I went to visit my mother the other day and she wanted to take a walk to see the birds they have at the home. It is important for my mother to keep moving, if not she may stop moving all together. Anyway, the birds were located the length of two hallways away. We started out and she was doing fine. She has a crappy old aluminum walker someone from the Red Cross gave her.(This one is almost identical to the one she has except her wheels do not pivot.) The wheels are small and hard and there is no real steering mechanism. She has to lift it if it goes off course. This can get tiring and before we got half way she had to grab a chair and rest.
We got a little farther and we ran into a woman with a walker that had bigger wheels, brakes and a little seat, so if she got tired she just turns around and sits down. After she is rested, she gets back up and continues on. "How cool is that?" I say to my Mom. We need to get you one of those.
When I got home, I was talking to my Sister. In case you didn't know I have one sister and four brothers. I told her I wished I could get this for Mom but I just can't afford it. And she had just pretty much single-handedly moved our mother to the new nursing home and bought her a new recliner chair that she really couldn't afford to buy. (She has been off work since her heart operation.)
So, like someone from a big family, you start thinking the other siblings could help out. I thought it was obvious. My little brother is getting married next week, he can't do it. So that leaves three other brothers. One is in Alberta working in a camp, hard to reach. The two other ones are about 2 hours away, one is an electrician, and the other is a professor at one of the colleges. Seems like a no brain'er and hey the professors wife is a physical therapist or something like that.
So, problem solved, right? I get on the messenger to my professor brother:
ME:I was just up to see mom, I think she could get around better if she had a better walker, the one she has is crap. She needs one of those ones that she can sit if she has to. Maybe you can get a better deal on one since your wife is in the 'biz' I can't afford to get her one, I am paycheck to paycheck as it is and OTHER SIS just bought her a $400 chair for her room that she could ill afford....maybe you and OTHER BRO can split on one, I don't even know how much they are, but I know mom would move a lot more if she had better support
BROTHER:just sent you an email.....we have to have mom assessed by an O.T......then get her the right equipment
I am trying to have this conversation with my brother trying to figure out what he is talking about and my sister is messaging me 'READ YOUR EMAIL' So I do.
This is where I lose my mind. This is the email I get. Remember this is from my BROTHER. Here is the email:
I talked to My Wife. Apparently we have to have Mom assessed by an Occupational Therapist before getting her new equipment. The nursing home can make arrangements for this. (My Wife can’t do this as it would be a conflict of interest) Once the equipment recommendation is made, we could get the new walker through the Red Cross at no cost (or very little). Regardless, she needs to be professionally assessed so that we get the right equipment for her.
You or OTHER SIS will have to initiate this with the nursing home.
Brother Lastname, MAAE
Faculty/Applied Arts and New Media
Some Community College
100 Some Street
Somewhere, This Province
Meanwhile he is babbling on about the yearly 5 minute visit he had with mom and the walker that her roommate has not being the kind she needs, and I am reading that email thinking...'Who is this from?'.
ME: who are you emailing, you sound like a fucking politician
That stops him.
ME:conflict of interest? if Your Wife doesn't want to give an opinion she can just say so. I don't need a degree or a fucking assessment to know she can't push that walker it has crappy old wheels and she gets tired so I don't need a congressional hearing to know she could use a seat half way through her walk
Notice I am talking normally, NOT SCREAMING, I know he has used a computer long enough to know the difference. But this is what I get.
BRO: well you do what you think is best then
And that's it, he blocks me on messenger. I kid you not. He blocks me, like a five year old. I know he is still there, he is continuing to talk to my sister. Does he think I am an idiot? I tell my sister this and she tries to talk to him, he won't answer. Then he deletes me from his FaceBook.
So, I fire off this reply to his very proper email:
Good God, BRO:
Who are you talking to? You do realize I am your SISTER???? Is that a form letter?
You do not need to 'assess' your own mother. If she has a runny nose you pass her a tissue.
Let me speak slowly. Mom does not NEED to move the walker from a sitting position. She walks very well, with the walker. She gets tired. She needs a chair after about 5 minutes. We could strap a chair to her back but they have walkers with little seats for just this reason. I cannot wait for a congressional hearing and an act of congress. If Mom stops moving, she will get worse. She needs this now.
As I said, I can't afford it, I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck, OTHER SIS just bought a chair she couldn't afford to buy and LITTLE BROTHER is getting married in a week.
I did not message my MP to see what the procedure was for obtaining equipment for some old lady. I messaged my BROTHER about HIS mother because I don't have the money to buy her one and I figured between you and OTHER BROTHER you could cough up some cash.
If that is too much to ask, I can probably sell something. It is pretty sad that you cannot have a conversation with me and have to block me like a five year old.
I swear to God, I don't know who brought that boy up.
You know what? It is not the fact that he wanted to 'go through channels' or that I thought he is just too fucking cheap. It was the email. This is my brother, and he is talking to me like he is my member of parliament. I need his full name and title? I am his sister! I know who the fuck he is. Why can't he have a conversation with me? Now he tells my sister he is not coming to our little brother's wedding.
Are you fucking kidding me? (I know you read this Bro....give your fucking head a shake. I wasn't aware that 50 year olds still took tantrums.)
My Sis says he can't deal with conflict. WTF?
So what? My mother has to push an aluminum discount walker with broken wheels because my tenured professor brother is too fragile to talk to his sister?