Former desparate mom
difficult child has really bad triglycerides. They are supposed to be below 150. His were over 1000. The Dr. warned he will have a heart attack in the next year or two without a doubt. He is on 3 cholesterol/triglycerided lowering medications, a healthy diet. The level dropped to 600 range in 3 months and he dropped 15 lbs. He isn't making anymore progress. I asked if he was walking a bit on the treadmill. He isn't and doesn't seem to think he will.

I'm not forcing the issue. I buy his meals that are healthy, help with the prescriptions and give him a lot of positive reinforcement.
Do I let it go and let him have a heart attack at 22? Do I hound him non stop to keep him alive and healthy?
I'm trying to walk a middle ground but it's not working.
The ultimate detachment is letting him go as he is and watch him have an MI and probably die(dr. said early MI's tend to be fatal).
What do you think?


Well-Known Member
It's a hard one Fran. When difficult child was using I knew all the horrible things that could happen. I pestered him to quit--it did no good. I begged him to take care of himself---did no good. I made myself unhealthy trying to get him healthy---and it did no good! If he had died doing what he was doing that what I was doing would have done no good. One the other hand, could I had lived with myself if I had done nothing!


Active Member
this is a tough issue. my sis is bipolar and refused medications. it drove my mom nuts and still does. about 15 yrs ago, when she was 40 yrs old, she had to be committed against her will.

she now complies with medications after being hospitalized sevral times over the yrs. she hated the psychiatric ward.

my mom still frets over her and calls daily and asks her if she took her medications. that makes my sis mad.

my sis is also over 300 pds, diabetic and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on 24/7 oxygen. she knows what she needs to do to feel better and lose weight. no one can force her to comply. she eats what she wants. sometimes this causes her to have to go to the hospital for her diabetes.

she is 56 now. she is in control of her own life. we fear she will die young because she will not let anyone monitor her situation. as they get older, they get more defiant and do not want control.

seems you are doing all you can. if your son is educated about his medical issues and told what he should do, what more can you do? you cannot control every bite he eats.

Can you over to join a gym or walking program and do it with him?


Former desparate mom
He has a membership to the Y. He has a treadmill at the apt. complex. I provide 1700 cal/day meals. I don't think eating is the issue because he has no food but what is provided. We have offered to walk with him.
22yr old son is a little different than a 56 yr sister.I'm not really responsible for my sister. Letting him die doesn't seem a reasonable option. Making his life and everyone else's miserable doesn't seem like a reasonable option either.
I keep hoping if he gets another job that he will at least be up and walking.
When I asked him yesterday if he ever thought he might walk on the treadmill for 30 min. he said he didn't want to make me angry but he didn't think so.
I even tried mother guilt to manipulate him which I seldom do but this is his life.
Katmom, I don't know if I could live with it if I didn't do anything and I don't know if I could stand it to fight with him over one more thing.
My husband and I are physically active from bikes, to skiing, to hiking etc. It seems he didn't get all that stuff when we did it with him.
Thanks for the feedback katmom and ants mom.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Geez, Fran, this is quite the dilemma. It seems to me like you are already doing everything humanly possible. You can't pick him up and put him on a treadmill after all.

You are providing a healthy diet and the means to get exercise. As hard as it is, it is ultimately up to him from that point.

And yet, your mommy heart will break if something happens to him.

I don't think there is an easy solution to this one.

Sending hugs.



(the future) MRS. GERE
Fran, I really don't know what I'd do. You have told him the facts. His doctor has told him the facts. You have provided medication, special food, and I think you offered him a personal trainer and a gym membership at some point too, didn't you?

Can you determine why he isn't being compliant....or isn't more scared by all this...or is he so scared he's paralyzed?

***LOL---I walked away to do the dishes before I sent this and all kinds of things were discussed in the interim! Fran, I would have a very hard time detaching.***



Well-Known Member
Is this something husband could help with? Perhaps you tackle medications and food while husband hangs out and works on the treadmill with difficult child? I'd have a hard time detaching from a situation like this.


