Partners family expect him to do 300 mile round trip in middle of week to sort out grandma!

(15 Posts)
fletchybear Tue 19-Apr-16 11:16:06

My dp was brought up by his grandparents, so he is v close to them. His Grandma has type 2 diabetes and a number of other issues relating to mis managing her diabetes. (She doesn't stop eating)
All dp family live within 10min of grandparents and all screen hysterical as soon as she is Ill
This weekend was my DS 11 birthday and a party was planned for afternoon (my DS is Dp DS). In the morning DP got a call off his mother (who was on holiday in Spain) telling him paramedics had been called to Grandma but she had refused to go to hospital. The heavy implication was DP had to drive up and sort her out. (Dp is one of 10 grandchildren).
We returned home from DS early birthday treat with DP ready to do the trip. Before he set off he called his grandpa who gave a different storey. Basically the paramedics said she had chest infection, here's some tablets, go to bed. My DP asked grandad if he should drive up. Grandpa said "don't be silly she is in bed enjoy the bday party".
Monday we get another call, paramedics have been called again. This time grandpa called them because she went funny. Didn't need a hospital trip just some sugar (she hadn't been eating) but again MIL made a huge "she is dying, everyone gather around call, by this time she was back from Spain)
Today MIL has called to say paramedics have been called again, this time they advised her to eat jam!!!
She has heavily insinuated that DP needs to travel up and get her into hospital today.
Now if I thought she really needed the hospital. I'd drive the 3.5 hours (7 hours round trip) myself. But I'm getting sick of the wolf calls.
DP is the only one who gets called to 'sort' things. He is self employed, works like a Trojan and I am 27 weeks pregnant. His cousins only visit GPs to ask for money or create drama.
Anyway I've told him he needs to stop jumping. We have baby on the way. They need to fix their own dramas. He loves his GPs and although he agrees his mum is a nightmare. He feels guilty not running. I've told him if he goes today I can't support him. (He is also going at weekend) Am I being a unreasonable hormonal pregnant nightmare?

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 19-Apr-16 11:21:58

So as of today, how many of granny's close relatives are 10 mins from her (i.e. not on holiday/ out of the country/ 150 miles away)?

Monkeymarbles Tue 19-Apr-16 11:45:32

If the paramedics have been called out 3 times it does sound like she is in some kind of crisis and not managing her health well. It probably would be easier to get to the root of this if you visited iyswim, but if you can't then you'll have to do what you can remotely.
Can you ask gp to review and then liaise with the gp? Would his grandma agree?

Maidofrohan Tue 19-Apr-16 11:57:44

Thing is, if your DH's grandma doesn't engage and follow medical advice/medic's treatment plans, then there is not much any of you can do about it. I'm assuming she has full capacity? If she does, then no one can force her to engage in managing her diabetes etc. It's her call. I know that sounds evil: I don't mean to sound so callous, but having worked the best part of 18yrs in hospital and on wards, this is something I'm only too aware off.

Why can other family members (who live a few mins away) not take it in turns to pop by and check on her during the week? Is DH's grandad aware and able to help ensure DH's grandma is managing things adequately? I certainly wouldn't say that your DH shouldn't go and see his grandma, but it's not fair to have all these calls when you guys already have a lot on your plate (and there are other relatives much closer). YANBU.

CountessOfStrathearn Tue 19-Apr-16 12:04:06

I agree with Maidofrohan and don't think she is being callous at all. As an outsider (with only your side of the story to be fair to MIL etc but it is a story I've seen play out many times before!), I can't see what your DH will add to driving up there today.

If DH's grandma doesn't want to look after her own diabetes, there is no one else who can. Hospital admission or a GP review won't necessarily make any difference.

Calling her GP with DH/your concerns would probably be a good idea. The GP won't be able to tell you anything but might find the added information regarding the family dynamic helpful and might want to get Grandma in for a review or send the District Nurses out to her.

fletchybear Tue 19-Apr-16 12:15:06

His mum/dad are back from Spain. They only went for the weekend. His mum is middle child of 5. All family live within 5mile radios. They have 20 grown up grandchildren (over 21) most live within walking distance.
Her medical issues have been up and down, she has been told she has to control her diet. She does this for a couple of days and then starts the cakes/biscuits again. (Provided by the family as treats)
Grandad is lovely, he cares non stop for her and he is the one I worry about. If he got on the phone we would both rush up there.
My partners parents are great usually but MIL is a drama queen. She just doesn't seem to realise the impact that she has.
My partner is lovely and wants to please everyone. He goes up once a month at least to visit.
But I think it's getting silly now. He says he needs to go and tell grandma to eat properly. I think this is unreasonable. If I'm honest I think she needs to grow up!
I'd be first one to help if she was seriously ill. And God forgive me for moaning if it turns out she is. But this is quite a regular thing (every 3 months). Her GP has told her it's diet related. She does have a chest infection at the moment and she has started anti biotics. But they need chance to work.
Do I sound like a right spiteful cow !

CountessOfStrathearn Tue 19-Apr-16 12:30:36

You don't at all!

People need to take responsibility for their own health and you can't do that for them. As doctors, we can give people information and all the help that we can offer, but ultimately we, and you as family members, can't do it for them.

Your DH telling her to eat properly won't help. She will have been told what to eat by her GP, as you've said, but she chooses not to. That is her right (and none of us do what we should all of the time) but your DH should not feel responsible for that. This is her diabetes.

PrimalLass Tue 19-Apr-16 12:32:24

He needs to ask his mum: 'Why do you keep expecting me to do something about it when there are 20 or so people within a few minutes of gran?'

