We are going through some trying times right now. My mother-in-law of 88 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer about 17 days ago. It is in her lung (where they think it started), it is in her liver, and it is in her brain. They gave her 3 months at most.
My wife's brother is 50 years old. He has been living with his parents since birth. He has periods where he is physically and emotional abusive to his father and mother. Most of his wrath is poured out on his mother??? His father will just stand there and watch. She has lived in a world of fear for ?? Decades, and there is nothing we can do about it. If we try to intervene, the father and mother band together and run the authorities out, saying it was all a misunderstanding. My father-in-law told me that his son is mentally ill; they will not allow him to be taken away. They are afraid that he will commit suicide because his twin brother took his own life about 30 years ago. For some reason, his parents feel that the suicide is, somehow, their fault and will do anything to keep it from ever happening again, no matter the cost.
Currently, the son is on this really weird diet that his parents are forced to eat as well. He watches them 24/7 to make sure that they follow his rules for nutrition, medicine.... everything. All of this might be ok if he was a doctor or nutritionist, but he's not. He's just crazy.
His mother had displayed many alarming symptoms of a disease before she was diagnosed with the cancer. The doctors said that she has had it in her lung for at least three years, and they were appalled that she hasn't been to doctor for three years. She had headaches in the same spot of the head, shortness of breath, dramatic weight loss, blood in the urine... But they never took her to the doctor because the son had control of their money. He spent a small fortune of it on herbal and alchemy cures for diseases that he dreamed up and said that any one of them might have. When any symptom of his imaginary disease came up, he put them on a regiment of herbs and vitamins and food, some of these herbs were labeled "not for human consumption." None were allowed to see the doctor because the son labeled all medical doctors "quacks."
On a Sunday night about three weeks ago, him mom had a grand mal seizure. They took her to the ER where she was diagnosed with the cancer. She went home the following day, and hospice was going to meet with them in the afternoon. The son followed instructions as provided by hospice for nutrition and pain control for about three days. It wasn't long before he decided that the doctors and hospice didn't know what they were talking about, so he took away her pain medicine and put her on a juice only diet. When hospice found out, they told him to find another doctor for her pain control. They told him to throw the morphine out. He says he threw it out but I know that he likes the opiate drugs a lot. He used to take mine.
By now, his mom was dropping weight much to quickly and she was in extreme pain. He, one of the nephews, and I got into an argument about her pain and nutrition: it was obvious the pain was unbearable and the woman was starving. He threatened to call the police on me and his nephew if we didn't leave the property. On our way out, we saw him yelling and shaking his fists at his bed-ridden mom. His dad asked us to not come back.
A week later, I was called back to give my wife some supplies. He wasn't there and I saw the mother. She had lost at least 25 more lbs and seemed to be in agony. I drove home and got a hold of senior services to try to get her out of that house. Senior services told me that they had a record on this guy. They said that they could go out, but if she refused to be moved, then they were afraid of what the son might do to her or the father. I called my attorney, and for a good sum of money, he could file for guardianship, but it required some or most of the children to stick together, which has been a struggle in the past, and a judge to make a determination. Then, we needed a place for her to stay (my place for now), and arrangements for long-term care. My attorney thought, given the situation, that my mother in law would be dead before we finally got her out of the situation.
So, my last option was to go to the mother when the son wasn't around and ask her if she wanted to leave. If she did, Senior Services would come right out and take her. I could see "pain" written all over that poor woman's body. "No,' she said, "I want to stay home." When the son found out that I had talked to the mother, he kicked my wife out for two days. I am no allowed to go back.
So I walked away, feeling my only two options are to try to catch the son doing something and call the police or catch him alone and beat him up. I guess if I got him arrested, they might do a drug test and find morphine in him.
More horror stories are still coming out of that house, and I am waiting for my chance to make my move, whether it is legal or physical. The latest news is that they brought in a different hospice because the doctor said she needed it and that he was going to file a report with senior services if she didn't get it. When the hospice came out, the older sister was there to make sure that they knew that the son was not feeding the mom as the doctor prescribed and was not letting her have her pain meds. That seems to have helped, a little bit. My wife is back over there now, and all I can do is give her my support. She still has me run supplies to her, so I see the son once in a while, and he act and looks like he is still taking her morphine. My wife says that he still is in control of his mom’s pain meds.
Sorry for such a long post. This has been a tough week with great pain from this emotional roller-coaster ride with my wife's family.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by mod-anon; 08-11-2008 at 08:28 AM.
Reason: moved posts to a new thread
Re: Mike: more on my situation and how it affects my addiction
I'm so sorry for what your Mother In Law, Wife and you are going through right now. It's crazy to think that her son could rule the roost and treat her so badly and get away with it! He'll pay his dues, maybe not in this life but the next. Hopefully your MIL's pain will be over with soon.
