Brother-in-Log – The Quarantine

We made the decision, as a family, to move brother in law over to his mother’s house during this COVID-19 pandemic. From watching the news, most of the people who died after contracting it had underlying health conditions. And since his underlying health conditions are too many to count, we talked to him and to the parents and agreed that he would be much safer if we quarantined him at his parent’s house. Flea Market Guy works out in the public. Both of his jobs are considered essential so he can continue to work, and is pretty much expected to. Like I mentioned before, Kiddo works at a pizza place, so his job is considered “essential” as well and he’s in close contact with other humans regularly so it seemed like the best plan.

He’s been there for a week now and everything seems to be going well. At least that’s the information I got from Flea Market Guy. My text messages aren’t being answered by the mom. I think she’s mad at me because I was tough loving brother in law. But he’s dying and we were doing what we thought was in his best interest… like limiting coca colas, making him drink fresh fruit and veggie smoothies with vegan protein powder instead of pumping him full of chemical and sugary boost, and making him home cooked high protein low sodium meals every single day…. but we were also slowly taking him off the prescribed opioid he was on and she didn’t approve.

It amazes me how easily people are manipulated and guilted into doing exactly what the manipulator or the ill want them to do.

If it were my child and he had all but abandoned his wife and children in exchange for drugs and alcohol, I would be grateful and thankful if someone who had no skin in the game came to me and said, “let me help you heal him.” But instead, our plan of therapy and outpatient treatment and life skills and every other thing we had planned has not only gotten put aside while the world deals with coronavirus, but it seems like it has been completely tossed out the window.

Brother has mom convinced that he cannot get off the opioid. His prescribing doctor has backed him up despite what his actual medical doctor has said because they’ve been feeding him the drugs for five years now and if he gets clean they will no longer have a long standing patient. I believe 100% that this prescribing doctor is negligent and should have his license taken away. Doctors should want to help people get off drugs.

In five years, this doctor has never brought up “coping skills” with him. He has never tried to voluntarily get him to go to a program. He has never talked to him about going to NA or AA meetings. He just said, “I didn’t know you were drinking” when brother came in green from liver failure after 2 weeks in the hospital.  But he saw him every single month and should have seen his health deteriorating. And at the very least, should have been able to smell the vodka coming out of his pores, because I smelled it every single time we were together over the last 6 months. But I’m not family. And it’s ok for them to feel like that, because in the end, I don’t have to plan the funeral. I don’t even have to go to it. All I have to do is console Flea Market Guy and help him get through the loss of his brother, and, unfortunately, his brother still doesn’t want to make any changes. And it makes me sad. And angry.

So now, he will just stay at his mom’s. Drinking all the cokes he can squirrel away without her noticing and eating processed boxed freezer food.

Hopefully, his liver holds up. Hopefully, he will make it through the pandemic without dying. Hopefully he will make it through his liver failure without dying.

But I’ve tried and I can find comfort in that. Like the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

And I guess being a grown up is hard for some people, especially when they have parents who encourage complacency.

Sorry for the rant. Some things just never stop making me angry.

Hope everyone is staying safe out there.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently dealing with a brother who has had 2 open heart surgeries due to IV drug use. He was in the hospital in early March due to another blood infection. Luckily he escaped another heart surgery (or most likely death). He came to see us for the first time in 6 months, and he was yellow- skin, eyes, everything. We convinced him to go to the doctor ASAP. He is now in the hospital again (as of yesterday). We suspect liver failure. Your story is helping to prepare me for what’s to come if that’s the case.. please continue posting! Definitely sending positive vibes your way. Thanks again!


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