Thursday, March 19, 2009

My brother is in a state hospital right now and continues to improve. This experience is new for him because he is required to wake up at 7 am everyday. He is also not allowed in his room for a good portion of the day. I think this is good because he has less of a chance to dwell on his thoughts. Plus, he is more likely to interact with others. All patients must go to the cafeteria for their meals and meet for group. I think any type of routine can help.

I have mentioned in the past that a few doctors have weren't so optimistic about my brother's prognosis. Well, his new doctor has very positive things to say. She said my brother is very nice, educated and predicts that his prognosis will be good. Time will only tell, but it was the first time my mother felt like this doctor could help my brother accept his illness. She has over 30 years experience which is reassuring. I talked to my brother the other day and he really misses one of my dogs (picture above). I can't wait until my bro gets better and he can hug Miles again:) It's so ironic because Miles is a silly, neurotic boxer who seems to intimidate others (due to his muscular build and size). However, Miles has nothing but love to give. People judge Miles based on his image and the fact that he LOOKS mean. If you give Miles a chance, you will need a towel to wipe his sloppy kisses off your face. My brother has a certain bond with Miles I can't describe. He is the only one who ever asks about him. Usually, people ask about my hound who is much more submissive. 
But with Miles you can't help but laugh at him. Like all boxers, Miles is a clown and very hard headed. Such a personality. Dogs are very therapeutic, though. They have helped me though these past three years. I swear they can sense sadness. If I was down about my bro, they would comfort me or lick my face:) They are also the only ones who can make my brother smile, even when he is not doing well. Anyway, just thought I would share that with you. Above are a few pics we have taken of Miles and Basie over the years. They are dressed up as Scrooge and Tiny Tim for a holiday card in one of the pics. The photo shoot took an hour:) 


  1. Amber

    I am very happy to hear your brother is having a positive experience in a hospital with a physician who cares. I think just having someone believe in you makes your outlook more positive and the possibility real.

    I had a bad experience with a boxer as a child, so I have not felt an affinity for them, but your dog looks so friendly. Animals do have an effect on people. My son loves my dog, and when he wasnt living with me, he always told me when he called to hug Risi for him. I have a yellow lab.

  2. OMG, I am so sorry to hear about that. I could understand why you would be hesitant to approach a boxer. Thankfully, Miles has only been friendly. You wouldn't think so, but my smaller dog calls the shots with Miles. He always ends up with the toys.

    My sister was bit in the face by a dog when she was 8 and all she did was pet the dog. Problem was it was a hot day and she was bent down at his level. It was the scariest thing ever. Her scars have faded and luckily she has dimples and the faint scare blends in. Anyway, I am glad your son also finds a connection with your dog.

  3. How wonderful! I wish my brother could have that kind of experience. What a difference a good doctor can make. Canada's mental health care system is one big joke

  4. Hi AC,

    I'm glad Josh is somewhere where the psychiatrist doesn't view him as his symptoms and sees him only as a person first.


  5. As Lovers Go:

    I am so sorry to hear about that. I wish your brother had more medical assistance. I don't know much about Canada's health system but I know many people agree with the way it's set up. Problem is, when there is a need for lots of medical assistance, like in your brother's case, the system lets you down. Mental illness requires lots of up front treatment and attention in order to see progress. I remember hearing that Tom Green's dad was diagnosed with cancer, he went on a waiting list (in Canada) to receive treatment. Knowing that cancer needs immediate attention, Tom paid full price (no insurance) for his father to get treatment in the US. I hope your brother gets the treatment and attention he deeply needs. BTW, do you write about your bro on your blog? I can't seem to get on your blog. I would love to hear how things are going.

  6. Chris,
    THANK YOU for your support! I agree that it takes the right kind of doctor to earn your trust and help you see things in a positive light. Doctors can have all the knowledge in the world, but if they can't be empathetic, then they chose the wrong career path.

  7. Amber,
    I am a loyal follower of your pages, both admirer of your campaigning zeal to educate and inform about mental illness and your more personal heartfelt blogs about your brother's progress and his perspective.
    That is indeed good news. His individual qualities valued and liked by his psychiatrist, empathy indeed.
    Loved the moving strong and warm double portrait Man and his dog, and also the other photos.
    Apropos of both strands you might care to look out for 2 posts I made on SZ connection. One I posted today title 'Quick thinking averts tragedy'. On a lighter note "Animal Instincts" was a much earlier post you can find by typing that into 'search site 'on the SZ Connection site.A doggy tale!
    Best wishes Chris from UK

  8. Christine,

    Thank you for your support and I am glad that you enjoy reading my blog:) Your post about your son and dog was so touching. Our pets do not judge, only love. We could learn a lot from them:)