SRS Could my mom be faking it?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by fixthe fernback, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. fixthe fernback

    fixthe fernback New Member

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    Sorry, this is a long read, I will try to summarize it at the end.

    So, my mom was born with cerebral palsy. She has always had trouble walking but she could still do it. A while back she was diagnosed with arthritis and Lupus. she said she couldn't walk without pain.

    She wanted to get this surgery that would place a small pump in her lower spine and it would pump a muscle relaxer (baclofin) directly into her spine to reduce the pain. She told us that the doctor said it had a high success rate and it has been successful for paitients with CP or MS (I believe). her recovery took longer than usual (3 week hospital stay instead of a few days)

    So a few months after the surgery, she couldn't walk. her legs were paralyzed. the pump wasn't working properly and she claimed the doctors said it was because the lupus was causing the baclofin to not work like it should. she could no longer walk without crutches (she could a few months before the surgery)

    One day I get a call from her. She sounded insane. She told her that the insurance people were coming to get her and were going to break her legs. She also said that she had lice because of her slovenly lifestyle and I needed to get checked for lice (my gf, too). She kept saying goodbye, I love you (she sounded suicidal). My dad took her to the hospital and she was telling the nurses that me and my girlfriend were having a baby together (I had been dating her for 3 months). The doctors tell us that she had a mild psychotic episode. she started seeing the psychiatrist and they gave her pills for it. A few months later, she was taken to a hospital and put on suicide watch because she had called the suicide hotline. she told us that she just wanted someone to talk to.

    several months later she is back in the hospital. She claims that she has horrible leg pain. The doctors put her on antibiotics and painkillers much stronger than morphine because they at first think its due to an infection. Later they find no reason to think its an infection. They do discover gall bladder inflamation and end up removing it. Several specialists look at her, including the doctors who maintain the pump. They tell us that there is no reason she shouldn't be walking normally. She claims significant pain whenever she puts pressure on her legs.

    After recovery from the gall bladder surgery, she is placed in inpatient rehab. she slowly starts being able to walk. Then she starts acting crazy again. She gives us random calls in the middle of the night, telling me that she doesn't know the nurses number and I am the only number she knows.She continues to order stupid things with her credit card over the internet and sends them to our house (my dad convinced the credit card company to cancel the cards). She asks my dad to bring us kids (like we're small children) over to see her. the nurses say that she's been rolling the wheelchair around entering random patients rooms and going into private offices. She does this on crutches too. Sometimes this is in the middle of the night. They deem her a safetly risk and take away her crutches and wheelchair. She continues to do this. She has been walking around the hospital in the middle of the night just fine, no crutches, no pain. she was just transferred to a nursing home.

    So, do you think she could be faking it? My dad was told that she stopped taking her pills and stopped seeing the psychiatrist. She never went to outpatient rehab when she was supposed to. I can see it could be a call for attention. my dad and her have fought a lot and he goes to work at 4am and gets home at 4-5pm. He has to go to bed at 8pm. My brother and I are away at school and my sister hates her and never talks to her. She has several friends in the neighborhood. Could this just be a cry for attention? Does she have a mental disease, or is she faking? my dad thinks it could be schizophrenia.

    cliffs: mom has CP, she starts having more troubles walking and gets experimental surgery that doesn't work very well. has psychotic episode and later put on suicide watch. claims to have leg pain and has been in hospital/inpatient rehab for a month. begins to act crazy again, but atfer they take away her crutches she can walk fine without them. doctors say there is no physical reason she can't walk like she did well before the pump was put in. could she be faking, or does she have a mental disease?

    sorry for the long post :hs:
     
  2. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny I Doubt It

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    First this needs to be moved to The Asylum. Second she is not faking (dude this must be hard but seriously how could you rationalize all this as faking :hs:) and most likely has some type of mental illness.
     
  3. fixthe fernback

    fixthe fernback New Member

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    I never really thought she was faking at first, but my dad has maintained this posistion since she got the severe leg pain. But these recent developments have got me thinking. I don't think she is faking the psychosis thing, but could she be faking the pain and inability to walk because of a mental illness?
     
  4. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny I Doubt It

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    I'm not a doctor and couldn't really tell you if those are related.
     
  5. dokebi

    dokebi Commentator

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    From your extended detail of what happened she could be having a legitimate psychological problem but its also very common for "drama queens" to go beyond and above to maintain their jig. Maybe what your dad says is true.

