I lost it with him tonight. Every night he is paranoid they wont let him in the hostel so he wants me to wait for him all the time and see him through the door. I can just drop him off from the car because it is in the very middle of the city and parking has to be some distance away. So last night and tonight I just drove to the door he goes in to, but it is one of those very small cobbled one way streets full of people close by, restaurants and bars with people on the pavement - and he wants me to wait and wait and hold every one up and wait and wait. Tonight he jumped out to try the door - which was wide open and didn't close the car door - which I can't reach to close from inside. Then he went inside and I've got cars queueing behind me and hooting etc.
I shouted him to come and close the door so he came out and tried to start explaining to me why he'd left it open - i.e. to check they knew who he was and he could stay there all night and so on. I tell him they are expecting you and you can stay the night - but he always says about everybody, I don't trust them. I just shouted at him, close the fucking door. He said but if I do, you will drive off. That is the fucking point I shouted, you are in there and everything is ok and you want me and everyone behind me to fucking wait and wait because of your paranoia. He started to try and say things again and I shouted at the top of my lungs, shut the fucking door now. He did and I drove off.
The thing is, he'll have forgotten about it a minute later and will probably try the same trick again tomorrow night.
He will have forgotten, but it will haunt you a bit for awhile.
It does, however, sound like you’ve made tremendous progress overall. Your skills at knowing how to navigate systems appear to have been put to the test, all for the better. You mentioned once, I believe, that your brother’s brain function and coping skills should improve with the right type of diet and abstinence from alcohol. Is that right?
You will lose patience every now and then. It is impossible not to. As much as I knew that it was not my mother's fault but Dr. Alzheimer's, there were times when I was not the perfect son anymore but just the person who could no longer stand the situation. It doesn't take long to realise that it is futile, that it is not your fault or the other person's fault and to just move on to the next step. I wish it were easier.
What impresses me is the amount of change you have brought about in such a short time. I guess your brother will need time to get used to his new circumstances. Have you scheduled in a "Brother Free" day so you can get away a bit and he can have more responsibility.
PS...can you give your brother a nom de plume for use here.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
htmb, in theory his brain function can recover either fully or a certain amount if he is suffering just from the Korsakoff Syndrome, or as I now suspect, it is too far gone and I have seen no improvement at all so far - maybe it is still too soon and/or there is permanent damage due to dementia/alzheimer's.
questa, a brother free day is what I'd be aiming towards. His nom de plume thingy than could be Rob - which as my real name as we know is Mark, his real name is Robert. No harm in calling him that.
K2, I'm moving on but I need to try and make sure it the situation doesn't happen again - though I know it more than likely will due to his paranoia and memory loss. Now I've had a blow up at him about it I may well be a little more calm next time.
fumobici, I agree and just to save anyone the trouble I'll mention Sierra Nevada = "mountain range covered in snow"
Had an adventure this morning. By the way, yes, he'd forgotten about last night's episode. Went to his Shelter, he's not there. Nobody knows where he is. Rang him, no answer. Had a thought, I'll go down to where his ex-partner lives. Rang her, no answer. Parked the car and walked round for an hour the couple of Plazas and checked out some cafes (of which I never realised how many there bloody well is around that part of the city until I have to go in to each one). Eventually found him in one about fifty metres away from her apartment block door.
The saving grace is he wasn't drinking alcohol but coffee and eating toast. I ask him why he wasn't at the shelter to meet me. Forgot he says, even though I write it down for him every night. I ask why he is here, in this area. To see ex-mrs Rob and the kids. What about the restraining order? What restraining order? The one that says you cannot contact her or the kids and not be within 100 metres of them or their apartment. But I rang her apartment door bell this morning, she never told me about this order. What did she say? Told me to go away or she'd call the police? But why would she call the police? Because of the restraining order. What restraining order..............
I explain it all again. He says the police will get him now because they can track him through his phone. I said I'm sure they have better things to do. But I don't trust them, he says. I ask why does he think they are looking for him (meaning why for breaking the order, who will have told them) Who is looking for me? You said the police would be looking for you. What for? he asks. For contacting mrs ex-robert and being here nearby. His answer was, I can't?! Why? How can I see my kids then?
You can't see them until the doctor says you are mentally somewhat better. Which doctor? The one you have an appointment for in a couple of days. Why do I need to see a doctor? So you can see your kids. I can't see my kids?! (Bursts into tears). Why?!
I left it there really, just kept going round in circles with him for the next half an hour or so until he forgot what we were talking about and moved on.