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 19-Apr-16 12:37:16

With that number of close relatives living so near, I simply don't understand why your dh is being asked to take a disproportionate level of responsibility. I came on here fully expecting to say yabu, the care of an elderly relative is very important etc etc. But actually no, YANBU. I can see that your dh may want to help and that is another matter. I don't believe it's his responsibility per se however. If he was raised by his grandparents, am I right in thinking that your mil's behaviour is something that has patterns tracing back to his childhood?

Janecc Tue 19-Apr-16 12:43:04

What is you dp Superman or something? These people sound like a nightmare. Can't you organise them to go and see gp's on a rota? If there's 20 odd of them, that's once every 3 weeks.

BiddyPop Tue 19-Apr-16 12:49:20

If your DP was raised by these GPs, perhaps there may be something that HE can say and they will listen to, rather than hearing it from someone else.

BUT, OTOH, he is hours away compared to minutes for everyone else.

So he needs to tell everyone else to stop providing the treats as that is part of his DGM's mismanagement of her diabetes, and help his DGF get things back on an even keel.

I am torn in this instance about going today if he will be going over the weekend and others are on hand. Can he ring DGF himself and see what story that brings? Would the DGF downplay it because your DP is far away?

I think you may have to suck up this one, as DGM is actually ill (chest infection) and that may bring complications. But, once this crisis is over, your DP needs to make sure that the wider family know that, between the distance and the imminent arrival of his DC2, he will not be as available as he has been to deal with such crises. And that they will need to get better control over the issues themselves - including finding other "treats" that do not involve things that are actually dangerous (he could even say "poisonous") to his DGM because of her diabetes.

I agree though, it is DGM's responsibility for what goes into her mouth, not your DPs. And he needs to make sure that his own DPs are aware of that and to stop laying the guilt on him.

(In my case, I live a similar distance away from DPs and DMIL, and DH is "on call" a lot over the past year while DFIL was ill and passed away and as DMIL has found it very difficult to cope, my own DM has got her diabetes under control and has 2 of the 6 DCs living - not walking distance but about 15 mins away by car - who are able to assist when needed, so I understand some of the worries and problems involved).

pluck Tue 19-Apr-16 12:57:24

starts the cakes/biscuits again. (Provided by the family as treats)

I agree about the impossibility of controlling a grown adult's diet. However, with regard to the dramatic phone calls, perhaps put it to MIL that if people give her these things (I appreciate that MIL may be off the hook if she was away in Spain over the weekend of one crisis), they have to be the ones to deal with the fallout!

Meanwhile, even if DGM should say no, it's not easy to be healthy in an unhealthy environment, is it? The idea that DGM's diet could be being sabotaged - even if only out of ignorance or stupidity - is a very worrying one! Is food a "love language" for them all, or is it something confined to one or two people in the family?

Those are very personal questions, which you needn't answer on an open thread, but knowing the answers for yourself might help.

oldestmumaintheworld Tue 19-Apr-16 13:00:50

Oh boy, does this sound familiar. We have a somewhat similar situation and my advice would be:
1. Explain to your DP that you will support him, no matter what his decisions are.
2. Ask him if he can, to speak to his mother and father and ask them what it is they want him to achieve if/when he goes to Grannys in an emergency. (The answer is likely to be they don't know, just be there etc etc etc). Which is a waste of time and effort.
3. Visit granny and grandpa and ask what they would like him to do in an emergency. The answer is likely to be nothing.
4. Help him to get some perspective. No-one can make anyone do what they don't want to do. This is hard for families to understand, accept and live with because we are programmed to want to 'help'. Even old people (in fact in my opinion, especially old people) have the right to live they way that they want to. It may not be good for them, it may make other family members anxious, and that is unfortunate. But it is the way it is.

The person who really needs the help is your MIL. She is clearly finding the whole dynamic extremely stressful and if she has drama queen tendencies anyway this situation will make her worse. Get your FIL to take her to the Drs and get him to understand she needs a support group to help her manage the stress of an elderly, ill relative.

Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and help your DP to understand that this situation is not his to 'solve'. That job belongs to his parents.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Apr-16 13:21:05

I agree with the poster upthread who said that he needs to say to his mum why, when <insert full list of people> are within a few minutes, do you keep calling me to do a round trip of 300 miles? What is going on here?

I wonder if his mum is doing it because he lives so far away. That's a possibility. Some sort of stupid punishment or test going on.

He should also talk to all these people and ascertain which if any of them are willing to help out. He can then tell his mum who she can call on.

He can then arrange set times when he is available to make such a long journey and plan them into the diary.

fletchybear Tue 19-Apr-16 13:34:15

Thank you all so much for your reassurance. It's a horrid situation. He is such a good person that his natural reaction is to jump to the rescue. He just doesn't see that this doesn't solve the problem.
I have spoken to him and I've said if he goes today I'm going to. He is horrified at this and said he is not dragging me up their unnecessarily (he said his mum and gran would go mad) I've said if it's serious enough for him to go then I'm going too. This involves my son staying at his dad's (he loves dad) so although it's inconvenient it's doable.
I'm hoping this will make them all look at the bigger picture. My DP wants to do the right thing and so do I, so maybe this is the solution. Even though I'm only 27 weeks I'm bloody huge smile and they won't be happy with me in the car for 3+ hours.
I do love his family but DP has always been the 'fixer' he isn't the oldest but he is the most responsible. (I think he enjoys this role).
I'm also doing to speak to his dad, he doesn't do drama. I would be surprised if he even knew what has gone on. He manages MIL quite well. So I think this could also be a good avenue.
Thank you all so much. I do feel better. I was worried I wasn't being supportive. But I just don't want him to run himself into the ground xx

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