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Æthelthryth the Texan

Updated in OP- My Mom's in the ER :(

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Prayers for your mom.

Prayers for you and your safety on the road!

 

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Best wishes for your Mom's speedy recovery.

Perhaps some of her recent reactions were a little exaggerated because she was feeling poorly? I know I am crabby when I am not well.

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I’m so sorry this is happening! Prayers and hugs and I hope your mom improves soon.

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1 minute ago, Liz CA said:

Best wishes for your Mom's speedy recovery.

Perhaps some of her recent reactions were a little exaggerated because she was feeling poorly? I know I am crabby when I am not well.

Yes, I could definitely see that impacting things realizing this now. And I'm wondering how the low oxygen in general has been affecting everything from brain function standpoint. I'm guessing she didn't feel great for a while before it got this bad. 

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2 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Yes, I could definitely see that impacting things realizing this now. And I'm wondering how the low oxygen in general has been affecting everything from brain function standpoint. I'm guessing she didn't feel great for a while before it got this bad. 

 

Oh, yes. I didn't connect that - low oxygen and brain functioning. Hopefully they have stabilized her now and she can rest and heal. The cigarettes will probably have to go...has she tried a patch or other smoking cessation methods?

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🙏 Yes, prayed!  I'm sorry about this.  Will she stop smoking?  Intervention?  

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The smoking conversation with her is extremely volatile and has been my whole life. It just will suffice to say that with all of the things she has gone through medically not a one, nor any surgeon or other doctor has made the slightest dent on her desire to smoke. It's one of those discussions that I gave up on long ago because it only caused a lot of strife. She doesn't smoke around my kids, or in her house either, since my kids go there, so that's about all I can ask of her as an adult. 

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Oh, I understand.  She's locked in on smoking.  It would take a conviction for her to stop.  Is that right?  I'm sorry.  That is really tough to handle - to know it's in the best interest for your loved one to stop and they choose not to.    

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I’m sorry. You do know it’s not your fault that she’s in this situation due to not calling? No guilt, alright?

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Well, they've admitted her. She's stable but extremely wheezy. She told me not to come, of course, that there was no point as she's just sitting there. On a positive note, I guess at least she could speak to relay that. I told my Dad to call me when they've got her in a room and we'll head up there. Thanks everyone for the prayers. Much appreciated. 

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Good thoughts and prayers winging your way.  Glad to hear she is stable.  My mom had copd and she always hated anyone making a big deal about her health.  I just can't imagine smoking on top of having lung issues and continuing to smoke during a flare up.  It's difficult trying to change someone else's mindset, but it isn't easy to ignore the 'elephant in the room' which is exacerbating the symptoms of her copd.   I know it's hard when we don't have control and feel helpless, especially when it comes to our parents.  Hugs, darling

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I’m sorry and pray that it goes well for her🙏🏻

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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

The smoking conversation with her is extremely volatile and has been my whole life. It just will suffice to say that with all of the things she has gone through medically not a one, nor any surgeon or other doctor has made the slightest dent on her desire to smoke. It's one of those discussions that I gave up on long ago because it only caused a lot of strife. She doesn't smoke around my kids, or in her house either, since my kids go there, so that's about all I can ask of her as an adult. 

 

My dad (also Texan for the record, and probably about the same age or maybe a bit older- he'd be 80 now) was the same way.  He told us repeatedly that a doctor in Houston once had told him never to try quitting smoking again, after he quit once and had bad headaches.  I'm like, I dunno if a doctor really said that Dad, but there was no arguing with him.  

I felt a lot of guilt about monitoring his condition too when he was sick and when he died; I felt like if I'd just done more, noticed more, insisted more, I could have kept him alive longer or healthier longer.  In my more sane moments I realize he was an adult, responsible for his own health, and he was married to my mom, who bore secondary responsibility for helping him.  It was not my role as his daughter to tell him how to live or monitor his weight or smoking or any of that; it was not my fault.  We lived a mile apart and I went over to see him probably 4x a week.

I hope your mom gets the care she needs at the hospital and that you can go see her and everything will settle down for a while.

