Detachment or flat out mean?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DDD, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    difficult child#1 has recurring gout. He doesn't drink beer (evidently a big Bozo no no) and seems to have reduced his booze a bit but..he has dietary restrictions that he doesn't follow unless he is at home for dinner. He has no insurance. He has "some" gout medications left. He is in pain. I am not paying for a doctors visit. If he can't stop eating fast food garbage I'm not ready to "fork over". Does that make sense to you all? I'm seeing it as a detachment move. Hope I'm right. DDD
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it's reasonable. I'll tell you my sort-of-similar experience.

    I struggle with what to do about medical help with Oldest's Crohn's. The biggest thing for me was stopping helping her buy her ostomy bags. They are not optional, she has to have them. Can't function without them. I won't go into the gorey details as to why. But they are very expensive, and she is uninsured. For a long time, this was something I was willing to pay for, although they cost around $100 a month. But, she doesn't take care of herself or her ostomy site. She used to get infections often, and need antibiotics, and I'd pay for them. She would wait until the last minute to tell me she needed more bags, and it would be an emergency. She has no car or drivers license, so not only would I have to fork over the money out of the blue, but I'd have to drive her to go get them at a pharmacy (and not many pharmacies sell them, so it was a hike to get to the one that did). I looked into mail order etc., to lessen the frustration on me, but ultimately told her that she needed to take responsibility for it herself. I reached a point where I said I'll pay for 60 more days of supplies, and that will give her time to apply for assistance and get them covered. There are programs here she could qualify for that would cover bags, doctor visits, medications. She has never applied. So, after the 60 days, I stopped buying her supplies. She's found the money, somehow. She still has never applied for assistance. She goes to the ER when she needs medical care, but pretty much ignores the bills that come. There has been at least one time since that she's called me in a panic about a bag leak and being on her last one with no extras, and I have not offered help. It used to happen often, and I'd jump and help her, but no more. This is not my problem; she waited until the last minute, not me. She'll have to figure out how to deal with it. I won't be here forever, and she'll have to figure out to care for this chronic, lifelong illlness on her own. To her credit, she's doing better at helping herself (even if not taking care of herself), and she rarely asks me for help any more.

    Sometimes, even with health issues, our kids have to learn the hard way that their actions (or inactions) have consequences. It may seem "mean" to refuse to help with medical care, but if it's a difficult child who is their own worse enemy who literally makes themselves more sick because of their behavior, I think we don't do them favors by enabling them then, either. Even though it's painful to watch. If Oldest were taking care of herself and being responsible and she was ill because of a Crohn's flare, I'd help her. That'd be different. But I won't feel sorry for her and help when she's posted on FB about partying all the time, and then her Crohn's flares or her bag leaks. That's on her.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That thinking makes sense to me although I imagine it was especially difficult for you in those circumstances. I hope that realizing his Rx. is running low (he uses it only when he has flares) will make him think about his choices. Still healthy kids can eat garbage and get away with it but if you're in your 20's and have an existing condition it's time to skip BK and the rest. Thanks. DDD
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    in my humble opinion, I think you're doing the right thing too. The only way my difficult children seem to learn anything is through natural consequences. Those "lightbulb" moments seem to happen quickly after they experience negative consequences as a result of their own behavior. I agree with CrazyinVA that enabling them is not the way to go. It might solve the problem in the short run but in the long run, it only makes matters so much worse. Better to let him deal with the pain and hopefully that "lightbulb" moment will serve as the wake up call he needs to skip the BK.
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    in my opinion that is not mean at all! I still have relatives that wait until they very LAST minute to ask a favor of me and then they expect me to drop everything (because I did) and help them. I have stopped reacting!
    My brother-in-law also has gout and doesn't eat right, but he is slowly getting better.

    My difficult child still does not understand that choices have consequences, good or bad!
    "The only way my difficult children seem to learn anything is through natural consequences. Those "lightbulb" moments seem to happen quickly after they experience negative consequences as a result of their own behavior"
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    DDD, I agree that you're on the right track. I don't think you're being mean, but rather giving difficult child#1 the opportunity to develop an essential life skill.

