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Topic : When a Family Member Gets Sick

Number of Replies: 305
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
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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January 2, 2006, 8:44 am CST

Coping With my Mothers Illness

About 9 months ago my mom found out that she had COPD. Since having the disease she has had 2 mild heart attacks and 3 heart catherizations. The first heart catherization she went through it just fine. The second one she was rushed to Redmond Park Hospital in Rome, Ga. Now this was supposed to be one of the best hospitals ever. Upon being rushed to the hospital my grandmother and I noticed that she had her wedding bands on. Well when they brought her out of recovery we noticed that the $2000.00 wedding set that my dad had bought her was missing. The hospital claims that they dont have them. So after 29 years of marriage she has nothing to show for it.  

 Recently she went back to her lung specialist where they did a CAT Scan on her brain and they found out that she has an anurysm in her brain. Now they say that theres ways to treat that without surgery. Well, I looked it up on the internet and found that there is no way to treat it without surgery. So, now comes the hard part of letting my mother having some kind of surgery done on her brain. if something were to happen to her while in surgery i would flip out. I was there when she had 2 of the heart caths done.  

 My dad is the sole provider of the family. Since taking time off of work to take my mother to the hospital they are about to lose everything that they have. The place where he bought his car are threatening to come take the car back. They are going to be sued by everybody cause nobody will help get a loan so that they can pay their bills because of her condition. Now I dont have any problems with helping them out but as it stands im not financially stable enough to give them the help that they so deserve. My mother takes care of my 2 year old niece that she has guardianship of. I stay with them to help them out with the baby. My mother cant take care of her like before. Since she found out about her illness she hasnt really been able to do everything like before. She tries her best to do the things that she did before she got sick. It just takes more time than usual cause now shes on oxygen. (Doesnt stop us from arguing alot)  

   

  

 
January 2, 2006, 6:25 pm CST

Ilnesses

December 8, 2004 my mother was diagnosed with lieukemia.  It was absolutely the worst news i could have ever heard in my life.  I remember vividly as i had arrived home from work and saw everybody sitting aroud the table and looking wierd.  They were all sad (my family is not the "sad" type we are usually upbeat and happy) so this was abnormal.    When she told me - it hit me like a tonne of bricks and was angry at God and for a while  stopped believing in Him.   Besides my mother getting sick and having to deal with her chemo and visiting her at the hospital and just dealing with the situation, the following month - January 2005, my bestfriend/boyfriend's grandfather died so sudeenly of heart arithmia, which push my disbelief in God even further.    I have now come to grips with my mother's illness - she's doing "better" and her hair has grown back now,  but she doesn't have the energy she had even 18 months ago.  No more can she and I go shopping for two hours just for fun and to "hang out"  I know because of the illness, her life has been shortened and i am aware of that  - but i just hope God answers this wish and that is for my mother to see me get married - if i ever do -  I want both my parents at my wedding day and I hope and pray that she will be there sitting in the front row with the rest of my family. 

 
January 4, 2006, 3:14 pm CST

Dealing with Osteporosis

I had a gran mal seizure in February 2004.  It took my family quite by suprise.  I ended up at the Hospital with a fractured back.  My L1 disk bursted.   I had a MRI which shown nothing abnormal. 

A  DEXA SCAN was peformed.   The doctor told me that my spine was like a 80 year old man. 

  

I ended up having back surgery in March 04.  I have recovered fully from this.  I am currently on seizure and bone (fosamax) dosages.  I have been seizure free for two years by February 27., 2005. 

  

Osteporosis is the silent killer for the bones.  Most women are prone to it.  Males do not know if they have it at all. 

  

Men, Please do yourself a favor.  See your doctor and get a DEXA SCAN.  It will be of great help for you ! 

 
January 9, 2006, 6:42 pm CST

How can we get a doctor to see us?

I didn’t see a message board titled “When a Family Member Can’t Go to the Doctor” so thought I’d try posting here. If anyone has any ideas about what to do I’m all ears. My wife and I both have critical health concerns, but we are at our wit’s ends about what to do. We do not have health insurance and can’t get any, and there’s the rub. 

  

  

  

For a little background, I’m 50 years old, and have been getting strange pains in my head, gradually increasing, for over a year. Initially felt only lying down or when I bent over, now I feel it most all the time. Also, at night I first couldn’t lay on one side of my head because it was sore inside, then also on my back, and now on the other side. I sleep propped partly up on the headboard so there’s no weight pressing on the sides of my head. One day I got amnesia, but got better the next day, although that day and several previous days are lost to my memory. The latest thing is for a couple months now I have noticed part of the top of my head is shaped different than it used to be.  

