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To get irritated at my mum's excitement over people's illnesses?

(106 Posts)
CoolPatootieTango Tue 23-Oct-12 11:17:48

My mum seems to get really excited and obsessive about people being ill. Everytime I ring her she runs down a list of all the people who she knows to be currently suffering illness. The conversation goes something like :

me: "Hi mum, how are you?"
mum: "oh hi, did you know about Sharon?"
me: "yep"
mum: "no I'll tell you the full story, she went to doctors and ..... (20 minutes later) ... and did I tell you about Roger from down the road? "

and on and on she goes until in the end she's spent an hour talking about people's illnesses and I've not got a word in edgeways.

At the moment, her husband is unwell so this is her new obsession. I called this morning to ask how he was and she went on and on about that for an hour or so - eventually I managed to say "I started my new job yesterday" and she said "oh, how did it go?" - I just started to tell her before she interupted with "do you think they'll take his stitches out tomorrow?" ffs

W eventually got around to discussing my new job again before she squeals "OH!!! The nurse is here!!!! I have to , bye!"

AIBU to find it irritating??

One time I was suffering with bowel impactation and she called to see how I was - I was half way through my one sentance answer when she butted in with "oh I've had terrible stomach ache today you know ... " and then waffled on about herself for the next hour whilst I'm in agony on the other end of the phone!

ClippedPhoenix Tue 23-Oct-12 11:28:30

My mother does this grin I call it me, myself and I syndrome. It's very common.

mrsfuzzy Tue 23-Oct-12 11:59:29

yep, mine too. worrying isn't it to think we might be like that one day!

mrsfuzzy Tue 23-Oct-12 12:01:51

cool, i'm abit concerned, if your lovely mum tells you about other peoples illnesses/problems i wonder how many people now know about your bowels?? apart from mnetters of course, cringey thought really.

Bubblemoon Tue 23-Oct-12 12:07:07

My Mum's reason for being is the sickness and death of others. Even people she doesn't know.

My phone rings......
Mum: [complete silence until I speak]
Me: Mum, hello, is that you? How are you?
Mum: Bubble, Guess who's dead?
Me: Um.....no idea.
Mum: David Barby. He was only 97 too.
Me: Oh how awful and for his family too. Who is he Mum?
Mum: He's that nice man on Bargain Hunt.
Me: Oh yes, I heard about that on the radio now you come to say.
Mum: You knew???? Why didn't you tell me?

oldraver Tue 23-Oct-12 13:17:30

Me, myself and I syndrome..... I love that, describes my Mum to T. Her Medical Drama's usually have to revolver around her. She recently has tried to get my Dad de-diagnosed as Diabetic as she is the only Diabetic in the family wink

BuntyPenfold Tue 23-Oct-12 13:25:32

CoolPatootie, until I read as far as the word 'husband' I thought you must be my sister posting.
My mother's life interest is illness. So many conversations go on for hours about 'Joyce, no not the Joyce you have met, Joyce from the WI, well, her neighbour was diagnosed with .... '

spondulix Tue 23-Oct-12 14:28:45

DP's mum does the death announcement thing, she loves it!

MIL (in somber voice): Guess who's died?
DP: Who?
MIL: George Smith.
DP: Who's that?
MIL: Don't you remember? He lived next to the piano teacher you went to when you were seven.

OhlimpPricks Tue 23-Oct-12 14:40:59

Sounds like my mum. She doesn't stop at death and illness. Any kind of drama will be recounted(how someone got ripped off, how someone lost their holiday luggage, how someone lost their job)
I have never read/seen Harry Potter but my sister assures me she is a 'dee-mentor' sucking the life out of everything and always looking for a depressing or negative anecdote to recount. It would be funny, but sadly it has affected my relationship with her.
I'd love to ring up for a chat about nonsense, but she just drains me, telling what an awful place the world is. I'm selfish, and I don't have to listen to second hand misery.
Many things I have been through, including serious illness, an industrial tribunal and marriage problems I have not shared with her. She is so vicarious, and I only want to deal with how it is affecting me. If she knew half of it, she would grab hold of the drama and wallow in it, (and still be doing so months after I had left it behind)

WileyRoadRunner Tue 23-Oct-12 14:43:09

You must all be my sister in laws.

My MIL has a special Marty voice to announce death and illness.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 23-Oct-12 14:43:54

mardy voice. She probably does a good Marty voice too though. Ahem blush

Wheresmypopcorn Tue 23-Oct-12 14:44:11

Oh ha, my MIL does this. It makes me want to shake her and say: "You're healthy - and yes, you're damn lucky so be grateful instead of obsessing"

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Oct-12 14:44:14

My Mum's the same. I get mixed up with who had an op for what sometimes. grin She has quite a few friends that share a christian name.