    Some people have to realize that there is no such thing as a 100% pain-free life. Its either you deal with the daily bs and accept it or you live life as a vegetable on medication all day.
     
  6. TheProwler

    TheProwler Active Member

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    Your mother obviously has significant physical disease. Neither CP nor lupus is anything to scoff at - they're both terrible conditions. However, on quite a few occasions, I've seen someone with a physical condition that was severely exacerbated by a psychogenic component, which is what your dad is calling "faking it."

    There's certainly a good chance that she's got a few of the following going on: she likes attention, and being a sick patient in the hospital is a great way to get that (Munchausen's syndrome). She has very poor pain tolerance and isn't willing to "suck it up" and walk. She could be acting very dramatic. My wife has a patient right now who doesn't get out of bed. She is more than capable of doing so, but she just doesn't want to, often not even to go to the bathroom.

    ModestMuse is talking about phantom limb pain, which is probably neurological rather than psychological. A condition like fibromyalgia lands in between the two - it seems like there's a real component, but those afflicted often have a bit of a "delicate constitution" if you will.
     
  7. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    Agreed.
     
  8. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    I am sorry to hear this is happening to your family.

    There is no "faking", chances are that your mother lost "faking" ability when whatever happened happened. "Faking" is for someone who can control what they are "faking" and our mother seems to have lost that ability.

    Let the MD's make the diagnoses, and not the internet in this situation. If you want moral support, ask away.

    My opinion is that you need to get support around the traumatic medical history around your mothers health, your interactions with her and the families interactions with her. Also, isthere the use of legal or illegal substances other then prescribed medicines occurring with your mother?
     
  9. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    I agree with The Prowler when he said:

    "Your mother obviously has significant physical disease. Neither CP nor lupus is anything to scoff at - they're both terrible conditions."

    Has a Brain SPECT scan or MRI been performed? The surgical procedure could have instigated a widespread inflammatory response -- perhaps caused by an underlying trigger. Obviously the Lupus and CP are serious possibilities. This inflammatory response can lead to a encephalapathy or other inflammation of the brain (or entire nervous system), leading to the type of behavior you witnessed.

    This type of inflammation is sometimes extremely difficult to find through testing, though a Brain SPECT scan may be useful, to identify impaired blood flow as a result of vasculitis.

    If she was ok -- and then... not ok neurologically, and her personality and behavior suddenly changed given the context -- then "faking" never would have even crossed my mind. Accusing the patient of "faking" is to often an excuse when others "can't figure it out."
     
  10. no lol today

    no lol today Soy la bailarina de la muerta. OT Supporter

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    Nobody in their right mind would willfully invite that kind of trouble on themselves.

    Having been through medication induced psychosis more than once and recovered (Fully, I hope.) I can relate to both sides of the matter. Actions in a psychotic state are desperate and completely impulsive. It looks like a plea for attention & often times IS, but the real reason for the behavior is not to seek attention.

    Whatever the underlying cause, I hope your mom gets some help. It's incredibly difficult to be compassionate to someone who has, in a sense, become a burden but compassion and understanding is what she really needs. Even if her faculties are not fully intact. Part of her is there & needs her family.

    Good luck coping, it's incredibly difficult to watch your mother mentally dissolve. It's not the image you want to retain, but don't let the emotional difficulty keep you from maintaining strong family ties.
     
  11. Genghis.Tron

    Genghis.Tron New Member

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    A psychotic episode doesn't mean she has schizophrenia. Some parts of it sound like bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms (because of the spending, the overactivity and so on). usually, schizophrenics are much more withdrawn than outgoing. It's a bullshit internet diagnosis but it sounds like this. It would be quite strange that she develops schizophrenia so late in her life too, it usually appears in the 30s for women.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I think your mother got it right to start with -- something went wrong with the pump, or the drugs in the pump, and it's caused all this to happen. I can't imagine why a doctor would intentionally inject medication directly into the cerebrospinal fluid except in a life-threatening emergency -- if anything is going to cause nerve damage and/or drug dependency, it's going to be that. The blood/brain barrier filters out almost all known chemicals for a reason -- the CNS is incredibly sensitive to changes in chemistry.

    Hell, just the extra fluid pressure introduced by the pump could've caused nerve damage -- there's not exactly a lot of room for expansion inside of the skull and spine.

    EDIT: Is the pump controlled by the patient? If so, there is a chance she ODed on the pain medication, and all of the BS that's happened since has been her trying to deal with having caused her own severe problem.
     

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