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Family and Friends >> My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS

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Reged: 12/23/10
Posts: 2
So concerned about my mom.
      #253672 - 12/23/10 10:33 PM

Hello Everyone,

I came across this site while looking for advice/information/coping/etc.

I feel that I need to talk with others and maybe GET and GIVE help/advice/an ear.

My mother has HIV. I found out "finally" in 2008. The reason I say finally is because I heard of her having it in 1993/1994 and when I confronted her she denied it. Ofcourse she would deny it because I approached her crying hysterically, who would admit to anything if someone came to them like that? I feel like such a fool.

In 2008 my sister told me she found some medication that said "for HIV patients". I confronted my mother but this time, as an adult. She did admit to having it and felt so relieved that it was now out in the open.
My mother suffers from depression. This stems from a bad upbringing (Abandonment, rape, etc…Too much to list)
She went into a deeper depressed state and even started using drugs once my brother, her only son, died a tragic death in 2004. She still suffers till this day, ofcourse, we all do!!
My mother used this phrase "I've been stabbed twice in my life". One being her diagnosis and second being my brother.
She said that she denied it before because she didn't want to hurt me or my siblings. How selfish of her to care for our feelings. I feel so bad that for all these years she had to hold it inside. My mother is a very very strong woman and doesn’t even know it. I’ve told her plenty a times and she doesn’t get it. ) She raised 3 girls and 1 boy (RIP) all by herself. She always kept a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.

My mother tells me about her T-cells and Viral load. I am glad that she is being open with me but I know she is not being very truthful, which again I know it’s to avoid fear in my heart. I’ve been trying to go to her appointments but never tells me when or where. I just want to be on track with it. I just want to know! What I really cannot stand is the fact that the doctors just medicate people and not send them for help or guide them. They just get people addicted to medication. Which is the case for my mother. She is addicted to ALL THE DAMN pills they give her. I believe that there is a pill for “move you make” I cannot even begin to tell you.

My mothers health has been getting weaker. At the current time my mother has Sciatica and Arthritis. She has a pinched nerve which radiates down to one leg and now the arthritis is starting to bother her other let. She now walks with a limp, so sad. She continues to get MRI’s but nothing is being done. Just the other day she caught bronchitis. She was prescribed antibiotics BUT she states that she was sleepy while taking her medication and dosed off and spilled all her medicine on her bed. She has gotten it in the past but I feel that she isn’t taking good care of herself and is giving up.

Unlike some people (My sisters) I have a very soft spot for my mother. Because she is “MY MOTHER”!! She can do “no harm”, in my eyes. Yes I get upset with her, I am only human, but I forgive her right away. )
I feel like I should be doing more for her. I beat myself up all the time. I catch myself feeling down at times. I do not know what to do. My husband and I always talk about it and he reassures me that I am doing everything that I could as a daughter but I do not see it. On Thanksgiving we spoke with my mom and we told her to move in with us when she is ready but, I guess she isn’t ready to move so far away from her “No good” friends.

Sorry for this long post. I just wanted to post something and this came out. )

A concerned daughter......................

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Reged: 06/18/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Georgia
Re: So concerned about my mom. new
      #253710 - 12/28/10 09:18 PM

It's often been said that parents should also respect their children, because they'll need someone to take care of them in old age. From reading your post it doesn't sound as if your mother intentionally did anything to either you or your siblings. She worked hard to keep you in a home. What more could anyone honestly ask for. Apparently, your sister has issues. Leave her completely out of it. If she wants to involve herself in the family she can, but don't pressure her.

Your mother's health is taking a noticable downward trend. I'm going to tell you what I tell the people here that I talk with about HIV - you get old. Your body starts to fail. There is nothing you can do about it. You might try encasing your mother in plastic, but that has it's drawbacks, too.

HIV (especially longterm survivors) study is in its infancy. There is so much scientists and doctors don't know. But, they are learning. If you read this website (THE best there is bar none!) you'll come across stories about people with HIV and ageing. Put simply, doctors are finding that people with HIV aren't appearing to age the same as people without HIV. We're getting old before our time. Like I said the research into this is brand new. There is almost no comprised data out there. But, since she's had 4 children I have to assume that she's older than 35. Probably well into her 40's or 50's. Amoungst the few findings into the age study is that older people with HIV may appear to be ageing faster than young people with HIV. That's 2 strikes against her. We won't go for strike 3.

Arthritis (all of the -itis families) is a disease that generally strikes people as they age. Your mother's HIV MAY have something to do with the onset and progression of this ailment. (Notice the MAY in big letters.) Unfortunately, the reasearch is still too new to give difinitive answers.

I'm going to make another assumption here. I'm going to assume that you and your mother are fairly close. What I would suggest is that you and she sit down with competent legal representation and draw up paperwork to give you (or another sibling who likes her) power of attorney over your mother. You don't have to aumotatically take control of everything in her life. But, it would give you a step to ensure that bills are getting paid; meds picked up from the pharmacy and taken as directed when home; that she goes to the doctor when she's supposed to; and that she's eating properly. This is going to take some time out of your life. Maybe not so much now, but in the future. I wish I had done more for my parents when they were alive. Try not to look on it as a chore. Look on it as a priviledge of caring for your mother after all the years she cared for you.

As for spilling the meds in bed - portion them out into a pill box. If she can't open the pill box with her arthritis spend a little and get small disposable cups. She takes the same pills everyday at the same time. Line up the doses. When she goes to take the pills she'll even have the cup to drink water with them.

As for having your mother move in with you - she is probably not wanting to feel like the third wheel. Invite her to your home. Show her where she'll be living. Sit down and discuss with her the pros and cons. You've got to sell her on the idea no matter how good it is to you.

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New User

Reged: 12/28/10
Posts: 1
Re: So concerned about my mom. new
      #253726 - 12/29/10 05:47 PM

Hi Dear Concerned Daughter,
I am a psychologist currently working with the Texas HIV Connection as a Training Specialist and read the Bodies posts weekly. Currently I am reworking a course that we will be teaching throughout the state of Texas entitled "Focus on Women" and I have been doing a lot of research while putting the course together and I have found that educating women about HIV/AIDShas been sadly lacking although currently world-wide women now comprise half or more of people who are living with HIV/AIDS. One sourse that might be helpful for your mother is HIV Wisdom for Older Women; The site was created by an amazing woman who has lived with HIV for many years and she seeks to help older women who find themselves living with HIV as well. There is so much stigma around women being infected with the virus and many women do not understand that they are actually at higher risks to contract the virus than men. It might help your mother to discover this site, to find a support group that could help "normalize" her feelings around HIV and realize that she is not alone. It has been documented that depression is much more prevelant in women with HIV than with men and that depression can lead to further supression of the immune system. Let your mother know that she is not alone and that there are resources out there that work specifically with women who are living with HIV. I really admire your desire to help and your concern for her. I imagine that your care alone is benficial for her well being and that she loves you even more because for that. Blessed be.

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