Monday, April 21, 2008

Where the HELL did THAT come from?

Holy bad day, Batman.

Somewhat unexpected, but dang if it didn't reach out, slap my ass and call me Sally.

Uh...yeah...I don't even know what that means...I am just so effing tired right now.

Let me prewarn you right now - the following post is NASTY. If you're looking for a feel-good-post-Ironman-Megan-in-serenity post, you might have to wait another 24 hours until I chill the eff out.

'Cause this bitch CRACKED today.

So if you can tolerate some tell-it-like-it-is ranting filled with crazy typos, proceed.

In summary, I am a ball of emotions right now - frustrated, angry, sad, worried, WORRIED - you name it, I am feeling it.

And I appreciate the kidney comments. I took them to heart, and surprise-visited my brother yesterday. I don't know who was more surprised through - him or me.

First off, let me explain to you that my brother is the least responsible person I know. He acts like a child, and apparently lives like one too. Upon walking up to the run-down house, I had to double take the address to make sure that it was right. I ventured up the death trap stairs, rang the doorbell, and he answered it, REEKING of cigarette smoke (of course, he told me he quit when I ripped him a new a-hole right before Arizona - guess he relapsed).

After following him up the stairs, I was STUNNED at the condition of his home. It looked like a squatters house - no shit. Garbage literally piled up, filth everywhere - he literally had to put a towel on the couch so I could sit down. The stench of dirt and smoke and...well just crap, stuck on me and even a can of Fabreeze couldn't fix (I know - I tried when I got back in my car).

Now, I know people get sick and sometimes stuff falls by the wayside, but his wife is healthy. For crying out loud, my brother has two functioning legs and arms. But the state of his home was appalling. The best I can describe it is to say that, if they had children, my child welfare office would have been called and those kids would be taken.

It was that bad.

So if that's how he treats his home, you can only imagine how he treats his body.

Yup, sitting up there on his couch, smoking, hating life, watching t.v. On a 65 degree day nonetheless. No thought to maybe taking a walk, getting some air. Naw, that might be to healthy.

And so I figured, I am going to lay it out - and I did.

I told him that I have concerns that he treats his life like shit, and that he is going to waste what I am giving him. I told him that he is the most negative person in the world, and that while being diagnosed with diabetes was a shitty hand to be dealt, he destroyed his life and blamed everyone else. I told him that his life will only get better with my kidney, but mine could get worse -that I will possibly have to give up parts of my livelihood to give him a life that he is INSISTENT on destroying.

I laid out my expectations - he goes to therapy, sees a nutritionist, stops smoking - all things I can't monitor and have to take his word for...being that his word is oh-so-trustworthy (have I mentioned that he is a pathological liar? Who used to beat the shit out of me and my siblings?)

I told him that he will never EVER have a relationship with me or his siblings if even one of these conditions if violated. If cigarettes mean losing his family, then by all means, smoke on, smoker.

I told him that I was the healthiest person I know, and that he was the most unhealthy, and that I needed him to give me a reason to do this. That I was about to be laid up in bed, letting all my muscles I worked so hard to build, just atrophy over the next several months of inactivity, and let yet another summer pass without racing or training. That I may never do another Ironman on one kidney, or hell, even die?!?!?! For what? I needed a reason from him.

I got a bunch of lip service, things like he's going to do this and that - all stuff that I know will never happen. He told me this was his second chance - I stopped him and told him he already ruined his second chance after the pancreas and that I was, in fact, his third chance.

He owned up to destroying his life, using his disease as a crutch. He started to veer down the path of blame-someone-else for a second, but then stopped.

Short story long - decision made. I don't feel there is much other choice. I know I can't control what he does with his life after this (I have no high hopes) but I also know myself, and that I wouldn't be able to manage the guilt or whatever if I didn't.

What makes me most sad is that I went into this whole thing really feeling like I was doing a good thing. I thought it was helping, I thought he wanted this, I thought he was finally manning up and taking ownership of his life. I felt like, regardless of our past and his abusive and anger and negativity, that maybe this could actually change his life.

Now I feel just angry and sad. And I hate that. I hate that I even have these feelings - that this can't just be a good thing and then let's move it on.

On on a seperate but related note - I had my final testing for the surgery today - I found out about these appointments, by the way, Friday at 430 in the afternoon. My appointment with the surgeon was for 130pm. That a-hole came into the room at 245.


And yes, I was SOBBING by the time he got there - already enraged with the whole ordeal, and horribly late for work. I asked him where I needed to sign and to get me out of there. He tried to go throught he procedure again, I said I already knew, and that I had a million questions that could have been asked if my appointment started on time, but now won't be so please let me sign my consents, thank-you-not-so-much.

Cheese had the misfortune of calling at the tail-end of this crisis, as I was speeding down the freeway and trying to get to my work appointments that were in 45 minutes, but were over an hour away. I sobbed, sobbed some more, and then finally pulled it together by the time I arrived at my destination.

And finally, on a completely seperate and un-related note, I need to reiterate a past ranting: I hate liars. I hate people that get caught up in lies, and then pass over it like I didn't notice. Note to yourself - I am not an idiot. I don't have the time or emotional energy to call you out on this one, but know that I know.

