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We're in the process of moving from CA to WA so we can be closer to family so I can get respite and see my children and grandchildren. We're moving specifically to Vancouver, which is where my brother lives, so he could help out. He's been very helpful in coming down here and staying or taking Mom during the summer when we went up there, and has always expressed his gratitude for what I do.

However, my brother has a long history with addiction to either alcohol or prescription drugs. He'll get sober for several years, then his demons hit again. Well, when we got up there, it was obvious something was wrong again. He told me he was seeing his doctor and he was scared and he almost had me convinced it was it was neurological. It wasn't. He'd convinced another doctor to give him valium because he couldn't sleep at night, then takes it in the morning so he's loopy all day (then wonders why he can't sleep all day).

Mom had sworn a long time ago that she'd never spend another night with a practicing alcoholic/drug addict (think there might be a history in our family), so now, if my brother doesn't get his act together, I'm moving from sunshine to rain and cold for no help. I'm so mad I could spit.


equillot, it seems when we get something worked out, someone will throw a monkey wrench into our plans. I hope he hasn't been taking the Valium very long and that it is easy for him to stop. It sounds like he has an anxiety disorder. Men can have a hard time asking for help with anxiety. If he is loopy on the Valium, he must be taking a good bit. I hope you can talk him into reaching out for help.
equillot, I'm sorry about your situation. It sounds like the move still has some good things going for it (being closer to your kids and grandkids). Can you brainstorm a solution to replace what you thought your brother would be helping with? Is your mother a good candidate for day care, for instance? If you're not going to be living anywhere too rural, then there should be programs and resources available.
Again, I'm sorry about your brother's addiction issues.
eguillot, that's a bummer to hear about your brother. Maybe once you are living near him it will give him the confidence to get help for himself. Try to think of it that way, and in the mean time concentrate on seeing your children and grandchildren.
JessieBelle - my brother doesn't have problems with anxiety, he has problems with multiple drugs. He has a morphine pump. At one point in his addiction, he was taking a needle a withdrawing the morphine from the pump under his skin and injecting it into his veins. He almost killed himself from an infection that developed around the pump that went systemic. He's an ex-medical malpractice lawyer who almost became a doctor, so he's very well versed in anything medical, and knows how to talk to doctors about (fake) symptoms to get the drugs he wants. He knows what drugs he is supposed to avoid as an addict. He does need the pain pump (his back is pretty much patched together), but it goes directly into the spinal cord, and not into the blood stream. He should not be getting pain pills, tranquilizers, etc., because those will feed into his addiction. He knows that. He's been sober off and on since 1977. He was the who introduced my husband to his first sponsor (who was my brothers sponsor), and my husband has 27 years now. My brother knows what he is supposed to do. He just needs to do it.
Wow... not a fare trade at all eq! Unfortunately him just "doing it" is not going to be that simple. With all he has going on I am surprised you would be counting on him for any help... on the other hand, he's been a lot of help to you throughout the years with your mother, right? Upside to this is at least he does help, addictions and all, you know he cares... my brothers have zero excuse and offer 1% help.

Once you get moved you'll have lots of others to help.... maybe your brother will work harder on his recovery with you, your husband and mother closer to him?

Wishing you safe travels!
JeanetteB- He had been clean and sober for several years and had just re-married in August (he was fine at the wedding and the 2 weeks we were up there). I was shocked to find him in the state he was in when we got up there.

He cleaned up the last 2 days we were there, once he'd been found out. Whether he stays that way is anyones guess. I miss the great person he is when he's straight. There is no comparison to the two people. One was a great trial lawyer with a fantastic sense of humor. The other can't remember his own name, falls down a lot, can't stay awake, and says stuff that makes no sense. Why addicts do that to themselves I'll never understand.

He did contact his sponsor, who will, I hope stay on his butt.

So sorry your brothers don't help you at all. At least my brother, with all his faults, does what he can. I just hope he doesn't screw up his new marriage. His addictions are what screwed his 1st marriage of 30 yrs. His 2nd marriage was just nuts. This one is good, I think. I like her, but don't see her sticking around if she's got to babysit him to keep him from falling down all the time.
Oh Equillot that sounds so familiar. There is some of that running around in my family and it is hard to stay mad but harder when you can't depend on someone. What kind of respite are you looking for? My mom stayed at the Hampton for respite recently but it is full on memory care which is too much for my mom. Highgate is good and has assisted living but rarely have room for respite. Have you found a home? We are listing our home tomorrow in case you are still looking. 4br in Felida/Hazell Dell. Have you tried the senior centers yet? My mother goes to Luepke every day and likes it a lot. They have a senior center on the east side of town as well at Furstenburg I believe. Kelly Lund runs the senior program at both and is a real jewel.
btw: There is a new place opening in December in Salmon Creek that will have designated rooms for respite and they will have both assisted and memory care, 5 day minimum $150 per day. We should go for coffee.
We found a home! Beautiful place in the Salmon Creek area. The current owners are having medical/age related issues and need to downsize, so are moving to a condo. The place is perfect for us. I hadn't looked at senior centers - I'll have to check them out. Where is Luepke? We should be up there right around Christmas.
Great, welcome. Luepke is near downtown and Clark College. There is a bus service for disabled folks that my mom uses, CVan, which does reservations and door to door service for $60 per month. It is very helpful.

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