Please stop it mother!(28 Posts)
DM is in her 70s, not in bad health generally but atm has a recurring UTI. She wants to tell me all about it in detail every time I speak to her. I have said repeatedly that I don't need / want to hear all her symptoms but she persists: 'Ooh the burning, the itching, I keep myself very clean down there though you know, I think I might be having another prolapse etc etc.'
Growing up any talk of bodies, periods, sex etc was frowned upon (in a totally OTT weird kind of way, she is very religious and all those things were termed 'dirty'), so I am NOT comfortable listening to this at all, it's not a level of intimacy we have ever had, and not one I now want! I have a brother who lives round the corner from her (I'm hundreds of miles away), and she won't even mention it to him.
I do care she's not well, I just can't hack the details! Does anyone else's mother do this and if so how do you deal with it? I'm at the point of holding the phone away from my ear when she does it.
Please no 'Awwh she's your mum don't be so mean', I need practical help for dealing with it!
No, sorry can't help. My dad had to tell me how nice it was to have sex with his new girlfriend a few months after my mum had died. Yes, I'm an adult. No, it's still freakingly weird
I'm sorry this is upsetting you, but when you said I keep myself very clean done there I wonder if she is exacerbating her discomfort by too much washing/using harsh soaps or other products/has a vulval condition that is actually causing her problems.
Has she seen her GP about her problems?
Maybe your response should be "I don't need to here all your symptoms again, Mother, you need to tell your GP and get it treated."
Older women can suffer from a conditions of the vulva that cause severe itching and soreness that can be mistaken for UTI's.
I think there is something about illness that causes us to overshare, whatever our age. To say oooh I went through this and that and have someone empathise lessen the pain maybe? Unburdens us of it slightly? If I've done a huge Elvis poo I can not resist sharing. For some of illness can be the most exciting thing we feel we've been through so feel we have to share. I got chicken pox when I was 28. I later became PAINFULLY aware it was one of my major conversations with people and tried to rein it in! Try to nod. Not listen. Be kind.
If I've done a huge Elvis poo I can not resist sharing
Not helping with the 'how do I deal with this' guys!
Yes, she's been back and forth to the GP several times, I have no desire to get involved in a discussion about the products she's using on herself, in fact that's exactly the sort of conversation I'm trying to avoid!
Tbh anything like back ache or chicken pox I'd be waaaay more comfortable with discussing, it's the nature of what she wants to overshare - I don't need to know my mother has an itchy fanny or is peeing 20 times a day!!
My mother who is 88 constantly tells us about her bowel issues ( and my god they are grim) usually over Sunday lunch where the conversation will revolve around how lovely the food is but how it will 'pour' out of her later....
It's beyond funny now but she just loves to tell me all about it. Arghh
I imagine she has a natural thinning down there.
All those cleaning products are going to make her even more sore.
I'm sorry the sharing is making you uncomfortable- my Mum is a similar age:with the same problem.
I know too much about what happens to our vaginas as we age now!
Ask her to tell her Doctor, the thinning can mimic a UTI.
I am not discussing vaginal thinning with her!! I'm just going to have to resort to holding the phone away from my ear going 'lalalala' in my head aren't I
Outloud I mean, so she knows you don't like it.
Elvis poo = one of those startlingly large ones where you need to concentrate on your breathing and maybe use some gas and air. Makes you feel a bit heady and scared you might die.
Diml was like this about dfil who has dementia. Describing his poo when I was eating. Oh shut up. I told her politely. Oversharing
I change the subject quite abruptly when DM goes off on one like that. Like you OP I was brought up very differently to what she seems to now expect of me as reasonable conversation. Either that or (if face to face), I just give her a blank look and don't respond.
Problem is ladies wether you want to no this or not , it is highly likely you are going to get the same problems with your bladders and vaginas when you hit her age ( or sooner) many from perimeno onwards and it is grim , it's called Vaginal atrophy what she highly likely has and needs local oestrogen, and the problem is we are so unprepared for this condition because it is not discussed.
50% get it but they reckon more than likely 80% due to the taboo of it , and only 7% discuss it with there GP , mine started at 46 now 51 and it is awful.
OP I understand it's not what you want to hear due to the fact of your upbringing , but if you have daughters I hope you can discuss such things with them .
I'm surprised noone else has said this but does she have anything else going on? Confusion? Memory loss?
I am wondering about early signs of dementia..
Sorry op - I don't know if that is preferable
Utis can cause personality changes as well in the elderly
My DM at 79 moved into a cul de sac of elderly people and the sole topic of conversation was health or lack of/ doctors appointments/ who was in hosp/ who due out.
It's between you and your doctor. Especially because if you respond to any comments with 'Maybe you should get out and get more exercise' or 'try eating a more varied diet' or some sensible advice it is utterly ignored unless it comes from an actual doctor or someone in uniform.
Sharing the gory details IS a bit odd imv.
It didn't bother me btw, just made me think that I dont' want to do that when I'm old
though prob will
It sounds like she is quite anxious about it all, and you are the only person she feels able to talk to about it. If she was a prude about such things when you were growing up, ask yourself what has changed so fundamentally that she is oversharing with you now? Anxiety? A need to feel validated or reassured? Wishing you might offer to take her to the doctor? As Milly mentioned, has she been confused at all? Repetitive (as in, doesn't recall what she said a few minutes before)?
My mum is 80 and has alzheimers, I have to hear about her bowel issues, the prolapse, the self-catheterisations...it is grim, but she needs to process her worries and it would be unkind of me to shut her down because I don't like hearing it.
She is putting her trust in you, and this is part of the mother-daughter relationship now. If it's so hard for you to stomach and you don't think she is confused, looking for reassurance, or a chaperone to the GP, I suggest being practical and then gently redirecting her onto a different favourite subject other than her poor old vadge. "Sorry to hear it's not getting any better mum. Try not washing so often, it might be irritating your skin - and make sure you are only wearing cotton underwear. Oh by the way the way, did I tell you about (the price of milk/the new vicar/the woman I saw who you used to play bridge with)...."
I so hear you OP; my Mum is 86 yrs & many of her various ailments are shared to me, in great detail. Because she has a heart complaint she takes tablets to reduce fluid which means of course she pees a lot. I accept that but I dont want to hear of the (many) accidents she has - in great detail - as a result.
I wonder if you will just have to rely on the "...la-la-la-la-la ..." in your head as I too have tried to change the topic or gaze fixedly at the carpet/whatever but there she goes again - maybe to make sure that I did hear her the first time.
Old age is cruel, but oh its hard to be tolerant of some things. Good luck
Be grateful that your mother doesn't have IBS, like mine. I know all the details of her UTIs, dodgy bladder, vaginal prolapse.
I still have too much knowledge of my 7 year old's bowel movements.
My husband likes to chip in too with his.
Yep, me too. My mother used to be excessively prudish- never discussed facts of life or periods but now talks with gay abandon about her gynae issues. Maybe it's early dementia related disinhibition. She does seem to relish it though.
Maybe you just need to shut down the conversation as soon as it moves in that direction - especially if you've repeatedly told her you don't want the gory details but you get them anyway.
As soon as the words "itching" or "burning" are mentioned take a deep breath and jump straight in and talk over her - "Rather not hear it Mum - did you see on the news that........." and if she says anything, just say Well I have said several times that I don't want to hear the intimate details of your medical condition, and I meant it!
I feel really sorry for your mum.
She's elderly, she's got a painful and embarrassing medical problem, and you're the (presumably) closest relative she has. She's having a really unpleasant time, and could well be very frightened by it, and she is understandably looking for some sympathy from you. Poor woman.
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