A hypochondriac looking after a hypochondriac is a toxic mix.

I spent more time that I should this week Googling “my knees feel nauseous”. Those weren’t my knees, I should add, but my mother’s knees and Google didn’t have an answer. My mother had a complaint that medical science had never before discussed. That was two days ago. She hasn’t complained of having nauseas knees since so I doubt it will become a research topic for some aspiring Nobel prize winner…

If it weren’t for the ’vid, I’d had been more proactive about getting her some help via the NHS. As it is, she refuses to consider NHS care and I’m trying to do everything privately. The private GP have been excellent and reasonable but the specialists and tests would cost a fortune if I went that route. My plan is to do what I did with her knee replacements: get a diagnosis privately then use the NHS once we know what’s wrong, in this case, what’s causing her nausea. My guess is that it’s related to her neck given other symptoms (which have, touch wood, disappeared) and the fact that she doesn’t suffer it whilst lying in bed. It comes with movement. We’ve got an MRI lined in three weeks for her neck and inner ear but another three weeks of this might finish me off. Unless, of course, I could persuade her to stay in bed but that’s not a good idea…

My sister, who is so used to being ill that she had a low sympathy, tends to ignore the things I take seriously. She says that whenever our mum is brighter, she will complain about being ill more. When she’s really ill, by contrast, she’s grateful for the care.

My Dad was the same, having worked as a nurse most of his adult life. I guess they become immune to seeing people being ill. Such logic does me no good. I feel like I’m having my faith tested – or I should say my lack of faith. Surely, I find myself thinking, somebody must be punishing me for something I’ve done…

I wish I could also say that my temper is holding but I’m getting snappy and irritable. It’s unforgivable but patience wears tissue thin when something has been going on for nearly six or seven weeks. It’s the mixture of the cycles of panic, exhaustion, and the fear that I’m doing the wrong thing and missing some symptom. Yet, at the same time, I can’t ring 999 to complain that my mother has nausea in her knees…

It goes back being a hypochondriac. I know how the imagination works when a person not usually prone to illness experiences illness. No matter how much the box for her anti-nausea tablets warns about side effects, she (and, I guess, me) still find ourselves panicking about the side effects.

Feeling drugged? It can’t be the drugs that warn you that you’ll feel drugged.

Forgetful? Can’t be the drugs that say that they will make you sluggish and forgetful.

Dry mouth? Surely it’s not the drugs for which dry mouth is a key side effect!

As for me: I can’t rest. I can’t even conceive of how carers cope when they’re dealing with relatives who need a higher level of care. Or perhaps they just learn to be a little less attentive and to care for themselves as much as they care for others. I’ve not yet reached that stage. I still care and it’s becoming a problem.

4 thoughts on “Knees”

  1. Oh David. I had hoped you were just taking sometime away from blogging/tweeting. Alas obviously not. Aware that I cant do or say anything useful so I’ll stick to the obvious platitudes. I’m thinking of and feel for you. Do try to do whatever you can to keep yourself sane even if it’s a short walk alone after your mums in bed. I’m sure things will get easier soon.

    1. Thanks Max. Yes, not having a break from the blog but having to use what little time I can salvage from my day to write stuff to earn a little. My mum has constant vertigo (often really mild), probably produced by arthritis in her neck, but it produces nausea and we’re having a real tough time finding tablets that suit her. I think the stuff she’s on it just sedating her too much and the effects of that are almost worst than the nausea. I’ll keep blogging for my sanity but I might occasionally miss a day if it’s a tough one (such as today, which hasn’t begun well). Really appreciate your kind words and support. Means a lot to me and that is to understate it by quite a lot! 😉

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