28 February 2012

The long, slow suicide of my brother in law

No 3.5 timeouts today.  Perhaps next week.

I received a phone call from mother early this morning.  "BIL has taken a turn for the worse.  Make sure your black pants are clean."

BIL has been in and out of the hospital for some time now.  He is very sick, again, and it is possible, again, that he may die.  He has cancer in his bladder, and was scheduled to have the bladder and a kidney removed, but he has trouble being under anaesthesia due to other health issues.  He was undergoing tests when he contracted double pneumonia.  He is on a ventilator.  He asked to be taken off, but sister ordered the doctors to put the tube back in.

In the ten years he and my sister have been together, I think I have seen the man fewer than twenty times, even though they do not live that far from me, and I see my sister and their son about once a month.  He never came over, and sister would make excuses about his health.  I sometimes saw him on days when he begged off for illness, and he seemed well enough.  Now, however, he is very ill, and it is all of his own doing.

His diet, for beginners, was terrible.  Rich food, fatty.  Then there was his smoking.  He smoked about four packs a day.  He was warned to quit smoking, but he continued, saying he enjoyed it too much.  He got emphysema, and was put on oxygen, and he continued to smoke.  He suffered from sleep apnea, and was given a cpap machine, but never used it, saying it was too loud and bothered his sleeping.  He had other problems, and all of them he refused to address for one reason or another.  Then he had to quit his job, as he was no longer physically capable, and was a burden on sister. He is in his fifties, and he has destroyed his health. He could not take his son to the park, or play catch, or teach him how to ride a bike or skate, because his health would not allow.

He may make some recovery, as he has in the past, but his clock is ticking down.  Sister will be left a widow with a special needs son (he has Asperger's Syndrome) and no support.  She and her son will have to deal with the knowledge that, while BIL did indeed love them, he loved his vices more.  He was warned, frequently, and he ignored every single warning, preferring today's pleasure over tomorrow's need.  His life, such as it is, has been a long, slow suicide.

Perhaps I should ask for prayers for his recovery, and would be grateful if you did, but the past indicates he would only toss that recovery away with the others.  Pray to St Joseph that he may make a good ending, and for those he will leave behind,


Dim Bulb said...

I'll make mention of it in my prayers tonight.

mary333 said...

So sad. I remember when you posted about them last year and I'll keep praying for them.

Bear-i-tone said...

Mary: Yeah, I keep asking for prayers for them. My sister should be feeling suicidal again, real soon.