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They won't let her smoke in the hospital, of course, and this can be either a good thing (her lungs get a break and maybe she smokes less afterward) or a difficult thing (she's forced off a very addictive mood-stabilizing (for people who are smokers) drug at a time when she's also having a hard time health and mood-wise) or some of both.  I just wish I'd been aware of this when my dad was admitted  - well, there are a lot of things I wish I'd been aware of.  

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Just seeing this......sending prayers to you and your family.  Huge hugs to you!

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

They won't let her smoke in the hospital, of course, and this can be either a good thing (her lungs get a break and maybe she smokes less afterward) or a difficult thing (she's forced off a very addictive mood-stabilizing (for people who are smokers) drug at a time when she's also having a hard time health and mood-wise) or some of both.  I just wish I'd been aware of this when my dad was admitted  - well, there are a lot of things I wish I'd been aware of.  

Or they are so stubborn, they haul themselves outside ( and across the street) with the portable oxygen and have a smoke.   I can’t tell you how many times this happens.  

 

OP-  Good luck.  Hope she gets stable soon and gets the meds that will help.  Our one with COPD stage 2 is in denial as only old people get that ( her words not mine).  According the her, it is just a touch of asthma.  She is well in her 80s and very set in her ways.  

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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25 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Or they are so stubborn, they haul themselves outside ( and across the street) with the portable oxygen and have a smoke.   I can’t tell you how many times this happens.  

 

OP-  Good luck.  Hope she gets stable soon and gets the meds that will help.  Our one with COPD stage 2 is in denial as only old people get that ( her words not mine).  According the her, it is just a touch of asthma.  She is well in her 80s and very set in her ways.  

 

Can’t decide if this is sad or funny—

 

I’m glad being in 80s doesn’t seem like she’s  old yet!

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2 hours ago, moonflower said:

It was not my role as his daughter to tell him how to live or monitor his weight or smoking or any of that; it was not my fault.

This.

Once your kids are grown, it isn't a mom's job to nag them about their health. It is also not an adult child's responsibility to "fix" their parent's health issues.

Your mom made her own decision. Your dad could have called an ambulance or called you despite your mom's order not to. No guilt. They are adults & neither has dementia that I am aware of, right?

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Well, she's stable. They've given her a couple of breathing treatments so that's helped. They're called it a COPD exacerbation, and put her on broad spectrum Abx. She told me earlier this week her eyes were bothering her from allergies, so maybe that kicked it off. It just stinks because typically the more exacerbations you have and are hospitalized for, the more you get and it cycles down. This will be her second. It must be pretty bad because they told her optimistically they'll release her Tuesday or Wednesday. We can't go see her right now because she's in one of those little purgatory rooms between ER and an actual bed on a floor- sounds like they are backed up. There are even people in the halls waiting, so no visitors right now she said. With the drive and knowing she's doing okay right now we probably won't go until tomorrow since it's already after 5pm. 

Thanks for the prayers and support- much appreciated. 

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14 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

This.

Once your kids are grown, it isn't a mom's job to nag them about their health. It is also not an adult child's responsibility to "fix" their parent's health issues.

Your mom made her own decision. Your dad could have called an ambulance or called you despite your mom's order not to. No guilt. They are adults & neither has dementia that I am aware of, right?

You're right. No dementia. Well, like Liz mentioned she has been acting a bit.....extreme on her reactions of late. But nothing like where she wouldn't be able to make or comprehend decisions. 

I told dh just now I only with that when she said "don't come- no visitors" I knew she meant what she said and wouldn't instead turn it into "my daughter didn't even come". But I'm to the point of not trying to read in to it. If you say we shouldn't come right now because no visitors, then I'm assuming you are telling me the truth and we are following those wishes. That's all I can do. 

 

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I’m sorry about this. That’s rough for sure. I agree with the others; it’s not on you to be health nanny to your parents. I get that it’s maddening, though. 

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Awwww, sweetie. I'm just seeing this and want to send you a virtual hug. Been there, done that (difficult mom who is ill, and feeling sandwiched between her and kids). Got the t-shirt. And survived to tell the tale.

