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Topic : When a Family Member Gets Sick

Number of Replies: 305
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:07:23 am
Author : dataimport

Nothing makes one feel more helpless than watching a child, spouse, or parent suffering. We understand. How do you cope with illness in your family?


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September 17, 2008, 9:29 am CDT

myself

i was diagnosed with colo rectal cancer at the age of 27 have been cancer free for 5 years now i have knot under my arm very nervous.my daughter just started college worried how it might afect her hoping its nothing to worry about dont even wont to go to dr help please
 
October 1, 2008, 9:57 pm CDT

I'm so sorry for all who suffer!

You know as I sit here reading alot of these story's with tear's rolling down my face  I just want to tell you all your in my thoughts and prayers! I wont forget any of these story's and I hope I can be as strong as all of you when its my time! It really stinks when were delt the hand that some of us are. I'm told there's alway's a lesson to all that happen's and I have great difficulties in beleiving in that!  We all seek the help where ever we can and I surly know how difficult it can be in the Dr's office waiting for answer's that we can't seem to get. I know their not perfect but when it come's down to illness or diseases you would hope for more than what is given or said. I just want to live long enough to see my daughter grow up and graduate and date and all those things that parents cant wait for to happen. Well I hope that will happen for me! Your story's are so important so dont ever stop writng about them because hopefully one day there will be cures for alot of these horrific diseases and conditions.Im to the point that I dont know how to go on and just get by each day and wonder what will happen to my family. You all are so strong how do you do it.I used to be the one to hold everyone else up and now Im fighting for my life because of someones ignorence with a cell phone and speeding .I dont know how to be strong anymore Im so tired of burning and all the pain is so unbearable I dont know how much more I can take or my family can deal with.I feel like Im putting them in debt and other things too! I fight everyday all day to standup and trying to still be mom,wife,daughter,friend and its getting to hard.I feel embarrised that I cant feel strong like I used to be and I keep trying but knowing what I do ,How do I keep fighting when its to hard anymore? I just want to give up.But another part of me just remains to see my daughter and husband as much as I can.They dont deserve this and either do I after all I have conquired I may loose again for good! I cant fix this one.What do I do? I will pray for all of you .There are so many sites like this .Everyone is suffering really bad and I cant grasp onto that. There's so many of us and to me that says alot!!!!!!!!!! I dont know Im really scared out of my mind !

            

                            Take care all and please take care of one another! Thankyou Dr.phil for having this here!     LOVE HOPE FOR ALL 01

 
October 2, 2008, 8:02 am CDT

Trying to Cope

My wife and I married in 2006. She was previously married and this was my first. She had two children from her prior relationship and we were eager to try and have at least one more child. I was in graduate school for clinical psychology and looking forward to getting my doctorate in a couple years. The first few months were very enjoyable; our sex life was great; we were always doing things together. A typical "honeymoon" period.

 

Five months later she was hospitalized for abdominal pains. She was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer which had moved into her bones. All of the doctors were flustered since she was only 30 years old at the time. The prognosis was poor and most doctors were only concerned about making her comfortable and gave a rather bleak outlook. The cancer was in her hips which caused simple walking and bending to be extremely painful. It turned out that she had a genetic predisposition for the disease and that her hormones appeared to be contributing to the disease's progression. They began radiation and hormonal treatment immediately.

 

This was quite a blow to my idealistic views of our future. I went through a tumultuous period where my mood ranged from deep depression to denouncing God for doing something so horrible. The one thing I never did was leave her or shun her. I have always taken my wedding vows very seriously. We have been navigating our emotional voyage thus far. I left graduate school to care for my wife and her two children but will receive my Masters degree in December of 2008. We relocated in 2007 to a small town and reside on the same property as my father.

 

Currently, I have been noticing an increasing feeling of restlessness within our relationship. She is as active as she can but the condition leaves her bedridden frequently. She also reports having a lot of guilt for my decision to leave graduate school and take care of my family. I try to reassure her but it does little. Our sex life has also significantly suffered. We went from having sex a few times per week to having sex once every few months at most. I still feel attracted to her but I cannot stay "in the mood" when I see how much pain she experiences whenever we do try to be intimate. I have also taken a very active role in raising her two sons and she feels bad for that as well.

