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I really need some help :(

(16 Posts)
Str4ngedaysindeed Sat 22-Oct-16 12:19:52

So my mother who is 87 has been steadily getting frailer and older. She has osteoporosis, has had bowel problems forever (lots of tests no conclusions) and clearly has a serious mental illness - which I hope will become clear as I continue.
In the past few months things have got worse - she has deteriorated a lot and, long story short, was taken to hospital last week with terrible back pain .This has happened before and she has been told to take osteoporosis tablets . This time she was told another bone has cracked and was given oramorph and told again she must take her medication.
Which is where we get to the problem . She absolutely refuse to take any medication at all . She has a terror of feeling sick and is convinced that every single medicine ever made has been especially devised to make her nauseous. The only thing she will take is her sleeping pill and she gets scared if she may run out of that.
I am completely at my wit's end. Today I called as usual to see how she is and she informed me that she is in terrible pain and constipated ( this she says is due to the 2 ml of oramorph she took on tuesday...). She hasn't taken her weekly osteoporosis pill (she did brave it last week but then decided that it was the thing that made her bone fracture - despite the a and e doctor ensuring her this is impossible)
I just don't know what to do - she lives in supported flats but they are not set up for looking after her. She did have carers for a while and we had a long meeting with adult social care but she presents as perfectly ok mentally so there is little hope of any extra support. I am so stressed that I don't know what to do. I can't persuade her and the medical profession can't either. She's always had mental health problems (if hidden quite well to be honest) but this is ridiculous. I'm sitting here in tears - it affects dh and the children and everyone and I cannot see the way through.
Does anyone have any ideas at all?

noarguments Sat 22-Oct-16 17:09:16

Don't know what to suggest sorry....
Could you have a conversation with her about how much you're worrying about her and how there are things she could do to help you?
Is it worth visiting a pharmacist who can maybe spend some time with her going through her medications and the various side effects and benefits of each?
Could you arrange to talk to her GP yourself (I think she needs to have signed a form to give you permission), to see if together you can come up with a joint approach?

Hopefully someone will come along with some better ideas....

ElspethFlashman Sat 22-Oct-16 17:14:42

You cannot force a non compliant person to become compliant with meds.

The only chance you have with the constipation is prune juice as it's "natural" so sometimes people will agree to daily drinks of that.

With pain, if someone won't take pain meds there's little you can do.

As long as she has mental capacity, then it's literally her choice.

A nursing home might have more success with administering meds, but she would have to voluntarily enter one.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sat 22-Oct-16 17:44:41

Thanks! Yes I know I can't force her - nor do I want to but it's so hard seeing her in pain and k owing she could stop it! I go to the surgery with her and speak when she forgets to say something or when she tries to blatantly fib about taking her pills - which she then smiles about and admits ...
I know this is going to sound selfish but I can't keep dashing around from work and home to help her out - go to hospital, take her to the doctors every time she has a twinge when she could be ok and I sure the medics are soon gong to give up as it were. Such a sad situation

ElspethFlashman Sat 22-Oct-16 18:20:23

I am not sure that osteoporosis tablets have much efficacy at that point, tbh. Though I obviously don't know what they are. I doubt they can stop bones breaking, iykwim. Nothing can.

Morphine does cause constipation, as most cancer sufferers will tell you. That's not necessarily her imagination if she's got a sluggish bowel anyway.

Try to get the prune juice going, if the constipation is under control she may be more open to meds eventually.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sat 22-Oct-16 18:25:48

I know they won't stop her bones breaking - she was told and helped to take some strontium powders two years ago and instead hid them so it's a bit too late. Now she has finally admitted she didn't take them, the doc has given her these once a week capsules which she did take one of then decided they were no good anyway and made her ill.... ! she usually has constant diarrhoea so this constipation is very different for her. I'll take some prune juice over tomorrow though and I guess just have to stay quiet 😞

Str4ngedaysindeed Sat 22-Oct-16 18:27:02

It was quiet funny really - I found hundreds of thousands strontium sachets all over the flat and she just said 'oh I don't really know what they are...'

Str4ngedaysindeed Sat 22-Oct-16 18:27:29

These not thousands

Helenluvsrob Sat 22-Oct-16 21:53:34

Aww much hugs. Actually the weekly alendronate might make further crush fractures less likely....

As regards " natural" constipation remedies prune juice yep , but the latest " fad" that actually works ( and is being advised by the local paed team) is coconut water. Worth a try.

If she won't take meds then you can't force her, try to accept that she does possess the capacity to choose and it's her choice. Don't take the blame on

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 23-Oct-16 07:29:15

I know I can't force her but my dilemma is do I still dash round every five minutes when she calls, upset and in pain or can I live with myself if I just say no - enough, I have done all I can and you won't help yourself. I feel like an evil witch but I simply can't cope .

Penfold007 Sun 23-Oct-16 07:54:27

Stop dashing around to her. I say that not to be flippant but from experience. Your mum sounds very like mine. She either wont take prescribed medication or decides to alter doses etc, expects me to jump when she shouts and won't do anything the doctors suggest such as putting her feet up to reduce swelling. For my own wellbeing I've started to disengage. It's hard but my mum has been assessed as competent so can and should make her own choices, good or bad. Good luck.

HObloodyhoagain Sun 23-Oct-16 08:08:20

She's manipulating you. Hiding her meds and refusing to take them causes you to worry over her and she ends uo getting extra attention.

A lot of carers,have to put up with this .

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 23-Oct-16 08:32:43

She is isn't she. My delightful elder sister refuses to have anything to do with her - and I have gone NC with her too, so it is very much only me. I will stop dancing - still call of course and offer a bit of practical help but I have full time job , family - all the usual stuff and it is beginning to affect everything. Things like she can't leave the flat so needs shopping. We now order online for her but she somehow always 'runs out' of things so I go over and nip out to get stuff . That will have to stop. It's difficult even thinking about doing it though!
Thanks so much everyone.

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 23-Oct-16 08:36:57

Want to add my sister stopped Peking to her a long time before she became this unwell so that has been difficult too. Even when mum began to be ill and did need some help and support - including three weeks convalescence after a fall three years ago,the sister refused to speak or help. It got to a point where I was so angry with being left to do everything I couldn't be civil so cut contact. Very unpleasant all round

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 23-Oct-16 08:37:17

Speaking! Not Peking 😁

BCBG Wed 23-Nov-16 14:46:50

OK - had EXACTLY this (so won't give long back story) but bottom line is she will continue to have you jump there all the time you are willing, and that is preventing her from moving forward. Last November, after a long time of jumping in the car to bring groceries etc to my father, and finding he wasn't taking his insulin etc, I decided to stop. I warned him that I was 'going away' for a couple of weeks and that he would need to use a taxi firm to pop out for groceries. He was certain he would be fine, and of course he wasn't. At the end of two weeks it was obvious tat he couldn't really cope. I arranged for carers to come in daily and check meds, wash up, and make sure he'd eaten. After six months of that everyone involved decided that he really couldn't manage independently and we put him into a lovely care home, beginning with a period of respite. He is now physically better than he ash been in years, although he would still like to be independent, he recognises that he would be dead. the best thing is that the nurses give him his medication and instead of arguing or 'forgetting' he takes everything because a nurse provides the tablet or whatever every time its due, and he is compliant. If I hadn't pushed it, we would have struggled on until something serious happened. So my advice would be to 'go away' for a couple of weeks and either leave her to fend, or get a carer to come in once or twice a day. You will soon know what the future holds. x

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