Know that you have made every effort to help the situation and if you can't change anything, accept that you did your best. You need to be strong for your wife right now, loosing her Mom to cancer is bad enough but to have her last weeks on earth be tormented by that sorry excuse of a son must be unbearable. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Re: Mike: more on my situation and how it affects my addiction
There is a big ruckus going on with the hospice care. All of the family with the exception of the son and his father have called in and reported abuse. The weekend hospice nurse told me that some decision-makers from the state office are coming today. They are going to have a meeting, and something is going to happen. She said that with all of the reports of abuse and the mother's health failing so quickly, some of the big-wigs of hospice are getting nervous and have opened an investigation. Mercy killing is legal in our state, so maybe the father and son called for one of those. We won't know until they come to the house tommorrow. The son has kicked all of his family out except the dad and the hospice nurse (she only comes three times a week.) My wife said her mother had a mild stroke last thursday and is near starvation. So, I quess we sit and wait. If nothing is done to either remove this woman from the house or a mercy killing is performed, my wife, her sisters, her nephew, and I plan to go back with the police and senior services to try and get her out, again. She doesn't have long now that she is not getting enough food or water. There is nobody there to monitor the situation since all but the son and father have been kicked out???
Please pray for us and her. My wife is having panic attacks, and I have been having a difficult time. I lived through my dad's passing, but I have never seen anything like this--it goes beyond cruelty.
Last edited by mod-anon; 08-11-2008 at 08:30 AM.
Reason: moved posts to a new thread
I had to jump in and say that I am so sorry for what you and your wife and her mother are going through. We went through a pretty horrid situation with my sister-in-laws passing last year, but it pales in comparison to what you all are going through.
I know you are doing the best you can and God Bless you for it. I hope this newest intervention will allow this poor woman to live out what little time she has left on this earth in peace. I will pray for all of you and I'll keep checking in when I can. Again, God Bless you all.
Thank you for the kind words. The hospice did come out and do an investigation. They have decided, for now, that the son is doing what he is being told. They said it is very difficult to get her out unless she agrees with it---sigh.
After running everbody out except himself and dad, he is fininding it very difficult to care for her. Additionally, She doesn't know that the rest of the family has been booted out, so she has been asking for us everday. He has to lie to her to avoid telling that we were kicked out. I guess he is changing his mind and want us to come back. I told my wife I will go back and see her loving mother, but will avoid all but the simplest conversation with him because I still want to punch his lights out. If she starts to hurt and he won't give her the medication, I might punch his lights out anyway so that she can get her meds.
Thank you for the prayers. They are the only reason she is alive to see us one more time.
How sad life can be. You go and see her and if that sorry excuse of a son even looks at you the wrong way - punch his lights out! He'd be lucky if that's all you did. I'm glad your wife has your support through all this - you are such a good guy and this is such a rough time in her life.
I haven't lost my Mom yet, fortunately she's sharp as a tack, walks at least a mile a day and is 77. She's my best friend. I did loose my Dad to lung cancer 12 yrs ago and still remember, vividly, how hard it is to watch a loved on die from cancer. My Mom was an RN and took complete care of my Dad till the day he died in their bed. I don't know if I could be as strong as her, but I guess when life's horrible events come along, you do what you have to do
I've been thinking of you and your family since your post on 8/10 and keep you in my prayers.
I found out today that the hospice took action. They called the police and had them meet them at my wife's Mom's place. They told the son that he was looking at some kind of homicide or elderly neglect charge because of her rapidly deteriorating condition. Needless to say, he asked for her to be taken into our care or nursing home care. Given the condition she is in, she has maybe days left. So she will be in our care until she passes.
Thank you so much for the support! I am much stressed, but I think that I can ride it out. The first medicine that poor woman gets when she arrives at my home is relief from her pain. I told my wife to make sure that the morphine is on the top of the med's list.
Last edited by mk7657; 08-12-2008 at 08:08 PM.
I dont believe i have ever read about such a horrible situation and i really feel for all of you. That poor woman, i have said the pray to St. Jude and asked for him to stay by your sides, especially your M.I.L. I hope the nightmare ends soon and you all find peace somehow.
Wow, while i was praying you were writing, im so glad she is with you both and can say goodbye to the family with less pain and some peace in her heart. God Bless all of you ........Lord please hold this families hand and guide them through the rest of this difficult time~ Amen
Mike, I am so glad that this intervention happened successfully. While I know it will still be very difficult for your wife to lose her mother, she can at least know that she was there with her and that she was finally comfortable in her last days.
I am praying for all of you and I hope you will stay in touch. Please tell your wife that I admire her so much for her courage and her devotion to her mother.
Take good care of yourself and your wife. I know from your previous posts that things have been a bit strained due to this situation, but in the end, I feel this can only bring you closer. When everything has quieted and your M-I-L is finally at peace, maybe a short trip to somewhere beautiful and serene would help the two of you strengthen and rebuild the love you have for each other. God Bless you all.
You kind folks will never know how much these compassionate posts mean to me!
I have been given the run-around on this hospice situation from my sister in law. It is not as I have been told. The nightmare continues, alas, alas, alas, sobs and frustration. Your prayers and blessings are with me, however, and I have faith that my higher power will intervene. May God speed her departure from this world, and I believe it will be as pain free as is humanly possible (without the morphine).
