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Dad and illness

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:25 pm
by paul_1607
One thing I've noticed over the past few months is that Dad does not deal with illness very well at all.

Even a cold and he thinks hes dying. In the past, hes called 999, called the GP out numerous times and 99% of the time theres been little they can do. He just seems to struggle with the concept that, at times, there is little the medical profession can do for him. Hes got arthritis, his knees are bad - but hes not too bad for 83.

But, if he gets a cold, its the end of the world. One day he can be fine, and easygoing, next day if he feels a bit rough he demands the world pretty much. No amount of telling him - from either me or the GP will work.

In the past, he had a chest infection, this graduated to not being able to swallow. In the end, I lost track. It changed on a day to day basis.~Numerous times ambulance staff, GPs etc refuses to admit him to hospital which he thought they should have.

He gets better and hes back to normal. Until he feels slightly ill again and the world is collapsing.

Hes had a cold recently (to be honest it was a very mild cold too!) and he was going to call 999 because his hearing was affected because he was blocked up! GP gave him antibiotics (annoyed at them because they just validate the idea in his head that hes REALLY ill).

At the moment he won't leave the house because hes blocked up (i.e. end of a cold) and thinks hes at risk from pneumonia if he goes out. And he wont go out if hes taking anti-biotics....

Anyone else got a parent like this? Is this normal behaviour?

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:30 pm
by helena_1512
It sounds as if he is lonely and it is 'attention seeking' but given his age then it is hard not to worry just in case it is genuine. All you can do is write to his GP - actually all the calls will be logged. He maybe bored lonely and 'making a mountain out of a molehill' or it could be dementia? Not sure it is your responsibility to be honest - let the NHS deal with him as they think appropriate? .

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:38 pm
by jenny lucas
No, it's not normal at all, is it?!!!!

As Helena says, it could well be attention seeking - especially since he can do it in order to get your to rush around (as you have described so many times, sigh, to your intense frustration).

I would say that you can judge for yourself whether it's 'real' or not, ie, actually warrants medical attention. But it also sounds like the NHS is finally fly to him, and refuse to 'cooperate'.

I honestly don't think there is anything you can do about it, or should do, as any 'solution' will just involve you pandering to it, or inconvencienting yourself more than you already do 'for nothing'.

Some folk are hypochondriac, and clearly get a degree of perverse pleasure out of being ill, so I would leave him to it.

Your wife is a nurse - what does she think (if it's printable!!!!!??)

I would try not to let it get to you. No point. Nothing will stop it. People who are 'paranoid' cannot be convinced by reason or 'sense'. He sees the world through his own distorting lenses, and that is all there is to it. I know that can be frustrating to a logically-minded IT chappie like you, but such is the frailty of the human brain, as oppose to the calm, orderly logic of the programmable machine.... :)

(That said, remember Marvin the Depressed Android in Hitchiker's Guide?? One of the most irritating characters ever devised in fiction!)

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:00 am
by paul_1607
Ha ha thanks Jennie and Helena....

Yes, he is getting worse as well. He always seemed to have this idea, even years ago, that if you were ill you went to the GP, they gave you tablets, then you were sorted. I remember, in the past, having a cold and him constantly nagging me telling me to go to the doc!

To be honest, the last six months have included, 3 visits to A&E via ambulance where each time they checked him over and then sent him home. 2 Paramedics who showed up, checked him over and told him he didn't need to go to hospital. Last ambulance call he was well perturbed because they didn't turn up for 8 hours - I wonder why!

Various GP visits and GP house calls. (Remember he lives a mile away from surgery but point blank refuses to get taxi insisting the GP "does'nt mind coming out"). Many many prescription for anti-biotics which he doesnt need (GPs fault here). Last GP house call request they did actually speak to him and refuse to come out.

I know these days with the NHS, they tend to err on the safe side. If someone is ill, they whip them into hospital to pass the buck a bit. I think its safe to say that if 10-15 professionals say hes ok, he is OK!

His latest illness is cracking. Phoned me and sounded like he was dying. Of course, I visit (I was going anyway!) and, after about 5 minutes, he forgets and it becomes apparent that this is nothing but a slight cold.

Yes, wife is not popular with Dad. In his mind, she should be fawning over him, looking after him etc. But she won't and I don't blame her. Jennie - you're right. She visits VERY ill people at home every day, so she knows damn well that there is nothing wrong with Dad apart from being ill. So her description of his issues usually involved swear words!

As as IT person you're right. If you're ill you go the GP and deal with it. End of. I think I'm world expert on Shoulder/neck problems now lol.