Positive thoughts and prayers for you, for handling it all with calm reason, for not taking her bait, for steel plated armor to protect yourself from any barbs thrown your way. 

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7 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Or they are so stubborn, they haul themselves outside ( and across the street) with the portable oxygen and have a smoke.   I can’t tell you how many times this happens.  

 

OP-  Good luck.  Hope she gets stable soon and gets the meds that will help.  Our one with COPD stage 2 is in denial as only old people get that ( her words not mine).  According the her, it is just a touch of asthma.  She is well in her 80s and very set in her ways.  

My dad didn't walk again from the time he walked into the ER and sat down on the guerney.  He said he dreamed about walking to Texas (we live in MO now) and smoking a cigarette.  If he'd managed to drag himself out of the hospital and bum a smoke off of someone I wouldn't have blamed him.

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Oh my gosh guys. I don't know how I'm going to make it through this with my sanity intact. It's like banging my head on a wall. I talked to her this morning and it's insane circular reasoning. I won't bore you with all of the minutia, but wow. It's only 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a day and we haven't even gone up to see her yet. 

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14 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Oh my gosh guys. I don't know how I'm going to make it through this with my sanity intact. It's like banging my head on a wall. I talked to her this morning and it's insane circular reasoning. I won't bore you with all of the minutia, but wow. It's only 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a day and we haven't even gone up to see her yet. 

You know, I'm thinking about this and join others in prayer support.  I don't remember if you have siblings.  Sometimes it's easier to address/deal with an issue if there is more than an army of 1, so to speak.  Not saying you're combative.  Just saying that sometimes people listen to a "group" of family members where they might blow off one family member.  Do you have anyone with whom you can join forces to reason with her?

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31 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Oh my gosh guys. I don't know how I'm going to make it through this with my sanity intact. It's like banging my head on a wall. I talked to her this morning and it's insane circular reasoning. I won't bore you with all of the minutia, but wow. It's only 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a day and we haven't even gone up to see her yet. 

 

Captain Picard "Dippy Steamroller -- ENGAGE!"

 

P.S. I know it's hard. Dealing with aging parents is hard in and of itself, let alone dealing with all the other stuff. 

Edited by brehon
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1 hour ago, sheryl said:

You know, I'm thinking about this and join others in prayer support.  I don't remember if you have siblings.  Sometimes it's easier to address/deal with an issue if there is more than an army of 1, so to speak.  Not saying you're combative.  Just saying that sometimes people listen to a "group" of family members where they might blow off one family member.  Do you have anyone with whom you can join forces to reason with her?

I am an only child and only other living relatives on Mom’s side are one sister she doesn’t speak to and another who is a complete flake. Neither was at all helpful to my Mom when my Grandmother was going through her decline so I’m not holding out much hope they’d be helpful now. 

Many main battle is keeping my mouth SHUT. And my eyes from rolling out of my head. At least on the phone she can’t see my eyes, LOL but I may need sunglasses when I go up there in a bit. This mornings rendition was no one had ever really mentioned that her COPD was something to really be concerned with or have a plan for preventing exacerbations. Which either means her pulm is incompetent or the more likely explanation- she and my Dad are in complete denial.....

i very much appreciate the prayers! They are so needed you have no idea. 

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Oh my gosh guys. I don't know how I'm going to make it through this with my sanity intact. It's like banging my head on a wall. I talked to her this morning and it's insane circular reasoning. I won't bore you with all of the minutia, but wow. It's only 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a day and we haven't even gone up to see her yet. 

I'm so sorry.

 

I don't know if this will help, but elderly people do not have similar reasoning skills like when they were younger.  Often, any kind of critical thinking just goes out the door. It's perfectly within the norm for her to have a wild and crazy way of thinking.  Your are smart to give up on trying to convince her to stop smoking.     This is why elderly are so susceptible to fraud.

We're dealing with this with my MIL only with a different issue. 

Hugs.

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Prayers headed your way.

 

Maybe some ear cotton would be helpful. So you don’t hear the loopy illogic and denial.  