    My difficult child will do the bare minimum that's required of him. So far, the only way we've had success in getting him to do things for himself (ranging from tying his own shoelaces to eating -- not even preparing food, but actually eating it without being spoon-fed) is to stop giving any help at all.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD I'm going to disagree on the basis that it is very difficult to stay away from all food that causes gout. My dad has gout and so many foods cause a flareup. He use to be a heavy drinker so maybe that makes him more sensitive. Gout is very painful and I have watched my dad unable to walk when he has a bout, so I am all for getting him the medications if you can afford it. I think it would be different if he were going out every night drinking beer but woud you wothhold medications if he had diabetes and sometimes cheated?

    Don't throw tomatoes at me.

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    All I can say is..................I've had this discussion with my mom concerning my sis for years. She also has kidney disease, one of the ones I have, but refuses to follow her diet or anything else related to preventative treatment. As a result........she's in and out of the hospital like a yoyo, has been in acute renal failure so many times I lost count years ago, has had a heart attack............ok you get the idea. She also is an addict. (and a nurse who's had her license pulled)

    Mom tries to help her with medications ect because she has no insurance because she lost her last job. (loses them for snitching patient medications, which is why she had her license pulled) While that is nice and all, Mom has shelled out hefty amts of cash over the years. Only last year did she finally decide enough was enough, if sis couldn't make the effort to care for her health then she was done. It didn't help sis's case that I have 2 other diseases in addition to the one she has.......and I've not been admitted to hospital except for the mild heart attack, in many a year because I do my best to stick to the diet ect that I'm supposed to.

    Gout is not hard to prevent as far as episodes go. There is no sense in you throwing money at a problem he is refusing to do anything about. Not mean, it simply makes sense.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry for your dilemma, it's a tough call. Everyone's post makes sense, it appears there is no real right or wrong, just that huge gray area where we must make a choice that impacts someone else's life. Yikes. I have no advice, however, I have one thought that helps me when I am in doubt as to whether to help or not. I heard this from a therapist in one of my groups when someone asked how we could tell whether we are being codependent or doing something out of loving kindness. She said, "when you do something out of loving kindness you feel good, when you do something out of codependency, you feel bad." That may not pertain to your situation, or perhaps it might, but it does assist me when I am stuck. I hope you find peace in your decision.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child 1 can find a clinic I would think that can help him get the help for his gout. He really doesnt have much income and is considered a household of one. He may have to look around for that clinic though. Once he finds that clinic, they can get the medications ordered straight from the manufacturer or they may be on one of the $4 lists. There are ways he can get help since he is not really employed. That is the help I would offer him. Help him find ways to get to a clinic but not pay for doctors yourself.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I've never thought about it like this before but it's so true. SFR
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree. I may have to post this one on my refrigerator :)

  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I need to go to the grocery store, Nancy, so you're safe, lol. As I mentioned he does still have "some" medicine at the house so he is hurting but not in excessive pain. I'm not jumping in to save him asap because I'm hoping he will figure out that "he" is in the driver's seat. There is some doubt whether it is gout or an injury because the pain is in a different part of his foot. I'm going to wait and see what happens. Actually I suggested to him last night that "maybe" GFGmom would finance a trip to the Dr. for him. She's been rolling in dough lately and is going to school to be a nurse. Sounds like a win/win to me. DDD
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I agree with much that has been said here and that it is a TOUGH call.
    And I would tend to agree with your have to make this difficult decision...and in the end you know in your heart what is best.
    Also, like what was said that if it feels uncomfortable to you, then it is likely enabling.
    My gut says either let him fully pay the consequences (if he has to go to the ER it might scare him enough into betterself care and listening to a speech from a doctor might go further than one from you)
    or at least let him and/or difficult child mom come up with half of the cost(s) for the doctor's appointment and/or medication. If they are willing to participate...put some healthy effort into improvement, this would be a positive step forward. And if he can buy into personal responsibility at least to some extent, perhaps he would improve his eating habits.
    It's very sad and scarey, but we can't pull the weight of an adult difficult child. It's too much of a burden on us and it doesn't tend to teach them anything. It is downward spiral.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As a general rule GFGmom takes him to the ER. Since he is an adult the ER bills him and then turns it over to collection agencies. The bills are not small...understatement. It really is quite possible that this problem is not gout. GFGmom has a foot Doctor who operated on her etc. and since she has funds from her "retirement" I'm hoping that it will appeal to her ego to take "her son" to "her Doctor'. Might happen or might not.

