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needing advice please

wellsywellsy Posts: 3
edited 2. May 2011, 09:35 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi,

I am really struggling with my mother at the moment and am hoping that someone will be able to give me some ideas of how I can help her, or what I should do. She is 65 and has arthrtis in her hips and knees. She has had this for at least 10 years and is on painkilers everyday. She does not have a disabled badge for her car but appears to be barely able to walk a lot of the time. I am finding it really frustrating because it seems to me she is refusing to help herself. She is quite over weight and has been for years, I have asked her countless times to try loosing weight and to start going for walks with me but she never has and now says she cant. I booked her into an aqua aerobics class but despite intitially agreeing to go she then refused. She says I am interfering with her life and making her unhappy, but am just trying to help. She sits in her flat all day and even gets her shopping delivered now. Unless my sister or get her she wont go out.
I have just had a baby and also have a three year old and want her to have an active role in their lives, she says she wants this too, but doesnt seem to be doing anything to help herself. My mother in law is very fit and active and so often takes my daughter to the park or farm, and my mum seems to get jealous about this but whenever I ask her to come with us she refuses saying she wll only hold us up, but she seems to resent me for not asking. I just dont seem to be able to win. I just want her to be happy but she seems determined to make herself miserable. She says that the Drs say she is too overweight for a hip replacement but this seems to be her only hope for a better quality of life.

Sorry for such a long post, but I really am getting stressed and upset about this. Am I just beinging out of order and puttng too much pressure on her, would t be better for me to back off and let her get on with it? Any advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This sounds to me like a classic case of depression. I can empathise greatly with your mum: there is nothing more demoralising and debilitating, both mentally and physically, than constant, ongoing, grinding pain. If she needs to lose weight but cannot move that well, well that is a vicious circle all of its own. Finding the energy to change one's life is not easy - and depending upons one's temperament the more one is badgered the more resistant to change one can be.

    I think all of us on here get into some very low spots from time to time: I do, I am in one at the moment due to a number of circumstances, but self-pity does not play that big a part in my life, it's too boring for me, it's dull for my husband and gets me nowhere. I know that I have to keep trying, keep making an effort as that is the only way I can help myself. Yup, it does all get me down but up until now I have always been able to haul myself out of the trough. This time it could be slightly different however, so once this country returns to work I shall go and see my doc and discuss anti-depressants. That's no big deal as far as I am concerned, as long as I can find one that won't interract too badly with all the other junk I take for my psoriatic arthritis.

    The only person who can effect any sort of change is your mum. You cannot do it for her, neither can anyone else. Arthritis affects everyone in the family - but your mum does seem to be in very low spirits and may well need a well-aimed (but kindly) kick up the backside to jolt her into being more pro-active. She has to be the one to decide that things must change. You cannot do that for her. I wish you both well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • fudgefudge Posts: 78
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello wellsy, I hope you are feeling better at having expressed your feelings - problem shared - and hopefully some help.

    Please don't back off and leave your mum to get on with it, she needs you.
    Your mum must be feeling very down because of the arthritis, and the pain meds she is taking may be making her feel a little sleepy - and she is probably not sleeping properly due to pain.

    Your mum will also have been given a hard time with her weight problem and be feeling upset about this, losing weight to have the op means exercise - and that hurts ! The pool is a great idea, but mum may feel uncomfortable about her size and being seen in a bathing costume, is it a private pool - is a private pool available or a possibility for you? This is something your children could join in with her as well, a good way to have fun time with them at a comfortable speed, parhaps taking a drink and biscuits for the children to have afterwards so as to allow your mum the extra time she will need to get dried and dressed.

    Your mum is still young, 65 is no age at all, I am 60 and I really feel for both of you, and there is no quick easy solution to this situation.

    Your mum is bound to be upset that the childrens other gran can be a part of their lives and she is struggling to find ways to be able to join in.
    Would it be possible to hire a scooter or buy one that can fit in the back of the car so she could join you on trips out to the park? Anything just to help your mum make the first step to being out with her grandchildren would make such a difference to her life - I am sure she is not being miserable on purpose, scared - unhappy - worried about the future and a lot of other self confidence draining issues.

    I have not been much help, I just hope a way can be found to help your mum in a way that she does not see as she is a burden or hinderance to you, she needs to know that it is her company you want, and hopefully as she takes a more active part with her grandchildren, has fun with them, she will be encouraged to do more and thus be getting exercise and losing weight and doing even more.

