helpless bystander

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/24/2008 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   
My brother has Chrohn's. He was diagnosed summer of 05. it seemed to let up alittle until the fall of 06. Since then he has not been given a break and it seems that no medication will help. The Prednezone destroyed him, the Acecol and Humaria and everything else didn't have any affect for him. I am not 100% sure what all he has taken as has not, but i just know i feel helpless. I live in a different state as he, and i try to call often just to show i love him and i think of him. He is angry and depressed. very ANGRY and DEPRESSED. I have learned to not ask him how he is feeling because he snaps at me. I don't talk to him about my marriage and 2 new babies because i feel he doesn't want to know how happy life is for others while he is so miserable. I don't complain about work or school because i don't want him to feel i am selfish and that my issues are anything worth getting upset about. the thing is that i can't find anything to talk with him about. I want to make a connection so badly. I don't want him to feel alone and that everyone has abandoned him. his girlfriend left and many friends have stopped coming around. I understand life gets busy for people and they have their own stuff going on, but i see that he is having a hard time. I can't even talk to him about movies since i don't have time for them. His flares are so bad that he can't even enjoy a movie in the theatre or go out to a restaurant. He is in so much pain between the chrohns and the occasional kidney stones, i think he gets even more aggitated when anyone calls to check in on him. He says we have no idea the pain he is experiencing, which is true, but that doesn't mean i don't care for him. My other brother is closer to him than i am and i have to bleed the information out of him just to know what is going on. I also try to give him his space but it just doesn't seem right to me, if he dwells in this much longer i am affraid of what may happen. My sister said he mentioned "biting a bullet" to her. he recently broke his shoulder in a motorcycle accident (the motorcycle was one of very few things that brought him joy) With the combination of his flares and the pain in his shoulder (besides the fact it kills him to wipe, even with the other arm, and removing pants with one hand) I fear the worse on every level. yes i am talking suicide. it is a real fear if things don't get better soon. Today was his first Remicade infussion. I pray this works...
anyone have a suggestion on how i can connect with him without aggitating him?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4055
   Posted 1/25/2008 12:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry about your brother. He needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional if he is talking about suicide...someone from your family needs to go see him in person, and if you are not sure he's ok, then bring him to an ER or call 911. You can call the police to pick him up and bring him to an ER for a psychiatric evaluation, if you believe he is in danger. Always take suicidal comments seriously. That being said, some people say suicidal things as a matter of speech and aren't serious at all...the only way to tell the difference is to directly ask him how serious he is, or better yet have a professional evaluate him.

I sometimes get tired of talking to my relatives on the phone, even though I know they mean well. I like e-mail, because I can answer when I'm up to it. I hope the Remicade works and he gets well soon!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007
currently taking Pentasa 2750 mg- 9pills/day and on and off Prednisone for flares

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/25/2008 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
That's the other thing. Since he is pretty much home-bound except for work... and he had no computer or link to the wonderful support and resources on the internet... i convinced my family to pitch in and we just bought him a computer for Christmas. My mom waited at the apartment today for the highspeed internet/cable guy to come by while my brother was getting the Remicade infussion. this was my way to give him support. even though he won't go to the local support group... maybe he can get involved with a forum like this and know there are better days for him in the future and people that have been there before understand him... unlike me who can't offer that insight.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1668
   Posted 1/25/2008 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Your dear brother is in a very sore spot right now which leaves you hanging in a tight spot not knowing what to do.
Living with a chronic illness with only short bouts of relief tends to create anger, frustration, anxiety and depression. All normal feelings that go with the territory unfortunately and many times med help is needed in that department too. Then add kidney stones and being injured on his beloved motorcycle just heaps on more miserable feelings. Here's to hoping that Remicade might do the trick to at least get his IBD in check which will help lift the mood level.

It sounds like your loving Family is rallying around him with support, even long distance, which is great medicine in itself. Now you can email instead of call and send your Brother the link to this Board and other helpful resources you find.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 1/25/2008 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I really understand where your brother is coming from. I noticed that as of lately I have been getting very depressed and angry lately as well. I'm not taking it out on anyone but I can really see it and it concerns me. I don't tell my family because as you are in a different state so is all of my family. It makes it really hard I wish I had my mom, dad and siblings near me especially when I'm really down. It makes it hard. I don't get out much because of the Crohn's and I don't have friends here. My advice is don't give up on talking to him and I can see that you are not. I personally am going to make myself an appointment to speak with someone about my depression today. I don't want my babies to see me like this.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 1/25/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
My heart goes out to your brother. This illness is very frustrating and all of us here on this board know what he's dealing with.