 

While I remain committed to my wife and family, I have been feeling very dissatisfied with my life and some of the choices that I have made. I am conscious of the fact that I cannot change the past but feel sadness for where I am. I am presently between jobs and feel a sense of loss for the fact that within my present relationship I cannot have a child of my own with my wife. I feel as if I have lost my own life and my own dreams. This experience has taught me that even meantal health professionals cannot be truly objective when they are immersed in the situation and the emotional climate. I continue to struggle with my feelngs and have joined this site to have a place to discuss my experiences with others.

 
October 7, 2008, 4:36 pm CDT

Undue Influence, Estate Planning & Dementia

Quote From: a36hourday

I was searching for dementia sites when I came across your post and my heart broke for you. My Mother is in the middle stage of  dementia and everything you mention is something I have had to face. I moved her closer to me recently so that I can take care of her needs. She lived with our daughter for several months and now I am her full time caregiver.  

  

I want to tell you about a book that will help you to understand and cope. It is called The 36 Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD. It is considered the "Bible" for caregivers of dementia and Altzheimer patients. It covers virtually everything that you mentioned in your post, with real help in handling the problems you face everyday with your Aunt. There is a way to handle some of her behavior differently, her brain no longer functions logically. Please call your library and get the book, you will most likely buy a copy since it does offer so much information. I refer to mine nearly every day. 

  

Your family needs to know what you face taking care of your Aunt daily so that they might be a little help. Most caregivers burn out from the demands in time so before you do that, tell them you need help. There are many services like senior centers, adult daycare and of course eldercare help. If your Aunt is on Medicaid the cost of paid services would be covered giving you a break from constant care. Senior centers offer another plus in that they give the dementia patient contact with others. My Mom goes to an adult day care about once a week and loves it. She calls it "lunch with the girls!"  

  

I offer you hope that you too can make it, ask for help and tell your family what is going on. If they refuse to help there are other ways. Call your local hospital and ask if there is someone who can help in your area with dementia. Your senior center is another good place to start. God Bless you kirchbabe1 for being there for your Aunt. 

My 86 year old mother let a handyman move in with her (rent free). At first, my sisters and I thought this was OK. He'd done decent work around her house in the previous months and she enjoyed his company. However, as soon as he moved in he immediately stopped doing any work on her house. He even let two large projects go unfinished -- an interior painting project that left spackle smear marks all over her walls and a landscaping project that left dozens of tools laying all over the yard and a huge mound of dirt. His excuse was that he had asthma and back trouble -- something that hadn't been mentioned before he moved in. As I was the one who paid her monthly bills, I noticed that she was withdrawing unusually large amounts of cash from her bank account (she lives on a modest fixed income). Also, we had discovered evidence of his gambling hobby in the house including cheap souveniors from the casinos that our mom began to display as precious gifts from him. His presence took over her house and he seemed to take over her life. Soon he began saying things to us like, I do more for your mom than any of you. It got to the point where going to visit her felt uncomfortable for us and more and more like we were guests in HIS house. When we tried to talk to her about any of this she defended him. It became a very touchy situation because she was quite fond of him, perhaps even infatuated. We certainly didn't want to break her heart but we also didn't want to let him get any more comfortable there or enriched by her generosity. So, we consulted with an elder law attorney who told us to have her evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist. We did so and it was determined that she had only mild demenia but was extremely vulnerable to undue influence. Therefore, he recommended that she no longer be allowed access to her money or be able to enter into contracts of any kind, including marraige. We also contacted Adult Protective Services who investigated the situation and told us that if we didn't evict this handyman they would refer the matter to the Public Guardian. We couldn't risk having the County take control of our mom and lose our authority over her care so we started the eviction procedings. Of course, this greatly angered our mother and led to a very bitter feud. Surprisingly, a "family friend"/attorney came to my mom's rescue and not only filed an elder abuse lawsuit against me and my sisters, she also had my mom sign a new will, trust, advance healthcare directive and other legal documents -- all naming her as the primary person in charge of our mom's affairs and specifically excluding us from any such authority.  This attorney is someone with an unheathly  lifelong attachment to our mother and apparently saw this family rift over the handyman as her opportunity to have our mom all to herself.  It was certainly a situation that none of us daughters saw coming. And we were amazed to discover that even thought we'd put all the right legal documents in place years ago -- will, living trust, advance healthcare directive -- it took a lot of attorney fees and many months to defend this assault on our right to be our mother's caretakers and decision makers. To make matters worse, this family friend/attorney was also successful in turning some of our extended family members against us, at least temporarily, by leading them to believe flat out lies about things she claimed we'd done to our mother. Ultimately, we had to petition the court to have our mother conserved because she had been so unduely infuenced by this so-called family friend/attorney.  Fortunately, the Judge saw right through all this manipulation and the false accusations of elder abuse and voided all the new legal documents my mom had signed. There's a good chance this attorney will end up facing State Bar discipline but, fortunately, she's no longer allowed to have any contact with our mom and most (but not all) of our relatives have apologized for misjudging us based on her lies. Now our original will, trust, heathcare directive, etc are back in place. But they were the ONLY things that protected us from this legal assualt. Without them, we would now have no access to our own mother or any say over her care. 

