Brother in law slept like a rock on day one. He fell asleep and didn’t move for the rest of the night. In the morning we got his medication regimen started. It consists of a lot of vitamins and laxatives. His parents came to the house to pick him up and take him to his primary care physician. I told them I would meet them at the psychiatrist office in the afternoon. When 2 pm rolled around, I met them there and went into the “family” room to discuss brother’s treatment.
I am aware that this is not an ideal situation. I understand that it is a scary situation. And I also understand that I really have no skin in the game as far as brother in law is concerned. My only concern will be consoling FMG if brother dies and I know I can do that, however, I’m the one that is home all day and I’m the one basically making sure brother gets his meds and sticks to his diet and doesn’t drink too much fluid in a 24 hour period (which is really hard to do) so when I got invited to go to the appointment, I was happy to do it because FMG and I had some questions and since he had to work, I got to play surrogate big brother.
I’m not sure if pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors to keep people on the prescriptions or not, but the doctor and the nurse seemed adamant that he could not come off this drug nor would he ever be able to. She (the nurse) said things like “he can be on buprenorphine or he can be an addict.” “If we take him off it now, he will be miserable and it could be worse for him and his liver, have you ever seen someone coming off of opiods?” and my favorite, “if his liver was functioning properly, he’d already be having withdrawal symptoms for going without it for 24 hours”
I was completely aware of my place in the conversation. I am an outsider. It’s not my brother. It’s not my family. And in the end, it’s not my problem. But it just doesn’t make any sense to me. His liver is medically not working. The liver filters things. The drugs he “has to have” need to be filtered through the liver. Also, these drugs have been known to cause liver damage in test studies. Which led me to my next question. If the meds are not leaving his system as quickly as they normally would because his liver isn’t getting rid of it, then can we lower the dose so his liver can function at its optimal capacity while he is attempting to heal?
I thought it was a valid question, but I guess I’m an idiot because the doctor came walking in with a prescription of 8mg buprenorphine for Brother to take 2x a day. So the answer was a hard no, apparently.
So we left the doctor’s office and headed to the drug store to get it filled. Brother was barely out the door of the Walgreen’s before he had his hand held out because he needed his fix.
Also, at the meeting, his parents were saying things like, “he will never be able to live on his own again, he will have to live with his brother or with us, his parents, for the rest of his life.”
And then I started feeling really bad that literally nobody was giving this dude the benefit of the doubt. Yes, he has a problem. Yes, he is very sick. But lots of people overcome addiction and liver failure if they make a choice to change their lives and they decide they want to live.
I just don’t think brother has decided that he wants to live yet. He still has his addict mentality that nothing is his fault and everything is the responsibility of someone else and it really pisses me off.
But, for the most part, I bit my tongue. If it had been my brother, the whole appointment would have looked very different, but I didn’t feel like it was my place to voice my real opinion so I only voiced the sugar coated one and when that got shot down, I decided to just do what the doctor’s said.
Until my mind spiraled out of control (which I will tell you about tomorrow).