Tuesday, October 5, 2010

O Brother!

My brother Mike, in happier times, meticulously filing important documents. 

I've been trying to figure out my brother's finances, in the hope of keeping his affairs in order while he is incapacitated.  He's been unconscious since the accident October 1st.  But going through his papers is like rummaging around in the bottom of a hamster cage.  I keep thinking I'll find something meaningful, if I can just put together enough snips and bits of litter.  Riiight.

He doesn't have files.  He has piles.  Literally.  Stacks and stacks of old bills and papers laying around on the rug of an empty bedroom, in boxes in the corner of the dining room, and on, in, under, and behind his desk.

He probably banks on line.  His computer might be helpful there, if

1)  I could find a password file, and

2)  if it were not actually the slowest computational device since the Babbage Engine, or at least since monitors glowed green on black.

I spent almost 10 minutes trying to get a single file to open.  I kid you not.  I nearly dozed off.  But then I haven't been sleeping well.

I can't tell if he owns a checkbook.  I do not have any power of attorney.  I am perfectly willing to pay his mortgage and other bills for a while out of my own account, but before I can pay them I have to know what to pay and who he owes and when it's due.

When he recovers, I'm going to suggest that both of us go down to see a lawyer and draw up mutual medical and emergency powers of attorney.  No one ever thinks they are going to be in this situation, until they are.

For now, I think, a tactical surrender is in order.  I'm going to wait for him to wake up, late fees be damned, and ask him how to do this.  That may happen tomorrow.

They finally took him off sedatives this morning, but then he had anesthesia during the operation on his right arm.  They have to get him conscious tonight or tomorrow to do a neurological exam and see if there are further deficits and problems.  So far surgeons have treated multiple open compound fractures to the right arm and leg, and a ruptured disc.  They've put in a feeding tube to his stomach, but he is still on a ventilator.  They cannot do a tracheostomy to insert an air tube yet because of the proximity of the fresh suture from his disc hernia repair yesterday.  He's developed a bit of pneumonia from having his mouth open all this time.  Along about Friday he will be transported to Brackenridge, where they will try to reattach the bones of his face.

I hope by the time his son arrives in town on Monday he will be recognizable.

And I really really hope he doesn't wake up for the first time tonight, alone in a dark empty room at 3 in the morning, in horrible pain, choking on intubation, with the terror of a near fatal collision as his most immediate memory.  If he does, the nurses are going to have their hands full.

My only nightmare has been his "filing system".  His will be worse.

Bob

7 comments:

Joe and Tracey said...

Bob,

It's sobering to realize how some very serious real-life issues can appear out of nowhere. It's at times like these when you realize just how crucial family ties are. Seems you and Tioga George are both dealing with this.

My thoughts and prayers to your brother as he heals, and to you as you take the very commendable steps to do what is needed by a loyal and loving brother.

Confirmed fan of your blog,

- Joe

Aeagles said...

This past summer when my mom passed at age 90 she had a will but no power of attorney. I paid her bills for about 4 months out of my funds because I had no access. I knew about most of them through getting them in the mail. I notified her banks from finding the past statements that she had passed and they blocked withdrawels until I could get appointed her "personal rep" through the court. You might be able to do something similar until you find out more. My thoughts and good energies are with you. Andrea

Anonymous said...

You seem to be doing everything you possibly can do for Mike, in exactly the way you can best handle it as needed. Things will definately be nerve racking at times, but you'll be able to muddle through it, one step at a time. Just do what you can, as best you can. Mike will be proud and grateful for it all.
I'm sure Mike is being taken care of in the hospital, with outstanding doctors and nurses doing the best they can at their jobs. Now 'Bob' needs to take at least a few minutes everyday to take care of himself. I certainly pray for your brothers' healing, but I also pray for strength for you. I experienced a lot of this with my dad a year ago.
So take a deep breath once in a while and remember...one step at a time.
~Pamela in Louisiana~

Well, DUH! I had to copy and paste this because I entered it under a previous post rather than this one where I really meant for it to be. I screw up a lot, but that's just me! Take care of yourself big guy...

Anonymous said...

hopefully Mike's son can & will help carry some of the load that's on you now. Dan here, adding more virtual well wishes to your bank :)

Anonymous said...

Best wishes & prayers your way Bob!
When things sort themselves out, would love to hear your thoughts on the effect this has on your riding.
I was just starting to look for my 1st bike and heard that a friend just had almost the exact same accident (she t-boned a car. face-first & things aren't good), then I open your blog and see your story!
Spooked me a little. :(
Scott in N.E.

Jennifer said...

I don't know what to say. I am so sorry.

I am praying for your brother's healing and your continued strength.

Please try to take care of yourself, as well.

Jennifer

Kerry said...

I'm glad to see a post; I've been worried. So sorry for what you are going through! I'll continue to send some positive vibes your way.