Where do you draw the line?

ouchpotato
ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
edited 7. Aug 2013, 04:30 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello everyone

I've been suffering badly with pain and fatigue - first rheumy apt tomorrow so hopefully some answers soon. Some days I can hardly walk, other days not quite so bad but always pain is present. I'm a single mum of 3.

I've had my mum up to stay for a week; she's in her 80s and usually pretty sprightly (far more than me haha) but she's very ill. She was only supposed to stay for 2 days but was too ill to leave so stayed a week. She cannot eat or drink, constantly vomiting, severe abdominal pain. It's not a bug as she was in hospital over new year with the same thing, and has been ill with it since (unknown to me as we don't see each other that often and she never told me). She has also twice vomited black liquid (blood?) She refused to let me take her to my doctor or hospital while she was here.

My relationship with my boyfriend has been very strained and was coming to an end. There were issues which I won't go into here but he was actually quite abusive under the guise of loving me too much if that makes sense? Pretty hard to explain without details, but there was violence. He knew I was about to end it. Then last week, while my mum was up here, he had an accident. He has had to have numerous scans of his brain etc...he has permanent double vision at the moment, on crutches, told he may need eye surgery, may have to give up driving etc...

So...what do I do? I am ill myself, worried sick about my mum (I lost my dad to bowel cancer with similar symptoms), and now I feel guilty because I should be looking after a boyfriend who I was about to end it with. On top of that I have my yearly check up for cervical cancer (I had it 2 years ago) coming up and am worried about that too.

If the relationship had been good, I wouldn't hesitate, but he is controlling, passive aggressive, and potentially dangerous due to the company he keeps (damn it, I wish there was a private forum so I could give details!), and as I said has been violent (he doesn't recognise it as such but he made me black out).

How thinly can I spread myself? I'm exhausted.

Opinions needed.

x
«13

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,917
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ouchpotato, if you don't mind my saying so, I really think that's the wrong question. Possibly, because of the exhaustion and pain, you can't see the wood for the trees.

    There are two people here who are giving you just cause for concern. Your mother is clearly seriously ill. Persistent vomiting should always be investigated, even when there is no blood, and my uneducated guess is that, in your mother's case, there is. What was the diagnosis when she was in hospital? Is she taking medication either for it or, indeed, some that might be a potential cause or aggravation? She may be perfectly aware of what's wrong but unwilling to tell you. But, by accepting all this at face value, you are giving the impression that all this vomiting and lack of eating and drinking is perfectly acceptable. It's not. Particularly in this heatwave she absolutely must drink. No matter how difficult you may find it, please sit her down for a gentle-but-firm talk. She needs medical help.

    Secondly, your 'boyfriend. It doesn't matter how tough life is for him right now or whether or not you'd intended to finish the relationship. He's violent, aggressive and potentially dangerous. You have young children about. For me, it's a no-brainer.

    So, in answer to your question, it's not about spreading yourself, thickly or thinly. It's about protecting your children, your mother and yourself. Please, just take a deep breath and do it.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I concur with Sticky. It sounds as though your mother has returned home? If so, are there any other family members who could be asked to have a word with her about this? I suspect she may be frightened of finding out what is going on - some people prefer to live in ignorance whilst causing a deal of worry to their nearest and dearest.

    As for the boyfriend, well, he's a big boy now. He has shown an utter lack of respect towards you, your children and the relationship so now it's time to let him stew in his own festering juices. I hope you will steer well clear, ouchpotato, there is nothing to be gained for you in furthering this destructive relationship. Emotional blackmail is hard to ignore and repel but that is what he will no doubt try to employ. His sort always do.

    Good luck for tomorrow, please let us know how you get on, yes? DD
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou so much, you have no idea how much that means to me to hear it from 'strangers'.

    Ok...firstly my mum. I have sat down with her and told her how serious it could be, and that she needs to go back to the hospital, or at least the GP. She has promised she would call them today. They weren't sure in the hospital, said it might be gallstones - then gastroenteritis. She was discharged and given nothing and no follow up. She suffers badly from 'white coat syndrome', so for her to go to hospital in the first place was incredible. I bought her many things to try and get her to eat and drink when she was here, but she would try a mouthful and then refuse, and then be sick although there was nothing to bring up. She is also seriously constipated and I even bought her syrup of figs which she left here without taking. She has been taking nurofen which I have told her to stop taking in case they are causing gastritis. My brother now knows how bad she is (he was the one who got her to go to hospital before) and he lives very close to her so he will make sure she is looked after.

