When am I worrying too much?

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New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
3
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
05/2019
Country
US
State
IL
Hi everyone! My brother was diagnosed back in April. We've been told he's slowly progressing and can still walk but with balance issues and has lost quite a bit of strength. He's single and basically doesn't have anyone else in the family to lean on for what are sure to be tough times down the road.

I'm the overly protective big sister. When he was first diagnosed, I was so overwhelmed but quickly came to realize that not every single thing needed to be tackled immediately. I don't want to push him with conversations he's not ready to have even though I know we need to have them (estate planning, trusts, will, home modifications, etc.). So I worry. I want him to be safe (he sometimes pushes himself past his limits) but don't want to nag. So I worry.

I want him to enjoy his quality of life while he still has it, and I worry even more (like when his friend bought him a Nascar driving experience...OMG). I worry that we will run out of time to do the planning, that he will put himself in a bad situation and hurt himself and that I (or anyone else) won't be there to help. I've tried to talk to him about it and he tells me "I'm fine" and that I worry too much. I've told him that it's my job as the big sister to look out for him. How much is too much? How do I know when to push/nag and when to back off? Any advice would be much appreciated!
 
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lgelb

Forum Supporter
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Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
7,664
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
09/2009
Country
US
State
WA
A regretful welcome to our ranks, 1Day. Thanks for being there for your bro. Of course, we'll support you however we can.

First, whenever you give in to the "I'm worried" speeches, make sure they're "I'm worried," not "You should be..." "I" statements do more than "you" statements here.

Second, on the days that he sees it as nagging, it's time to back off, because it won't do anything and you'll both just be frustrated.

In calmer moments, be honest with him as you are with us. Explain your greatest fear. Acknowledge that he does not owe you peace of mind, but might prefer it for himself.

There are often several months of denial, perhaps more with slow progression, so he still has some to burn. Meanwhile, in bite-sized declarations, just let him know that you will be there when he is ready to plan, that you hope he will want to safeguard the better days against the worse days, and that planning/doing is to extend his independence, rather than reduce it.

Best,
Laurie
 
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