So I just wanted to share my story and the importance I've discovered of having all your estate planning documents done BEFORE your parents begin to show signs of incapacity. If you wait until they start to lose capacity, it may be too late.  Also, I would like to emphasize the importance of being wary about people who befriend your elders.  Keep an eye on what the new "friend" may be getting out of the relationship.  Even elders who don't have dementia are vulnerable to undue influence as they naturally welcome the attention that often accompanies a relationship of this kind. I never imagined that anything like this could happen in our loving family but now I know that it could happen to anyone.

Suzie Zupan

 
October 8, 2008, 9:54 am CDT

Multiple Sclerosis and Fibro

Quote From: jessg20mom2b

My Dad is an amazing human being. He was diagnosed when i was 5 years old.
He is supposed to be in a wheel chair , using a cane, and almost bedridden but he has faught against it and still to this day walks and does everything that he used to before he was sick. Just recently he  got diagnosed with throat cancer. with in the last year he has gone through radiation that has taken a toll on his body. his diet consists of ensure and Very little solids he lost over 30 pounds and refuses to go out in public any more becuase he is so embarrassed by the way he looks. He's in so much pain and is so weak I just wish i could help him. He has done so much for my family and i just wish there was something i can do.. He lays in bed all day and doesnt do anything I just wish that he wasnt hurting any more and that he could go back to the way he was. I love him so much that i would trade places with him in a heartbeat but that just simply can never happen... My dad decided to stop taking the M.S treatments and has kind of  just gave up all together... I think he is giving up on life and  letting the disease take over ..I have been trying to cope with it all and keep my stress level down for the sake of my unborn... But i am finding it harder and harder I am not ready to loose him.. and i dont think i will ever be... 

I saw your post and wanted to respond.  I am really sorry for your dads diagnosis.  When I went blind at the age of 25  I just couldn't believe it .  The optomolgist told me I had multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis I was blind in my right eye and going to be blind in my left eye.  Well the feeling of loss was overwhelming I wasn't going to see my husband or child or anyone for that matter.  I fell apart and went to the neurologist and he said anyone can get mutiple sclerosis.  Well here I am at the age of 49 and I just cannot believe the unbearable depression that comes with multiple sclerosis and with fibromyalgia I feel that fibro is the same as multiple sclersois only on training wheels.  I cannot remember much even in a conversation I get lost so I have more or less quit talking.  The other night I was asleep and took a planters wart out of the bottom of my foot.  It looked like it had been removed by a surgeon.  I ended up in the hospital for it but no one would believe me when I said that I did it in my sleep.  Epson Salt and you should do fine.  What is fine anymore and who said fun begins at 50 cause that's a dang lie.  I have stopped taking MS treatments as I was sicker taking the shots than not.  Sometimes I have panic attacks and sometimes all I can do is sleep.  I hate the person I've become.  I walk with a cane for balance and its terrible.  I never knew the prejudice of people as much as I have now.  If I go to big stores I have to take a wheelchair.  How can a doctor tell you to stay away from stress when LIFE is just a whole lot of stress itself.  One day and one step everyday that's what my life has become.