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:36 pm
by paul_1607
At the moment, it seems a constant battle with him trying it on....

Spoke to him today. Hes called the GP to his house again and they've given him more anti-biotics. Aaarghhh. He seems to think hes got "Fluid on the lungs" which to be honest, he seems to have got from somewhere. MAde it up I think.

Anyway, asked me if I was coming up this weekend. I've got a lot on at the moment at home (long story problems with teenage son etc) and I could do without it at the moment.

His answer -"well cant you make a big effort". My answer "I'll see". His reply "Well I need you to try because I need shopping and I cant walk up and down the hill". Shopping is one of his scams - when I do for him he asks me to get like £10 worth because he knows it'll run out and he can use it against me. I always buy more. Another scam is he likes the microwave meals from Morrisions - theres one near me but not one anywhere near him. So of course he asks me to get. 4 for £5 - last time I got 8 and he moaned that he didnt need that many. They are frozen mind and hes got a big chest freezer about 1/4 full.

Guess whos going to find a home shopping delivery from Morrisons on his doorstep (they do deliver to him).

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:42 am
by jenny lucas
Home shopping definitely!

But it will only change to something else, because what is really going on is he wants you dancing attendance on him and paying him attention.

I think that's why YOU have to decide just how much time you are prepared to spend on him, and then, say, come up with a figure in hours/days over a period of, say, a month.

And then allocate, or ration, that time. it doesn't really matter how it apportions - eg, one whole day, or four two hour blocks etc, (and of course include your own journey time in that allocation!) - only that you don't exceed it.

So if he's used up his allocated time, well, that's that. Tough on him.

Remember, he is tunnel visioned on himself. He is all that exists now, and that's why it's up to YOU to call the shots on how much time you are prepared to offer him.

And just say 'no, dad, I can't do that' and not explain why. Don't get into 'discussions' or 'justifications' or 'explanations', just say no, and change the subject, and if he persists, hang up or leave.

I know it can seem mean but truly ,Paul, your father is not 'in his right mind', is he? His behaviour is completely 'out of order' compared with a 'normal' human being, and that is the reason YOU have to 'manage him' - as in, accept you will never get a 'reasonable' reply from him or any 'reasonable' behaviour from him.

remember too, that if you spend DOUBLE the time you currently spend on him, if you spent TRIPLE, hell, if you moved in with him and spent 24x7 on him and with him HE WOULD NOT BE SATISFIED.

His needs/wants are ENDLESS. They are bottomless! He would just go on and on at you for 'something else' ven if you lived with him.

That's why I say he is 'irrational'.....there is NO 'satisfying' him.

I'm not saying he's doing this with 'malign deliberate intent' - he's the 'slave' of his own irrationality etc, but he CANNOT be allowed to 'leverage it' over you.

So, that's why I say, work out, with your wife, just how much time you can give him, without adversely affecting your own life or uprating his priority above your own wife/children (eg, teenage son defo takes priority right now!), and then stick to it.

Will your dad be happy? No, of course not. But Paul, he will NEVER be happy. That's what you have to understand. Nothing 'outside' can make him happy - and if you satisfy one 'want'/'need' - eg, you go over to him instead of spending the time on your son - he will simply move on to something else.....

I do get the feeling from all the intense frustration that comes through all your posts (!), that you find it hard in your own mind to accept his irrationality. I feel you keep hoping against hope that if YOU behave rationally, then HE will to.

he won't. he can't. he doesn't want to.

So, he's taken his choice of behaviour (at some level of his mind), and has to take the consequences.


As for the NHS - let them react in whatever way they do now. Not your problem. He won't be happy about it anyway.

All the best, and have a weekend focussed on your son's needs right now.

Cheers, Jenny

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 pm
by paul_1607
Thanks Jenny. I think you're right - its almost as if in his world no-one else matter at all apart from him. He has zero consideration for anyone else at all. In his mind, he needs me to do things for him and everyone else has got to put up with it.

His favourite phrases are "there'll be other xmases". And this week when I said I probably couldnt visit his answer "well you need to make a big effort for me".

You're right when you say his behaviour is not normal. I can understand how he feels frightened sometimes when hes ill but I can't see sometimes how he doesnt realise what hes doing to me. Does he not realise or not care? I dont know.

Yes I do find it difficult to understand how he can be like this. I also find it difficult to understand how he doesn't see that I'm trying to help him and he makes it awkward.