    Ok...as for the relationship. you are so right, I can't see the wood for the trees, or at least not very clearly! he is lovely to me in some ways, but the other ways completely overshadow and void out the good. Pretty manipulative really. I haven't seen him since before the accident, and I feel so heartless, but I know I'm doing the right thing. It was dead in the water before the accident so I'd be staying out of pity and guilt. Not healthy is it?

    My apt is at 11 tomorrow so will let you all know.

    x
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I totally agree with Sticky and DD ouchpotato, I think mums have a great perception of how things are with their children even from afar, I think your mum maybe knows what the problem is but knows you have enough on your plate and doesn't want to worry you.

    I think at the moment it is time for you to think of yourself for a change and I am hoping the house you live in is in your name. Is there a family member living near your mum that can hopefully coax her to go back to the doctors, as for your boyfriend I am like Sticky to me it's a no brainer.

    I hope you get on all right tomorrow please let us know how you get on...............tc.....................Marie xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hon, you are right in the middle of it all so yes, the outside view can be useful. 'lovely in some ways' is hardly a ringing endorsement of the value of you to him, is it? You haven't seen him and you don't need to see him. Be brave - it won't be easy but it has to be better for you and your children.

    As for mum, I am glad that your brother is going to be more involved and I hope that she will be helped soon. DD
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankfully the house is in my sole name. He did move in with us briefly but wouldn't pay anything towards rent/food/bills etc so I asked him to leave. We have no ties together.
    Incidentally, since we've been together he wouldn't 'let' me get my hair cut, not even trimmed. So on Tuesday I went to the hairdresser and went from shoulder length to pixie crop! Peeeerfect for this hot weather! :D
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hey Ouch
    Your relationship sounds frighteningly like one I left. There were no children involved but lots of emotional abuse and a bit too much physical abuse too. Took me a long time to work up the guts to go because, like your situation, there was a lot of 'he can be nice'. Equally being made to feel he loved me maybe a bit too much when in actual fact, he loved him too much and I was a convenient way for him to feel good (and better than me). Quite a lot of stuff about how arthritis was an issue and I needed him/wouldn't get a better deal. I didn't need him and I did get a better deal! I now have two babies and so often have thought 'thank goodness I'm not doing this with him' because it would be harder and they would see and learn from his behaviour. You've worked out you are better off without him, you are. You are not a bad person staying away, you are just wise!! I had lots of 'I'll kill myself' which I ignored (callous maybe but not my problem as how accident isn't yours) followed by threats which, in the end I offered to transcribe and stick on his office door. He stopped! My friend told me I needed to look after number one before I looked after anybody else so I finally took that advice and found with a bit of headspace I could manage my arthritis far better, make clearer decisions and all around feel happier...I can only pass that on to you and hope that you find that too. Big fat well done getting away and I think you're really brave posting about it. I never was that brave and had I been then maybe I wouldn't have stayed til the bitter and rather dramatic end because I'd have seen the wood for the trees sooner!
    Run free. Love LV xx

    PS good luck with your mum...if she's like mine then the fear feeds the stubbornness and trying to help her can be very tricky
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ye gods. You so don't need him, your children do not need to witness that kind of behaviour and thank heavens he won't be able to take anything more from you. DD
  • 19smp59
    19smp59 Member Posts: 105
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there, you have been given some brilliant advice here so not much more to add. Just the comment about your hair, oh what a controlling man, you are far better out of that relationship, My daughter was in a relationship for over five years with a man who hated her having her hair cut and called her awful names when she had it cut short. She is now with a lovely man and much happier.
    Being a single parent is very difficult even without being ill, I know from experience.
    Good luck with your appointment, best wishes.

    Suzanne x
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Can I just date all of you instead?

    I wish I could put more details on here but I won't, as it's a public forum. I also had the feeling he was trying to make me more 'disabled' than I actually am if that makes sense? He wanted me in a mobility scooter even though most days I can walk perfectly well with a stick, and some days without one! But he said if I am on a scooter I had to wear glamorous dresses, low cut, fully made up, heels etc. It was ridiculous. I did buy myself a self propel wheelchair so that on long days out when my back and hips give out I can still spend the time with the kids, but he even went mad that I went and bought it without him in tow, as if I was not allowed to do anything or make any decisions alone.