  

  

  

Having been turned down by two insurance carriers, I have gone to the clinics in our area which have a sliding fee scale. Both they, and the emergency room doctor from the amnesia episode, said I needed  to see a neurologist. I called all of them in the phone book (6). Not one will schedule an initial visit because I don’t have private insurance, even if I could afford the $400 for 10 minutes of their time to look at my medical file and decide which tests they want me to take - MRI, etc. (No sliding-fee scale here! You can tell where their priorities are.) I have talked to several medical people in casual encounters (nurse practitioner, chiropractor, even dentist) who all say the same thing; I need to see a neurologist, but they agree there is no way I can. No one has any idea what to do, except to go away and be quiet so they can pretend their industry is all about caring and helping people.  

  

  

  

My wife has occasional stomach pains which the clinic says are probably gall stones. Without insurance, they say to live with it until it gets excruciating, then go to the ER. Okay, I guess. She also has asthma which she tries to manage with free samples from the clinic, but they say she should really go to a specialist. She has bad times when we debate whether to go to the ER, even though there’d then be a few thousand dollar hospital bill to deal with. A friend loaned us her oxygen tank once, which really helped during the next asthma attack, but we can’t rent one without getting a prescription from a doctor. Of course no such doctor will see her either. I have thought of a way to get some oxygen for those times even though Lincare (there's that phony "care" word again) told me it would be illegal.(So tell me I should just let her feel like she’s suffocating.) 

 

We live in CA, but CMSP is no help. It works like this: For a two person household like us, the household gross income may not exceed $900-something/month, or your medical deductible is the difference. Period. So with our household monthly gross income of $3,000, we are responsible to pay over $2,000 in any given month before CMSP kicks in. Makes sense for an emergency visit to the ER, but not for a couple $400 doctor visits and a $1200 MRI one month, more expensive tests, etc., next month,  whatever treatments (Dare I say surgery, possibly chemo, etc.?) may be necessary in the following months. Not to mention that the specialists won’t accept CMSP anyway. Even if we had mucho cash, one doctor’s receptionist was nice enough to explain to me that they still just wouldn’t take me as a patient without private (as opposed to CMSP/MediCal) insurance. 

  

MediCal would be no help even if they did accept it. It only comes into play when one is disabled and can’t work. By then I may be beyond the need of most doctor’s precious billable expertise anyway. 

  

 

State high-risk insurance is a sham for most medical orphans like us.. It is a token gesture by government designed to make politicians feel good about themselves. Although we are ineligible for standard insurance, our letters of denial-of-insurance only entitle us to deposit our first month’s premium of $900 which will then allow our names to be put on a waiting list. Eventually, after enough people die off, our names will rise to the top. Only then, if we are still alive, will we finally be allowed to grace that dear dedicated doctor’s doorway. 

  

  

  

Does anyone have any ideas of what to do next? It seems we are out of options and for me it feels like time is running out (if it’s not too late already). 

 

 
January 18, 2006, 2:51 pm CST

Keep the faith

cathy..my admiration
Posted by: lllesterar
Posted on: 2005-06-13 16:29:32


Cathy, lady you have my sincere admiration. You and your family have been through some really tough times . Congradulations on overcoming the cancer and all the other things. Please send me some of your strength and courage. Our youngest son got menjaudice when he was 4 months old resulting in severe retardation and cerebal palsy. Later my husband was in a severe farm accident but did recover. Four years ago I had cancer and the side effects from treatments left me disabled. Just recently my husband was diagnoised with small cell lung cancer and brain cancer. Not a good prognoises 2 to 5 years if we are lucky. I am having a terriable time accepting this. He was a farmer and had no insurance. When I worked I carried all our insurance policies..medical ..life at work..sence becoming disable we have not been able to afford these. So we had to apply for assistence. Last chemo treatment was nearly denied because we could not prove medicaid pending.After 2 hours they got their proof and treatment was given.Just 2 days following that our only car just died on the way to treatment.So here we are 18 months from having our mobile home which I might add is falling apart paid for and now only my disability to survive on and the tralior payment takes half..so right now I can not muster the courage to smile ..I am finding this mountain too hard to climb. I am exhausted and the mountain is just too high this time. So if you have any courage to spare send it my way..once again I as so greatful you and your family have climbed each mountain in your path and gotten to the top in vicitory..All my admiration.
Linda in Arkansas Linda, I just read your reply to my son and I wanted to say I understand how you feel, to a certain point.  Of course I haven't been through your battles, but I feel for you.  I am sending you some courage and strength, some faith and positive thinking.  Keep your faith!   It will help you.  Believe your lives will be better and they will  be more enjoyable.  I'm sorry about the diagnosis your husband has received.  That is a very scary thing to deal with each day.  I can imagine it's hard to be happy and smile, but you would want to make your husband's days happier and cheerful as much as you can, right?  It takes alot, but try to give him a smile every day.  Be glad for each day you have.  None of us know how much time we have, no matter who you are.  I will be thinking about you, and sending you good thoughts.  Take Care,  Cathy
 