If you do hear loopy illogic keep in mind that smoking is an addiction, not logical     Probably nothings logical 

Just repeat, “there, there...  “ type nothings  in sympathetic sounding tones...   

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Sorry. Remember, you are not there to fix her. She won't let you, and it won't work anyway. Don't try to reason with her. She can't/won't be reasoned with.

Be loving and say sympathetic phrases like Pen suggested: "There, there"  or "Sorry you are having to go through this."

Don't let her drag you into the spiral. Say, "I'm sure you and dad will figure it out." or "What's your plan going forward?" but don't let that plan ensnare you. Be ready with, "I'm sorry, I can't do that. I know you and dad will figure it out..." I know, easier said than done.

It sucks to have to practice all your new coping skills during a crisis, but that's reality for you now. Prayers coming your way from many people. 

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Prayers.

My mom has chronic health issues and is taken care of by my dad. I haven't been in the same exact situation, but there are certainly times I have been frustrated as you are describing. 

It's really, really hard to not have control. One thing that has helped me is my counselor differentiated between being "responsible to" someone and being "responsible for" someone. You are responsible to your mom--to show her love, respect, care, and wise counsel, as she allows and you are able.  However, she is responsible for herself. If she makes bad choices that lead to equally bad consequences, you don't own that. That is hers. She owns it. You can't control that. It's super hard to live in that space of not being able to do anything. Prayers for you that God would help you to find peace in this difficult situation. 

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7 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Prayers.

My mom has chronic health issues and is taken care of by my dad. I haven't been in the same exact situation, but there are certainly times I have been frustrated as you are describing. 

It's really, really hard to not have control. One thing that has helped me is my counselor differentiated between being "responsible to" someone and being "responsible for" someone. You are responsible to your mom--to show her love, respect, care, and wise counsel, as she allows and you are able.  However, she is responsible for herself. If she makes bad choices that lead to equally bad consequences, you don't own that. That is hers. She owns it. You can't control that. It's super hard to live in that space of not being able to do anything. Prayers for you that God would help you to find peace in this difficult situation. 

The responsible to not for really resonates. Thank you for sharing that. That is a good way to frame some of what I’ve been struggling with and this whole “honoring” while still keeping boundaries. 

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Well, The Dippy Steamroller and her progeny are headed into the dragon’s lair. Let’s hope these steamrolling lessons and words of wisdom have had some time to permeate. Excelsior!! 

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Sending the prayers your way..........huge hugs!

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Well we lived to tell the tale. She is doing okay but I will be pretty shocked if they let her out tomorrow. She's still incredibly wheezy. But, at least she was dressed in her own clothes, and coifed in her hospital bed, - not make up, but still better than I'd be if I was in the hospital!- so I guess that was a good sign that she at least did that. She's a neat appearance person even with the flu, so I guess I'll take it as a sign she isn't feeling like she's on death's door for now. 

And overall, I'll say I did it! I Dippy Steamrolled right the heck through the whole visit. Through her comparing my younger kids to her sister's grandson and how much better of a reader and writer he is than my kids. How my oldest would have no clothes if not for her always buying her clothes because dd and I hate to shop. How us getting a kitten was the last thing we need. How her friend they had dinner with the night all this started, and who is a retired public school teacher, recommended I look into the following school products, and then proceeded to give me suggestions for how I could incorporate an Escape Room into our homeschooling to reinforce reading and writing with the children.  (Glad to know she couldn't breathe well enough to eat but could still talk about me homeschooling the kids and ruining them for life!) I kept my mouth shut, nodded and said, "oh that's interesting," or "I'll have to look into that, Mom." She was even nice enough to send me the links for the school stuff the school teacher emailed her after dinner! (🙄I saved that eyeroll until now.)

Luckily I think my ds is oblivious to competition, or at least didn't seem phased by Grandma's comments comparing him and dd6 has no idea what grade she's in, so I don't think she took it to heart either. But that's going to be something to keep on the radar for when she's out of the hospital, becuase it was pretty not-cool. But, I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. 