Yes, the GP thing. I've tried to explain to him that the GP surgery is going to "ban" him - in the past they stopped coming out. But he hasn't listened. I told him to get a taxi down there if he was worried because that would be less of an issue for the GP - he refused to do this. Trouble is when the GP comes to his house, gives him medication etc, tells him hes got something wrong when he hasn't (and he always gets it backwards anyway) then it validates it. Makes his demands worse...

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:30 pm
by Colin_1705
Will we ourselves be like that one day? :-???

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:33 am
by paul_1607
Colin_1705 wrote:Will we ourselves be like that one day? :-???
I hope not Colin.

Please don't fall into the old stereotype of "Poor elderly parent - his kids don't want to know him". Or that old rubbish about "Well he brought you up so he needs you now".

Please read some of the threads on here about what hes done to me.

I'm sure most people, me included are full of compassion and love for their elderly parents. BUT, compassion only goes so far, practicalities come into it. Its especially difficult if you've got others who rely on you too.

I've got a wife with a long term illness, young children, I've recently had health issues myself. I just cannot devote 100% of my energy to my Dad. I'll do my best for him but its never enough. But he doesn't care.

I can safely say that if I did every single thing my Dad wanted me to do for him, I'd be divorced, and/or in hospital myself. Without a doubt...

There is a MASSIVE difference between someone who can't be bothered to visit an elderly parents to help them and someone whos got an elderly parent they do they're best for but whos attitude is "I come first, everyone else will have to manage". He said that in the past BTW.

Re: Dad and illness

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:39 am
by paul_1607
jenny lucas wrote:Home shopping definitely!

But it will only change to something else, because what is really going on is he wants you dancing attendance on him and paying him attention.

I think that's why YOU have to decide just how much time you are prepared to spend on him, and then, say, come up with a figure in hours/days over a period of, say, a month.

And then allocate, or ration, that time. it doesn't really matter how it apportions - eg, one whole day, or four two hour blocks etc, (and of course include your own journey time in that allocation!) - only that you don't exceed it.

So if he's used up his allocated time, well, that's that. Tough on him.

Remember, he is tunnel visioned on himself. He is all that exists now, and that's why it's up to YOU to call the shots on how much time you are prepared to offer him.

And just say 'no, dad, I can't do that' and not explain why. Don't get into 'discussions' or 'justifications' or 'explanations', just say no, and change the subject, and if he persists, hang up or leave.

I know it can seem mean but truly ,Paul, your father is not 'in his right mind', is he? His behaviour is completely 'out of order' compared with a 'normal' human being, and that is the reason YOU have to 'manage him' - as in, accept you will never get a 'reasonable' reply from him or any 'reasonable' behaviour from him.

remember too, that if you spend DOUBLE the time you currently spend on him, if you spent TRIPLE, hell, if you moved in with him and spent 24x7 on him and with him HE WOULD NOT BE SATISFIED.

His needs/wants are ENDLESS. They are bottomless! He would just go on and on at you for 'something else' ven if you lived with him.

That's why I say he is 'irrational'.....there is NO 'satisfying' him.

I'm not saying he's doing this with 'malign deliberate intent' - he's the 'slave' of his own irrationality etc, but he CANNOT be allowed to 'leverage it' over you.

So, that's why I say, work out, with your wife, just how much time you can give him, without adversely affecting your own life or uprating his priority above your own wife/children (eg, teenage son defo takes priority right now!), and then stick to it.

Will your dad be happy? No, of course not. But Paul, he will NEVER be happy. That's what you have to understand. Nothing 'outside' can make him happy - and if you satisfy one 'want'/'need' - eg, you go over to him instead of spending the time on your son - he will simply move on to something else.....

I do get the feeling from all the intense frustration that comes through all your posts (!), that you find it hard in your own mind to accept his irrationality. I feel you keep hoping against hope that if YOU behave rationally, then HE will to.

he won't. he can't. he doesn't want to.

So, he's taken his choice of behaviour (at some level of his mind), and has to take the consequences.


As for the NHS - let them react in whatever way they do now. Not your problem. He won't be happy about it anyway.

All the best, and have a weekend focussed on your son's needs right now.

Cheers, Jenny
Well, I didn't go. He wasn't happy. Knocked back the idea of me sorting out home shopping delivery.

Found out that brother had been there on Saturday and got shopping for him. It seems he has deliberately left some off the list so he could get me to do it on Sunday.

I did tell him that was a bit much trying it on like that but he just doesn't see it. Hes been telling all his neighbours hes got "Fluid on the lungs". I dont think hes got that right lol.

Like I said before, flipping GP won't tell him straight. Visited him at home again and he asked if he had "fluid on the lungs" and the some dozy young GP said yes but its not too bad (in other words, not there) and gave him more antibiotics.....