Dad's health - is mum BU?

(31 Posts)
aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 11:04:13

My dad has a terminal illness and is waiting to hear if he has been accepted on to a transplant list. He blurted out to me that he has a year to live if he does not get accepted - my mum was really annoyed and told him that he shouldn't have told me without discussing with her first.

I have siblings that are unaware of this news and my mum has told me that if my dad was to be accepted they (mum and dad) would never have told us about his life expectancy.

I think she is being really unreasonable and that as his children we have the right to know all the facts and prepare ourselves. I don't think she is being fair on me either - I would be most angry if I found out my siblings knew something so important and they hadn't told me, it's a very awkward position to be in.

So, what do you think? Is my mum being U and also WWYD in my position?

timeandtide Thu 30-Jun-16 11:07:37

I think it sounds like your dad told you to relieve the burden of having to carry that knowledge around with him. Poor man probably just wanted to talk about it.

I think your mum is being a bit unreasonable

I hope he gets his transplant OP flowers

timeandtide Thu 30-Jun-16 11:08:42

To answer wwyd - take cue from your dad. If he would prefer you to say nothing then I think you need to do that

Shoxfordian Thu 30-Jun-16 11:08:48

Sounds like your Mum just didn't want to upset you as if your Dad is accepted then it will presumably be OK?

Difficult time for you all though- take careflowers

user1467101855 Thu 30-Jun-16 11:10:06

I think there is probably a whole lot to it than you know, and you're being unfair to reduce this to a simplistic AIBU, inviting strangers to comment negatively on your mother, who is struggling with her husbands serious illness.

MrsWorryWart Thu 30-Jun-16 11:13:11

I don't even want to think who is BU or not tbh. However, I would absolutely want to know if it were my Mum my dad has already passed away

You all need to stick together and try to make the most of the time you have left. However long.

Take care flowers

HopeArden Thu 30-Jun-16 11:13:41

You shouldn't criticise your mum. Sounds like shecand your dad agreed a plan that they felt would protect their children and he has changed that and now put you in the awkward position of knowing something your siblings don't and therefore forcing your mum to go against her instincts to protect you all.

aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 11:14:38

I know my mum doesn't want to upset us but her way of dealing with it is to pretend it isn't happening! If he does get accepted it will be a race against the clock as to whether he gets the organ in time as there is quite a long waiting list.

My dad's thought process isn't how it should be - he told me about it like he was telling me what he'd had for tea!

Thank you for your replies and kind wishes smile

MrsWorryWart Thu 30-Jun-16 11:22:57

Maybe she is in denial or is completely blocking it out, so she can deal with the here and now, IYSWIM. I will be honest, it's exactly how I deal with things - It's probably wrong, but it's my survival instinct.

Bless him. Do you think he may blurt it out to your siblings? I do think it's your Dad's choice whether he tells or not.

It must be such a hard thing to deal with.

HopeArden Thu 30-Jun-16 11:24:55

People cope with enormous stress differently. Possibly your mum acts like it isn't happening because that is the only way she can get through the day. It is hard for parents to treat their children like grown ups who can cope with this knowledge - it really is instinct to protect even adult dc from anything horrible.
When I was living abroad and my dad had a cancer scare my mum hid it from me. I think you just have to let them do what they think is best.

aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 11:27:12

user1467101855 - there may well be more to it that I know but I think my siblings and I have the right to know all so that we are not hit with bad news like a ton of bricks later down the line because everybody has been carrying on like everything is normal.

Of course, we know that my Dad is ill, but until he blurted out that news I (and I know my siblings are the same) hadn't realised his life expectancy was so short and have been told after every appointment that the doctors are happy with my Dad's progress and everything is "fine".

I love my mum more than anything and will help her through this every step of the way. She is really burying her head in the sand - her way of dealing I know but if she doesn't start to except the reality I fear it will hit her very hard IF the worst was to happen.

user1467101855 Thu 30-Jun-16 11:28:25

I don't think anyone has the right to know about anyone elses health, or marriage. They are your parents, but you don't own them and they don't have to tell you anything that they don't want to, just the same as you don't.

BluePitchFork Thu 30-Jun-16 11:29:25

I think your mum is bu, but it's understandable, must be really difficult to deal with.
tbh I would talk to siblings (unless dad has told you not to).

trafalgargal Thu 30-Jun-16 11:45:01

It may be that your Mum is struggling with coming to terms with what may happen and isn't yet ready to deal with yours and you siblings reaction to it yet. It's not like he only has weeks and a lot at the moment is uncertain so maybe she wanted to wait to see if he's accepted onto the transplant list first. Whilst you obviously want to support your Dad your Mum needs your support too.

BluePitchFork Thu 30-Jun-16 12:13:36

sadly ime with people ill enough to need a transplant, time is precious and the illness unpredictable.

aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 12:33:12

I can absolutely see it from my mums point of view and I know she is trying to protect us. I really do know that. I also know that she has to deal with looking after my dad every day and it must be a strain on her - I suppose part of me wants her to share the burden so we can help!