Active Member
I like TM's idea Fran. But that would mean husband scheduling in exercise among all the other things you all do.

That's absolutely wonderful that difficult child lost wt and his triglycerides dropped. If difficult child is on medications, eats a healthy diet, there's not much else besides exercise. Could either of you be an exercise buddy?

Stella Johnson

Active Member
That is a tough situation. I would say hound him but he is very oppositional. I'm afraid he'll do the opposite just because he is being hounded. :hammer:

Does he have a friend in the apt complex that you could encourage to walk with him?



Well-Known Member
Is there anyone else you know who could be an exercise buddy? Maybe someone who is into his gadgets who he might not even realize he was exercising with. Maybe they could walk the malls every so many days or something.

This would be something extremely difficult to detach from. It would be like knowing your son had cancer but not getting treatment for you step in? I think I would have to.

Even if you have to hire a friend and not tell difficult child if it keeps the kid alive it is a white lie that I could live with.


New Member
I was thinking along the lines of TM's or Janet's posts (before I got to them).

Could you, husband, a friend, etc. invite him to go for a walk, go to the mall, visit a nature center, something that doesn't SEEM to be exercise, but really is? I can walk forever when I'm interested in doing so - sightseeing, window shopping, hiking, etc - but I'd be bored to tears on a treadmill.


Think the above are onto something. Find someone who will walk him... remember the father on the TV show King of Queens?

I'd also lower his diet. Isn't 1200 calories a day still acceptable? If he complains tell him he needs to do this or exercise, one or the other.

I'll also point out that he is developmentally delayed by definition. Though chronologically he's 22 he may be closer to 16 and honestly believe that nothing can kill him. Don't know how you change that thinking, wish I could convince my kids that their high risk behaviors can have long term consequences.

Any chance you can tell him to do volunteer work if he can't get a you're not providing the car if he's not out of house 40 hours a week doing something productive. And put him in the hospital where he can see 22 yr olds who are ill.


Former desparate mom
I read difficult child your responses. He was obviously annoyed but he didn't say anything. After lunch he said he was going back to the apt. to walk on the treadmill. So thank you all. It probably won't last but it's one day at a time.

(we have had a mentor walk with him but no one can go every day) husband has tried but difficult child isn't very cooperative.

Thanks for listening. I worry for his life and his health but he made a step forward.


Well-Known Member
Fran is there some genetic reason or medical reason for his high triglycerides? I weigh considerably more than your son and I am not in that position. I know I eat worse than he does. Could it be from the medications he took all the years?

Im trying to think if I have read of anything natural that also helps with lowering them along with the medications. Maybe typical teen would know.


New Member
No, you don't stop trying to help your son.

How long ago did he reach the triglyceride/weight plateau?

If difficult children physician refuses to address the issue further, is there a specialist you can see?

difficult child does need to do his part, Fran ~ but the progress you are describing was more about medications than exercise.

Is there any way you could make the treadmill or exercise equipment more user friendly? Could you program in something about "Well done, difficult child!" after ten minutes of use or something like that?

It must be hard for difficult child to face that treadmill, and to have so much emphasis placed on his weight and triglyceride levels ~ something he must feel is almost impossible to control.

Pretty scary.

And difficult child mentioned anger when describing motivation. So you are why he does whatever exercise he does. What other things could you think of to make exercise less frigtening and more immediately rewarding for difficult child?

Maybe Tai Chi?



New Member
Is there something that your difficult child wants but can't get on his own?

Maybe you could come up with a reward that would intice him to work harder.

Is there a class at the Y that he could join? Maybe he is intimidated by just showing up at the gym and a separte class where everyone is in his same shape would be easier for him to accomplish.

Lots of larger churches have support groups, I bet he could find a group struggling with the same issues, and seeing them exercising and asking him to join them maybe the push he needs.