I might write a book. Hope you are having a good Sunday.
I just don't know what to say to Mark, that is a thoroughly depressing situation and I can only express sympathy.
i have two brothers and one cut himself off from all other family members after my fathers affairs had been cleared up. One of the aunts was very fond of him and wrote to him, but he didn't reply. I once went to the tatty bungalow he lived in but he wasn't there. Speaking to his neighbour I was told he hadn't lived there since he had a fire in his kitchen and I got he impression the neighbour was quite happy if he stayed away. The garden was a jungle with a car and a van abandoned in it, along with various kitchen things. He had always been a loner ever since he was quite young and was known as Rope, or Roper from his habit of going about with a length of rope wound round his waist. I send him a Christmas card every year but have had no response, a situation which has been going on for almost 30 years now. i don't worry about him and have shut him out of my life. mark's predicament has reminded me.
Man is not lost, only temporarily uncertain of his position
I'm sure at least half of us have relatives or had relatives with mental problem. I know he is not alone in this but he is the only one in my family to do so. Early onset Dementia/Alzheimer's rather than this Korsakoff Syndrome in my layman's mind is more likely. Exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse.
Every day I strip out his pockets to see what he has 'accidentally' picked up. I'm not even sure half the stuff he ends up with is picked up not knowing if it is his or not, but to be sure, it will go in his bag or pockets. He does seem to think he can help himself to anything, like taking stuff from my apartment and does he realise it is not his, or is there something else saying it might come in useful but knows it isn't his?
I'm sitting here for now whilst he is watching some sport on the TV, so it is nice and quiet. However, I've taken stock of 'his stock' of toilet and tissue paper that he is obsessed with. This is just overnight and one partial roll he's just put in his pocket from my toilet half an hour ago. I just hope he doesn't try and wipe his arse on the tin foil -
Good news though - he is mistaken about contacting his ex this morning. She says she knows nothing about it. One problem is I'm a little averse to revealing I'm in regular contact with her so when he asks me how I know these things, because I will tell him he didn't get in touch with her to alleviate his mind a little that the police aren't after him, when he asks, I just say I know things and leave it at that. If he knows I am in contact you can be sure as eggs are eggs, that thing he will remember out of everything and pester me to tell her things or ask her things that are senseless.
I just looked up Korsakoff Syndrome, which I had never heard of. Since the main cause alcoholism, is your brother still drinking, Mark? Woudl treatment with Vitamin B1 (thiamin) be of use, or is the damage too severe?
Mark, you have used the 'brother's keeper' quote from the Bible to be your thread title. It is one of the most misinterpreted phrases there is. Cain is the son of Adam and Eve. His job is to raise sheep, slaughter and dress the meat for eating. His brother, Abel, is the grower of grain and other crops.Thus Cain is the keeper of sheep and Abel the tiller of soil. Cain is a nasty piece of work and the Lord has ticked him off twice for jealousy. When the time for making offerings comes, each brings his speciality, Lord likes Abel's, not Cain's, Cain kills Abel.
The Lord finds Cain and asks where Abel is. Cain gets sarcastic and replies " I don't know, am I my brother's keeper? (meaning one of his sheep) The Lord does not give an answer but Cain is banished to another land (Where he marries Mrs Cain). Cain is punished not because he killed Abel per se but because it was the first homicide and reduced humans to the level of sheep ie animals.
"Am I my brother's keeper" No, your brother keeps sheep, nowhere in the Bible does it say you are responsible for another person's happiness...which is impossible anyway. We can only be responsible for our own happiness. If Mark's efforts at the present make him happy, great, but the only one who can make Robert happy is Robert.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
bjd, he's not drunk any alcohol since I've been with him, nor use any drugs (apart from one beer, hold on a sec). Yet he shows no signs of withdrawal symptoms, which is a puzzle that I'm not trying to solve whilst it is like that. I treat it as an anomaly and don't delve into the reasons. In effect I'm thankful for little mercies. Regarding vitamins, I have these and make him take them every day.
This was a bit of false information I discredited within the first day - the information I was told by his 'friends' on the first morning was that you need a doctor's prescription for them - so they didn't pursue that any further. Within ten minutes from the end of the meeting with them on my arrival to appraise me of what he was like (because obviously he can't remember), I walked into a pharmacy and asked them the truth - which was I can buy all vitamins needed over the counter.