The only slip I had was when she told me how shocked she was that they didn't just give her a breathing treatment and release her like they did last time. I said, "Well you know Mom, every time you have an exacerbation event with COPD it can make the next one that much worse and start bringing them on more and more often, so that's probalby why this one is worse. That's why they want you to take that class to learn to maybe manage it so you don't have to come back and do this again." To which she said, "I'm sorry but I hardly think this as gloom and doom as you think it is and after all you are no expert in this field. They said anything could have caused this, so it's not like I could have done anything about it." Okey dokey Mom. As much as I wanted to point out a few things and point out that I do in fact know a thing or two about COPD,  I shut up, and then I Dippy Steamrolled right though.

"Oh I know Mom, but didn't you say your pulmonologist you like so much suggested you take a class last time? Or was that someone else? I forgot. Maybe that was MIL."

Her: "Well she did, but you know I'm not going to drive that far to take those classes! I hate going to the Medical Center!" (This time my Dad had her taken to a closer hospital than they normally go to because he thinks her pulmonologist is an idiot who hasn't done a thing.) 

Then I nearly needed a surgeon to sew my tongue back on as I bit through it to keep from saying "THEN WHY DON'T YOU GET A NEW PULMONOLOGIST CLOSER TO YOU SO THAT YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY AVAIL YOURSELF OF HER SERVICES?!?!" 

But I didn't. Whew. That was pretty exhausting. 

My Dad left within 30 minutes of us getting there which surprised me. I think he was d-o-n-e with being there and we were exactly the out he needed. We stayed right at two hours and then the kids were getting pretty bored so we left. I am debating on going back tonight without the kids. It's just really awkward when you're sitting there without a lot to talk about, because I am afraid to mention much of anything in our personal life (we weren't even going to tell her about the kitten but the kids would've exploded and showing cute kitten pictures used up a lot of time) or going on with us apart from superficial. I asked if Daddy had told any of their friends she was up there, because I know they would come visit her and she said she told him not too. She didn't want to inconvenience anyone because they have their own health issues going- which guess is true on a technical level. They all do have a lot going, but I still figured they'd want to know. But I didn't push that either. If she wants to sit up there and not tell anyone, I guess that's her prerogative. 

I would really love for something non-political, and non-horrible to hit the news waves so I could have something to talk about to her. I'm going to go eat a bunch of chocolate now. And thanks you guys for listening/praying/advising/commiserating. Makes this a little more doable and gives dh and my one IRL friend that understand all of this not be bombarded with it 24/7, so indirectly they thank you too. 🙂

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Two hours?!?

You deserve a medal. Your mother sounds so so much like mine. 

I can manage 30 minutes tops.

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Great job on the visit!  (And I think a TWO HOUR visit is MORE than enough for one day, unless a patient actually needs family to help stay safe, do what the nurses can't, or is about to die, or the like.)  Really, rest is probably beneficial for her.

 

Edited by Karen A
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You're a good daughter, Texasmom.  I can tell how much you love your mom, as exasperating as she is, and how good you are to her.  Two hours in a hospital room with small kids!

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Late to this. Sorry you've had such a worrying (and frustrating) time with your mum. I hope she improves quickly.

My kids' dad only gave up because he was in the ICU. It's a cow of a drug. I can't imagine having COPD and smoking, and am just glad that I never started. 

I'm a non-smoker (never-smoked) with a chronic lung disease. Exacerbations are scary, and need prompt management, and in the middle of one, you aren't in the best position to do anything about it, unfortunately. Effective management will reduce the number of exacerbations, but it's to be expected (especially as a disease progresses) that they will occur, even with good management. They are not always a sign that someone isn't trying to be well, or cope with or manage their illness.

I hope your mum's team can help her manage better. Does she have a plan in place specifically for exacerbations ? If not, she needs one - and she needs for your Dad to have a copy too. It should be an if-then style plan - if I am too breathless to eat, I use treatment X. If no change after 5 min, call Dr's office for advice. Out of hours, head to the ER. That sort of thing. 

 

Edited by StellaM
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