Hi rf123, Welcome to Healing Well forum. There can be many, many things going on with her. She certainly knows there is something not right physically and emotionally isn’t handling that well either. I would discuss this with the doctors; perhaps find a psychiatrist who can consult also.
I went through something similar last summer. I have MS and have been diagnosed for 5 yrs. Well, last June I started to feel off, hard to really explain but I knew something wasn’t right. I keep going to the doctor with pain and fatigue and all the tests he kept running would come back fine. The last day of August, I ended up passing out in the middle of my living room floor; luckily my mom was stopping by that day before work and found me. I was admitted to hospital with low heart rate in the 20's and very low blood pressure. Finally, I ended up being diagnosed with an autonomic disorder that had caused all of that. But my point is that during that whole summer, when the doc wasn’t finding what the problem was, I was already taking 200mg of Zoloft for depression and it wasn’t helping anymore. I felt like hurting myself, I cried all the time, even at work and I was extremely depressed. My primary set me up with a Psychiatrist who changed my meds and I got to feeling better.
I think that you've had some good advise so far. Especially from poetdowns. It's hard for us to help her, when we are not in direct contact with her. BUT... you are here and we can help you. I can understand why you feel you are 'talking about her behind her back'. It may help you to think that you are really helping yourself. Understanding what is happening may help you bear it or 'manage' things better.
Poetdowns had 2 points I felt were especially good.
1. Dr's will treat her according to their training. You will need to train yourself in all areas. A psychiatrist WILL want to medicate her, a psychologist WILL want her in therapy, GP's may send her to other specialists and so on. You may find she needs to be in therapy and on medication. Then you'll need to research the medication etc. Learn all you can so you understand her. BEWARE: Do not analyse her or tell her what to do. She will not appreciate it.
2. It's better for children to understand what's going on around them. Find a way to help her communicate in a way they'll understand... a code.
You may need to find a way to communicate her degree of anger to them. 'Mummy's as angry as a grape' , 'Mummy's as angry as a grapefruit' or 'Mummy's as angry as a watermelon... you better leave.'
Teach her to postpone activities that she can't deal with. Your children will prefer 'I'm really angry right now, I'll read you a book after dinner.' to 'I SAID, GO AWAY' (note:they will prefer a time so they know it will happen) and they'll understand if mummy has a timeout.