difficult child is sick again


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I haven't posted an update in a while since things have been going relatively well. difficult child is still delivering pizza and living in an apartment with a roommate. She has been paying her bills and making ends meet.

However, she gets sick all of the time. She seems to have bronchitis every other month and currently has strep throat. She has been sick all week and called yesterday sounding terrible. Since she also is a very good faker and a chronic complainer, I tend to dismiss it when she calls and complains.

This time, though, I got the feeling it was for real so I offered to pay for a doctor visit. Sure enough, she has strep. She told the doctor that she didn't have health insurance so the doctor gave her sample antibiotics to save her money.

Here's the thing. She doesn't take care of herself ~ drinking, smoking, and possibly pot ~ and is always run down. Then husband and I have to pay for the doctor when she gets sick.

What's my alternative? We could offer to lend her the money but realistically we know we won't get paid back.

Would you tell her that she is totally on her own or help her out in cases like this? It does make me mad that she refuses to make the lifestyle changes that she needs to make to stay healthy or get health insurance. So we have to pay for her choices?

And yet, she is my child and it hurts me to see her hurting.

I keep telling myself that she is only 21 and still has plenty of time to get herself together and get a good education and/or job. But I'm starting to think that this is going to be the life she leads ~ always on the edge of disaster.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

What a delemma. Of course you don't want to see her suffering, but on the other hand....

Wonder if she'd take some multi-vitamens if you bought them as a gift? Sounds like for whatever reason, her immune system is down. Could be just the season, too. It sure is bad around here. We've been fortunate so far no one has really become ill.

Maybe what a good compromise would be more for you to suggest when it would be wise for her to see a doctor than to pay for it? Or maybe spoil her with a few supplies like cans of chicken soup and such when she's sick? That would let you get to mother her a bit, yet keep the responsibility on her shoulders to go to doctor and pay for it.

A tough one.



Former desparate mom
She seems to have made reasonable progress from a year ago. It's a step forward.
Not taking care of herself isn't restricted to difficult child's. I don't know many young folks who change their life to be healthier.
I don't know what to suggest but I'm hard pressed to deny medical care.
Maybe you can encourage her to go to free clinics for less expensive medical care. Does your state have insurance programs for those without medical coverage?


Well-Known Member
This is a really tough call. If it were me, I'd pay her doctor bill. She's not where you want to be as far as maturity and responsibility, but hopefully she will continue to move in the right direction. I also know you would be very hard on yourself if she ever avoided needed medical care because her mixed up priorities made her feel she couldn't afford the appointment.


(the future) MRS. GERE
I was in this position with Rob and paid for the doctor bills and subsequent prescriptions when he was first starting out. He didn't have a job with insurance and was legitimately sick. I would have worried and felt terrible if I hadn't helped.



Well-Known Member
I would help her with the Dr. bills. Maybe even look into some kind of insurance program for low-income households. Medicaid, or something like it.-Alyssa


New Member
Does difficult child qualify for treatment at a free clinic, or through the public health department?

If you could find those phone numbers for next time, then you can tell difficult child that, until she is on her feet financially and has a job with medical and dental care, these services are available to her.

I would try to be as non-judgmental as I could.

difficult child is doing so much better than she was last year at this time. That does not mean you should let your guard down, or forget the hard lessons YOU have learned. difficult child had to be aware of these reduced cost or free medical programs already. So my concern would be that you respond appropriately without buying into any of difficult child's power plays.

Stay clear on which are the behaviors that have worked well for this child in the past, Kathy. She IS so much better than last year, but she still has such a long way to go.

Her behavior smacks a little of manipulation to me. She has the knowledge and experience to have accessed free medical care on her own, doesn't she?

So, was there an ulterior motive in eliciting your attention in the way that she did?

And more importantly, what is coming next?

It isn't nice, and it doesn't feel right, to think about our own children like that, I know. Maybe I am wrong about this. If there is something fishy going on, and you can steer difficult child clear of it and into a better direction though, that would be a good thing.

Keep posting about it, Kathy.

I get the feeling you already know something more is in the works with difficult child?



Warrior Parent
I had this dilemma also. difficult child was much like yours, lifestyle was not condusive to keeping healthy. Unfortunately for me, however, his medical bills had more to do with injuries he suffered as a result of his behavior.

I paid for his busted jaw. I drove him back & forth to the oral surgeon. I gave him a blender, bought ice cream & soup, ibuprofin and straws.

I didn't pay for his car accident, tho I did buy his pain medications afterwards, and I did drive him back & forth to doctor visits.

As a Mom, I absolutely cannot stand the sight of my child in physical pain. All my detachment goes right out the window! So, I have no practical advice to offer. I do like what the others have said. I just wanted to let you know, of course, you are not alone!



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks for the replies!

