Remembering to breathe and find patience.
Today was a lesson in patience. One of those moments when you just have to breathe, and step back a little. I haven’t seen my brother for a week or two. Trying to back off and see how he managed by himself. Although he has support from Mencap in the block of flats where he lives, he still finds daily life very lonely. Like hundreds of other people, I know. Today we went out for lunch.
So where do we go?
I had arranged to meet him in our usual meeting place where we would decide where to go. The trouble was, he hadn’t had any breakfast and wanted a burger. It’s possible he hadn’t eaten since lunch time yesterday, when he had a McDonalds. I was quite strict and refused. He doesn’t think of food like everyone else, and if he is hungry he eats, but doesn’t really care what it is. He would eat a whole packet of biscuits if they were available. Just to fill him up. I can see issues developing with digestion as he is getting older, but he just doesn’t understand, and it only stresses me trying to explain to him. ‘Healthy food choices’ just don’t compute!
We ended up with a compromise – Chicken Burger! He didn’t notice the avocado or tomato in the middle. Result!
It makes me aware that not everyone can change, or actually want to change. It’s a little like clients who just don’t drink enough water. No matter how many times I stress that we are 70% water and need hydrating, they just don’t ‘get it’, and continue to complain of skin issues/joint pain/tiredness.
I have to be patient.
You can lead a horse to water…..
With my autistic brother, I just have to take each visit as it comes.
We went shopping for some ‘bits’. In his world that means milk and maybe some fruit juice. He never writes a list and can’t think ahead to what he wants to eat tomorrow, because he has just eaten. We just get a few items to tide him over, but today I managed to sneak in a small bag of nuts and seeds, some yoghurts and strawberries. He will probably eat them all in one go, but at least there were a few ‘healthy options’ for a day or two. It keeps me happy, although we did have a few issues over a punnet of grapes!
I did what I needed to do. Explaining to him about the potential risk of IBS, ulcers, and diabetes, is just a waste of energy. He doesn’t have the capacity to understand, so I have to retreat until another day.