    I'm going to have to make it very clear to him aren't I, and then just let the dust settle.

    x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We don't need details - this is your very private business and it should stay that way. Is he contacting you at the moment? DD
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yep I had that strange thing of you will get more disabled, you'll have to look like a doll when you do! I spent nearly a fortnight eating the same mushroom dish as it had been banned. I still cook and eat it with perhaps too much relish! You will have to be firm and be ready to have to repeat your message more times than you would expect to. I wrote quite a few dear John letters, the last being a bit brutal. I got my dad to read it and given what he'd seen me go through, he felt it was on the brutal side (but that I should send it anyway). With aggressive types it can take a while for that dust to settle. We're all here to support you while it does. Not sure on the dating though, I'm not at my best at the mo, my make up generally consisting of undiscovered baby sick. Take care and keep cutting that hair how you want it xx
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There isn't anything to add really, but I just wanted to say be brave-you are strong and special and so worth fighting for!!!!!! No doubt he'll try all kinds of mind tricks-but he deserves no head space, controlling bullies need to be shown the door then forgotten (my own lovely sister took 25 years of marriage to find the courage to walk away from an abusive bully, and it was sometimes tough going, but she is happier now than she has ever been- so please be encouraged that there is a better place and a better way to be living).

    Hope all goes well with your medical check up- take care.

    Deb xx
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The only way I can maybe help is to send these (((((()))))) .Mig
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ouch, so glad to see that you are starting to think a bit more clearly, I too had an abusive partner................but...........I am the lucky one there were no children involved, not by me anyway. I was lucky I got away slightly unscathed. As for us lot on here we are here to support, care and try and understand your needs to help you through your trials and tribulations...................chin up all your friends are behind you.............Marie xx
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Marie, luckily I don't have children with him (although he pushed for it very early on...luckily I had other ideas); my children are from my previous marriage and the older two in particular don't want me with him anymore.

    On another note I had a text from my mum to say she has vomited black stuff again. Had she done that when she was here I would have dragged her to hospital, but I am now too far away to do that. It's very worrying.

    *sigh* My car also broke down today when I was at Tesco. I had my youngest with me as she had diarrhoea and school has a 48 hour exclusion rule. There I was, in searing heat, rapidly defrosting food in the boot and a car that wouldn't start. Luckily I know a bit about cars and after about 20 minutes of having my hands inside the bonnet I got it going (loose connection in the starter motor) but it did my hands no good at all!

    Aaargghhh....all I seem to be doing is moaning lately.

    Sorry

    x
  • SwankyChris
    SwankyChris Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ouchpotato wrote:
    Hello everyone

    I've been suffering badly with pain and fatigue - first rheumy apt tomorrow so hopefully some answers soon. Some days I can hardly walk, other days not quite so bad but always pain is present. I'm a single mum of 3.

    I've had my mum up to stay for a week; she's in her 80s and usually pretty sprightly (far more than me haha) but she's very ill. She was only supposed to stay for 2 days but was too ill to leave so stayed a week. She cannot eat or drink, constantly vomiting, severe abdominal pain. It's not a bug as she was in hospital over new year with the same thing, and has been ill with it since (unknown to me as we don't see each other that often and she never told me). She has also twice vomited black liquid (blood?) She refused to let me take her to my doctor or hospital while she was here.

    My relationship with my boyfriend has been very strained and was coming to an end. There were issues which I won't go into here but he was actually quite abusive under the guise of loving me too much if that makes sense? Pretty hard to explain without details, but there was violence. He knew I was about to end it. Then last week, while my mum was up here, he had an accident. He has had to have numerous scans of his brain etc...he has permanent double vision at the moment, on crutches, told he may need eye surgery, may have to give up driving etc...

    So...what do I do? I am ill myself, worried sick about my mum (I lost my dad to bowel cancer with similar symptoms), and now I feel guilty because I should be looking after a boyfriend who I was about to end it with. On top of that I have my yearly check up for cervical cancer (I had it 2 years ago) coming up and am worried about that too.

    If the relationship had been good, I wouldn't hesitate, but he is controlling, passive aggressive, and potentially dangerous due to the company he keeps (damn it, I wish there was a private forum so I could give details!), and as I said has been violent (he doesn't recognise it as such but he made me black out).

    How thinly can I spread myself? I'm exhausted.

