My mother seems as those she need a magic pill or something . Two weeks later there will be something. Else wrong, then back to the Dr.

Find Care & Housing
LalaBoss, I know exactly what you're talking about. My mother is always sick. In her case, it is every day. The doctors can rarely find anything, so it mostly hypochondria. There has also been some self-inflicted things from scratching and using skin preparations wrong. For a few months we chased around, trying to find out what was wrong, wasting a lot of time and running up the Medicare bill. Finally I said enough. Now I take her only when it is scheduled or when I feel she needs to go. The worst thing about hypochondria is that I have a hard time judging when she is really ill. She cries wolf so much that it doesn't mean anything anymore. I have to notice other things that tell me something is wrong.

This reminds me -- my mother had some nausea that was pretty bad from what she said. We ran around doing MRIs and other things, trying to figure out what was wrong. It turned out she was taking too much metformin. I discovered it when I counted her pills. Of course she was sick! The drug was making her ill. She also had an episode from overdosing on Aricept for two days. Again, I discovered what was going on by counting pills. These type things stopped happening, of course, when I took charge of her medications. If your mother likes pills and has dementia, it is something to look out for.

I think my mother may see a doctor's visit like a date. She has become less interested in going to the doctor now that her PCP retired and she has a new one. That tells me a lot.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JessieBelle

You are not saying what her diagnosis is, but one that gets overlooked by general doctors is depression. There is no physical illness, but the person still feels "sick". Take her to a psychiatrist and try an antidepressant.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to ferris1

Well, I have to agree with JessieBelle. I don't know if my mom looks at doctors' visits as a "date", but her doctors are all male, and she sure does flirt with them. Big smile, nodding as if she understands what they are saying, and when we leave, she asks what went on. (She has hearing problems.) People mistake us for sisters all the time (I am 60, she is 85), plus she really is attractive. The doctors tell her how young she looks, and how great she seems. So, we hear about that for days afterwards. My mom also talks about her health and her loneliness quite a bit, and I have to understand that there is little else in her life to discuss. Don't know if this helps, but thought I'd share.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Adams017

My mom does the exact same thing only since my husband and son have diagnosed depression I recognized the symptom immediately. It started for my mom 9 years ago after by-pass surgery while she was living with me from Feb. till the beginning of June. At did not want to have her put on medication just yet because I knew that it could be a side effect from the surgery. Come the beginning of June we hosted a big party for my son's HS graduation and lots of people talked to my mother all afternoon long. Starting the next day the whining had stopped, feeling sick and complaining had stopped too! Fast forward a few years later and after what seemed a snowy season all winter she started calling 3-4 times a day whining about not feeling well when I knew that I had heard this in her voice before. I went and got her and brought her down to my house for a change. After a few weeks when the depression did not lift I called her Dr. and he started her on a low dose of anti-depressant. Actually I had a lot of it on hand because our son's switched anti-depressants. After a few days her depression went away. My mom is in a ALF now and the same whining began again several weeks ago but I never saw it nor did they tell me that she was complaining of feeling sick. They said that every morning she would say she felt sick but then after breakfast she would feel ok again. I went up to see her and asked to see her list of medications. Low and behold for some reason after she was released from the hospital in Dec. 2013 they had listed her anti-depression medication at 50mg and not the 100mg that she had been on for 4 years!!!! I don't know how or why that was missed but a call to her Dr. immediately got the medicine increased back to where it should be. She no longer is complaining of not feeling well!
The "sick" feeling that depressed people have usually can not be explained easily by them. But one tell tale sign is that if after having a meal their mood is often elevated for awhile then they will go back down in emotions. This is because serotonin is the "feel good hormone" and is released after you eat. I have seen this reaction numerous times with my son and husband during medication changes of their anti-depressants. Please ask your mom's Dr. about depression.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bls0901

Boredom. She has nothing to worry about but herself. Get her into daytime activities at a Senior Center near you. Now is the time to take her to look at Assisted Living, "just in case" she needs it. We did that, and Mom agreed to a one month trial.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to pamstegma

Skye78: welcome to the world of the histrionic borderline narcissist.
Otherwise known as cluster B personality disorders. You are in the right place!

