Sunday 20 May 2007

High But Low (updated)

Two weeks ago I blogged about the Akad Nikah ceremony and how my brother cried asking us to take him there and how in the end he, as usual, got his way. Yesterday was the reception at the bride's home.

This time it was a completely different ball game altogether. I got there and he was not outside the the house as he usually was. I said to myself that I couldn't be expecting him to be outside all the time so I got into the house and sure enough he was on his wheelchair with his head drooping, mouth opened and sleeping slumped in his wheelchair. So I went straight inside not wanting to disturb him.

While waiting I went to the hall and he was awake but looked very distant. He just did not connect with me. Even when I spoke to him he seemed to not be there. His answers were inaudible. His stomach was definitely bigger and his feet swollen badly. I asked how he was but received no answer. I just sat there waiting.

The groom looked handsome in his traditonal costume. He was ready; everyone was ready. As he was about to leave the house the groom went to his father but again my brother was so detached from the whole thing that was going on. He just looked up but did not say a word. As his son kissed his hand he just looked, lost.

I had a tummy ache and excused myself early from the reception at the bride's place. My eldest nephew, the brother of the groom, offered to take me home. On the way, he let the cat out of the bag. "Uncle Ajit" (thats what they call me) dia dok syoor (high) tu. Dia kena makan ubat tidoq sekali sehari tapi dia dok kena 4 kali lani (instead of once as reccomended, he is taking his sleeping pills 4 times a day). Kalau tak bagi dia buat kacau (otherwise he makes a big fuss). Dia selalu high, dia dah addicted dah (he is always high, he is an addict now)

I kept silent thinking of what my nephew had told me. All I could say was, "bagi kat dia, biaq pi" (give them to him). Why do I say that? He doesn't have long to live, give him what he wants. I don't know if I had made the right decision. Then my nephew added that my brother fell off his wheelchair one day because he was too high to know what happened. The problem with him is despite taking the pills he still couldn't sleep. I kept quite again chosing not to say anything, leaving the decision to them.

I was also told that he was taken to the hospital to drain the excess fluid in his tummy (the last time about 2 months ago, they drained 4 pints of fluid) but the doctors refused to do it because his BP was too low.

Many things went through my head. If we stopped his sleeping pills he would go wild asking for them. Considering his current BP, anything could happen if he suddenly gets violent. If we continue, the doses would only get higher and he would be totally dependent on that stuff. Is giving him what he asked for the right thing to do? Is denying him his doses (done in good faith) the right thing to do? I continued sitting on the sofa by his side. When he was awake he would just stare blankly at nothing, then lapse into a slumber with his head drooping. He was such a sorry sight and I felt tears running down my cheeks again.

The reception in his house would be this coming Sunday and I don't know what it would be like. Would he still be sitting on his wheelchair, high? Would he for once agree to go to his room and rest there? Would he still be around?

I usually have an answer for almost everything but not this time. Like him, I am also staring at nothing, not able to find a solution. I may be cruel, but, if left to me, since he is dying already, I would let him have what he wants. Yes, I can make decisions since I am his brother, but I have to respect his wife's and children's wishes. They are not keen, that I know.

Manage to find the camera. I thought I have lost it. See How he is looking at nothing.


zorro said...

Chegu, I am with you in spirit in these times of tribulations and uncertainty. Be strong. Pray.

Unknown said...

Thanks, a lot. I could know I could count on you for spiritual support.

Mat Salo said...

Chegu.. Gosh, this moved me because it's something that even I might have to go thru' someday. So thanks for sharing. I don't have the experience to offer anything but merely words of support. I think you are right to give him what he wants (needs, probably), out of compassion to help a dying sibling alleviate whatever pain he feels. Do what you think is right to help him see the end in comfort and dignity. I think you are a best brother any guy could hope for... Salaam.

Unknown said...

Mat salo,
Thanks and please don't say you might have to go thru this someday, not as a sufferer ot as his brother. Pray all be well and thanks again.

Apandi said...

Chikgu, I believe this is one of those moments where only those involved will know what it actually is or feels like. Others like me can only stand in the sideline and offers our sympathy and a thought in our prayers.

I have been in similar situation with a dear departed grandmother. My actions was similar to yours, when no one wants to commit to a decision, I did and they just allowed me have my way. It crossed my mind back then that perhaps regret or remorse will set in later. Alhamdulillah, none came after more than a decade.

Stay strong and let Allah guide you.

Unknown said...

Thanx a lot. I can say I don't want to get involved and let them make the dicision but would that be right? Pening fikir pekara ni.

Anonymous said...

tak pe kot che gu. let them decide. i made some decision myself when my arwah afifah was ill. i was lucky to have parents and in laws who supported my decisions. kalau dah sampai masa, tiada siapa yang boleh menangguh. rasanya dugaan lebih kepada mereka yang sihat daripada yang sakit.inshaAllah che gu.

monsterball said...

kata tak nak..Your brother's mind is still very alert from what I see from the photo.
You are a real good loving brother.
May you and your family be well and happy.

IBU said...

Askum KTN,

Sayu baca this entry. Such an eye opener. Shame on me who thought choosing what to wear to work daily is a recurring daunting tasks.

As an Ibu, sometimes I want to be the one who makes major decisions for my children - well, at least for now while they are still very young, simply because I think as little children, they are not able to choose and decide wisely what's best for them.

But obviously adults also may not be capable to choose and decide what's best for them or for others all the time.

And how "what's best" is relative to what one's wants & desires. It could be upholding one's life principle or it could just be what matters for this very second - as in "tak nak dia buat kacau".

And which one matters most? WaAllahualam...

May Allah guide you in making a wise choice on behalf of your brother.

J.T. said...

