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Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hello Everyone, I'm requesting a little bit of advice from anyone who can give it. The problem we have is not so much with my own two carees but my Mother In Law. I have said all along that I just cannot get any more involved with her situation because my own two take me to the brink most days but I really feel for my Sis In Law who seems to have taken on a caring role without even knowing it. My Ma In Law is a lovely little Irish lady who is 86 years young. Up until Xmas last year she was a very fit and young 86 year old too. She was diagnosed with pneumonia on Xmas Eve and after a stay in hospital the infection was cleared but she was then diagnosed with mild COPD. She seemingly picked up quite well for the first couple of months when she came home but over the last two months she has had many many visits to A&E at her own and Locum Doctors requests. The tests she then had showed that she had very minor Gall Stones but they were so small the medics could not see how they were causing her so much pain. She came home after the last hospital stay last Monday and she is just refusing to eat saying that she needs to go back to A&E again and again. My Sis In Law has refused to take her back this evening and is going to get the Doctor to come and see her tomorrow. Our belief is that she is making these symptoms up because she feels safer in hospital and she' is now refusing to eat because in her mind she thinks that will speed the admission to hospital up. The medics are saying that they cannot find anything seriously wrong with her, my Sis In Law is at her wits end and I was wondering if anyone on this forum could offer some constructive advice on how to deal with this situation. I have told my Sis In Law I will try to find as much help as I can but I simply cannot take any more carees on board - what a situation we are in we simply do not know what to do with her ??????? xxxxxx
A gallstone, whatever size,can cause excrutiating pain, which requires something as strrong as morphine as analgesia.A friend of mine(aged 50 had her gallbladder removed two years ago, and Drs did not realise they ahd left a tiny, tiny gallstone lodged in the bile duct.She was rushed into hospital a couple of months later,(she was yellow when she was rushed in).She had to have major surgery,but has been fine ever since.
A change in diet may help,as little fat as possible,as fatty food which can causethe pain to be worse.
Good luck, perhaps you could pass this info to your sister-in-law and she could be the one to investigate further.
It's a really difficult situation but with two carees already you are simply not in a position to take on any more. It's very unusual for someone to refuse to eat anything and to be keen to be readmitted to hospital, most people would do anything to stay out! Doctors have been known to make mistakes so I just wonder if perhaps they might have missed something? In theory there is no age discrimination in the NHS. In a perfect world with unlimited resources the best solution would be for MIL to have a scan to check that they haven't missed anything, given her repeated trips to A&E, but they are very expensive and usually involve a long wait. You describe her as a lovely little old lady 86 years young, so her behaviour sounds rather out of character. Do you think she has the beginnings of dementia? One thing is for sure, if she refuses to eat anything she will end up making herself very ill. No stomach would feel happy without food for prolonged period. I just hope that MIL has a good GP and listens to SIL. Sorry I can't think of anything more positive.
The only other suggestion I can make is for a family member to talk to her: try to get her to open up about her worries, etc.? Might help to at least see if there's anything behind all this.
Many thanks for your replies folks :-

LD - We have a friend who is awaiting surgery for gallstones and she also tells me how bad the pain is at times, she changed her diet and it helped a bit but Mam In Law's pain appears to move every time she cries for help and as soon as she gets into hospital it miraculously disappears, now I'm not saying that she's making it up but a part of me really feels that these cries are mentally crying for help not physically - I will pass your comments on xxx

Bowling - Difficult times indeed and you're so right I will most definitely need help myself if I even try to take Mam In Law on board (it really isn't possible). There really isn't anything else they can scan, they've checked just about everything and are adamant that they haven't missed anything. I'm totally on your wave length, these episodes are so out of character for her I'm thinking the same that the problem may be mental. Now that could be anything from a bit of depression to dementia or worse. I think the hospital are being a bit lapse in that once they have sorted the physical bit she is sent home for us "unprofessional s" to cope with the mental. Hence I've advised my Sis In Law to get the GP involved this morning and to tell him everything, Mam In Law is now kicking and screaming because although she's happy with another visit to A&E she's not too happy with the Doc coming in, bit of tough love required here methinks.

Charles - My Hubby is the eldest of six (Mam In Law had three boys and three girls) the middle lad and the youngest lad both seem to have a short fuse and both lost their tempers with her yesterday which obviously didn't help at all but they're both so frustrated. The eldest and middle girl tend to take most of the strain but the eldest is a hostess working for British Airways Long haul flights and is out of the country for a lot of the time. The youngest has a little boy of 6 who was diagnosed with aspergers when he was 4 so understandably her Lad comes first. My Hubby however is so worried about his Mam he is trying to sweep it under the carpet saying it will get better on it's own. He is the calmest most gentle understanding Man I know (perhaps I'm biased because he's my husband LOL) so I had a long talk with him last night and suggested that if he had a long one to one talk with his Mam he may well be the one to get to the root of this anxiety and after all if it is the start of dementia they need to get it registered and medicated correctly. He too seemed to think this was a good idea so we are awaiting the results of the chat with the GP this morning, unfortunately he has an important meeting that has been arranged for some time so he cannot cancel so it's all down to Sis In Law but he's going to pop round there after work.

Thanks again folks for your input I cannot begin to tell you how much sharing this with you helps will keep you informed xxxxx
I have a constant battle not to get too involved with my inlaws problems my hubby is one of seven and his siblings seem to work on the principal that as I live round the corner I'm the one that should deal with stuff Image

As for MIL pain has her pancreas been checked gall stone problems often affect it and most medics know little about it and problems can go undiagnosed for ages. It is very painful and pain can come and go sometimes rapidly. Eating also can trigger attacks.

Hope you get to the bottom of it soon
Just a couple thoughts.

When my mum was in and out of hospital she was usually under the "Care of the elderly" team. Now they seemed very hot on the idea that mum had said she got low from time to time (given how ill she got it was no wonder!) and they even sent someone from the psychiatric team to see her. There are also psychologists as well as the usual physio, OT etc. In our case we found them as much good as a chocolate fireplace but maybe this is the sort of thing ma-in-law needs..perhaps there is the equivalent in the community?

There is obviously something wrong somewhere, whether physical or psychological and it is really not fair to you that it isn't getting sorted out.

Re the gallstones. My daughter has a couple teeny weeny ones and was in agony from the age of 15 until 21 when her gb was removed. Her stones were so small but they made her very ill so size of the stone is not always a good gauge of the pain they can cause.