He was diagnosed with Korsakoff Syndrome by some doctor somewhere who was part of an A and E in a hospital as far as I know. I'm not going back to him so he is redundant from my course of actions. These vitamins were supposed to help, but as I now suspect, he is a lot further down the road than Korsakoff Syndrome, but I'll still get him to take the vitamins anyway, just to be sure. No harm in him having them and he can't overdose on them, if you can anyway, because I control them.
So far he is not taking any medication other than the vitamins (and I'm making him eat properly) - and this is an issue I need to address and force to see what can be prescribed to help, if anything. I need a doctor/medical professional to not just spend a few minutes with him, but have him somewhere under observation. He has an appointment in a couple of days to see a doctor as he has changed surgeries and I'm not sure quite if this is just a surface taking of details etc like you do, or something more in depth. I will again throw my hat in the ring and challenge the doctor/surgery to pull his/her finger out and do it properly. We'll see what happens.
A day or two ago I turned up at the shelter to get him just after he wanted to go to the toilet. The toilets were being cleaned so he decided to nip over the road into a bar. He automatically bought a beer without thinking about it. It all happened so quick I ended up catching him as he came out, accusing him of drinking and if I catch him again, that was his one chance and I leave Granada and him. His reply, and in effect shows the state of his mind about forgetting this sort of important factor, was a little comical in being affronted and said, "But I didn't have any tapas!"
Questa - I think you need to address this issue to another. I didn't come up with the title though I was grateful one was assigned that did seem to fit the bill. I bow to your greater knowledge as that certain book mentioned is as about as much use to me a knitted condom and as for what the content is, it is the middle ages version of fake news. I say this not to cause offence because I don't think you are particularly religious, just widely read.
By the way, I've just remembered and don't know why I didn't connect the dots, but at the end of last summer we have a cousin living down on the coast Rob went to stay with for a few days. He was perfectly normal then, or as normal he has ever been. I was trying to think of when his deterioration started to fall off the cliff and it must have been since about September or so.
Mick, so would I. That's one reason I'm writing it. Not for catharsis, but it does help purely practically for me to put things down to remember and also because I'm sure others would be interested in the story. It may seem cold to some, but practicality and pragmatism rule me more than emotionally hugging baby seals and stopping the clubbing of trees. Is that the right way round?
An American friend of mine living in Paris suddenly went downhill two years ago and had to be 'collected' by the family. She has been diagnosed with "frontotemporal dementia." She was a member here but stopped posting because it suddenly seemed too complicated. She forgot how to speak French, and I have been informed now that she has stopped speaking altogether. It is hard to know what is still left of her brain. She was 65 when it happened.
Just saying this because there seem to be so many different ways for the brain to get screwed up. Alzheimer's at least has some funny moments before it all turns to tragedy. I particularly remember one day when I told my mother "you know you were married twice," and she blurted out "no kidding?" in total astonishment.
Rob is clearly has short term memory loss, but he also has a fixation on his ex and children, so he is certainly not forgetting them, but that could change of course. One has to wonder about the toilet paper thing. It could be that he shat himself once and there was no paper and he promised himself to never ever ever find himself without toilet paper again. As for "collecting" miscellaneous items, there were numerous specialists at my mother's nursing home and if anything went missing, the staff knew where to go and look for it. This is an extremely comment event.
We will all be curious to know what the new doctor says. Has your brother had a brain scan? That generally allows the doctors to figure out exactly where the problem lies and sometimes (too rarely) find something that they can do to improve the condition. Just using vitamins seems pretty pitiful.
K2, next steps I want are brain scans and full work up, which is what I will push for. I will play on his mental instability and danger of depression/self-harm/violence and restraining order as obvious manifestations of his mental state plus the speed of his decline to emphasize his perilous mental capabilities which need to be addressed sooner rather than later. I will also emphasize there may just be a window of opportunity to effect a full, if not partial cure, which may save the medical profession and social services 'mucho problema' in the future.
I'll need to translate all that into Spanish though and write it down to show them. The tactic I've thought of is a stitch in time saves nine. We'll see if they fall for it. I may just threaten (again) to leave him there as a last resort. The vitamins were an initial diagnosis that may have been accurate based on the time the doctor spent with him. He/she maybe thought we'll go for that rather than full on Alzheimers as a start. Best go for the least serious diagnosis first but there may initially have been some truth in it that I cannot discount. It would be a very brave doctor to say off the bat that someone has bubonic plague as opposed to a bad cold and stomach upset.
