My mom is too stubborn (long, but concerned for her)

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by BarkerChickens, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quick background, my mom was laid off from work and her health insurance ended in December. She is a VERY independent woman and does not like the idea of being taken care of or given hand-outs...for ANY reason. I told her that she is living with me in old age. She told me that I BETTER put her in a nursing home because she is will be darned if she burdens DH and I like that. I don't think so! DH said the same thing as me! [​IMG]

    So, here's the issue. She emails me today saying that she found a lump in her breast a few weeks ago, but since she doesn't have insurance she isn't going to the doctors (and wouldn't tell me so I don't get worried). Well, she only told her boyfriend at first (of a couple years, but doesn't see the need to get married right now) and last weekend, she was out with her boyfriend, my dad and some of their friends (side note...yes, my parents divorced 26 years ago and they share friends. My mom's bf is one of my dad's best friends. No, there is no drama...I consider myself lucky that they get along now!). Well, she told my dad and it pretty much came down to if she didn't tell me, he she told me. Her mom had breast cancer a few years ago, but at the the time, the doc said it isn't genetic. My mom is 49, but in menopause due to a hysterectomy 13 years ago. (According to the doc, post-menopausal breast cancer isn't genetic. [​IMG] )

    Anyway...she says it feels like it is going down in size (after several weeks), so maybe it is a cyst (her hoping to avoid the doc/insurance issue). I said, go get a physical and mammogram! If she signs up quick enough with insurance, she won't have an issue since you have a grace period between insurance companies (commonly 60 days) before it becomes an issue. Well, being unemployed, she won't get insurance since it will cost $300-400/month. I just about finished my Master's degree and make a decent enough income and while DH is unemployed, the unemployment income and my income are enough to make things work. I told her that I will pay for the issues, get the insurance, and we will pay for it 100%. Her parents offered to help out too, so they could probably help with copays, etc.

    She says she doesn't want to be in debt and won't do it. I told her she has to spend money to be in debt. You can't owe money on nothing! [​IMG] Her excuse is that DH and I have had tough finances since DH was unemployed while I was finishing up my classes for school, so money has been tight. Yea...but, classes are over and I am working now! So, we may not be able to pay off the credit card as quickly as intended...we will still be paying it off well enough! DH and I are both very good with money, so I am not worried! An extra 6 months to pay off the card is worth getting my mom health insurance!

    Her final response..."call me tomorrow...or maybe we'll talk about it this weekend. Love you, Sweetie! Sleep well and have a good day at work tomorrow!". [​IMG] Why can't she just take it? I definitely have her stubbornness and hate hand-outs, but I am fightin' this one! I'd rather her get told by a doc that it is nothing, then her do nothing and lose her! [​IMG]

    Post-meopausal breast cancer may not be genetic, but stubbornness sure is! [​IMG]
  2. ChickensRCool

    ChickensRCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Just a thought, do you know who her doctor his and can you call him/her, explain the situation, and maybe pay for the appointment? Would she be more willing to go if the appointment is made and paid for?[​IMG]
    I feel for ya and I've been there with stubborn parents. Good Luck:fl
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    My mom is similar when it comes to healthcare issues.Money comes and goes,but we will only have our loved ones for a short time with us.

    The grandkids usually motivate my mom if we can not convince her.

    Hoping all is well with your mom healthwise.We have isnurance but it seems like most times I am still made to pay out of pocket.I set up $25 or $50 payments as soon as I get bills,because otherwise I can not pay them. Best wishes!
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    The problem is that you are TELLING her what to do, and she anticipates that it will set a pattern.

    You need to talk to her gently and tell her YOUR fears and concerns. That if it IS cancer, and she does nothing, that you fear you will lose her, and that no amount of money saved would ever stop the guilt, even if she wouldn't accept the $$. If she was laid off, she is legally eligible for COBRA. Same insurance, but she has to pay the premiums. Yes, it is not necessarily cheap, but the coverage is there. You could also shop around and try to find some insurance plans that cover major expenses and are somewhat affordable. Right now your mom is hiding her head in the sand because of what she is afraid of the answers--so get the answers for her and ask her opinions. Reassure her that decisions and choices are hers. And then let her make them--even if you disagree--without doing more than letting her know that you wouldn;t make that choice.

    As for where she lives when she is no longer able to care for herself, that too is her choice. ESPECIALLY when stated many years before that need should arise.
  5. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    I think I might be your mother...only a couple of years older! I wonder if it is pride and the time era that we were raised in the makes some of us so tough and independent. If anyone is going to help me, they just need to do it! As I am never going to ask or allow it on my own. My mouth automatically says, nope don't need any help even when I do. This is going to get wordy, but someone once said to me, "let other people help you now and then. You know how good you feel when you can help someone else, so what gives you the right to take that joy away from another person." I think I would just pay for the insurance, no ifs ands or buts. Tell her that if you are wasting your money when you find out that the lump is nothing, you can always cancel the insurance. Sometimes us tough old birds need to be taken care of too and secretly smile deep down inside.
  6. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I doubt seriously that this is really about money. What it's about is that she is the parent and you are the child. Parents take care of their children. When the children start taking care of the parents, it means that you are OLD. At 49 she is not ready to be old yet. She is still expecting to be the one offering advice and occasionally help, to be in charge, so to speak. I'm 63 and I can no more take financial help from my kids than I can lay golden eggs! Actually, laying eggs has a better chance of happening.

