Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My brother underwent a serious heart procedure that my sister found out about after the fact. No call ahead of time. It upset her. No way he would've notified me.

This is pretty typical behavior with us, though, & you don't have to be mental health professional to feel the underlying anger. Because it is not a matter of forgetting to contact one's own siblings with important news. It's a deliberate act, or at least began deliberately & became habitual over the years. My brother doesn't like us. His wife doesn't like us. It's one thing I have in common with my sister; he doesn't like either of us. The only invite I ever received to one of his family events was for an open house after my nephew graduated college, & I think my nephew put me on that invite list. I had no involvement with him when he was growing up. Maybe his parents thought I was a pothead, & that cohabiting with a woman was a form of sexual deviancy, & I'd be a terrible influence. I had no influence on my sister's kids one way or another, except that I was always open to listening to them, & I saw them quite often when they were adolescents.

I reached a point where I thought it was better to withhold information than to share it. It embarrassed me to share it, & I didn't like that. My situation was what it was, is what it is, & it can't be dismissed, made light of or joked about. Right now, only one person has a first-hand view of what's going on here. She's been in the apartment a couple of times, been to two doctor offices, & sees the number of meds I have to take because she drives me to CVS to pick them up. She knows that an obstinate series of bladder infections have postponed tests & a necessary major surgery, after which I have to immediately move on to other serious problems. She knows where I go in Newark. She doesn't see me as strong but rather as patient, & losing patience. I can't fight a freakin' infection that probably lingers because my resistance is low. The antibiotics aren't getting any help from me. The doctor isn't kidding when he says he might have to hospitalize me on an antibiotic drip. & he's always a week behind my actual condition, basing his prescriptions not on the most recent test, but the one before it. He should be reacting on the day a test result comes in, which would be today for the one from last Thursday. The antibiotic I'm on now isn't working. I can tell it's not working. & it makes me more gaseous than I usually am, which suppresses my appetite even more.

I just called his office. His assistant looked at last week's test & said, "You still have the infection." I said, "The doctor knows that from the previous week's test. But he needs to see last Thursday's test results & adjust my meds if necessary based on that one."

I could barely manage routine matters & now I have to manage the complexities of health care for some frightening conditions. I'm in two demographics that are terrible with health care, so when I reach out for help I think I'm showing good judgment.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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