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A Reader’s Story: 3/6/2012 – Daughter Worries about Mom’s Odd Behavior
–Hello, I am 37 and my mom is 57. Over the last several years family and I have noticed some drastic changes in my mom like sleep patterns, paranoia, forgetfullness and mood swings. I am a nurse and am familiar with certain medical conditions such as Alzheimers and schizophrenia. My grandmother passed several years ago from complications from Alzheimers and my grandfather had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
My mom has changed but the biggest problem we have is this, she has an extreme fear of doctors. She even got up and walked out of the OR when she was to have a cyst removed for possible cancer. Thank goodness it wasnt cancer but her blood pressure got so high and her anxiety was just overwhelming, so we left the hospital. I have also noticed that during phone conversations her focus level is in and out. I could tell her I got hit by a car and she would say well that is good. Its like her emotions are inappropriate but then she is fine.
More recently I woke up at 4am and she was crying hysterically stating that her father was dead. She called and texted everyone in the family and cried for hours about it. He died 7 or 8 years ago.
When I talked to her she said it just seemed so real and that it took a while for her to realize it happened long ago. A couple of months ago my mom got really angry at her sister for posting pictures on facebook of her sisters grandchild. She said that her sister was just bragging about all the places she could take the child and that my mom couldnt. This behavior went on for about three weeks, and then all of the sudden it stopped.
I am very worried about my mom but she wont go to the doctor for help. She denies that there is an issue. I did the memory test on her a year ago and I truly believe that she focused so hard to remember those objects, that she did remember them. But on the other hand, I dont want my mom to learn of the diagnosis because she will lose hope and dwell up on the illness. This is such a terrible situation.
I suggested another diagnosis from a different physician perhaps. But then again, this sweet daughter is coping with a Mom who does not like doctors. If anyone has more to suggest, or recognizes any of these behaviors as something they’re familiar with– Certainly we are not able to make a diagnosis but may have some suggestions for this daughter who wants only to help her mother receive the proper medical care.