Thank you for your support. I will continue to read posts on this board and, most of all, have hope. My mind continues to look for solutions.
When she is gone, we plan to go to a nice place in Northern California and will celebrate her crossing there.
Sorry for the depressing news. If I ever see my brother-in-law, he will get my thanks with a knuckle sandwich, and it will have everything I have behind it!
I have showed my wife what you have said. It means a lot to her.
I have just read through your posts and wanted to offer my prayers for you also. God bless you for being such a wonderful husband and son in law. I know these next days will be hard, but I know your wife will get through them because she has you!
I have experienced a lot of turmoil in my family, my grandmother is 94 with advanced dementia, and we have had ridiculous bitterness and resentment in our family, so I totally can relate to all the tension with her son. God bless her, her final days will at least be in peace, and you and your wife are giving that to her. There is no greater gift than that. When we all leave this world, we all just hope we've done our best and stood by those we loved. You will miss her, but you will always know you did your best for her, and you wont have any regrets.
I will say a prayer for your family, please know I really do empathize with your pain as I understand family struggles all too well....you are not alone......
Hi Mike & family, sorry to hear things are still not going smoothly but hang in there. Your both doing the best that you can and i am so glad you have each other to hold on to. I am also glad to hear you have already made plans for when the nightmare ends. That was a very good thing you have done for yourselves. I am sorry that she is still suffering in pain, that has to be such a heartbreak for all. My thoughts and prayers are with you
You have all been so kind, gentle, and caring with your words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
My latest try at getting my MIL out of this abusive situation was a bribe. One night this week, my wife and I were up late brainstorming for any idea that had a remote probability of working. Then, bingo!... I know that her brother likes and needs money. He talks about it all of the time. Would a cash bribe work? My wife thought it might. We talked about a sizeable sum, enough to take care of him for about six months, food, gas, water, and entertainment--a lower middle-class lifestyle for about six months for an adult man. And all he had to do was have his father sign the paper that legally transfers her care to us. We would make sure that there was no way to link the money to the signed documents. The money could include a note that it was a gift to help out a family in need during these difficult times, signed by both my wife and me.
We were running out of time, and he won't answer the phone. So, my wife drove over at 7:00 am to negotiate our bribe. I called senior services, hospice--every support group I could think of. They mostly agreed that she didn't have much time and thought the money was a good idea, worth a try anyway. They said it was not illegal to give people money, and thought that any plan was better than letting Loriís mom die a painful death when the morphine is available and wonít be used. Most of the hospice staff is getting upset that nothing can be done to help this woman. Additionally, the father and son had tied up all of the loose ends that might help her escape.
The son wouldn't let my wife in the house. He used his dad to blockade her from entering, and the dad wouldn't let my wife have a private conversation with the son. So, in her frustration, she blurted out the offer to her dad. He said they didn't need the money (if true, he has been lying to us for over 10 years). He told her that he was insulted by the offer and that she was never to set foot on his property again. If he saw that she was anywhere near the house, he was going to call the police and have her arrested. I haven't seen a restraining order yet, so he hasn't taken it that far. He did, however, call hospice (second one now) within minutes after my wife left and cancelled their services.
Oh well...It was a good try and there is no way possible it could have made anything worse for her mom. Whatever they are or plan on using for her care is what it is. She is counting seconds now; she will still be counting seconds tomorrow. Her dad told my wife that the son has not been giving her mom any solid food or pain-killers (really rubbing it in, I guess). My wife will never go back
At least we tried something. I know it was a desperate move. If the son had met my wife at the door and heard the conditions on getting a six-month stack of cash-money, he most likely would have accepted. It had been planned so that there would be no way to prove the money was a bribe and to free him of any legal mess that might turn up down the road. The cash and signed legal-document transfer for her care could have been handled by a third party in another location, if he felt the need for it.
I thought that this offer would tempt anyone, especially somebody who obviously doesnít give a hoot about his mother, anyway. It didn't work out, but we tried.
I'm sorry your plan didnt work out. I'm sorry, maybe this has already been suggested, or you've already tried this, but can you not report the fact that this son is not giving his mother proper food or pain medication? Whether or not he is her son, he should not be allowed to get away with that, it is just plain cruel. I really feel for your wife, having to battle her father and brother to give proper care for her mother, especially in her last days. What an awful position to be in, it sounds like an impossible situation.
My family is in the opposite position, my uncle takes 24/7 care of my grandmother, and cant get any of her other children to help care for her. They all live 5 minutes away and just want nothing to do with her. So now she will leave this earth thinking her daughters abandoned her. How do families get to this state? I'll never understand it.
I will pray Mike for a solution for this for you and your wife.......and if your MIL is suffering, I pray for a peaceful end for her. For you, just continue to be there for your wife, as you have been, it sounds like you are a rock for her, and that will get her through this and the days to come.
I hope you'll keep us posted.