KTN, my brothers and sister let our mum have whatever she wanted towards the end. Her nurse told us that she was dying and there was no point in denying her food she craved. All I could do from here (in Germany) was telephone her every day - to encourage her - until she could not recognise my voice or me anymore.
You are doing what you feel is best for your brother. You have accepted his fate. Maybe his family has not. We were like that, initially. We believed a miracle would happen. We had all sorts of restrictions for her.

I pray that your brother finds comfort and that you will find strength to see this trying time through.

Unknown said...

On one part he becomes a junkie, on the other he suffers, its like its no choice at all.
Exactly, he's still alert but the drugs which he feels he need is slowly eroding his ability to be coherent.
Yes, I hope ALLAH guide's me to make the best decision.
Yes, I think they are still clinging on to that slim hope. I too do still hope but I know that at this present time only divine intervention would make any difference.

Thanks to you all. I appreciate it.

shortycolon said...


Be strong.Do what you think is best for him.

Susah pulak nak translate doa saya untuknya in English sebab kita selalu dengar ustaz/ustazah/para alim berdoa dalam BM dan lebih menusuk kalbu. So, this will be my doa for him:

Ya Allah ,ya Tuhanku yang maha mengetahui, jika diandaikan dia pergi adalah keputusan yang terbaik untuknya, maka aku redha akan pemergiannya nanti walaupun aku sama sekali tidak mengenalinya.Ya Allah, jgnlah KAU duganya dengan dugaan/kesakitan yang tak mungkin ditanggungnya.Jika ada pula harapan untuk dia meneruskan kehidupannya dan kehidupan itu pula nanti akan menjadi perkara terbaik untuknya, maka ku pohon padaMU Ya Allah supaya panjangkanlah umurnya dan sembuhkan penyakitnya.Sesungguhnya ENGKAU lebih mengetahui akan segala-galanya.Amin.

ZABS said...

Semoga Chegu dan keluarga semua tabah menghadapi dugaan ini. Berat mana mata memandang berat lagi bahu memikul. Didoakan semoga abang Chegu diringankan sakitnya, InsyaAllah.

Unknown said...

Thank you so very much for the doa. I trully appreciate it.
Selain dari ikhtiar hanya tinggal ketabahan sahaja. Terima kasih di atad doa-doa anda semua.

Apandi said...

Jangan pening sangat chikgu, nanti you pulak yang sakit.

Yes, you are in a difficult situation. Your brothers family has more say than you I suppose and I wish that you would be supportive of their thoughts as they would be of yours.

Take care for I am beginning to get addicted to your writing...

Unknown said...

I just got a call that he is in the emergency ward of the Kepala Batas hospital. We have exams in school and some teachers are out for courses, so its difficult to be excused. I 'll see what I can do.
Thanks alot buddy.

Unknown said...

KTN...Bro, I'm moved...rasa macam boleh merasai...apa yang dilalui... You have done your best I believe. Yakinlah, that whatever you're doing, whatever the decision you've taken, it's with the best intention... You have no reason to feel sorry for yourself...

I pray that you be strong in this moments of test and trials...take care bro...

Unknown said...

I have stopped thinking about it already but am now anxious since he is warded. Do you want to know the truth? Trufully, I pray that ALLAH take him fast. I pray that he goes fast. Yes, his family and I will miss him but I think, he wants it too.

'Ya Allah, jgnlah KAU duganya dengan dugaan/kesakitan yang tak mungkin ditanggungnya'

The above is part of a doa by shortycolon. What comes next to me is 'Engkau ambil lah dia'.

If that means I am cruel and heartless, so be it.

tokasid said...

Salam to che'gu:
Maaf tak dapat masuk blog past few days.Streamyx problem here.

Che'gu, U are his brother tapi dia ada isteri dan anak2. You can advise them. Melainkan depa suruh che'gu buat keputusan senang sikit.Yes,his condition is like telan mati mak luah mati pak kalu simpan dalam mulut sendiri mati. I think, kalau dia tak ninggaq sangat bila tak bagi ubat tidur then boleh reduce the frequency.tapi kalau dia jadi terlalu bising samapi anak2 tak boleh tolerate lebih baik bagi ubat kat dia supaya 1) dia tenang 2) supaya anak2 tidak merasa malu dan meluat kat dia.Supaya kita elak anak2 dari jadi kurang ajaq.

I think kalau che'gu atau adik2 yg lain ada masa, kena spare time dgn dia secara giliaq-giliaq. I'm sure there a lots of memories to be shared with him that can cheer him up. What he needs now is a quality life.As you mentioned before, his case is advanced. If he can be cheer up with fond memories and always reminding him of iman I think he'll be more than happy.
My doa is for him too che'gu.

Unknown said...

2 pekara yang u kata yang jadi key thing kepada saya.
1. Tak mau bagi anak jadi meluat atau biadab. Tu penting bagi saya. Saya tak mau depa fed up dengan karenah orang macam ni tu saya in favour of ubat tu.
Kalau dia sentiasa high, macam mana dia nak sembahyang? Pada masa2 ni la kita mau dia sentiasa mendekati tuhan. Kalau ada sapa2 yang pandai agama disana tolong nasihat.
Terima kasih TA kerana selalu ambil berat.

zorro said...

Some 4 years ago I took a terminally ill lady friend's hand and told her "Gayle, go. We'll take care of Den." She went within hours...and all the pain and suffering were no more. When nothing else can be done, it is cruel and selfish of us to hope for miracles....we need to give a thought to the suffering endured by the sick and dying.

Unknown said...

I think he wants it that way. The doctors wanted to drain the fluid in his stomach but he refused. I asked my SIL or his children to sign the consent form but the doc refused saying that my bro is mentally competent to decide. Maybe he has given up I don't know. I would wish for a fast end to end his misery.


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