Yes, Barbara, there is still some manipulation going on. There is a free clinic that she could go to but you have to get there at 8:00 in the morning and often have a four hour wait.

difficult child is not willing to do that. She wants first class medical care on a pizza delivery person's salary.

However, I knew that she would just get sicker and sicker rather than get her :censored2: up and go to the clinic. So I paid for a visit to our family doctor.

difficult child says that she is taking vitamins. The difficult child mom that took her in when we said she had to leave our home is a vitamin nut. She has difficult child taking all sorts of vitamins, including mega doses of vitamin C when she is sick. I worry that she could be doing more harm than good with the whole vitamin thing.

I did pack her a care basket a week ago when she first started saying that she was sick. I even included a brownie mix, eggs, and oil since I know that she loves brownies.

The strange part was that I met her at the mall in the middle of the week and she said she was feeling better. Then the next weekend, she was sick as a dog.

It is always hard to tell with my difficult child if she is really sick. I just keep trying to focus on the progress she has made. Although I have to admit that working as a pizza delivery person doesn't seem like much of a career to me.



Warrior Parent
...and I quote: "All work is Honorable" ... :warrior:

(not sure who said this first, but, it is a favorite quote of PonyGirl's Dad!)



New Member
I think since she's working and taking responsibility for bills etc. then it's o.k. to pay her doctor bills when you know she really is sick.

I actually pay my sons suboxone doctors bill every month for him. He is working full time, his insurance covers the prescription, but not the visit, which is $150.00 a month. He's paying his rent, his cell phone bill, buying his groceries and everything else, so I guess I kind of feel at this point that if that is all he is costing us a month, we are pretty lucky at this point

Bottom line for me is, when he's helping himself, I don't mind helping him.

saving grace

New Member
I ditto your post. I just paid for a visit for difficult child because he was vomiting for 5 days straight. during those 5 days I reminded him over and over that if he had insurance he could go to the doctor with no problems and that this is why it is important blah blah blah.

Is there a free care program in your area or a clinic? she might be able to get assistance there. I dont know what to say about the taking care of themselves issue because difficult child is the same way, up all night, smokes cigs, pot doesnt wear his jacket in the freeezing cold, UGH it drives me crazy. So last night he was complaining (what else is new) about not being able to breathe and he was coughing and did I have some medicine that he could take that would help him sleep. I swear my 4 year old doesnt complain like him. I told him to look in the cabinet and whatever was there he could take, he said there was only baby cough medicine and I said "oh well, then thats all we have". He didnt like that answer. He said Oh you'll buy her medicine but when I need some you wont get it for me??? Is he on glue or what!!! I reminded him of the $$ I spent on his doctor visit and the script that he was given.

We they ever grow up! Sorry to hijack your post Kathy but I have been sitting here stewing over this exact issue all morning.



Well-Known Member
Staff member

I agree. All honest work is honorable. My problem with what difficult child is doing is that while it would be fine as a part time job for a student, it is not the type of job that will provide a decent living with necessary benefits like health care.

My difficult child tends to get attached to the people she works for and with and then doesn't want to leave even if it is in her best interest to do so. That's why she stayed at the gift shop for so long.

She keeps saying that she wants to go back to school and become a teacher but makes no move to do anything about it. So I can just see her delivering pizzas for the next ten years (and come crying to husband and me whenever she is sick).



Well-Known Member
Kathy...I didnt check out ctmoms link but I would look into the income based health clinics in your area. I use one of those for my normal run of the mill health stuff. Then she can request the prescriptions be from the $4 walmart list. You can download the list online and give it to her to carry in her purse so the docs can check out which medications are on the list. Actually the low income clinics probably know.

This way if you wish to pay her copay to the clinics you are out much less than a full doctors visit and $4 bucks at walmart is not a big deal. She could afford that I would think.


New Member
Kathy when I had to stand firm on my difficult child 1 I told got all the information on the local free clinics and gave it to her. Most communities have them. Around here it is a mobile unit that moves from one county location to another serviceing each one once a week. -RM


Active Member
Kathy, I was going to post exactly what Janet said.

The health department here as well as community care centers charge a sliding scale fee. difficult child may need to talk to the social worker to prove income. With Target and Walmart charging $4.00 for Rx's, antibiotics are on that.

She is doing to get so I'd also be helping with medical bills.

I think it's great that she still has the pizza deliver job. No its not what you want her to have forever...but it's a start. You difficult child may fall into the category that we say "she isn't done yet"


New Member
meant to come back yesterday & respond to this, kathy.

i agree with-those who said guide her to the free clinics/sliding scale places for her medical care. i'd only pay in a pinch & only for the fee charged by these places. having the money come out of her own pocket instead of yours might spur her into doing something more proactive about her fringe existence.