My Brothers Keeper

I’m gonna be on a serious note in todays post. Not normal for me, but a wave of something has come over me that I can’t explain. Maybe, by the end of this post, I will understand its reason or you will be able to explain it to me.

My brother. He’s the eldest of two, being my only sibling and 10 years older than me. Has never taken care of himself. No matter how much preaching or bitching he has listened to from friends and family. He refused to treat his body with respect.

He has always been overweight. As long as I can remember, anyway.

Diabetes runs in our family, but it doesn’t rear its ugly head until late in life. Unusually around the 40’s. My mother was in her 40’s when she found out she had diabetes, as was her Mother, Aunts and Sisters. Had they all watched their weight and diet, they may have never had to deal with diabetes and it’s complications. Which, in 2006, is ultimately what caused my Mothers death at the age of 71.

Back to my brother…

He has never taken care of himself. I know it’s a hard thing to do, when your friends can eat and drink anything they want and never gain a pound. Which is how I was until I had my third child in my 30’s and headed toward middle age. I am now in my early 40’s and somewhat overweight. Which is normal for middle age, but is in no way acceptable. I have vowed to get this extra person, I carry around daily, off me. And I will! It didn’t get there overnight and it won’t leave overnight.

My brother has had his right leg amputated, first just under his knee, due to diabetes. It was then that he decided to change his habits somewhat and build back up his strength and stamina by going to a local gym for training. But he still wasn’t eating or medicating himself as necessary. And because he continued to travel the road he’d been on all his life, has had the same leg amputated just above the knee. That was almost a year ago, he’s still wheelchair bound and unable to drive.

I have now become my brother’s keeper. He never married. I do his grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and all other necessities he needs. He lives in my house. Which is not equipped for a wheelchair. I could renovate my house, provided I had the financial means to do so. Although, it’s really not big enough for that. We live within our means as best we can.

If he had only taken care of himself, he would still be enjoying a quality life, going to church, the gym to workout and to the grocery store. Instead he is cooped up in this house with only the television to keep him company, while my family and I are at work, school and so on.

Maybe the reason for this post…

Is to sympathize with someone out there in blog land that is living in a similar situation.

Or…

Maybe, there is someone out there who is not taking care of themself as they should and needed an extra kick in the patootie to get them to make some changes in their habits.

Dealing with this situation on a daily basis sometimes gets tough. I know there are others out there who have or have had similar experiences. Like my friend whose parents passed away about the same time mine did and left her with a completely helpless, disabled younger brother to take care of.

My heart goes out to the disabled people of this world and their caretakers, as well!

I pray daily for my brother, and for ways to help him be independent again.

Please leave any suggestions or comments you may have. You never know, you may be able to lend aid to me or one of my readers.

Love ya,

Becky at TWP

 

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8 comments on “My Brothers Keeper

  1. OMG this must be so hard for you. You are so torn here. Wow, I have never had to care for the disabled so i don’t have a solution. But I just know there are so many people out there who will have great ideas or support.

    I’m thinking of you.

  2. Also, I know this sounds weird, but would his own blog keep him busy? A place he could talk about his own struggles and reach out to others like him? Just a thought.

  3. I like noble pig’s blog idea. Are there agencies that provide low-cost/free transportation so he can get out?

    As for you, all I can say is I hope you find time for yourself and your family periodically. It is easy to wear yourself down caring for someone else who can’t care for themselves. I have seen that a lot, and as young as all of you are, it could be a long road ahead. Don’t forget about your own life!

  4. You as his caregiver deserve all the praise I can give. What a hard job that is and to try to remain cheerful at the same time. Hopefully YOU have some support out there as well.
    Diabetes is a horrible thing. It runs in my family as well. We lost my mom 10 years ago yesterday to diabetes at the age of 54, even though she did take care of herself, watched her diet and walked a lot. My Grandfather, who was very active and thin, died of diabetic complications at the age of 64. (both were heartattacks). It’s a very scary disease and I wish you all the best.

  5. You truly are your brothers keeper in every way it sounds like. Has to be tough on all of you including him. I can’t imagine how frustrated and how worried you must be about him. I don’t really have any solutions either-but I do know there are lots of free programs that aren’t always publized well. Maybe you could check into that avenue.

    You know-I’m always thinking about you-but now I’ll be thinking about him too-and saying a prayer for you all.

  6. Becky, praying for you, and your brother. It’s frustrating watching someone not take care of themself. Remember that your reward is not here on this earth, that the Lord is your strength, that God will give you the love and compassion you need for your brother to continue to care for him.

    I’ve gone long stretches in caring for my mom, who lives with me, with great patience. Then I’ll have a spell where I can’t stand her! That’s when I need to get on my knees and ask God to renew my love, His pure love, in my heart for her. For whatever reason, she is here in my life not just for her benefit, but for mine. Sometimes that reason is a mystery, sometimes I get a glimpse of it. I do know that suffering produces perseverance, which leads to wisdom.

    Hang in there!!

  7. Becky

    A situation I certainly wouldn’t wish on anyone. My Dad took care of my Mother but ended up dying before her from cancer. My Mother had to go to a nursing home for the remainder of her life.

    No advice just bless you for his care.

  8. I agree with Paula Take care of you and your family. Take a break now and then you need it.
    I pray for you and your family daily.

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