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Mum is very ill and had to take drastic action....

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bethyboop

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Northamptonshire, UK
Hi. I am new to this site, and I am not even sure if it is the forum for my problem, but let me explain, and I hope someone can offer some encouragement, help, advice or comments.

My Mum (58) has degenerated mentally (and physically) over the last approx 12 years. I was overseas for the first 6 years and didn't want to burn bridges whilst over there (my Mum is very proud and will not admit there is anything wrong with her).

When I came back from overseas, after 2 years of watching her deteriorate and the rest of the family speaking to her husband about doing something to help her/treat her (he won't do anything for fear of my Mum's wrath afterwards) I contacted her GP. They fell out with me because of this and didn't speak to me for 2 months (until I got burgled) but I managed to gather eventually that they had visited the doctor, who did not a lot and he would not communicate with me. Still no diagnosis and no help.

I have a lot going on in my own life and decided that I would accept that they wanted to do nothing, and was left feeling helpless. We carried on as if everything was OK, but it so obviously isn't. My Mum canot have a normal conversation, she is distracted constantly, very argumentative and defensive (unusually so), she stopped washing properly, she cannot cook or drive or walk unaided. She shouts at her husband and does a lot of 'fake' crying. She can do very little for herself these days. She acts as if she is dizzy and blames it all on being old. She is not old.

Anyway, this weekend just gone we all (Mum, StepDad, my partner, myself and step daughter) went to a holiday camp together and my Mum was worse than ever. She was actually spitting at her husband in public and coughing up her food in a restaurant, as well as all the shouting and moaning and public bad behaviour etc. Everyone presumes she is ill and asks what is wrong, but we can not say as we don't know! A carer we met said she thought possibly Parkinson's, but we can't be sure of that, of course.

I know what you're thinking - why have I never said 'what is wrong Mum?' Believe me, I have. She just shouts back saying 'nothing - what's wrong with you?!!' I have spoken to her husband, but he will not support action even though he knows there is something wrong and this isn't the woman he married. He is her carer - he cooks, does all the housework, and I am sure probably washes her - although neiither of them washed the 4 days we were on holiday (my Mum was always so well turned out before all this!). She doesn't drink when she's out as she cannot visit the toilet alone. She must be so dehydrated as she doesn't drink much anyway.

So, after seeing my Mum's condition this weekend I decided that I have to try to do something about this once and for all, whatever the fall out. So I called social services in their area and said I believe she is being neglected by her husband, which I think she is. I know they cannot go in there guns blazing without her consent, but she, in my opinion, cannot make this decision for herself. Her husband is about to lose it with her - how long can he take someone spitting at him in public?!

So, they said I have to write to my Mum saying that I have called social services so they can try to do something about it. They won't contact her without pre-warning. Goodness knows whether she will let them into her home, but I had to try didn't I? She will be upset with me, and I will just have to accept that if it means I have done everything in my power to try to help get my old Mum back if I can.

I have also written the worst letter I have ever had to write, which states basically that I love them both very much but cannot carry on enabling the situation where everyone pretends nothing is wrong, when there so obviously is. I have had to say that I will not be contacting them until they get some care/treatment for my Mum. And I know that sounds harsh but I cannot keep pretending (I was made disabled 2 years ago so I've got enough dealing with that) and seeing my Mum so unwell knowing nothing is being done to help her. I love her too much.

We are not sure what she has but I am pretty sure it is a neurological disorder, or more annoyingly it could be something as simple as a vitamin B12 deficiency! We have no idea if it is hereditary, or whether she has years, months or weeks to live!