    You may have to offer a loan, offer the money through your Dad, or otherwise circumvent the appearance of taking control or telling her what to do.

    Where pride and self-image is concerned, logic often finds itself in the back seat.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    My parents are elderly (late 80s) and a couple of years ago I bought a book titled How to Care For Aging Parents ( While at 49, she does not fit the "aging" criteria, it has a very good chapter on communication. I'm older than your mother and if my child TOLD me I had to do something, I would consider it disrespectful, and would likely NOT obey. On the other hand, if my child expressed a concern, treating me as a thinking adult, capable of making my own decisions, I will listen more openly.

    NGT ANGL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    Locust Grove, VA
    BarkerChickens - Please, please tell your mom this isn't a money issue - it is a health isn't like she is wanting a new car and you all are offering to is her health and life and you having your mom for a long time to mom was also very proud and very independent.......had health insurance but didn't want to spend the $$ on co-pays, etc. as she was divorced with no spouse and lived only on her income. She died of ovarian cancer when I was 40 - 6 years ago........I miss my mom.........please tell yours to go and have herself checked - FOR YOU. Blessed Be and [​IMG] to you both
  9. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Thank you all for your great rsponses! You are all right! I talked to her again and she says that her pride says no, but after enough complaining from me (from all directions of "Let me pay for it!" to "I love you and I don't want you to leave!", she says that she is thinking (not 100%, but at least leaning) that she needs to do something. Her COBRA is expensive for a crummy insurance. We can get her better insurance for the same price. I am fine with copays, etc. Also, the insurance is better in my area than hers, so she can just take a few months "vacation" and stay here to be closer to the doctors. That part she is cool with since her and I are very close! She is sorta warming up to the idea anyway. She says she is too young...that she has never felt old and that she is not done torturing everyone in this life (mind you she is laughing at this point!). [​IMG] I am thinking that by telling me about it, it is sinking in more. Before, it was more like if people don't know, then maybe it doesn't exist. I have bugged her several times since she told me and even mentioned (as was brought up on a previous post) that if it is nothing, we can cancel the insurance.

    Sonoran Silkie...I am not TELLING her in a rude way as I would never disrespect my mother like that, but telling her that we will pay for it 100% no problems (and that her health is more important than money!) as she is very (admittedly!) hard-headed and stubborn, so a sweet, gentle please won't cut it. It is more like gentling arguing that her spoken reasons (such as "I don't want to owe you money", "I'd rather leave you money in my passing, than borrow money") aren't supported since she doesn't owe money and I don't want hers (I want HER!). She is also a very logical and practical thinker (type A personality and engineer if that explains anything), but when it comes to her pride, it is all emotions, so she has to be brought back to the logical and practical thinking. I don't mean this in a rude way whatsoever...she knows this is how she thinks and she has raised us to communicate to one another in a rational way that keeps everything honest and balanced. Does that make sense? Plus, our bond is much more than mother-daughter, we are each others best friend! She says that in different situations we switch roles. She is not a woman that will be told what to do, but she is very stubborn that I need to stand my ground to make any head way (and I have her stubbornness...well, really I am a spittin' image of her physically and mentally!). She was expressing to me how proud she is of me and my career (she wanted to finish college, but I kind of showed up and slowed that down). I asked her if she wanted to see where it took me in 20 years (the 20 years referring to her career before proving herself to her previous conversation we had). She, of course, said "yes, I'd love to!" and I replied that maybe in that time she'll finish her degree too (her dream!). That thought just tickles her! So, I replied, "then let me pay for the insurance to ensure you can! At 49, you're still a baby!" (as in young age...not wimp...she knew what I meant). She said she has never felt "old" and would like to go back to school and do lots more in life. me: "Ok, So???" her: "Well, it is stupid to let my pride get in the way even though I really don't like it. If we do it, I will pay you back somehow. We'll talk about it more and see if it seems like the right choice." I told her that her sticking around is paying me back!

    So, I am crossing me fingers!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] I think she felt better knowing that DH (who is very family-oriented!) didn't even bat an eye at the idea either (she, of course, was concerned that he wouldn't appreciate the "burden"). His response to "I think we should offer to pay for it 100%" was like saying, "I think we need milk". His response was absolutely, if she'll let us! [​IMG]
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:I am so sorry to hear about your mom!! [​IMG] If my mom has health insurance, she will use it. I think another thing that is helping her "come around" to considering the proposition are her parents. She adores her dad and, while her mom isn't the nicest person to her (as in my grandmother is incredibly rude and hurts my moms feelings a lot!), my mom knows what my grandmother went through with breast cancer and is a survivor. My grandfather would jump through fire to help with any copays if my mom needed it. My mom's lump is identical in size and location to the one my grandmother had.

    My mom will always make her own decisions (as it should be), but I am not backing away from this one....not when it means I could lose her when it is treatable!

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