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Mom and Her Secret

Mom in DisneyLand

Mom in DisneyLand

I received a call from my Aunt Susie on Saturday regarding my mom and some medical issues she is having and has yet to tell me or my brothers about.

In the past she had both knees replaced. The right one was replaced twice because she did a lot of damage to it when she twisted it stepping up onto a curb six months after the first replacement. We know that over the past 18 months she has fallen–once when walking Taffy once and another time in her kitchen. But we were never told of any damage to the knee(s).

Okay, back to the call from Aunt Susie.

Apparently Mom tells her way more about her spills then she does us boys. Susie wanted to make sure I knew that Mom mentioned that she has the better relationship with me but she still has kept several medical issues a secret from me as well as several (three to four) more spills.

Apparently, Mom took another spill and really messed up her knee this time. Because this is the third time she has to go see a knee specialist, a normal knee doctor or the doctor who has taken care of her and did her other surgeries will not do. Come to find out she has an appointment with said specialist yesterday; when exactly I do not know. Mom was here recently for our family’s September’s birthday party and looked in pain but of course she denied it. It was noticeable that her knee was giving her trouble, again she denied.

On Saturday afternoon I called her and asked if she wanted to go get coffee. She said she was waiting for Susie to arrive so they could go to church. We spoke for about 15 minutes and she then said that Susie had just pulled up and she needed to run. Not 30 minutes later, Susie called. I asked her if she just dropped mom off or what? She asked what I was talking about. I explained myself and her response floored me. Basically it was, “What are you talking about, me and mom don’t have church today.” WHAT? This is when she disclosed the issue of the knee, Mom’s relationship with me and more. Susie at time is manic and then switches into depression so I take about 4/5′s of what is said with a grain of salt.

My questions now are:

1) Did Mom have a General Practitioner (GP) appointment yesterday (10/7) or does she have a knee specialist appointment?

2) Should she be driving (Issue One)? The bad knee is the right one which controls the gas and brake.

3) Does she need surgery? If so, what is her recovery time?

4) Why is Mom hiding her medical issues from us? Does she thing we don’t need to know?

5) What other issues has she been keeping from us that we should know about?

There are other questions I’m sure if I took the time to go through my head and pull them out. This is so frustrating because I thought our (Mom and me) relationship was closer than this. I understand she may feel like she is being a burden or stepping on our time, but she should also know that we would rather have her make it to the hospital, safe and not in dire pain from driving to the hospital with a damaged knee.

Alright I’ll say it, I just want her to make it to the hospital.  

The car she drives was new-used and had “NO” damage when she purchased it three years ago. Now there is not one quarter panel, hood, trunk lid or other that does not have a dent, ding, kick, scrape or rock chip in it. You could say it looks as if it went through a demolition derby. The explanation for the doors are some one must have opened their doors to quick in the parking lot causing the 2 1/2-in. indentation on both back doors. The front doors were scrapped when someone pulled into the spots next to her and took the tight turn too quick and scraped her.

I know the car is her independence but how do you help someone who won’t tell you when they are in need of help? How do you explain to a 70-year-old with no mental issues, she’s 100% there, that her medical issues are serious and need to be addressed when they happen and not when she decides to tell you, which is usually the day before and then it is an issue?

I’ll just keep trying. For now it is the best I can do.  / : ^{ ) > Namaste’

About Richard

Avatar of Richard
My name is Richard (@kreisr1), I am a Tri-Fecta caregiver, for my mother who has COPD among other health issues. I co-care for my brother in-law who has epilepsy and co-care with my wife's for myself, I deal with Chronic Back Pain. entire life and now after living alone, in a care facility and a group home setting we had to move him in with us to provide him with the care he needs.  Finally, with my wife who is also my co-caregiver I care for myself, I have had chronic pain (mid-low back) for 21-1/2 years thanks to a drunk driver.  I write my own blog, pickyourpain.org where I share my pain with humor, as I see thing, "Pain Without Humor is Just Painful."  I am involved with caregiving.com in several ways, as well as participating in several of the weekly caregiving.com blogs, I also am involved in their Twitter chats, I also host the following groups, SPOT (Stamp Procrastination Out Today), A Task A Day, The Men's Group, Healthy Caregiver and several others.  I am also the moderator for the Caregiving.com Quiz Show and have a seat on the bi-monthly Hot Topic's show. I'm here to not only improve Roberts life, the lives of those I touch on caregiving.com and pickyourpain.org but to find a way to improve my own live.

3 comments

  1. Avatar of EllysGdaughter

    Oh My Richard! Just what you needed to hear! I am so sorry your Mom has chosen to hide these things. My Grandma thinks the same way, that she doesn’t want to be a burden, stoic about pain, and can’t admit to any kind of infirmity. I would think, by the condition of the car alone, that it is time to discuss tdriving issues at the next doctor appointment – let them be the “bad” guy! More importantly, you want the best for your mom! Go for it! She may get very mad at you. On the other hand, she could end up hurting someone else and be in worse shape. Prayers in progress for your conversation with her!

  2. Avatar of Pegi

    Richard, this must have been quite a shock. My Mother was doing the same thing, hiding falls and problems from my sister who she lived with! I know you may feel like she’s excluding you, but she’s more than likely trying to protect your especially with all you’ve been through lately. Once we discovered that Mama would confide some of her incidents with me, I would just make a point of calling the other nearby sister and making sure someone knew. As far as the driving goes, I’m with EllysGD; I had the doctor do the dirty work when it got to the point my husband was on so many meds it wasn’t safe for him to drive. Hope you get to the bottom of your Mom’s issues; not only for her sake but your peace of mind. Sending prayers and positive vibes.

  3. Avatar of Thedogmama

    Richard, it is so hard for a parent to share unsettling news with their children. They don’t want to burden us with their problems but don’t seem to realize that the burden becomes so much worse when there is a crisis and they are the cause. I tried so often long distance to say to Mom and Dad, let me know what is going on, I would rather know now, not later when it becomes a bigger problem. It frequently fell on deaf ears. As for the car, that’s tough. That independence is so important to our parents. I can remember my Dad, who was blind in his right eye and had central vision loss in the left due to wet macular degeneration, asking the doctor about his driving. OMG is he kidding? I thought. No, he wasn’t. Fortunately the doc squelched that notion, but I know if he hadn’t, Dad would have tried driving the car. It is something that needs to be brought up, but hopefully the doc could be the bad guy, even if only temporarily because of the new issues with her right knee. Good luck, I hope you get to accompany her to the docs to get the low down. Fingers crossed for you in this tough situation.

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