 
October 15, 2008, 10:01 pm CDT

Mom diagonsed with Terminal Brain Cancer

Hi, I used to use these message boards many years ago to help me to get through a very bad divorce and leave an abusive husband (NOW my EX!!!).  Now, I am in a different section, just hoping someone will see what I am writing and have some words either of encouragement or just to know that I have some place to put my feelings out to.

 

Just recently, we were told that my mom had a brain tumor (which came out of no where-she is never a sick person) and it had to be removed.  It was on October 1st, and the Brain surgery went awesome.  She came through with flying colors.  But now after having the surgery, we were told it is malignant, and is not curable.  I am having a very hard time digesting this information.  She is going to be 65 years old in 4 days, and she was planning on retiring and my mom and dad just went last month and purchased a home in Florida so that they could retire there.  They were going to be "snow birds" and go back and forth with the changing seasons.  I cannot believe that all this has happened.  She worked her whole life to get to this point to retire and live her life and enjoy her life.  Their 45 th wedding anniversary was just a couple of weeks ago, just days after being told she has this tumor.

 

She is my best friend and matriarch of our entire family.  I cannot even begin to imagine life without her.  My husband and I have 7 children together, 4 of my own and 3 of his-a blended family.  My mom has these 7 grandchildren and I do not want her to not be here for them. 

 

She is beginning radiation and chemo in a week, and will lasst for 6 weeks.  I want to be prepared for everything.  I wish I was the one going through this and not her.  I was told that the worse case senario is that she as less than a year to live.  HOW can I even comprehend that?????  Does anyone have any advice at all, ways to cope, support groups, anything???  I am very worried about my dad also.  He never shows or expresses his feelings and he has not left her side since we found out, but I am worried that he is not dealing with this well.

 

Please, I would love to hear anything that would help me and my family to understand and cope with what we are going through.

 

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this.......

 
October 25, 2008, 11:20 pm CDT

When a Family Member Gets Sick

 
October 26, 2008, 8:39 am CDT

When a Family Member Gets Sick

Quote From: four2love

Hi, I used to use these message boards many years ago to help me to get through a very bad divorce and leave an abusive husband (NOW my EX!!!).  Now, I am in a different section, just hoping someone will see what I am writing and have some words either of encouragement or just to know that I have some place to put my feelings out to.

 

Just recently, we were told that my mom had a brain tumor (which came out of no where-she is never a sick person) and it had to be removed.  It was on October 1st, and the Brain surgery went awesome.  She came through with flying colors.  But now after having the surgery, we were told it is malignant, and is not curable.  I am having a very hard time digesting this information.  She is going to be 65 years old in 4 days, and she was planning on retiring and my mom and dad just went last month and purchased a home in Florida so that they could retire there.  They were going to be "snow birds" and go back and forth with the changing seasons.  I cannot believe that all this has happened.  She worked her whole life to get to this point to retire and live her life and enjoy her life.  Their 45 th wedding anniversary was just a couple of weeks ago, just days after being told she has this tumor.

 

She is my best friend and matriarch of our entire family.  I cannot even begin to imagine life without her.  My husband and I have 7 children together, 4 of my own and 3 of his-a blended family.  My mom has these 7 grandchildren and I do not want her to not be here for them. 

 

She is beginning radiation and chemo in a week, and will lasst for 6 weeks.  I want to be prepared for everything.  I wish I was the one going through this and not her.  I was told that the worse case senario is that she as less than a year to live.  HOW can I even comprehend that?????  Does anyone have any advice at all, ways to cope, support groups, anything???  I am very worried about my dad also.  He never shows or expresses his feelings and he has not left her side since we found out, but I am worried that he is not dealing with this well.

 

Please, I would love to hear anything that would help me and my family to understand and cope with what we are going through.

 

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this.......