I am using a tactic with him, to find a phone number. He has reams of bits of paper and tissues with writing on them. I've asked him to find a number for our cousin so I can fill him in on the troubles. He forgets which paper he has looked at and has now spent three quiet hours searching - also forgetting what he is looking for then asking me and starting again. I know the number.
My very screwed-up and violent older brother never drank or otherwise ingested any mood or mind-altering "substance". He was in fact very puritanical about that and other things such as sex - at one point I was visiting my mother and he was there and said "but of course you're a virgin". I broke out laughing; guess it is because I've never been legally married (in Québec that is not only extremely common but there is no legal difference any more except in the case of power of attorney, which is now the subject of legal scrutiny. I guess there are all kinds of screw-ups.
And I don't read questa's Bible commentary as religious at all: it was describing the patriarchal values of its writers; for one thing making a sharp distinction between humans and "animals". Not "other animals", as I'd certainly say, though I'm not at all vegan.
Understood. Curious though as to if Cain and Abel are the sons of Adam and Eve, the first two humans, and Cain went off and married Mrs Cain........... the obvious question is, where did she come from? Maybe a convenient lie made up to fit the circumstances in the bible? Like in films where someone is killed off and in the next film they suddenly come back?
I've just dropped him off and coached him all the way there about getting out of the car, closing the door and standing in the doorway of the shelter to be let in as soon as he is seen by the security standing there. Which is virtually instantaneous. So we stop, he gets out, leaves his car door open and opens the rear passenger door as well while he attracts the attention of the security woman to let him in.
To cap it all, I get back to my apartment and find I have no toilet roll at all. He's taken it. And the spare one. I should have known when I told him to go to the toilet before we leave. I will now have to search him for 'contraband' as he walks out the door.
I'm sorry -- I know it's not funny for you, but the toilet paper business makes me laugh. Maybe next time you can ask him when he is leaving -- "I have run out of toilet paper. Do you have any that you can spare?"
Post by cheerypeabrain on Feb 16, 2020 21:34:27 GMT
Good grief, talk about stress. I hope that you are ok sweetie.
Son has an acquaintance from his clubbing days, they went to school together but were never proper friends. They were each others' enablers...they'd go to clubs where they play that awful hypnotic trance music and take a LOT of illegal substances. This chap, Steven has always been a drinker...when Russell had his catastrophic psychotic breakdown Steven was present but didnt notice. That was back in 2010. Russell has been clean since, Steven is now an alcoholic...he turns up here periodically reeking of alcohol insisting that Russell is his best mate ever...his wife and successive girlfriends have left him. Steven was always a player...always had cars, earned good money, was considered good looking and attracted lots of female attention. The drinking has robbed him of everything. He spends hours online viciously ranting about how badly everybody has treated him, he's terribly irresponsible. Steven called Russell one Christmas day, drunk and slurring ...saying that he had taken an overdose...my sick son, who was traumatised by his best friend committing suicide a few years ago...went rushing round to Steven's house...Steven said "let's get drunk" he hadn't taken an overdose...just pushing Russell's buttons.
Last time Steven came to the door absolutely bladdered Jeff refused to let him in...his family need to step up. We havent seen him for a few weeks, we felt guilty but we have Russell to think of. I think that he's still living with his father, but last time I saw Steven he looked awful. He stank and his clothes were dirty, he looks like an old man (he's 38 same age as Russell)
This doesnt help you Mark...I don't know why I felt the need to pour that out! Better out than in.
Things don't always end badly, though. 30 or so years ago I had a minor friend who was going downhill fast. He had HIV and didn't expect to live much longer so he spent all of his money, didn't have a job and just sponged off of his friends. Most of his teeth fell out. I ended being one of about 6 people who would lodge him temporarily from time to time, not just out of pity but because he always had a wonderful personality that would just suck you in. I also spent quite a bit of time visiting him in the hospital, thinking each time that it might be the last. But one thing that he did do was to become an expert on HIV and all of the research and the possible protocols. It was obvious that he knew more than most of the doctors who were treating him. (I almost became an expert myself because he would harass me to translate English language medical articles for him.)
When HIV reached the point that it was just a "chronic disease" and no longer a death sentence, he was still alive, so he turned his life around. (His teeth were replaced -- that's a relief, because he looked awful without them.) He finished his university studies and became the chief finance officer of a high school in Mulhouse. This year he has moved on to becoming the chief of examinations for the Strasbourg school system. He should have died 25 years ago and is in brilliant condition (in spite of a wheelbarrow full of pills that he has to take). I absolutely never expected this, but it is the one example I have of someone refusing to accept their fate and succeeding.