    Opinions needed.

    x

    I'm a Man myself and that behavior is totally unacceptable. My wife is very ill and i have to let my business sacrifice in order to help her as much as I do. Just to show some contrast here. There are plenty of nice chaps out there who deserve a nice Woman like you. It's never acceptable to be Violent to a person, especially the one you love (apparently).

    Find someone who not only loves you but supports you and makes life easier - NOT HARDER!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You fixed your car. I am speechless with admiration.

    I don't know what to say about your mum so I'll say nowt apart from don't get involved with the guilt game: my Ma was a pro in that particular sport.

    You are doing OK and will do more than OK once you get rid. I wouldn't have a clue if Daisy broke down so would have to resort to the eyelash-fluttering-helpless-disabled-blonde thing. Yup. DD

    PS We're here, OK? We care.
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD, don't be too impressed, my knowledge is only borne of having too many old cars which have needed much work done on them and I was always nosy when they were being fixed!!! I have to say it is satisfying when it roars back to life though and I've not had to ask for help!
    I have just text my brother (who I have had a strained relationship with for a while now) to make sure he knew what was going on. I got a really crappy answer from him saying 'perhaps you should think about coming down for a few days to look after her as I'm busy'.

    SwankyChris...thankyou for your reply too, it helps more than you know to hear it from both sides. In spite of having been in too many bad relationships I know there are lots of good men around, so I always live in hope.

    DD, how did you pick up on the guilt thing? It's been a massive feature in my life since childhood and to be honest I think it is at least partly responsible for me putting up with the c**p I do in other relationships.

    x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,917
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ouchpotato - I apologise. I had misread your original post and thought your mother was still with you. I think it's vital that someone gets her to a doc quickly but I don't see how that can be you. I suspect the neurofen is at least contributing to her problems. As for your 'ex' - you are well rid of him.

    swankychris - I don't think we've 'met'. Welcome to the forum :)
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Nothing more to be said....you have had such brilliant advice from the others
    Just sending you loads of ((((()))))

    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello ouch, I apologise for not being around today but times are stressful. I will answer you via PM but probably not until later on this week-end. Take care and stay strong. DD
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello everyone, and thanks for the continued support.

    Well, I had my rheumatology apt today, and the consultant is just as rude as I remember her from when I took my daughter to see her. She would continuously ask questions and then not listen to the answer, talking over me all the time. She kept going on about me having been hypermobile when I was a child (I wasn't) and that I had obviously done damage by 'showing off' to friends by doing backward flips (I didn't). The only double joints I had in my body were in my thumbs! She barely touched my back which is the main source of pain, but pulled and twisted my elbow which is also painful, every which way and now it hurts like hell.

    Her conclusion is that I have a prolapsed disc, 'wear and tear' in my spine and thumbs and just keep popping cocodamol.

    I then had to go and have blood tests, x rays and have been referred for an MRI but that will take a few weeks she said. I then have to go back on 1 November. Fortunately I am booked in to see a different consultant, who I have met several times with my daughter and she is lovely so I'm happy about that.

    So in conclusion, I know nothing more than I did before I went, but I do not believe I have a prolapsed disc, or if I do it is not the only thing wrong. She asked if I suffer from psoriasis, and I started to tell her that I believe I do on my foot and nails but she dismissed it out of hand, wouldn't even look. Oh, and she said the joint on my little finger that is turning in and is incredibly painful is a heberdens node. I'm not sure how all of this can be diagnosed without blood test results or xray/mri results though?

    Anyhoo, glad to be back home, it was sweltering in the hospital.

    Hope you are all well

    x
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Hello ouch, I apologise for not being around today but times are stressful. I will answer you via PM but probably not until later on this week-end. Take care and stay strong. DD

    DD, you have nothing to apologise for! You have more than enough to contend with yourself. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Take care.
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ouch
    I seem to have missed this post
    I am so sorry you are having such a bad bad time it won't help with your Arthur
    I agree with everyone on here they have offered great support and advice
    If you want to pm me anytime feel free I probably won't have any answers but I'm a good listener
    I really would urge your mum to go to the doctors maybe your brother can natter her as it could be quite serious
    As for the man in question you have done the right thing
    As for your consultant! The stupid woman! It might help if you can't act PALs at the hospital I'm sure they will be able to help
    Or the helpline team here
    Just remember you always have us
    Be kind to yourself
    Oh I'm glad you went and got your hair cut it does you the world of good
    Maria

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