    You know your mum best - what can you think of that you know she would really enjoy doing, and could do again - no clock watching, or having to be back by - just unhurried time out of the house and enjoying the moment - it's a place to start , I hope you can find it.

    best wishes to all of you
    ..........fudge........
  • dachshunddachshund Posts: 7,570
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wellsy.
    i'm pleased you have come on this forum the people are very kind and helpfull.
    Fudge said about a scoota i have one i cannot walk very far so my scoota takes me out walks with the dog or to the shops
    i leave the scoota outside and walk around the shop and then back home.
    i would be home nearly all the time without it.
    i go to the hydrotherapy pool and in the begining i was worried about getting undressed but when i looked at people they were doing what they had to do and not looking around
    i have now been going there 16 years.
    take care both of you and i wish your mum all the best.
    joan xx
    take care
    joan xx
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,662
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I agree with the others your mum could be suffering from depression, I have OA of the hips back and one knee, I went to the gym for over 20 years and was very fit...till Arthur came to visit...now I cant exercise much my weight has piled on....and yes i do eat healthy...I do think your mum needs to visit her GP and explain everything...I do hope she gets the help she needs...but she will also need your support, I know its not easy when you have young children...I do wish you both well...and please let us know how you get on.
    Love
    Barbara xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • tkachevtkachev Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would say your mum is not lazy but in pain and not jealous but frustrated.I would be too in her position.You need to give her loving support not a lecture. She gets her shopping delivered because she has no choice and probably doesn't want to worry you. Would you be prepared to go shopping with her, she will stop frequently due to the pain and may need to stop and go home soon after starting.
    I speak from experience, with a painful hip, ankle and sometimes knees. I want to go out but know I will not be able to keep up and will spoil the childrens fun.
    As for the blue badge perhaps she feels she won't qualify. Could you make a few phone calls to see if she fits the criteria. Try to sound like you care and not just bossing her.She is in lots of pain and things will be very, very difficult for her.
    She can be involved with the children without having to go out and about.But I can understand her feeling so sad as she feels she is not good enough. Get her to come on the forum and have a chat and make friends as the poor lady seems to bee in an awful place. Give her my love please,

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wellsy

    I wanted to reply to you.

    Your mum is depressed and fed up, having put up with 10years of pain and immobility now to be told she is too overweight for a hip operation. Her esteeem is not good, she cannot do much but is looking after herself getting her shopping delivered to her as she knows you have a busy life, plus an acitve mother in law who seems to fit the bill,whilst she doesnt. She needs to feel cared for and not badgered into going to aqua classes, which you may see as fine, what if she doesnt want to go to somewhere where she feels as if she stands out like a sore thumb? She could go to hydrotherapy if she wants to but thats her choice....She also would walk too if she could, but pain is making that so very hard.
    Im sorry to say it but having read your message over carefully, it seems there are lots of "i's, me and an awful lot of criticism of her in general"....I say it as i see it and really I think you are badgering her and maybe someone else can help her, a friend or someone?
    Re her gp saying she is too overweight, i know how that feels..I was told by gp's and consultant that i was too young (42) and too overweight to have tkr but i found another consultant and am on a diet to lose weight, i hope to get my op next year....Plus it really annoys me, the weight issue when you see people like the actress Pauline Quirke who weighs 18stone and had a hip op a few years ago under the age of 50, think she was about 47...so obviously money talks, to heck with the weihgt rules....


    Elaine
    wellsy wrote:
    Hi,

    I am really struggling with my mother at the moment and am hoping that someone will be able to give me some ideas of how I can help her, or what I should do. She is 65 and has arthrtis in her hips and knees. She has had this for at least 10 years and is on painkilers everyday. She does not have a disabled badge for her car but appears to be barely able to walk a lot of the time. I am finding it really frustrating because it seems to me she is refusing to help herself. She is quite over weight and has been for years, I have asked her countless times to try loosing weight and to start going for walks with me but she never has and now says she cant. I booked her into an aqua aerobics class but despite intitially agreeing to go she then refused. She says I am interfering with her life and making her unhappy, but am just trying to help. She sits in her flat all day and even gets her shopping delivered now. Unless my sister or get her she wont go out.
    I have just had a baby and also have a three year old and want her to have an active role in their lives, she says she wants this too, but doesnt seem to be doing anything to help herself. My mother in law is very fit and active and so often takes my daughter to the park or farm, and my mum seems to get jealous about this but whenever I ask her to come with us she refuses saying she wll only hold us up, but she seems to resent me for not asking. I just dont seem to be able to win. I just want her to be happy but she seems determined to make herself miserable. She says that the Drs say she is too overweight for a hip replacement but this seems to be her only hope for a better quality of life.