January 24, 2006, 2:36 pm CST

My brother was diagnosed with HIV/HCV

  My little brother was diagnosed with HIV/HCV co-infection in August of 2004.  Because of his lifestyle he doesn't know how he contracted the diseases.  He says that he thinks he got it from sharing needles, but he wasn't protecting himself sexually either.  My brother just turned 23 in November.  He hasn't changed his lifestyle at all.  He is currently living on the streets.  I have tried to help him, but he just doesn't get how serious this is.  He is so messed up on drugs that he lies about everything.  He has learned exactly what to tell us to make us happy.  What I am left with at the end of the day is that my little brother is dying.  He is going to end up dead on the streets somewhere and we are not even going to know it.  Most of my family is in denial, so they won't help.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I need help but don't know where to turn.  I feel like I am standing in a crowded room screaming at the top of my lungs for help and no one even notices. 

  

Renee' 

 
January 26, 2006, 5:47 pm CST

For Your Mom with MS

Quote From: fyte4acure

Tricia,  

  

I feel for you!  I hear the fear you have.  It is very real!   

  

I know someone who needs to get his lungs checked out but he's too stubborn to do so.  It would help his health a lot if he did so!  But, no matter what I say to him, he won't listen.  He's outright stubborn!!!!!!! 

  

I don't know of what advice to give to you.  What things has she said to you when you tell her this?  What is her perspective on the whole thing?  Does she go to doctors often, or does she not respect them?  Does she think the medicines won't help?  Does she know about MS?  Has she read the literature on MS?  Have you ever brought her information?  Does she read it? 

  

When you say you've tried everything, what specifically do you mean by everything? 

  

Montel Williams has MS.  Have you written to his talk show?   

  

Be strong! 

  

Yours truly, 

Kristie : ) 

fight4acure 

Dear Tricia, . I am the mom of a 25 yr.old son with MS. During his senior year and only 17, he became sick . After 5m. of doctor visits we saw a Nerologist. An MRI and a spinal tap told he had MS. We didn't know anything about MS. He started the medicine right away. We found out that of 5 stages, he was already at 3.He graduated, but knew he couldn't go on to school because it wasattacking his brain and he was having trouble remembering. He married his girlfriend of 4 yrs because he was afraid he didn't have alot of good functioning years left. He kept with the medicine and any new treatments his dr. offered. He has been totally bedridden and spent the first 3 yrs in and out of the hospitals and then 1 really good year. He has a son and feels he's such a blessing. But it all had taken a toll on his wife and she filed for divorce.This has distroyed him and he has stoppedall his medicines and refuses to go to his dr. His body is breaking down and I'm scared he'll be bed ridden soon.It breaks my heart to watch this illness take him away. Your mom doesn't realize how she is cheating herself and her family of a future. Please START the MEDICINE NOW. I have seen what it can do and what happens when the MS strengthens and your not protected. May God be with you all. Jeannette  
 
