He has necrotizing fasciitis in his left leg. He has a wound that goes from just below his hip all the way down to just above his knee and is a good two or three inches wide and goes down as deep to the point it was at his muscle (some had to be removed). He has had three surgeries (I believe, lost count) and was kept sedated and on a ventilator for quite a long time because, as my dad says "he was being an asshole" so they just kept him sedated instead of bothering with him. They think they got all of the bad stuff out but would have to wait a few weeks before they could even start doing skin grafts. He was released from the ICU last week but is now in an isolation room where you have to be fully gowned to go in. The ventilator is gone but there a lot of IV's. I believe they have either started working for the skin graft or it will begin this week, I am not sure (and haven't gotten any updates lately - don't get me started on that!). That is all I know health wise. However, I was VERY relieved to hear that my dad contacted the hospital and told them that he has no where to go and he can not come to our place (told them he "has a daughter with EDS and his son [K] living here who have to take priority") The hospital said that they would get social workers involved when he gets closer to being released (which they are giving no time frame for at all).
A couple weeks ago dad called in the 'troops'. One of our family's really close friend (more like family) has been clean and sober for 30 years, works in a rehab treatment facility and has multiple family members who are addicts (drug and/or alcohol - not going to distinguish from here out because it's not the substance that matters, it's the addiction). Dad was going away that Saturday and called her in (will call her D from here out) to come and talk to mom, and if I let her, talk to me. We talked for HOURS and got a lot out of it but mostly the theme was don't let his actions affect anything to do with anyone else. Mom apologized for not believing me (I had called out both him and her that they were using and I kept getting the 'You just don't like him' excuse). D told me that if we ever decided to let him back in the family and this situation occurs again, that I better call her first thing and she would come out and help me. She fully agreed with me that she didn't feel he should have ever had unsupervised visits in the entire 10 years his son has been alive, she just didn't feel it was her place to say anything. She got mom to realize that this entire situation is affecting me more than she would have ever imagined. She said that she envies the relationship that mom and I had and wished she was as close to her daughters. She said that I have always been so strong and have had the healthiest relationship with dealing with my brother (Imagine hearing that!!!). She also basically told mom that she better start accepting that my brother and I will ever have a relationship because I was only 10 when he started using so we never even had a real and honest relationship and that too much time and pain has passed to ever start a real one. Especially because of K, he is my first priority and I have to remain objective and not be taken in with his lies like my mom does. She also had me realize that no matter what mom will always hope for the best for my brother but that I should also have a say in things that go on since I am an adult in the house (and deserve to feel safe) and I am basically sharing half the parenting role with my mom (dad is just the 'babysitter' type of role - great for trips and special events but not for homework and discipline). Basically this is the first time that D has ever seen my hurting and in emotional pain and it's not because of my brother, it's because I tried to bring what was going on to their attention many many times (and mom admitted to this when I started listing them off) and that no one would believe me. I truly felt like I was the only one that was actually looking out for K's well being - and if that means he shouldn't be around his dad, then that is what should happen. D told mom what her conditions to any contact would be if my brother and K were her kids. She says that my brother should have his year chip in NA (narcotics anonymous), have a strong and established sponsor (someone who is also in NA and is like a mentor) and be providing financial support to my parents for raising his son. I rolled my eyes and just told her that that would never happen. We get at points that one weekend I am to call the police if he shows up and the next week he is coming to pick K up to go to his place with no explanation at all. She kept trying to get my mom to go back to Al-Anon (generally a support group for spouses of addicts but now is also merging in with the group for adult children of alcoholics) and by the time she was done talking to me she really wanted me to go with her to one and that she would drive down (she is about an hour away) and take me to a meeting anytime. She left from our house and went in to see my brother in the hospital (at this point she was the first visitor from 'our' side) and left him a note that if he was serious about getting clean and admitting that HE is the problem, that she would find him a place in the treatment center she works at ASAP.
Okay, so on to the new tidbits that have been happening. I will put them in point form to hopefully make it easier to read and not just one large text block.
- Brother's car is parked in the driveway and we are not sure what is going to happen. After I mentioned to mom that I was 99% sure there were drugs in the car (from things she denied months ago) dad talked to brother and told him that his car needed to be cleaned out and one of his 'friends' (not sure if it's a clean friend or a user) came and got any drugs or paraphernalia out of the car. The car is supposed to cost $700 a month and he obviously doesn't have the money so we're not sure if it will be repossessed or what (I do know that my parents will not pay for it while he is in the hospital).
- Brother's girlfriend/fiance/ex is playing games. She called mom last week and basically said that she wanted the car because it was just sitting in the driveway and she was having to pay for cabs to get to work. She also came out with she was smoking pot AND had gotten into pain killers as well. When mom told her that she had trusted her and why she had lied to her (she had told mom many times that brother was taking his pain meds after surgery 'responsible') so that K could still come to visit. She is also playing mind games with brother sucking up to him at the hospital and other stuff. Mom told her not to call again.
- We had a good week that we were avoiding phone calls from my grandma. Mom didn't want grandma to find out about what was going on while she was alone in her apartment. She called her sister (my aunt) and asked her to please go into town (30 minute drive) and tell her. Well my aunt "couldn't" get in until the end of the week so mom didn't want to talk to her before that in case grandma asked how my brother was doing and mom breaking down and telling her what was going on and grandma having to process that when she was home alone.
- It is getting really hard going into stores and stuff here in town and having people that we know coming up and asking how my brother is doing and trying to find a polite answer instead of saying 'I don't care how he is doing, it would have been better if he just died' - I don't think that would go over well - especially with people who look at us like the perfect family.
- I finally got the response that I wanted out of someone last week. I told my friend (known her since third grade so she has known ALL that has gone on) what was going on and she just laughed and said he was like a cat and had nine lives (this is about the third time he basically should have died - this is the second possibly fatal disease he has gone through, and not even counting overdoses or 'cry-for-attention-I'm-going-to-kill-myself suicide attempts). When I told her mom the basics she just rolled her eyes and shook her head.
- Ever since he has been 'awake' (ie. not sedated) he has been making numerous phone calls to the house. Now remember, there are four of us who live here. Dad will talk to him, mom won't at this point, I refuse and K isn't allowed to. So when he calls the house and it rings and rings and rings until the answering machine picks up, then repeats that two or three times in the next few minutes. He won't leave a message, but won't take the hint that we don't want to talk to him.