    Sorry for such a long post, but I really am getting stressed and upset about this. Am I just beinging out of order and puttng too much pressure on her, would t be better for me to back off and let her get on with it? Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
  • fudgefudge Posts: 78
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again wellsy - just a thought, Collywobble started a thread on Living With Arthritis, many people have posted on this thread, and maybe if you were to have a good read through it you would get a feeling of what your mum is going through, this may help you understand things from your mum's point of view - kinda get some perspective into the impact arthritis has on people's lives - worth a look - for both you an your mum.

    It goes for your thinking process as well :roll: the thread Collywobble started is headed ' Acceptance ' - sorry I failed to put that very important bit of information in earlier :!:

    ........fudge.......
  • wellsywellsy Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.

    I totally agree with the suggestion of depression, I think Mum has been suffering with it for years, probably long before she got arthritis, but unfortunatly she is one of those people who doesnt "believe" in depression. I suffer from anxiety, have ended up on medication, but when I spoke to mum about this and other mental health issues in general her view was that "people should just pull themselves together and get on wth it." So I dont know if I could get her to recognise and get help with this.

    I guess I am a bit off a "fixer" and control freak, and when I cant do this I get frustrated. You explain this much better than me collywobble and I do feel angry and frustrated most of the time, like I am a totally useless daughter if I cant do anything, which I dont seem to be able to.

    The idea of a mobility scooter is great, but again she wont go for this, guess because it means she has to admit what is going on, and she has always been quite good at burying her head in the sand. Again Colywobble you are spot on about her being scared- but how do I get help her over this, I have been trying for years.
    I think a lot of you are right I do lecture her and maybe this comes across wrong, we have had many arguments about it, but I do always tell her I love her and I am doing it because I care, I'd love to not get so annoyed with her, but find it so difficult.

    I have taken her on holiday, made out that I wanted her help to look after my daughter and made a big thing about it being a secret from mother in law so that she would feel proud and specal about being asked, but this backfired when she refused to leave the hotel room most of the time, everything got very stressful.

    I guess I want some tips and advice on how to go about gettng her the help she so obviously needs without taking away her dignty. I do get how much pain she s in and how dfficult things are for her, but also know that if she took the right steps she could be so much better, I just dont know how to get her to see this.
  • ironicironic Posts: 2,386
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wellsy,
    Aw flower you are a good daughter and you will hang on in there. It is like walking on egg shells at times isn’t it? Your poor mum is really going through it and she might feel that is should be her supporting you and is so frustrated that you have sort of changed places at the moment.
    I have been to see my friend’s mum who is going through a different type of problem which has resulted in depression and lack of confidence. She talks to me as an outsider and that way I pick up things that she wouldn’t off thought of in normal family conversations. Just a thought, could you take someone with you so that she could have a general natter with.
    Is there an outside area where you could sit with the children? People do tend to come over and talk when there are children about.
    If she is anything like my dad then she will feel safer at home at the present so take things to her as much as you and your sister can. It is a slow process so you must look after yourself as well.
    Congratulations for the new baby,
    Lv, Ix
  • chris7chris7 Posts: 2,890
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wellsy

    Sorry to read this and no wonder you are feeling a little frazzled and helpless with it at times. Not sure I can add to the advise her but you do have my sympathy. My Dad struggled with arthritis and later Parkinsons which wasn't a good mix so for him a hip replacement wasn't an option. But your mum is still young and they may be options which would help her mobility. Hope you can gently persuade her to see her GP and perhaps go with her. I guessing she wouldn't consider a day centre or lunch club type thing for some company of like minded people, that is if the cuts haven't closed them all? :roll:

    Anyway just wanted to call in and send best wishes and hope you find some solutions to help her. Take care of yourself too please.
    best wishes
    Chris
  • julie47julie47 Posts: 6,142
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi wellsy

    You sound a lovely daughter and I am so sorry that you are having a bad time at the moment , wondering how you can help your mum more.

    You have been given some great advice already so I just want to say I hope things pick up soon, and I send you a big hug ((((()))))

    Take care
    juliepf x
  • skezierskezier Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi wellsy

    You have had a lot of advice here but it sounds to me (possibly wrong) that your mum is struggling big time with acceptance and well its hard to take it all in but equally hard for the people who care as well.

    I wonder if you can get your mum to joint the forum as well? This lot cod really help her and by doing that help you as well cus I think its got to be very hard for you just now?

    I wonder if you could have a word with her doctors? I had once with my mother... its kinda helped as she was having a major breakdown but was also very good at hiding it. Its very hard to be where you are and hopefully some of the advice given will help but I still think your mum is lost inside the diagnosis..... sometimes that can happen.

    Please keep in touch cus what we can do here is help you too. Its not easy being a carer and its not something that's easy to watch either. I hope things will become a bit easier for you both. Nice to meet you Cris x
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