advice please! new here, long tale

shoregrowinAugust 15, 2006

Hi all, so happy to have found you! Hope you can give me some advice on how to deal with this situation.Here's that long tale: )

85 year old MIL needs to see Cardiologist in order to get meds refilled. She is aware of this and basically says she'll just stop taking the damn pills. ARGHH!

She has moved and was referred to new Cardiologist and I got her an appt in Sept. (fear of Dr.s and cancels appts. the day before them, so she does not know she has appt). She also needs a new Primary Care Dr. in order to see the specialist. She has informed us that she is not going to have anything done or have any type of testing. I found a family Dr. very close to her and have an appt. set for this Thursday. DH is working and I offered to take her, hoping that she might be calmer going with me, but now I'm stressing that I won't handle this right and she will refuse to go. I plan on telling her tomorrow that we will go "Check this Dr. out and see what we think". Keep it light and stress that it's a formality to getting her meds refilled.

IMHO, she has suffered from depression for a LONG time and has a number of anxiety related issues. Her health is NOT good and she is now experiencing stomach ailments, lack of appetite and episodes of diarrhea. She will not talk to her sons about her health and basically sticks her head in the sand. I am very concerned for her and know she could have a much better quality of life, but her anxiety and fears of Drs. aren't helping.

Any advice on how to handle this would be most appreciated. She will not listen to DH and will clam up and stop talking to him if he brings up medical issues. She will open up to me somewhat, but again, if it's not something she wants to hear, will turn a deaf ear.

Sorry this is sooo long. Thanks for listening!


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Does she live with you--nursing home--asst care--by herself--This is tough and you and the sons might have to go tough love. Is she active in church?? Clubs?? Can you talk to a Dr. first with a list of her meds, illness etc. Is the Dr you are taking her to compassion to older people, do he/she understand elder care etc.. She may not talk to her sons because of her age. Women in that age bracket just don't discuss things with "men" etc. Would she be more receptive to a woman Dr. etc.
good luck

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 8:28PM
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Hi Mariend, thank you for replying. My MIL lives alone, she lost her husband about 10 years ago. She has never been active with church, clubs or socially- only the immediate family. Very isolated living and moreso now, she doesn't have interest in much (I think this is the depression). I have never met the Dr., but understand that is he good with the elderly. It is hard to get a family practice Dr. in our area, lucked out to find one taking new patients before her meds run out and she is without.
She can be extremely difficult to deal with and her adult children rarely cross her as it is not pleasant to do so. We have had some issues in the past, but have come to somewhat of an understanding and I think she realizes I only want to help her. That being said, I am worried about the best approach to getting her to the Doctor. She gets paranoid...
What's a DIL to do?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:58PM
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Sometimes it's hard for us to put ourselves in the shoes of someone her age. It's not a depression as a younger person knows depression. It's more of a...well, the end is drawing closer and I wish it would hurry and get it over with.....sort of feeling. Every night when she goes to bed the odds that she won't wake up are greater. No matter how she acts, or what she says, that feeling is always there.

There's no good advice for you that will work every time you see her. What is ok today, may be the worse thing in the world tomorrow. Play everyday by ear. Let her do the leading. Keep reminding her that you are there if she needs anything.

You are right in one thing. Tell her that she needs to see the doctor so that he can start a record of her medications. Hint that if she should fall and break something or have other problems, he would know exactly what she is taking and wouldn't run the risk of giving her something that could cause problems.
Don't make it sound as if she needs to see him because she is having health problems. She knows that. Make it more of a "just in case" visit.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:42AM
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Very well said agnespuffin, I will keep that in mind, thank you. I was very surprised because today wasn't anything like I had expected with past Dr. discussions. We were sitting chatting and I said that I had been able to find her a Primary Care Dr. right around the corner from her (less than 3 minutes away!) and they were able to get her an appointment in a hurry so they could get the meds refilled. She didn't bat an eye! We went in to the kitchen and got her meds out and wrote down everything she takes. Then I told her it might be a good idea to go on over there and pick up the paperwork to fill out tonight, so she doesn't have to sit there doing it tomorrow. We drove over and I asked if she wanted to stay in the car, nope, she would go in too. It was sooo easy telling her about it and she didn't freak out. It was a calm discussion.
Now tomorrow may be different, but I think it is going to be ok., she knows it's about getting her medication evaluated and updated. She also knows she has a Cardiologist appt. in September, but didn't even ask when. I'm really psyched that this will be an easier experience for her and hopeful she will like or at least tolerate this Dr.
I will let you know how tomorrow goes- we're going shoe shopping after the Dr. visit!
Thanks so much, I feel more confident and have a better understanding of what she goes through on a daily basis. That makes a huge difference. Much appreciated,
: )

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 5:30PM
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