OK, my mom calls, says she took a tumble. She does not want to go to the doctor and check her arm, where she hit it against the fridge. She wants me to go get her cigarettes. I go there, look at her arm (a bit swollen in the forearm, but she can move her fingers and wrists, albeit it's a bit sore). Again, is she sure she wouldn't want to see her doctor, which is up the road and they can do an x-ray there? No. Only cigarettes. So I go get her cigarettes and try again about the doctor. It's tense because I'm angry because she's been in her narcissistic mood swings. Just a week ago I received a letter from her telling me not to call her anymore (one of many) and now of course she can't roll her cigarettes so her sucker/child is needed to get them for her. I left and told her to enjoy the smokes and to call me when she wanted to go to the doctor or really wanted to get help for her health problems.
But, can I force her to see her doctor in cases like this? In a sensible world it's not unreasonable to want to get an xray to make sure there's no break. But in her world money is only for spending on cigarettes -- not on anything (hearing aid, gerontologist, neurologist) that might actually make her later years a bit better.

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Maybe next time, if you think she really needs medical attention, you could refuse to get her cigarettes until she gets checked out. She'd probably yell and carry on, but you'd have the upper hand. No smokes until she sees a doctor.
Helpful Answer (14)

Nope, you cannot force someone to go to the clinic or ER if they don't want to go. I went through this with my bedridden father last year. Based on his coughing and phlegm, I knew he had pneumonia. He refused to go. I called 911 and Begged for an ambulance (told them the truth that dad would refuse to go), they came, questioned him, he passed their dementia test, they left without taking him. They were quite gentle in telling me that they cannot force him against his will.

I then called APS. You know -his decision was a danger to his health. I was told that he has a right to refuse medical help. If he wants to die, that is his choice. They then referred me to an elder law attorney. I was told the same thing. Finally, I was told here on this site that eventually the pain will force my dad to seek medical help. Yep, a week later, he told me to call the ambulance and take him to ER.
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I agree, don't force your Mom to go to a doctor unless it is an emergency.

I believe some people rather not go to a doctor of any type because they are afraid the doctor might find something that needs attention. It's the fear of the unknown, and I can understand that.

Heidi, my Mom has the opposite problem, she insists on going to her annual appointments with a whole group of different doctors, and at 96 she still insist on getting a mammogram [it takes two technicians to help her because she is frail], and I am thinking even on the remote chance something is found, Mom couldn't have surgery nor could survive chemo at her age. But I still take her.
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OK, today, new developments. (Sort of.)
I get an "urgent" call from my mom. What does she want? She wants me to go to the pharmacy across the street from my house and get her her Xanax and her Vicodin. Of course, it's Labor Day here in the U.S. and it's a neighborhood pharmacy so it's not open. I tell her that.
"Oh, my arm hurts and I think it's broken." I remind her, it's Labor Day, so it's pretty much the only option, and if it's broken, then medical treatment is the way to go.
She does not want to go. She mainly wants her xanax, because she gets a big, strong prescription and it says take "up to three a day." Besides cigarettes her great love is her Xanax. She insists it's good for her heart.
I had this moment where I just thought, I can't do this anymore, and I'm tired of being her whipping post. So I say, I'll take you to the hospital today or to the doctor tomorrow to see if it's broken, and then when the pharmacy is open we can get whatever medications they prescribe.
I'm just tired of the tantrums and so on. If she doesn't get her way immediately she starts to say she'll find someone else to do it but I always get the call. But I'm not doing a thing until she agrees to see a doctor or go to the hospital. I'm so not in the mood to go chasing after her cigarettes or going to get her some xanax just to shut off threats of suicide or being insulted and being called nasty or ungrateful.
Helpful Answer (7)

No. Why would you want to force her? If it was broken, she'd be in excruciating pain. I myself probably wouldn't go to the doctor. Further, a trip to the DOCTOR would be a waste of two hours in the waiting room. He'd just send her for an x-ray to cover his behind. Pick your battles. To me? This isn't one I'd address.
Helpful Answer (6)

She is too smart for you. Tell her, and mean it:

First: You have to see a doctor, may be get an X-ray.

Second: after you see a doctor, THEN I'll get your ciggies.

Got it? Don't let her beat you again.
Helpful Answer (6)

Heidi, it's infuriating, maddening and idiotic. But rest your mind - if she's done any serious damage to her arm it will soon be so obvious that even she won't be able to ignore it.

[Um. A bit swollen in the forearm, but where was the impact, did she let you see? Just a heads up - you want to keep an eye out for anything she might have dislodged in her elbow. But worry about that if it doesn't start getting better of its own accord.]

And if I were you I'd frame that letter and use it as a shield next time she accuses you of neglecting her duty. "Here, mother, see? Your instructions. Your signature. So." Mind you then she'd probably only move on to accusing you of forgery instead… groan. You can't win.

Don't start treating this, by the way, if she asks you for heat packs or ice packs or rubs or anything. When it comes to treatment it's your way (MOTHER SEE A DOCTOR) or nothing.
Helpful Answer (5)

Agree with Sodonewithsal1!! Stop buying her cigarettes! Sounds like she needs an evaluation overall. Tell her you'll buy her cigarettes after you take her to the doctors. You are enabling her narcissistic behavior. My Dad was like this but had dementia and refused to go to the doctor after several falls. Well, the last one did him in and now he is in a nursing home for 2.5 years. So you decide. Sorry to be so blunt, just hate to see people go through what I went through.

Helpful Answer (4)

Refuse to get her cigarettes and she'll do just about anything for you (bitching the whole time). Don't take anything personally and know you are her angel whether she realizes it or not. ; )
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Thank you, everyone. I love this place. It's nice to know I'm not alone and just being able to vent and read other people's posts and answers is such a comfort.
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