Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Brother" update and more

So I know I haven't posted anything in a while.  Been a lot of stress going on around here which has obviously negatively impacted my health.  Having a lot of autonomic issues, completely exhausted (to the point that it seems like a great effort just to lift my head up while sitting on the couch.  Everyone is also really stressed out.  K doesn't really understand what is going on, he just knows his 'dad' is in the hospital with an infection in his leg.  Dad is corresponding with my 'brother' but mom isn't at this point.  Well I guess I should update what is going on first to get my 'readers' lol up to speed.

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.
Well that is the updates on what is going on here with my brother and why things have been quiet.  I do have a new post coming about this weekend but will do that later.  Hope everyone who is reading this is doing well!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Recap

Since I was posting my summer vacation posts on the date that they actually happened, and have posted one up-to-date post I thought it would make it slightly easier to just list the posts that I back dated.  Most of these three posts were written up after I posted about my brother but I wanted to post them to the proper date.  The posts are:

Concert and weekend with S

Wonderland trip with K and my cousins

Week-long Vacation with Family

Unfortunately there will be more posts about what is going on with my brother.  Just wanted to make sure my summer fun posts were not lost in all this (like our real summer fun getting lost because of him).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WTF - Brother

So, as always, when things start to actually look positive and things seem to be going well, my brother has to go and fuck things up.  Always happens, and I am the only family member to actually realize it always will happen.  I know this is horrible to say, and 99.99999% of people could never even fathom it, but I would be quite happy if he just up and disappeared.  The only way I would be sad at his death is because my parents and K would be sad. 

After a great concert weekend with my friend, a trip to see family and take the kids to Wonderland, a local amusement park and time on the beach we come home to more new news.  First off, that evening mom came into my room and told me that K and his fiance had broken up and that she wanted to tell me to keep me up to date with what is going on (that is a first in my life!).  She told me that he has not been using but that he is going to go and give NA (Narcotics Anonymous) another go to get his life straightened around.  Apparently his fiance had cheated on him with one of his friends that lived with them and he had proof.  She also told me that the fiance and friend had been smoking a lot of pot.  I basically bit my tongue to prevent an "I told you so" and then got mad that they knew this was going on yet they still allowed my nephew to go over to the place.  Apparently it was never when the friend was around but still really bothered me.  This was on Tuesday.

On Friday K showed up at the house and apparently told my nephew that he had broken up with his fiance and that he was going away for a while to get his life back on track.  Nothing more was said.  My mom was having trouble with her facebook because K had used her computer to check out his facebook.  My parents went out for dinner that night and my nephew was at a dance so I figured I would go on and get my mom's facebook all set up the way it should be for her.  Well I looked around a bit and found a post from my brother stating that he was so messed up this time and couldn't believe how erratic he could get and that he was 5 days clean at the time.  That had been posted on the Wednesday so he apparently got clean on Friday (20th).  Once my parents got home and I got mom alone I flat out told her that either K was lying to them or that they were lying to me and told her about the post.  She claimed she knew and was going to talk to me about that and apologize.  Why apologize?  Well I had been telling her for months that K was on something.  His behaviour clearly showed that he was using something but no one had believed me.  My nephew even told me one night that his dad (K) chewed up his pills before swallowing them.  I told mom about this (my nephew told me this around the end of June) and she confronted K about this and he told him that it was just Tylenol and that he was trying to show my nephew how he could take pills easy (my nephew has issues with taking medications).  K told mom that he couldn't be on anything because his job did random drug testing.  I called him on that lie (he was off work at the time for once) but mom believed him.  I pointed out specific erratic behaviour and she said that yes, in hindsight it was easy to see.  I basically started to cry and said that I was getting sick and tired of being the 'bad person' and getting into fights because I was the only one who could see through K's lies but no one else would accept it.  I was told that it was okay and that he had gone off to a larger city (about an hour away) to check himself into detox and that he would be staying there for awhile to get things sorted out.

On Sunday I woke up because my dog was barking like crazy and no one was letting him out.  I got up and went upstairs to find the lovely sight of my brother, mom and nephew in my mom's room talking.  He stayed for a few hours or so and then left again.  Apparently he told mom he was back in town that day because he was starting back to work and the doctor had given him the go ahead to go back to work but because he had been off so long that he had to come back and go through training again (on a Sunday?  I don't buy this lie).  Mom and I exchanged quite a few words about it that day but nothing too momentous.

Then today. Mom, my nephew and I went in to town today to do my nephew's back to school shopping, go to see Ice Age 4 in 3D, do some other shopping and get some supper.  K became a topic of conversation so I took me chance and asked if anyone even knew where he was.  Apparently he went to the detox center an hour away but they wouldn't take him because he wasn't 'sick enough', he had no where to stay in our hometown so was going to stay in the larger town (where the detox was, about an hour away).  But he had been back in our town to go through re-training for his job and that he was having problems because he couldn't get welfare in bigger city. So many contradictory stories that no one else can see through.  Anyways, we had a good day out (dad was at a car show about 3.5 hours away) and we unloaded the car and brought everything inside.  I went down stairs to get my PJ's on and put my stuff away and came upstairs to find mom checking the voicemail messages.  This is basically what we heard:

"Hi Dad, it's K. Umm, I am in the ICU in [hometown] (laugh), umm I did a bad testosterone shot in my leg and they diagnosed it as a flesh eating virus. Umm, [fiancee] is my emergency contact but I can't find her so can you find her let her know what's going on.  Oh, I can't get welfare in [big city] so I don't know what's going on. Oh, also I am calling you because my truck is parked out in front of emerge and I need someone to go get it." (First Message)

"Hi Dad, it's me again. Umm I can't get in touch with [fiance], she's listed as my emergency contact and you guys are second.  Could you drive over to her place and tell her that K's got a flesh eating virus and doesn't know if he is going to live or not?  They are going to take me to the OR within the hour.  Can you call [fiance] at [phone number].  Tell her that I love her and if I survive this or not I still love her.  I love you guys too.  And [my nephew] and [me].  Man I never saw this coming." (Second Message)

So of course with dad not home, it's just mom by herself to figure this all out.  She goes and finds the number to the hospital and calls ICU.  Apparently he did a steroid injection in his leg and got a flesh eating virus in it (I assume it was a dirty needle, he already has Hep-C from this).  They took him into surgery and removed all of the affected area that they could see.  He is in the ICU hooked up to a ventilator and sedated and they will do another operation tomorrow to see if they missed any areas.  Then mom had to call the police to let them know about the truck as she couldn't go and get it until my dad got home.  She tried a few times to get in touch with the ex-fiancee but all she kept getting was the answering machine for the guy who she slept with when she cheated on him and didn't leave a message.  Dad got home and they went back in to town to get his truck and that is where we are now.  He always manages to get himself into trouble but no one wants to admit that it is his own fault because of the many bad decisions he has made throughout his life.  It is all because of him and only him.

This is where I get upset.  When I went downstairs to talk to mom right after she got off the phone with the ICU nurse (she also changed his emergency contact information to be them and not the fiancee) she said she didn't know what was going to happen.  He has no where to go in the big city and can't get welfare and he has no where to stay here when he gets out.  He is her son and she can't just see him released out of the hospital and on to the streets.  I just told her to remember who the number one priority was (my nephew obviously) before she makes any decisions.  I honestly do not know what I would do if he comes and moves in here for a while.  I literally get physically sick being around him and could not tolerate him staying here.  His few hours a week visiting my nephew is bad enough!  Well I guess I should get to bed as it will be a long day tomorrow.