I'm not married yet - not even engaged - the plan is to get married one day but knowing what I know now, the timescales have moved massively for me - I can't imagine walking down the aisle without my dad. My siblings may have plans that need changing if we only have a year left.

lurkerspeaks Thu 30-Jun-16 12:39:21

You need to accept that you never have the right to know anything about anyone else medical condition.

It sucks when you are the child/ grandchild/ or partner in any given situation.

What you do have is a need to discuss as a family what is going on. Personally, I'm all for openness. My siblings and I survived through my Mother's terminal illness by talking. Once she became incapax and my Dad got the info we were told everything up until that point we all (Dad & siblings) knew very little as my Mother regarded the information as hers.

We had many rows about it. Her opinion didn't budge and it just caused a lot of bad feeling.

Pimmmms Thu 30-Jun-16 12:40:54

You could always ask your mum how she would feel if you or your siblings were similarly ill and didn't tell her. At the moment she is trying to protect you, but if she saw it as actually withholding important information from you, perhaps she would see it differently.

The thing is, some people are like this. I was left absolutely shocked when a friend of mine had been run over by a car, and refused to let the police tell his wife about it 'because there wasn't anything she could do'. He honestly thought he had done the right thing (it was sufficiently serious that the police thought he was dead when they arrived on the scene, and still can't believe he survived). When I asked him how the hell he'd feel if his wife had done the same back to him he was stunned - he honestly felt that he should have been informed if his wife was ill but somehow in his brain failed to relate that to telling his wife about HIS injury....

aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 13:28:02

I did ask my mum how she'd feel if her siblings knew the same about her dad and they didn't tell her. I think she has started to understand my point of view and has agreed to sit down with us and my dad to talk through it.

Thank you again for your replies and I absolutely can see it from all points of view, it's just so hard, I want my mum and dad to lean on us for support and deal with whatever gets thrown at us as a family. My dad has to have another scan before a decision is made regarding acceptance, so keeping everything crossed.

user1467101855 Thu 30-Jun-16 13:30:36

If you're going to have a family chat about it, don't go with the right to know idea. You really don't have the right. Try instead the would like to know, like to help tack.

aggyannie Thu 30-Jun-16 13:42:21

Good idea user1467101855, thank you. Obviously it's going to be a very emotional and difficult talk to have, there'll definitely not be any "all guns blazing" etc.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 30-Jun-16 13:45:03

I hate the sentiment that anyone has any right to know family member's health stuff unless the person themselves want to share

However, in THIS case (and in the case of stuff like chemo), don't your siblings need to know incase they visit with a mild bug after the op when your dad is on drugs to stop him rejecting the transplant as it could be serious for him?

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 30-Jun-16 13:47:30

I want my mum and dad to lean on us for support and deal with whatever gets thrown at us as a family.

Think of it from their point of view, they might feel that they have to look after you and your siblings as well as themselves because you are their children, and you would be upset, and being your parent they would still feel the desire to minimise your upset, even if the upset happens to be about their own illness

So while it's a nice sentiment that you want to be their support system, in practice they might find it hard to not feel they need to look after you lot rather than finding it actually supportive

RB68 Thu 30-Jun-16 13:49:48

Your Mum is not being unreasonable and neither are you - everyone has different ways to deal with this - maybe the tell/don't tell should have been discussed with your Dad rather than your Mum making the decision?? SHe needs to let him make that decision. HOWEVER she is the one fielding calls and dealing with upset children - and she has plenty on her plate herself.

My parents have a need to know policy - I have raised things with them and just said I would like to know I understand you don't want to have big long chats and discussions and respect that but it would be good to know what is happening and perhaps why. THis is after Dad had major surgery to remove a lump tied in with nerves on the side of his face which they thought was cancerous and I just got told when the op was not even what it was or why and then got told not to ring them by another sibling. I held my tongue and it was only after wards I asked a few questions of my Mum and she said well you know all this don't you?? And I explained that no I knew only he was having an op not what it was or the prognosis. The sibling had taken it into her own hands to know everything herself and choose not to share for good reasons but unfair to the rest of us (Another 5 siblings in the wings)

RB68 Thu 30-Jun-16 13:49:51

Your Mum is not being unreasonable and neither are you - everyone has different ways to deal with this - maybe the tell/don't tell should have been discussed with your Dad rather than your Mum making the decision?? SHe needs to let him make that decision. HOWEVER she is the one fielding calls and dealing with upset children - and she has plenty on her plate herself.

My parents have a need to know policy - I have raised things with them and just said I would like to know I understand you don't want to have big long chats and discussions and respect that but it would be good to know what is happening and perhaps why. THis is after Dad had major surgery to remove a lump tied in with nerves on the side of his face which they thought was cancerous and I just got told when the op was not even what it was or why and then got told not to ring them by another sibling. I held my tongue and it was only after wards I asked a few questions of my Mum and she said well you know all this don't you?? And I explained that no I knew only he was having an op not what it was or the prognosis. The sibling had taken it into her own hands to know everything herself and choose not to share for good reasons but unfair to the rest of us (Another 5 siblings in the wings)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now