My mother is this way too. It is through no fault of your own. This can happen to someone because of trauma, abuse, or the wiring in their brain they were born with. There is no cure. There is nothing you can say or do to change any of this and I am very sorry.

She may never be willing to fully disclose the real problems to a doctor for the real treatments: talk therapy, a lot of work on herself to deal with reality, and anxiety management. These folks tend to refuse to admit they are the one with the problems. It's the rest of the world.

My mother went down this same path and is now in a secure dementia unit for combative patients, diabetes, low liver, low kidney, high blood pressure. I was 43 years old before I got medical confirmation she was mentally ill before the dementia even began. This was really hard for me to swallow for some reason, even after living in it for all that time.

What you CAN do is help yourself. A lot of us have been through/are going through this ourselves, so you will get a lot of support and honesty here.

My way out came through some counseling, this site's support, and using books like Stop Walking on Eggshells, Surviving the Borderline Mother, and giving myself permission to feel the awful emotions all this causes like anger, resentment, embarrassment, etc.

I learned what going low/no contact was, and how it is part of the healing process and nothing to be guilty about.

I learned that I am entitled to boundaries, respect, and those are nothing to feel guilty about. My needs & my families needs have priority and I am not going to feel guilty about that either.

Mom's life is due to her choices and all the anxiety, sleepless nights, worry, and upset on my part will do not one bit of good.

When she became too demented to live alone safely, the whole thing landed in my lap to deal with. I could have walked away. Maybe I should have. I don't know. I did a big complicated rescue project for her that was expensive, time consuming, and just tragic to live through. I don't know which one is the right answer to this day. I felt like I at least needed to put her somewhere she'd be safe.

The first thing I would do is step back and meter out your time with her very sparingly. Take a break. Don't answer the phone. Get a book, a therapist, a support group, and start to reclaim your life.
Come back often and talk to us. ::hug::
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to sandwich42plus

My mom does it for attention. She had a serious illness when she was young and learned that if you're sick enough people will drop everything and run to your bedside with cookies. This has followed her for her entire life. She has no friendly relationships and fills that human need with doctor visits instead of relationships. She will "break up" with doctors for telling her to lose weight, eat differently, get exercise, or basically do anything other than take another pill. She absolutely hates female doctors because she can't make cow eyes at them and get a response. It's embarrassing to watch honestly, ends up putting her health at risk because she doesn't take the visits seriously, and may not actually tell the right details to treat her properly.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to sandwich42plus

My mom for years had no health problems and would be so happy when the doctor would make remarks about her being his poster child for not having high blood pressure at her age. But when he told her that she had severe osteoporosis after having a bone density scan, she got very indignant and insisted she did not! She still says that even though she is now so bent over she can no longer stand up straight. She used to love going to the chiropractor so she could list for him all the activities she had been doing and he would brag on her. The last time she was able to go she sat there in tears because there is no longer anything she can do that gets the praise she always got before. Really sad. She is 92 and her mind is still sharp so she works on crossword puzzles, plays Solitaire on her iPad and reads. So thankful she is able to stay occupied.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MLH1967

My 91 yr old mother also is always saying she is sick. She will tell you she hasn't been well in 50 yrs. Early in her life she learned that if you are sick you get attention and get out of doing things you don't want to do. She has been on pills one kind or another for depression since my father died 30yrs ago. Now that she is homebound (in my home) she sees a dr visit like a social activity. She doesn't want to go to senior centers because there she isn't the center of attention at the dr office she is. It's hard to deal with.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to smikulick

Find a daytime activity for her. There are usually one or more available in a community. See reommendations above, both are great
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to James55

See All Answers
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter