesting that your Mom thinks she "won this battle", and what is her prize for winning?.... that she will continue to be in pain?

The way to think about it is that your Mom is an adult with a sound mind and she can make whatever decisions she wants.... and she needs to own up to the responsibilities of her decision.

And I know how it is with a spouse arguing over what we need to do....they are always trying to *fix* things instead of letting us vent. My significant other and I are basically on the same page now, but it took years for us to get that way regarding how much to do for my parents who live elsewhere and refuse to move to a retirement village.
Helpful Answer (2)

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