Well, that's it - I needed to vent, and if anyone has a similar experience I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks for reading this. x
 
ms_P

ms_P

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
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Hi Beth. Welcome to the forum. What a painful sounding situation. As an outsider, I dare say I'm reticent to give advice to you about your dilemma. If you know you've done all you personally can to help and have contacted various people/agencies to find help, and nothing changes, what's left? Is there absolutely no one in the family who isn't in denial other than yourself? There's no way I can tell you to distance yourself, because you only have one mother. I took care of mine for 12 years when she was slowly dying from radiation poisoning re: cancer treatment, before she died 7 years ago. In my heart I know I did my best and that sees me through now. She was only 69.
I don't usually pray, but I do for you to find some sort of solution for yourself and your mother.
Take care.:hug:
 
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bethyboop

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Northamptonshire, UK
Thanks Ms P. My Mum and her husband are the only ones in denial - everyone else has tried to do something to make her hubby act (as he is next of kin he has all the power/responsibility).

GP will do nothing so this was my last resort. I really don't want to lose contact with my Mum, of course, but it is too hard to see her like this and pretend everything is alright/normal and too hard to watch my Mum slipping away without treatment. It is also downright embarrassing in public, which I could cope with if she faced up to being ill, but I don't suffer fools gladly and it really gets me down and makes me angry and I am scared that if it carries on I will really blow up.

As I said to my partner earlier, I either do this (sending letter and social services) and risk losing her from my life (but at least she had my letter saying I love her) or I end up losing it, arguing with them and them falling out with me with just my anger/frustration taken out on them (and that their last memry of me) rather than the 'i love you' of the letter.

It is difficult. Thanks for your prayers. I too am praying every night. The letter went in the post today so I am expecting a nasty call tomorrow/Friday. I, of course, cannot speak to them much or else my letter content meant nothing. Unless they are going to speak to the social worker who calls.

Finger's crossed for a happy ending...x
 
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mikebrowne

Active member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
29
It sounds very sad. I think you did the right thing to contact social services and also to tell your mum you love her. It is a very difficult situation you are in.
There is obviously something very wrong with your mum's health, it could be a B12 deficiency or how about dementia in the early stages?
Also when you said you were away with your mum and step father to a holiday camp and they didnt seem to wash for four days, perhaps your lever will be that your step dad is getting unable to take of your mum. How old is your step father?
I know people when they arent well dont like to admit it. Maybe your mum isnt aware that she isnt in good condition. And the same with our step dad, perhaps he doesnt want to feel like a failure.
I dont know what to suggest but I would go back to the doctor again and express your concern not just for your mum but for her carer.#
 
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bethyboop

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Northamptonshire, UK
Hi. Thanks for the responses so far. The support means a lot to me. I posted THAT letter last week and have not heard a word. We expected it to all kick off with my Mum on the phone berating me, but nothing so far........? Anyway, here's hoping it makes a difference to their lives. I am going to call the social worker again today to follow up on it all.
Mike - appreciate your comments. I think I will bring the fact my stepDad can't cope into it more. Something surely HAS to be done to help her before it's too late!?
Anyway.....here's hoping.....
Bx
 
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bethyboop

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Northamptonshire, UK
still nothing from my Mum, her husband or the social workers....it's getting pretty frustrating......
 
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bethyboop

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Northamptonshire, UK
Well, the outcome is that the social worker called and left a message on their answerphone in the end as they were obviously screening calls. My Mum called me, angry/upset and acused me of being an alcoholic (her defence mechanism working fine) and that there is nothing wrong with her. She cannot be reasoned with.
She told me her brother had said she was OK and I should call him (although this sounds like a lucid conversation I can assure you it isn't, I am picking the bits out for you to be able to understand it). I did this and he was shocked as he had confronted the situation last time he saw her (in a nice way) and she got very defe3nsive ("why don't you go to the doctor/get a blue badge etc").
He was going to call her again yesterday but I was out when he phoned me back.
I have written to the GP. Let's see if that does anything. The social services have done their best but if she is able to say "there is nothing wrong with me and I don't want to see a GP" (however much she screams it down the phone or acts) they cannot do anything. Her next of kin, her husband has to make that decision. I spoke to him and told him the ball is in his court but I will not be seeing them until something is done.
What a situation.
 
ms_P

ms_P

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
3,067
Location
BeNeLux
What a conundrum.
Your hands are tied and there doesn't seem to be anything else you can do.
I suppose you find it morally unjustifiable to walk away at this point?
 
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