- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013
hi Bees. Today was not such a great day for me & I need to let it out a bit. This whole situation has me very confused, lost & helpless feeling and I don’t know how (or if) I can remedy that.
Backstory: We recently discovered my grandfather was diagnosed with chronic leukemia, most likely as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange during the vietnam war (he worked in one of only 3 distribution centers). While this was devastating at first I have come to terms with it. Things could be much worse, it’s an extremely slow moving cancer & most people diagnosed with it die as a result of other complications (leukemia, infection) not the cancer directly. It was caught fairly early so the VA dr.’s will not conduct any treatments at this time, as a result he has drastically changed his lifestyle. Eating only whole foods, cutting out alcohol & caffeine, less meat, no grains.
I found out today from my little brother, who still lives at home, that my grandmother is staying with my mom for the weekend because of something to do with my grandfather. My grandmother does not share personal things with us, & its very hard for her to do so with my mom as well. She just keeps it bottled up inside until it gets to the point of festering & she can’t handle it (probably how she was raised). She has been admitted to the mental ward a couple of times when things got real bad (her mom died, moved away from her family). So there is no way she would come & stay with my mom unannounced unless something got ridiculous.
my grandfather has been acting very weird lately- my mom & grandma think he is undiagnosed multiple personality disorder. He called me up at 1am his time a while back & talked non-stop 100mph for 20 minutes. It was difficult to actually have a conversation with him as he kept forgetting what he was saying and would start off on a tangent. I cried after we hung up- that was NOT my Papa, he is one of the most intelligent & well spoken men I have ever known. Since then I have been told that he has lost 30 pounds within 2 -3 months, but his dr.’s claim his leukemia has not changed since his last appt (no better, no worse). My aunt, whom I haven’t seen in 10+ years b/c of her addiction to drugs (not sure what type exactly), is suddenly back in the picture helping him out around the house. He has taken over his & my grandma’s MIL suite & from what i’ve been told is now living there instead of in the main house with my grandma. He made a mess of the whole place trying to clean it out for their next tenants- although my grandma swears they’d never rent it out again (the last tenants trashed it 4 years ago & its just storage now).
When I spoke with my grandma 2 weeks ago I could tell she was sad, but she kept telling me everything was great & that he was doing well. She said that he has a hard time sleeping, to the point of being up for days & talkin nonsense, but that’s to be expected when you’re sleep deprived. She is convinced (or trying to convince everyone else) that it is bc of his new change in diet. She went so far as to say that she doesn’t leave the house for her volunteer work anymore because she’s afraid to leave him alone. Her & my mom are both convinced that he is bi-polar or multiple personality.
Now, I’m no expert but I don’t think those thing suddenly show up when you’re well into your 60’s. They think its mental b/c 15-20yrs ago he came back from Chicago (opening up donut shops for his company) convinced the mob was out to get him & took a hit out on him for not giving the mafia their cut. That’s the only example they have….
I’m afraid he’s using again- speed or meth to be exact. Him & my grandma owned a trucking business 6-7 years ago & he was their only driver. He fell into speed as most truckers do & started taking apart their house to fix things, staying up all night, even got arrested for falling asleep in his drivers seat on the side of a highway somewhere. To me, it’s pretty clear that it’s happening again & all the singns point to drugs (lost a ton of weight, can’t sleep, talking 100mph, can’t stay focused, tearing up the house trying to fix things that don’t need fixing). I don’t know why my family can’t see this- I live 3,000 miles away & it’s clear to me- how can it be right in front of them & them not see this?
I’m heartbroken about this whole situation. I can feel for where he’s coming from if he is using again. I’m sure he feels like there is so much to be done now that his timeclock is ticking so to speak. But on the other hand I’m very concerned that if he is using it will affect his condition for the worse & could quite possibly kill him. A 60+ year old man should not be using speed/meth but doubly so considering he has chronic leukemia! I’m a little mad at him that he is doing this to my grandma & his body- he knows how difficult it is for her to deal with him even being sick to begin with much less killing himself slowly with these drugs.
I’m feeling at a loss in this situation & don’t know how or even if I can help. My grandmother will not talk to me about it & my mom is convinced it’s mental no matter what I tell her. I wish I could go there right now & see for myself but I don’t have the money or time off work available.
Any bees had to deal with a loved one possibly facing addiction and/or family denial of it? How did you cope? Anything would help at this point….