Insert bad f-cuss word here.


Sassy Molassy said...

Whew. I'm sending my best vibes your way. Sounds like some rough moments. Good luck girl!

Go Mom Go said...

I have lost your cell phone number. You can call me during the day.
It would be good to talk...I have been thinking about you lots. I am praying for you, your brother, and family.


kodiacbear said...

Sometimes a good cry is a good thing...

Much luck on this next adventure...

Brent Buckner said...


Hoping you come out the other side without grave consequences.

stronger said...

Big hugs! Can this surgery be put off a little longer? I don't think you have to feel guilty one bit for taking care of YOUR life. I thought maybe your brother was being standoffish because he was feeling guilty about taking one of your kidneys but he's sounding very selfish about life in general. Will your kidney jump start his life or are you just buying him some time? How are your other family members feeling about this right now?

IM Able said...

What a shitty day.


I was thinking about you on Sunday and wondering how things were going with The Big Meeting...and now I know.

I only have one piece of limp advice to add.

You can only manage your own expectations. If your brother has enmeshed himself this deeply in destructive behaviors and followed this path to near completion, he is facing a serious challenge to turn his life around. It can be done, but years of bad decisions and bad relationships are not undone in one day, regardless of best intentions. If it's at all analogous to the destructive behaviors and interpersonal patterns I developed as an alcoholic (and they seem in some ways similar), it may take years of therapy and intervention and trips and falls and arguments and disappointments to get there. And that, of course, is totally up to him.

But what is up to you -- completely -- is how you manage your own expectations. How will you feel about the different possible outcomes? How will you manage those feelings? Can you do something now to help mitigate these emotions? If there is anger, how do you process it and move forward? If there's grief, how do you plan on keeping it in perspective? What role do you want to play in this process? Where are *your* boundaries?

Work it through. Figure it out. You are at an emotionally healthy point and have the tools to do this. And then once you do, trust yourself and stick with it. Because in the end, his life is up to him, no matter how many people step to the plate and offer up body parts. But what you do is up to you. And somewhere in there, there is an empowerment that I only hope he has a chance to feel, as well.

Alili said...

All I can offer is a virtual hug. {{Megan}}

Molly said...

Like most people, I wish I had something profound to say.
I do want to tell you that I am impressed with the fact that you took the initiative to confront your brother before the surgery.
I have to be honest that I am a little scared that you are taking on so much emotional stress. Not only giving him your kidney, and really effecting your ability to do something (racing) that you love, you are also making yourself responsible for his health. How are you going to be effected if he continues this pattern after the surgery?
I wonder the same thing that Stronger does...can you put off the surgery and tell him that he can have YOUR kidney when he takes the steps necessary to PROVE that YOUR kidney will be taken care of.
I am going to say big prayers for you and hope that your God gives you the guidance you need in this difficuly time!
Take Care

Andra Sue said...

Oh, Megan. I don't know what to say, except I wish you hadn't been put in this position. That you didn't have to deal with this, especially coming off such a life-changing positive experience like Ironman.

I sincerely hope you're having a better day today, and don't forget you can call anytime. Or email or whatever. Hugs to you.

Prin said...

I wish that you didn't have to go through this too. Wish, wish, wish.

I don't know what else to say. :(


The Clyde said...

Wow, that's tough Megan. What a situation. I don't even know what to say, giving to an unappreciative recipient is such a hard thing to do. Whatever you decide to do, the Schabels are behind you 100%.

(oh and umm.... ignore that last part of the email I sent you this AM....I totally forgot about your surgery, so I don't think you'll be up for running 13.1 in two weeks)

Erin said...

What doesn't kill us, right? But, shit! What an awful situation...and like others have said, coming off of such a great, profound experience like IM. Ugh. I feel for you, and am sending good thoughts your way.

Oh, and listen to Able. She's one smart cookie.

Hugs to you.

Danni said...

Megan, as I have said before my thoughts are with you.
It is definitely a shitty situation and at least you have laid it all out. The ball is on his court now. You've done as much as you could do.

IronJenny said...

Gosh what a situation!
I will pray for wisdom for you because I just don't know what else to offer. That is truly a tough one. Good luck, and congrats on your IM.

Prin said...

I still hate this situation. Can't somebody else give him a kidney?

How do you not realize the importance of an organ, especially when your own is failing?

I don't get it.

I hate it.

someday tri said...

I can't stop thinking about this dilemma and your strength throughout it. I've clicked on this post and the last one over and over trying to come up with what I could possibly say.

Now I see I'm not the only one whose first thought was "can this be delayed, even a few days?"

All other issues aside, that ridiculously late appearance by the surgeon should alone be enough reason to push back the surgery until you feel respected by the medical team (at the very, very least).

And before you even say it, it wouldn't be procrastinating. Bottom line is: Your body deserves to have your mind at ease with this.

Prin said...

Why are they allowing another transplant if he didn't appreciate the other one(s?)? I mean, isn't there some sort of psychological screening on his end?

Donald said...

I agrfee - this doesn't sound like it will end well, from anybody's perspective. I can't imagine doing what you're doing in that situation - but obviously it's a lot more complex than that.