Where do you, as a carer/partner, draw the line?

i mean the line between knowing something is wrong, and calling for help, and on the other hand, letting the patient manage their own illness on their own?

My partner, who some of you know as "Puffthemagicdragon" seemed very well a few days ago, but then was complaining of chest pain, I wanted to call for help and have it checked out, he wanted me to stop "fussing".

so i left it and against my better judgement, let him drive 200 miles to see his family yesterday.in the middle of the night i picked up a message he was in hospital.

i spoke to him this morning and he's ok, he had oxygen in the hospital, and more antibiotics, and it was an infection.

probably when he gets online he will explain it himself.

but this is one of the things i am finding difficult, in all honesty i feel guilty, i should have done something yesterday, i shouldn't have let him drive, etc.even though he insisted he was ok, i knew there was something wrong.it could have turned out much worse than it did.

does anyone have any opinions on this issue?

23 Replies

  • I always feel I am making a fuss; it’s so hard to know at times when to go to the doctors or hospital! Graham usually lets me decide but I think it must be hard for those looking on. I have my antibiotics at home would take them first feel like I am wasting peoples time I am all for being at home not in hospital but at times needs must! Don't feel guilty it is his call I know you cannot stop worrying its hard on you. Val

  • Hi Theotherdragon

    I hope you are well.

    I know it is easy for me to say, but try not to feel guilty - we care for our loved ones and objectively feel they may need help at certain times, but we can't make them - all we can do is encourage them to seek that help - they are at the end of the day adults.

    I hope this helps a little.


  • I have emphysema and hate making a fuss, worry about getting on others nerves and try to play down my bad times .I dont like being told what to do I ,never have . it is a difficult line to draw ,and always will be , as to when to insist on one thing or another.

    dont feel guilty. he is an adult

    my brother has pulmonary fibrosis,emphysema and heart disease . I will try at times to tell him what to do and what not to do . I tell him off like a kid at times !

    but it is frustration on my part because i cant do it all for him . i cant breathe for him .I cant make him better and dont want to lose him .

    so i want him wrapped in cotton wool and sit and behave himself !

    he wants to do as much as he can while he can

    he wants to push himself to do usual things and also things he has never done

    he wants to be normal again.wants to do things in case tomoro he cant do anything.

  • I am in the exact situation as you, when do we panic, when do we"let them be ". It's so hard, he always says hes ok if I say are you ok, and usually its a case of oops too late, I should have got the dr last week, its worrying, and also so infuriating, we know how they look, we know how they are acting, but we don't know how they feel, THEY HAVE TO TALK TO US AAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGH.

  • I agree amagran, as a carer, we are not psychic! We want to be told when you need help and you need to let us help you, when you want help.

    However, I will draw the line if I see my dad in pain. regardless of illness, pain can be managed, most of the time, and if the meds you have are not helping and are causing severe discomfort if you won't ring the doc I WILL.

    My dad has confessed that sometimes he is scared that if he goes into hospital, will he ever come out again and I think that maybe is where the crux of the matter lies. Are you too scared to say when you really are that bad and do need help because you are afraid? If so, then try to think the other alternative.....as harsh as it may be.......if you dont get help you could get worse.

    If you are in severe pain, if you get help immediately then you can be helped, get the right medical care needed and be back home in a jiffy to annoy the rest of us and put us in our place! Doesn't that sound like the right option?????

  • In all honesty I woke up in the morning and was getting a pain across the chest when I coughed, so no pain when I didn't cough ! It felt like muscle pain, which, in fact it turned out to be. Driving didn't give me any pain at all. I arrived at my destination. The next day the pain was a bit stronger but also I was walking less distance before getting breathless. I decided, with pressure from my daughters, to go to A&E. They confirmed the muscle pain but a blood test showed there was an infection. It may have been to do with the one I had a few days before which had maybe not quite cleared up properly. They gave me the same steroids and antibiotics and I'm feeling so much better again. All the symptoms had gone in a few hours

  • Just to add. Maybe I should explain to the Dragon in more depth than I do. Giving half a story leaves too much room for the imagination. Also I don't like to fuss or be a pain in the neck.

