Son has given up!!

Lukey18 Member Posts: 2
edited 4. Sep 2019, 05:17 in Living with arthritis
My lad has had arthritis since the age of 3. He spent most of his childhood n and out of hospital for prednisolone infusions/cyst removals/physio/plasma transplant - he nearly died on that one...
To cut a long story short he perked up a bit at about the age of 16, managed to get out a bit with his friends and seemed to have turned a corner. It didn’t last...
He’s now 18 and took to his bed 3 months ago after an evening out and a bad back set in. He’s now moody and reserved and won’t make any effort to do anything for himself, I take him his meals and make sure he washes but he doesn’t go out or even down the stairs anymore, won’t see the doctor - his reply is what’s the point they can’t do anything. His arthritis from a medical point of view is under control with his CRP low and little swelling but his back has seized up on him completely and he won’t even consider trying anything to help.
I really don’t know what to do for the best now? Yes he has been through sooooo much in his legs but he still has a future to live and I can’t see it happening anytime soon. Any suggestions? I’ve contacted his consultant but she’s not exactly very helpful.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I really feel for you here, my son has had ME since he was 7, he had bouts of remission, a few years a couple of times and he, like Luke struggled, and I was at my wits end.

    Depression can set in over things much smaller than our boys have. I haven’t the answers, but we kept talking, I explained I needed to understand, I made an appointment with our GP and got him to come. We considered having a gap year (at 17) while he got himself together and I persuaded him to learn to drive (ok not that difficult) but good for self esteem and keeping in touch. Has he a good friend you can enrol to help? Games or movies and pizza?

    Get your son to get up for tea (dinner?) with the family maybe a sofa night so he doesn’t have to talk much.

    It is hard, keep working on it, tell him you are worn out running up and down each day so for one meal he must come down

    Whatever you do it will be the best thing for Luke, you know him best, come here for ideas and to offload after a bad day and for some distraction for you, to keep you sane.

    Take care
    Yvonne x

    If you can work out how to tell a teenager to pace himself let me know, or is this how it all started?
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As the mother of two adult sons, both of whom gave me some headaches when they were teenagers, I really feel for you. Also, as someone who spent quite a lot of time off school due to asthma, I understand how hard it is to integrate with one's peers when the relationships are on and off.

    It sounds as if your poor lad got on some meds that really worked, thought his chance to 'be normal' had come, and then.......well, we don't know what happened next, do we? Did he attempt something stupid (like all teenagers do) which sent his back into spasm? Or, did something just go wrong and scare him into taking to his bed? (I would imagine that's the last thing a bad back needs.)

    He has problems, caused by the arthritis, but now in the realms of mental health. It doesn't help that, at 18, he's now an adult so you can't insist on him seeing a doc. You probably feel, as I would, that, by taking him his meals and making him wash, you are being complicit in his destructive behaviour. If he'd had a more normal childhood, you might be having a dreadful dialogue with yourself wondering if you should kick him out. But that would take more guts than I would have in your situation.

    It's a really difficult one. Does he work? Is he a student? How much self-reliance and independence does he have?

    Grace111's suggestion of 'Arthur's Place' might help. But, if this behaviour has been going on for three months I think, frankly, we're talking mental health issues and he needs help in that direction. Maybe counselling. Possibly (and please don't take this the wrong way) counselling for all the family. He has been 'the sick one' for all his life. If he's going to make the transition to relatively healthy then maybe everyone needs help to facilitate that. But this is pure speculation on my part. I have no medical knowledge at all other than what arthritis, and life, have taught me.

    Your GP might be able to offer some advice though it will be limited because I assume there's no way your son would go. Another valuable resource is The Samaritans. They would know (I think) what help is available, and available in your own area. That might be a start.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright