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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for support

    Hello, and yes i have a post in the divorce section but i am one of tje lucky ones and have two serious problems in my life. ..... My two yearold nephew died of a rare form of childhood cancer after a long and difficult struggle. He had chemo twice and suffered way too much. My brother and i were always very close but after his son died he took on a danngerouss life style of heroin and whatever he could find. He was a very religious man and feared killing himself annd not seeing his son in heaven. After maybe a year of this i was talking to him about rehab and he told me he had decided that god would understand if he killed himself. I knew then that it was only a matter of time. After sevral attempts at rehab and suicide he tried to jump from a bridge and the police took him to the local hospital for help. The first night off suicide watch he hung himself and was in a coma for two weeks and now he has a traumatic brain injury. He is 34 and lives in a care center for elderly terminal patients. Most days he knows who ii am. He almost starved to death a couple montha ago. My father is pushing me to take legal custody of my brother because it is ruining his marriage, thanks dad! He says he will turn his custody over to the state if i don't take custody. I don't know what to do anymore. I spend what time i can with my bro and should be there right now. lol It is a lot to visit him. On. e year

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    Wow, that is really hectic. From what you describe you are still able to maintain a relationship with him, so that is good.

    Not sure how extensive his brain damage is, and what functions are mostly affected. These things can be truly devastating, and be highly frustrating for everyone. But most of all for himself, as he may be well aware of not being able to behave to the same standards as before all this happened. And depending on the exact condition, some improvement may be realized, but certainly not a full-blown recovery.

    What are the legalities involved, in you vs. the state being their legal custodians? And how would one or the other impact on your ability to maintain a relationship with him? Those are the key questions in this situation. I am not sure how much liability you would have if you were your brother's custodian and he somehow causes an accident. Also with regards to the bills.

    So definitely look into the legal issues surrounding this. It is easy to sign an agreement. But that does not mean that whatever you may be signing is the right decision.

    You also have to think a bit about yourself. You have a lot on your plate, and you can't put your life on hold for everyone else indefinitely. Else you will be running yourself in the ground, and no one benefits from that either.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    The legalities are complicated. He had no insurance and is on disability from the state. I can not attach my finances in any way. He ows huge amounts! Staggering amounts. But the state allows for me to hire a state approved social worker to do the paperwork. Its dealing with people. We have had death threats, nurses have been followed home and bothered. My bro hung for 15 min and his brain damage is very severe. Some days he just shakes and can't focus. Others he does better and talks. I can't get him to try rehaab and the place has given up. Its soo much.

  4. #4
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    What you are describing really is quite severe brain damage. Over time he may improve slightly, but definitely not to "normalcy". His brain seems to have lost a lot of normal inhibitions. That is difficult to work with, even if you are well-trained. Even harder for people who are not, or are suffering from afflictions that bear little resemblance to this.

    He probably knows that something is wrong with him. That can be extremely frustrating, disempowering, and may drive him to attempt suicide again. He may well feel that life is hopeless. Depending on the damage to his memory, to his reasoning capabilities, he may forget, or not see the logical fallacies he is committing either, and that makes it very hard for him to do what is best for him. Also his impulse control seems to be really impaired, and he may simply not even realize how unsettling his threats and behaviors are to others.

    As hard as it must be, he would be better off in a situation that offers him consistency, and stability. This does not necessarily have to be a form of rehab. A form of specialised care is a must. Not just to help him through the day. Days are long when you have nothing to do, limited social interactions, etc.. Ideally he would be doing something harmless to occupy himself for a bit (painting for example). If he is threatening people, chances are that he may act on his threats in the future (though I would fear aggression directed to himself the most).

    Not sure if there are better places for him, but it definitely needs to be checked out. Also do check with the social worker, what the consequences would be on visiting rights and all that if you do sign him over to the state. Being legally responsible may ensure better outcomes for him, provided you have the time, energy and money to ascertain he gets that care. But that does NOT mean that the state would do a terrible job. Since in both cases the state gets the bills, they also get to direct in a large part what can be done. And if you don't have the time or energy to be actively involved in the custody, this may even be worse for him.

    Thankfully I myself never had to deal with this. But I would be strongly inclined to sign over custody to the state, especially when I had my own problems, kids, a demanding job etc.. I would not see it as a personal failure (which is what we tend to do, because we'd feel like we are giving up on a relative). I don't see it as "giving up" on him. "Giving up" is ceasing all contact with him, and not caring about him anymore.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    I don't know how good the state would be if we turned it over. I do know the guardian is required to report to the court once a year about his care. We are dieing to get him somewhere else but most places require a greater level ofindependance than he has shown. We can't pay for his care or he loses his state assistance and we become liable for his bills. The psychological evaluations he has had say he is incapable of suicide. I don't believe that, on his good days he knows where he is and how awful his life is. His memory is very bad anf doesn't remember from day to day. He remembers few years back better than recent events. We can't even hire specialists ti see him. His eyes don't track together so seeing and walking are very hard for him and they have vision therapists but not around here and they won't pay for him to travel or tobring one here. His care is terrible, he just watches tv all day and sits in filt. we complain but nothing changes and no where else will take him. ...sucks

  6. #6
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    You are right to doubt the "incapable of suicide" bit. Such things can hardly be tested, and most psychological tests require the person who the test is administered to be in a representative state for whatever condition one is being tested for. Since your brother both has his good days and bad days, the validity of the tests only applies to the situations for which they apply.

    What you are describing is a situation in which your father is now legally responsible (as he is the current custodian), but he cannot provide better care, because then the state would go after each and every penny his family has. Which is really infuriating So it seems that whether or not you have custody over him, does not make one iota of difference, in terms of care he receives. And as laws are not going to improve anytime soon, your hands will be tied.

    Is there any way you could pay for some care, so that you will not be held liable for all the costs, from a legal angle? This is a question that is important for both state custody and having custody yourself. Or alternatively, by means of a trust set up explicitly for this sole purpose?

    If any of these methods are legally permissible, without exposing yourself to all the financial risks and bills, then that may well be the best legal basis for you to make your decision on guardianship. It really sucks that you can't do more to provide the care that your brother really needs, but legally your hands are tied.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  7. #7
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    Welcome needadvice......

    My goodness....... i don't often feel a loss of words, but in this case i do. Wow what i just read was so emotional and very deep and powerful nitty gritty stuff. My condolences on this sticky situation. That's alot to digest! Hug's to you......

    No parent EVER wants to bury a child. How sad that is...... I can imagine the impact it had on your brother. I absolutely HATE herion, it is the devil... i swear. What it does to people, what it takes, they have no idea until it's too late half the time.

    It really sucks his care is falling upon your shoulder's. I agree very much with all that Vautrin has discussed with you regarding those matter's. It's a very sticky criss crossed tied bundled up mess in either direction, but in the end you have to protect your financial stability.

    My apologies i do not have more to add at this time.....
    " To thy own self be true..."

  8. #8
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    Their are no easy answers. Mostly just wanted ti vent. The only thi.g as guardian is that i coyld look for other places fir him to livr. my dad says his wife has looked into everything and my mom says he hasn't and is pushing for me ti have guardianship. my dad is just fried and doesn't even visit mucj and doesn't look out for him as much as i think he should. People steal his stuff my dad doesn't make an issue, they don't clean him for a couple days . I have to call and call to get him ti call he is not doing anything. He says bro did this ti himself and he is not ruininf his life because of it. Smh he is a very compassionite person. *not*!!! My nro was in the military and should get assistance from them but the paperwork got screwed up and then dad tried to fix it and now i don't know what is going on with that? I just think someone else could do more but the only option is me or the state. He won't give my mom custody, she has early altzheimersso that makes sense. He says peiple blame him and its not his fault bro is stucck there. i don't know. If everything wasn't a secret with him maybe people would believe him. ahhhhhh!! Sucks

  9. #9
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    My brothers health continues to deteriate and now he is starving. He can't seem to eat. He tries but he has trouble swallowing. My family and i have agreed to not try putting in a feeding tube since he ripped out one at the hospital. His weight his already soo low. He has no reserves left. One moment I'm almost happy about it and the next I'm upset i could feel that way. I'm supposed to got on my first real date since the seperation with the wife. I am going ni matter what. She's only in town for two days and i don't know how long it will be till i can see her again. I'm lost in some bermuda trianglr of. compplexity but i guess that's life.

  10. #10
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    Re: Traumatic brain injury survivors brother looking for sup

    Hope you enjoyed yourself on the date, as hard as it must have been.

    It is perfectly possible that some parts of the brain which control basic functions such as eating, swallowing and the like, or are starting to die of as a result of the damage. In which case your brother would be eventually reduced to a vegetative state. And it is perfectly possible his end will come soon after, but it is also possible that he may spend the next 50 years like this.

    Is he lucid enough to realize what is going on? Does he want to live like this? Or if he cannot answer the question (due to the damage), would he want to live like this? Depending on the state you live in, there are some legal issues as well. And the last thing you would want is this to turn into a political or legal circus.

    This is a horrible moral predicament to be in, and there is no easy way of determining right and wrong. It is a tough decision to make for him, and if he does not make it, for his family to make.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

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