Hi,

I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through this. Just reading your entry brought back memories of when I found out my mom had cancer and I thought my world was coming to an end. I really thought that I could not handle it so I feel your pain. My mom was older than your mom and we found out she had cancer three weeks after my brother passed away so we never got to even deal with the loss of him before all of this happened with my mom. She had vaginal cancer which spread to her bladder and she ended up having to have a urostomy. They had diagnosed her with stage 4 and I didn't even know what stage for was and when I found out I was beside myself. I don't know and the doctors don't know why but she lived for another 10years after that diagnosis which is not the norm. I remember thinking that every Thanksgiving and Christmas was going to be her last but it didn't happen so we were able to spend a lot more time than we ever thought. The only thing I can tell you is that God alone knows when it is someones time to go. I know the heartbreak of being by someone side and knowing that you are going to lose them. My mom passed away a few weeks after Christmas in 07 and I miss her very much but I also know that she is no longer in pain and is as peace and that gives me a little solace. Please know that I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You will get through this and your mom will feel your love for her and that will give her strength...take care        ~Carol~

 
November 13, 2008, 10:26 pm CST

My son has Crohn's disease and a difficult stepdad

My 15 year old son has Crohn's disease. He is very often in pain or feeling a lot of discomfort from CD. The problem I'm fighting is the fact that his stepfather finds it hard to belive my son is hurting as much as he says he is and gets irritated when he (my son) doesn't help around the house as much as he (stepfather) asks.

This creates problems in our relationship and my husband feels abandoned because I side with my son. He feels that I'm enabeling my son in being lazy.  We really don't see eye to eye on this and it has come to the point where my son simply gets irritated and angry when his stepfather opens his mouth to speak to him.

I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place standing between the two of them trying to soften the blows. Often speaking to each of them in private listening to complaints and trying to help them find a way to accept and understand each other.

Often, when I try to talk to my husband about his behavior towards my son, he (husband) makes sure he talks loud enough so that my son will certainly hear everything he's saying, defending him self and often blaming my son, wich I personally find pretty childish.

The fact is that Crohn's is a very painful disease and the people who have it really need a lot of support and understanding from everyone around them.

Maybe my son sometimes says he's in more pain than he really is, but I really don't care. He does well in school, goes to soccer practice twice a week, (often in a lot of pain, but loving the sport to much not to go) comunity center once a week, hangs out with his friends as much as possible and almost always finishes his homework. So when he finally comes home and wants to sit and watch TV or play in the PC instead of doing the dishes I don't mind at all.

 
January 11, 2009, 11:22 pm CST

I have Multiple Sclerosis

I was diagnosed with MS January 2002. All I have had as support are my 3 children. My mom, 2 sisters and brother do not come around me. I have had a stroke and lost my right side and speech while I was working. There are times when I have to be in a wheel chair. I have migraines that are really bad. I have to have botox in the back of my  head to help keep them under control. My lungs have shrunk, my bladder has shrunk, I have lower disc disesase, I am facing a hip replacement and a knee replacement. I have COPD and asthma. Right now I have no taste or smell due to the MS and no feeling in my right foot. My ex husband attacked me the end of 2007 and I had to have rotator cuff surgery. I need to have the other shoulder operated on. My children have been here for me and my 16 year old daughter has got to the point where she tells people off when it comes to her mom. I was in the hospital for 9 days when I was diagnosed and my mom only came the hospital one time. She was listed as the next of kin and who to call in case of an emergency. I know since I have been diagnosed my views toward life have changed. I value each and every day. I thank God for all my blessings and my children. It really hurts me how my family has acted and reacted to me getting sick. There has been no support there what so ever. Also up until I was approved for disability they didn't think I was sick. They call MS an orphan disease. I was bed ridden for 3 months when I had my first attack and not one of my family members came to see me. I also have tried to shelter to some extent my kids. I do not want them to see everything I go through. One night my temperture dropped. I had this happen before. My daughter was there this particular time. She had placed 6 blankets on me and I was still shivering. She helped me walk to the shower and turned on the water hot. My body was jerking so hard I could barely stand up. I at one point told her I was going to colapse. She told me that I was going to be ok. She talked me through it. Here I had been so worried about sheltering my kids. That night she was an angel. She helped me back to bed and stayed with me till the shivering stopped. All the times I have sat with them when they have been sick I never thought it would be so soon they would have to be here for me and do the same.
 
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