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What selfish creatures, we

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me how selfish we are as whole. Even when doing unselfish things, there is too often a ‘for me’ component, or a ‘for me’ thought. Or maybe I’m just more selfish than most.

Next Thursday my mom and I are flying to Phoenix to bring my brother here to die. His breast cancer has spread and he’s lost his job, so he has no money and, for reasons that we here in Missouri can’t figure out, he can’t live with his wife; the wife he attended to when she nearly died five years ago. Family, eh?

But the fact is my baby brother is dying. It is something we have gotten used to as an idea, an abstract, and from a distance, but will probably be much harder and more real with him right here.

The selfish part? We are going on a small, cut-rate airline so only one bag for me. And I don’t know my brother’s internet setup. I don’t have one of those SmartPhones, and can’t afford one. So, for the first time in over a year, I might not be able to log on to SparkPeople every day. How silly is that?

Now, I do know that last year when my husband was in ICU for a week, then on the regular ward for three more, because he almost died when his colon burst, one of the things that really helped me was being able to log on to Spark People every day and keep tabs on what and how I was eating. I saw quickly that my protein levels were down and got them under control. I was able to keep losing weight, but eat enough to keep my health, and do that while working, driving daily to the hospital, and even fighting my neighbors at a County Commission meeting over closing our road.

It has been there for me for what, 18 months straight? That one thing I can reach out to and know it is there. Another touchstone.

We were just talking about relativity and how we look at things. I hate being a baby. I hate this feeling of wanting to throw myself on the ground and kick my feet. But that’s exactly how I feel. Now, I may be able to figure out how to bring my laptop. Next Thursday is payday and I could probably scrimp & pinch and buy a Kindle Fire. I can probably use Scotty or his wife’s computer for a day or two. I’ve been tracking food for a year and a half, and those days when I can’t track ahead, or through the day, I’m usually pretty dang close when I go in and track before bed. Although that is at home and not on the road…

But what is bothering me, what’s really eating me up, is that I’m so worried about myself. My brother is dying and all I can think about is logistics.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My dear SparkFriend, I want to apologize that I was not up on your blogs (I have yet to figure why I often get unsubscribed to blogs) and did not know about your brother! I am so sorry for all of you and you are in my thoughts and prayers! You are not being a baby or selfish!!! You are in a survivor mode and finding what keeps you balanced and it is healthy. You certainly have a supporting role and are there for your brother, so don't negate that!
    Best wishes to you and family.
    2112 days ago
    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. And remember to be kind to yourself as well.
    2125 days ago
    May God bless you and your family. You are not being selfish, anything that helps us cope through difficult times is a good thing. And our little daily routines are comforting or we wouldn't be doing them. Right now you need the comfort and security of your familiar routines.
    2131 days ago
    I think Sal has the right of it. You have so much going on right now that is out of your control that it would be so easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed and put yourself into a state that does no one--including yourself and those you are trying to take care of--any good. So you've given yourself something else on which to focus. Something you can control or at least develop a game plan around. It gives you a moment to breathe and regain your equilibrium. It also gives you a small success to build upon as you move forward to tackle the more difficult issues. Not selfish at all. Darn smart.
    I'm so sorry about your brother. You're in my heart and thoughts.
    2131 days ago
  • SAL2525
    The mind has a funny way of protecting itself. It is easier to deal with your spark issues than with your brothers imminent death. It is a tough road ahead. I will be thinking of you often. Sal
    2131 days ago
    My friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am overwhelmed by your kindness and compassion, though why that's true is beyond me. It is such a comfort to know that I can rant and rave or just be silly, and find such strong, non-judgmental friends to say just the right thing to get me moving forward again.

    2131 days ago
    I went through the same things when my ex mother in law died in Dec. 2010. I stayed with her at hospice for two months. Internet service was very limited.

    I don't think you're being selfish. I think you're looking for stability and normalness in a situation that's full of uncertainty. We all want that. You need to know that you can reach out and we'll still be here, whether it's for support on your food or support with your brother. and we will be.
    2132 days ago
    Blessings to you and your family. You're not being selfish you're focusing on what you need to focus on so that you can move forward in your day. There's nothing wrong with that. I've been there, and it keeps you sane to have little, important to you, stuff to focus on but don't forget that sometimes you have to scream and yell some of the crap out so you can stay sane. I'm just sorry you have to go through this, you're in my prayers for what it's worth.

    2132 days ago
    I'm so sorry about your brother. Don't be so hard on yourself. Last December after my father died, I stayed with my mom for 5 weeks. She has no internet I certainly couldn't afford to pay for two houses with internet. Needless to say I wasn't sparking at all. I let myself get into bad habits slowly and boom some weight came back on. It took me several months to get on track again. I mean several! But you will be back in a few days and I know your going to be okay. I did track on pen and paper took my food scale with me. I was real good for 3 weeks then uhhh... Sparkpeople is a big part of our lives. Its 90% of my motivation some days. We're only human and can't be perfect. Your not selfish. I think your a loving and caring person for taking you brother home with you. I can't imagine a wife not wanting to be with a husband when time is so limited. emoticon Hang in there.
    2132 days ago
    {{HUGS}} I don't know what else to add, it's all been said. emoticon emoticon
    2132 days ago
  • CIPHER1971
    My twopenth for what it is worth is very similar to every one else.

    I didn't read the blog of someone who was being selfish, but one of some who recognises what they need for their mental health, so they can cope for themself, their mother and their brother.

    Just as needing food and water and shelter for physical wellbeing would never be regarded as selfish, needing your support system for mental wellbeing isn't either.

    Bless you and may this part of your journey never be beyond your strength.

    All the best
    2132 days ago
    Well, it's not just logistics. It's about logistics to take care of YOU because if you don't you can't take care of anyone ELSE. And I think you know that :)
    I think I could do what I had to if I had to do without some of the tools I use currently, temporarily. But it would be easier if I could use the tools I know already work. Stop beating yourself up and remember whatever you decide, we'll be here for you.
    2132 days ago
    What is going on in your family is tragic. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. And, in my opinion, you are not being selfish. What is going on for our families, friends, or strangers does not negate our own needs. You still have to get up, get dressed, function, and live. I don't think it is selfish to give ourselves what we need especially in times of crisis. If Spark helps you it is not wrong for you to want it.

    I hope you guys can bring your brother some peace. Being around those who love him probably means more to him than anyone knows.


    2132 days ago
  • VJH-W65
    Lay down and throw that tantrum the release will fortify you in the coming days.
    I am so sorry to read about the path that your brother, mother & you are on
    Certainly shock will give way to reality, sadness, relief, anger and fond memories.
    2132 days ago
    Sweetheart, I think that we do that to regulate how much pain we can process at one time. If we concentrate on keeping ourselves sane we can make it through the pain (and panic) of helping someone close to us die. I don't think that you are really being selfish at all. You're just trying to stay rooted in your routine so you can stay grounded and be able to process this. I hope that you have a safe trip and know that the spirit of one of your soul sisters is with you at this time.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2132 days ago
    Don't beat yourself up for being selfish. It's called survival! I also have a baby brother who is dying, his is a brain tumour, and I also am facing a long journey to bring him back to London to die, as he has no one else. But my first thought when it was diagnosed, and to this day, every time I wake up, is, thank god it isn't me! Selfish? Maybe, but putting ourselves first is our way of surviving. It gives us a distance that stops us from falling to pieces, which would be no good to anyone. Sparking is your crutch, you do what is necessary for your own peace of mind.
    2132 days ago
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