Wheresmypopcorn Tue 23-Oct-12 14:46:03

Oh ha, my MIL does this. It makes me want to shake her and say: "You're healthy - and yes, you're damn lucky so be grateful instead of obsessing"

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 23-Oct-12 14:51:36

My mums the same, plus she always can give a reason for a diagnosis. If it's bowel cancer 'well they never did have a very good diet', if it's a stroke 'they smoked you know'. Even a cold will be down to not enough Vit C

It drives me up the wall. Why does there always have to be a reason? Maybe it's bad luck. It's like it makes her feel better about it by blaming the person that their bad habits eventually caught up with them, and sort of affirms her own healthy lifestyle.

CoolPatootieTango Tue 23-Oct-12 15:49:17

God so glad it's not just my mum!

She obsesses over everything. Like one time we had this phonecall:

me: "hello?"
mum: "hiya it's me, how are you?"
me: "oh hi, I'm good thanks, I'm just organising .... "
mum: "oh guess what has just happened!! I was getting onto the number 12 bus ... or was it the number 14? I can't remember ... could have been the number 7 ... "
me: "yes, anyway ... what happened?"
mum: "hehehehehe!!!!! the bus driver ... oh it was so funny!!"
me: "what was??"
mum: "he dropped the money down the side of his chair and said "oh bugger!"
me: "oh ... "
mum: "it was his face though!!"
me: "right, well anyway I'm organising a ... "
mum: "it was the way he said it though!! "oh bugger!" he he he"
me: "yep. Well I'm organising a ... "
mum: "you're not interested are you! what's wrong? why are you in a mood?"

She also blames everyone for their own bad luck. The worst one was when my friend was killed in a car crash along with her 7 year old daughter ... my mum's reaction was:

"oh it's terrible! but ... I can't understand what they were doing driving on that road at that time of day ... "

Because she ffing well wanted to I assume!! it aint a private road! didn't deserve to die for it!

happystory Tue 23-Oct-12 15:55:41

Yes yes to all these and my huge sympathies.
My mother's 'friends' (people she's barely met) are dubbed as:
'Pat, you know Pat, her son killed himself'
'Betty, you know Betty, her daughter had shingles'
'Joan, you know Joan, she had curvature of the spine.'
All the above happened 30+ years ago...

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 23-Oct-12 15:56:24

Every time my Mum rings it's to tell me about the "Pomp and Ceremony" of blah-de-blah event that she saw on telly. angry

She's only become a millitant royalist since she semi retired and it's DOING MY HEAD IN.

If she says "Pomp and Ceremony" one more time!

pictish Tue 23-Oct-12 15:57:33

Yanbu! People who are fascinated by illness...be it their own or other people's, need telling.

DP's Mum is exactly like this. She loves talking about people's illnesses / deaths... All the better if it's a particularly tragic story, then she practically licks her chops with glee.

Nothing gets her quite so excited as her own 'illnesses' though. She visits her GP at least twice a week, and when he invariably checks out the current issue and tells she is fine, she then bitches for days about how useless he is, never listens, etc.

She is also very competitive re health. If someone has a cold, she takes to her bed with the flu for a week. If someone has a headache, she develops a much worse one and decides it must be a brain tumour. When I had a miscarriage, she pretty much said 'oh. Okay'. Then blathered on at me for ages about the hysterectomy she had years ago, how awful she felt, and so on.

It is really fucking annoying, isn't it? I have perfected the smiling, nodding, and inserting the odd 'oh really' and 'how awful' (because of course it always is) whilst reciting poetry or counting backwards from a million in my head grin.

thebody Tue 23-Oct-12 16:27:24

My mom often greeted me with 'guess whose dead'.

Oh CoolPatootie, yy re the blaming people for their own illnesses / misfortunes. DP is currently awaiting a diagnosis, potentially epilepsy. Not a shred of understanding or sympathy from his Mum. Just 'well, no wonder with all them gigs you do', 'well, you don't get enough sleep', 'oh, it must be that house you're living in', 'well, if Shadows looked after you better...'. Er, right so.

Sounds like your Mum and my 'MIL' would get on like a house on fire. Well, if either of them could get a word in wink.

GoldenHandshake Tue 23-Oct-12 16:33:54

See, my mum goes that step too far. If anyone remotely related or aquainted with any member of my family falls ill, my mum is there, at the hospital/nursing home/clinic (delete as appropriate), nursing them back to sodding health. She gets so involved it drives myself and my siblings bonkers, as she is only ever remotely interested in anyone if they are at deaths door, inlcuding her children!

crescentmoon Tue 23-Oct-12 18:14:28

This thread has had me laughing all the way through - sometimes you think your the only person in the world with oddball relatives!

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Tue 23-Oct-12 18:24:56

My gran used to do this. "I've got some awful sad news to tell you. SomePersonYouMetOnceWhenYouWereFour died last week." We all pretended to care but gosh darnnit, it's hard when the person was elderly and/or very sick and you never knew them!

She is now suffering crippling Dementia and is in a nursing home and her only obsession now is who's brought her sweets when they visit and if you are going to take her out anywhere.

God thinking about it, I actually miss her obsessive gossip about who died recently sad

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