I have to tell you, though...I sure wish you were MY sibling!!! I am an only child. I am not married and have no kids. I am blessed to have parents who love me but they will not always be able to be here for me through my bouts with Crohns and they live an hour away. I have only a couple of friends that are close enough for me to talk to about this illness. But they, too, have their own husbands and kids and don't have time to run to the grocery or pharmacy for me when I cannot get out of my house. I would CHERISH having someone call and check on me! I think your brother is so frustrated right now (understandably) that he can't quite appreciate your love and concern. I have a large extended family and none of them call me. I have good amount of aquaintances around the area who know of my Crohns and they NEVER check in on me. I don't even think they've ever tried to understand my illness. They just don't care enough which is why I classify them as acquaintances rather than friends.

Having said all that, I'm here to tell you that I think you're a WONDERFUL person for checking in on your brother. I know it gets irritating for you to get barked at each time you ask how he's doing but I really do feel like he's got to, at some level, understand how nice it is to have at least one person care about what he's going through than not having anyone at all.

So KUDOS to you!
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/25/2008 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to HealingWell. You have found a site filled with caring, supportive, nonjudgmental people. Feel free to post as you feel comfortable. You're going to love it here!
You are an exceptional woman. You do know that, right? You're doing all the right things. And that's so important for supporting someone with a chronic disease.
You brother needs help and I am afraid until he gets professional help and on an Antidepressant he will continue to struggle.  He does not know how to deal with his anger, and  his depression and he is simply overwhelmed by everything that is happening to him.  He is very sick.
Any chance that some of you could do an intervention and sit down with him to help him understand that he needs to see a physician and get connected into a mental health clinic.
You are trying so hard to help and you are doing the right things, he is just not ready to accept any help as he cannot see beyond the deep hole that he is in.
Any minister or someone that he might relate to?  I am sure he is feeling he is a huge disappointment to everyone as most people with depression have very low self esteem issues.  Also his whole body image has taken a major hit with the Crohn's.  You must live life different, watch what you eat.........he is not accepting this well and I am living with a man, my hubby who has had the disease for 31 years.  He is still angry about it.
My hubby also rides motorcycle, but you can't do the same types of riding you did now as you did before Crohn's.
I hope this helps you in some small way and that you realize you are a wonderful sister doing the very best you can. Don't give up on him.  Push for mental health help and yes an online support is better then no support. We are here but I am not sure he is to the point yet where he would talk to us.
He will recover with love, kindness, understanding, and a good physician to care for him.  He will ride free again.

Bless you,

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 1/26/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
The is such a thing as depression and anxiety due to medical illness, and therapy/meds is a way to deal with this. Chronic illness is very difficult to deal with especialy once you lose an additional core like a job. Perhaps the first question you should ask is "how can I help you?"
Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 1/28/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I thought of something else after looking at another post... google "spoon theory"
Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/28/2008 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
This is terribly sad how your brother is responding to this disease.  After having CD for nearly 41 years I know it is a roller coaster ride, not only with the disease, but with the emotions.  Not having success with medications only makes it worse.  The problem with how he's handling it is more detrimental to him than anyone else because he's going to wound up aillientating himself from the support system he's going to need most.  He should probably seek help from a professional.  Actually, some of the meds they give for depression can help this danged disease.  Anxiety of what is going to happen to us can play a big role in how the disease goes.  Mine was that of fear.  When was this disease going to get me good?  Once I found the meds they gave me for anxiety helped my disease, I realized I could use mind over matter to help me and it worked for about 30 years.  In my mind I told the CD that if it was going to get me it was going to have a hard fight because I was going to fight it with all my might.  I had two children and I lived my life about as normal as others with the exception of pottying more.  For that, I told myself that was "my normal" and kept on truckin ahead.  It will be hard for you to suggest this to your brother, but perhaps you can talk with other family members, best with them together, explaining his attitude is only hurting him.  Negativity is the worst thing for this disease, it is best fought with a positive attitude.
CD for 41 years
2 Bowel resection surgeries 2000 & 2003
Meds - None, allergic to 5 ASA and Immuran, refusing Remicade treatments and any other immune system destroying meds.  Only take Loperamide to control # of BMs and so I can get out of the house.  60 years old, widowed, and on S/S disability.  Amputee as a result of allergic reaction to medication Heparin given me my last surgery.  "I'm going to live, live, live til I die." 
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