    Thanks for the input as usual. It's nice to have your caring perspectives. DDD
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    DDD, I can see both sides of this. If he was cheating once in a while, and then was dealing iwth the aftereffects, I would be likely to help. It sounds like he is doing a LOT more than just cheating on an eating plan. That is why I would not help. There is a big difference between an occasional cheat/indulgence and flat out ignoring the medical treatment that will keep you out of pain and healthy.

    I have had chronic muscle/bone/connective tissue/nerve problems most of my life. Some activities result in pain that was incredible. I had to learn to moderate my activities so that I could minimize the pain and not miss out on everything. I love horses. Always wanted one. After the health koi started, I had to make tough choices. I could choose to go ride for a few hours (when I could afford it - we never owned a horse) but I knew up front that I would spend 1-3 days in vastly increased pain. I timed the riding so that I could rest, do PT, and deal with the pain - but I still had to make sure my chores, school/homework was done, and I still had to go to work. No one could learn that lesson for me. My parents could have just not let me go riding or whatever, but they allowed me to choose and to feel the pain that resulted. they didn't excuse my chores,e tc..... because I made a CHOICE to do what caused the pain.

    in my opinion you need to let him experience the entire range of consequences for his choice without paying for the dr or medications or whatever. It will ONLY be when he does those thing that he figures out how to make informed choices.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think you're right on track. If you pay for Dr. Appts etc., you're just enabling him to not take care of himself. I'd have a practical talk with him about how best to eat properly given his circumstances, and leave it at that.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thought I'd let you guys know that the pain has ebbed. He still has fifteen pills left for the next attack. Guess the aha moment will come eventually. I'll remember your advice when the time comes. DDD
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't know much about Gout.....The guy I work with has it. He's in a lot of pain limping, and hobbling around some days. Then he'll eat right, take his medicine,and seem to be better - NOT what I could say is walking tall. I think it must be very painful, and sometimes he forgets things - like he ate bread on a sandwhich and then said "Oh no - I wasn't supposed to eat that - I'll pay for that for sure." and I'm thinking HOW could you forget NOT to eat something that is going to make you so much in pain? In his case - he's in a hurry, he has little money - he's hungry - it was there. He didn't think. Not all legitimate excuses for sure - but I could see where you could forget for the moment. Especially if he hasn't had an episode yet that has really taken him to the ground in pain enough to make him reel with discomfort enough to say "OH GOLLY NEVER AGAIN." but then - when does THAT happen? And why?

    I'm kinda in the same camp Nancy is on this one. I think it would be hard to be or remain so tight to a schedule that you couldn't mess up and make yourself ever be in pain. I do know that there are patient assistant programs but I don't know if Gout medications are covered. Our guy said there are no generics. So I'm not sure medications are affordable - or if he just meant for his particular medication, I do know I don't want anyone being in pain around maybe he really needs some better education about Gout - and a good dietitian to show him what he CAN enjoy and go from there. I'm pre-diabetic and I watch my sugar and I have been extra good and near perfect for two years - but then there was that Krispy Kreme......and well - I knew it was bad - and I knew I would get the headache - and YUP I did it anyway. In some ways it was worth it. lol. In some ways not - because I got a stupit kreme filled doughnut and they FORGOT - FORGOT the cream. Can you believe that? OMG I was livid. lol - serves me right.
  20. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am recently on medicine for widely fluctuating glucose levels. I know the way I should eat to keep this under control but it is often not possible and sometimes I am admitedly weak and give in to dessert temptations. I think it is even harder for young people to accept that they are not able to do what they want especially when other friends are doing the same stuff without consequence.
    Both sides of this discussion makes sence. I think none of us make these decisions without alot of thought. Each of us has to decide for ourselves where detachment becomes something else.