January 30, 2006, 2:53 pm CST

Niece trying to cope with aunts dementia

Last year I moved from NJ to CA for two reasons: One, I'm on disability and I could no longer support myself, and two, my elderly aunt could no longer live alone.  So, you could say we're doing each other a favor.  Since I've been here, her dementia has accelerated.  We have frequent disagreements regarding personal hygiene, eating habits, medication, doctor visits, caring for the pets appropriately.  She seldom showers.  To date, her last shower was two weeks ago.  I know this sounds very bad, however I've fought that battle too many times and I'm exhausted about it.  She insists she doesn't need to shower, or she'll tell me she showered "the other day" and it's such a fuss to get her to agree because she has this need to always be right.  She's got high blood pressure and high cholesterol and she's on 3 different meds for each of those illnesses in addition to Paxil, vitamins, Icaps for macular degeneration and  Immodium for her IBS.  That's a lot of medication.  So, I've modified her diet eliminating her 4 favorite food groups: cake, cookies, candy, and ice cream.  This has created some anguish and apparently she's run to my sister to complain that she never has anything good to eat, my sister runs to my mother with that info, and my mother calls me and reams me out.  Who needs that.  So, now she's got her 4 favorite food groups back.  She seldom remembers to take her meds, which is an important reason why I'm here, but when I give them to her, she complains incessantly about having to take them.  That's one of the reasons I tried to modify the diet.  Thinking if she lost some of her overweight, the doc might decrease the quantity of meds.  She challenges me everytime we need to go to see a doctor.  Argues with me about putting her dog to bed at night.  She's the only person I've ever heard of who puts the dog to bed at 7PM b/c she says he's tired.  That poor animal is crated with the door shut for at least 14 hours before he can get outside.  I do understand the dementia part - the lack of short term memory.  However, her selfcentered - it's all about her - attitude frustrates me, as well as her noncompliance and her need to always be right - as if I have no brain at all.  And, she absolutely doesn't appreciate anything that I do here.  But, when my sister visits from time to time, it's as if the queen of england just arrived.  Am I resentful?  You bet.  I get no help at all from other family members, just criticism.  Sorry just needed to vent.  This is all getting to be too much.  I need to have a life too.  I'm spending all of my time here with her, she goes almost everywhere I go and the rest of the family visits "occasionally."  How nice.  I know I'm getting free rent here, but it seems to me that if someone were hired to do what I'm doing, they'd be costing a whole lot more than the cost of a months rent.  I hope I don't sound unappreciative b/c I'm not.  I absolutely appreciate that I have a roof over my head.  And, I'm paying my own food, gas, insurance so it's not completely a free ride.  I guess I got offtrack a bit here.  All I'm saying is that it's really hard to hold myself together and deal with the effects of her dementia.  The need to repeat the same thing over and over numerous times of the day, repeat instructions, information, everything over and over because she doesn't remember anything, it's so sad.  I hate for her that she's this way and I really don't know how to gain some respect from her for what I do.  Or even some compliance.  It's the constant battling day in and day out.  I'm not a fighter but I hate the idea that I'm giving up especially where her hygiene is concerned.  Anyway, if anyone reads this, thanks for your attention.  I guess it helps to vent.  Doesn't resolve anything, but at least I feel like I've said it all.
 
February 1, 2006, 7:16 am CST

For kirchbabe1

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. 

 
February 4, 2006, 1:57 pm CST

Stay strong, look for a way to keep moving forward

Quote From: gramaw

Dear Tricia, . I am the mom of a 25 yr.old son with MS. During his senior year and only 17, he became sick . After 5m. of doctor visits we saw a Nerologist. An MRI and a spinal tap told he had MS. We didn't know anything about MS. He started the medicine right away. We found out that of 5 stages, he was already at 3.He graduated, but knew he couldn't go on to school because it wasattacking his brain and he was having trouble remembering. He married his girlfriend of 4 yrs because he was afraid he didn't have alot of good functioning years left. He kept with the medicine and any new treatments his dr. offered. He has been totally bedridden and spent the first 3 yrs in and out of the hospitals and then 1 really good year. He has a son and feels he's such a blessing. But it all had taken a toll on his wife and she filed for divorce.This has distroyed him and he has stoppedall his medicines and refuses to go to his dr. His body is breaking down and I'm scared he'll be bed ridden soon.It breaks my heart to watch this illness take him away. Your mom doesn't realize how she is cheating herself and her family of a future. Please START the MEDICINE NOW. I have seen what it can do and what happens when the MS strengthens and your not protected. May God be with you all. Jeannette  

Dear Tricia,  I have had MS for about 13 years now.  I too was slow to seek treatment... bad move!  This has to be somthing your mother decides to do on her own,  it is a life long comittment.  Don't think this type of treatment will cure her, it won't.  At best it will delay the disabilty.  Tell your mom to stay positive and concentrate on figuring how to move forward.  Forward motion is everything.  As time goes on, she will become more accepting to treatment.   

Stay strong and God bless.  Michelle67 

 
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