  • THIS!!!!!!!!

    it appears to be a common issue though, reading all the replies.

  • What's " THIS!!!!!!!! " referring to Ms Dragon ?

  • that you should explain more, and stop worrying about making a fuss if you feel ill or have a pain.

  • should explain you are still 200 miles away and we're not sitting next to each other at the moment posting comments to each like a pair of lunatics!

  • Yes dear. :)

  • Me again. I don't know if you remember me saying my pulse/oxymeter readings have been 105 ( ish ) pulse rate and 84% while at rest. The last two days my readings have been a regular 86 pulse rate and 90% at rest. Ordinary shallow breathing, not forced breathing. I also walk very, very much further when it's like this and don't exactly get " breathless " more like " puffed out ". It's surprising what an infection can do. I still wonder how long I had the previous infection for with that useless doctor I had. Months I reckon !

  • Peak flow meter readings have gone from 200 to 250 in the last two days.

  • Quite normal for your peak flow to change with Asthma Puffthemagicdragon it is hard to tell when an infection is making things worse. Like you I hate fuss and hospitals when they are not needed not always right thing to do but hey we are human.

  • glad to hear of you improvement peff ,and that mrs dragon is less panicked !

  • You two make me laugh..........................keep it up!

  • yes, but he's got to come home at some point. : )

  • no, i think he's due back on Tuesday.He's spending a few days with his children who live in a different part of the country.

    and its his birthday today, so happy birthday puff if you read this!

  • one good thing that has come out of this is that we have now spoken quite a bit about the issue (maybe its easier to say it by phone than face to face?), and he has promised he won't say he is ok in future if he isn't, and i will try to stop asking him how he feels, and just trust him to tell me.

    we have also decided, prompted by posts elsewhere on this site, that when he comes back, we will approach his gp to ask if he can have an emergency prescription of antibiotics so he can start taking them if he thinks he has an infection, since itseems to take a serious hold on him very quickly, and starting them immediately in the case of it being a night or weekend, without waiting to see the doctor, could save him a trip to hospital.

  • Oh dear, he had only been back a short while and we ended up in another trip to A and E last night because he was breathless, blood tests show he STILL has this lingering infection.Hospital advised us to ask his GP about increasing doses of some medication so I've made an appointment for this morning to ask about that.They sent him away with antibiotics (not the doxyxycline he was taking) and more prednisole.

    The new agreement between us worked though, he told me immediately he was ill, and though I knew it was bad enough to go to the hospital, I wasn't so panicked as I am when I just send ages looking at him and thinking, "he looks ill i should do something, but he says he is ok, oh what to do?" THAT is far worse, for me.

    Let's hope we can keep this up.

  • I hate fuss, hate hospitals even more! I worked in one for 35yrs, perhaps thats why i hate them. When i had pneumonia 3 yrs ago I refused to go into hospital and my GP was a bit aprehensive at first but then agreed I could stay at home. he came to see me every day and even rang to see if i was ok and when I was well he said he thought i was a gonner when he first saw me so he just humoured me and let me stay home. He then said with hindsight he thought i did the right thing. the only thing they would have done in hospital was give me O2 and increase my preds and gave me ABs all of which I could do comfortably at home without all the noise and all those germs from the hospital ward. I probably recovered in half the time that it would have taken me if I'd gone into hospital.

    If ever I'm desperately poorly I'll go but I really think I can cope better at home.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, maureenv, it gives me hope that once we get all his meds sorted out properly, we won't need to keep going to A and E, and can make him comfortable at home, if he has any more of these problems.You are right, nobody likes going to the hospital - far better to be at home if it is possible.

    The new doctor he is with now is the type who would facilitate a home stay for sick patients who would otherwise be in hospital.

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