You’re not made of Teflon

A month ago, my husband assigned a task to his brothers to come up with a budget based on the income they have if they were to live on their own. If they failed to deliver on this assignment, they would get the boot. It was the simplest assignment ever. It was an assignment I did in high school economics. My husband’s thought process was if they make a budget, they could see how much it would cost to live somewhere and from there it could push them to get better jobs to get them to move out.

Though the assignment was easy, they did not show any work throughout the past few weeks. They didn’t ask me about the monthly utilities. My husband was getting nervous about the moment he has to give them the boot. Then final happened and he received a Notes app screenshot of their budget. I did review it and it was questionable. Their idea of rent is paying almost 2/3 of their income — where are looking to rent? What kind of place — is it a house, 2-bedroom apartment, a studio? And where would want to live? And in the end, their proposed budget was more than their income. My husband said, “It’s okay….It’s a start, we’ll just keep working with them.” So in the end, they did not get the boot.

But in less than 48 hours that had changed. And wow how it turned. And. It. Turned. Ugly.

Last week, I shared how I’ve been sick. I was sick since Wednesday, May 18th with a sore throat, cough, and runny nose. I was negative for COVID and I returned to work last Friday though I still had a bad cough and a runny nose. This past Monday night I went to bed before 8pm still not feeling any better. My husband was also experiencing the same symptoms too. In fact, he was sick before me on Monday, May 16th. He took a COVID test and tested negative. On Tuesday, we went to urgent care after work. That was a tough day. Towards the end of the work day, I was getting chills and a fever. I told my husband I needed to go to urgent care first because I was getting worse and he can watch Lana. From that urgent care visit it turns out I had pneumonia and I was livid.

So we’ll back-up to why I was so pissed. A few weeks ago, I asked BIL #2 how he was doing. He said he was sick. And I asked him, “you’re sick?” He replied, “I have a walking pneumonia.” I told him he needs to go to a doctor to get it treated and he claimed “the doctors don’t know what to do with me.” How and why is he self-diagnosing? My husband has been pushing him to do the same to see a doctor. He finally went to the hospital this past Sunday because he had a hard time breathing. It turned out he did have pneumonia — not the mild nonmedical “walking pneumonia” — the real pneumonia and he gave it to me and my husband.

I texted my husband my diagnosis while I was waiting for my prescriptions. From there, my husband sent a mass text message to me, BIL #1, and BIL #2. It went like this:

Husband: Next time anyone who suspects they’re sick, wear a mask [around the house] and clean up after yourself. Julie has pneumonia and it’s likely I do too. My boss is telling me to stay home because of this.
[No response]
Husband: Brother #2, even you said you had “walking pneumonia” and now we got it. That’s very irresponsible of you.
[No response]
Husband: For the working adults, what does this mean? Loss of pay and time for paid time off or sick time.
BIL #2: I’m sorry I didn’t mean for this to happen.
Me: Womp womp.
Me (several minutes later): But in all seriousness, sorry is not acceptable. If it were not for me and K, you’d be homeless.
BIL #2: I can’t make it up how sorry I am.

The last text message did not make any sense. Was he trying to convince us that his apology was genuine or he just did not know how to make up for what he had done? I had a hard time with the former. When I returned home from urgent care, BIL #2 said he was sorry again and my reply was, “it’s still not okay.”

Later on that night, my husband comes home from urgent care to show me another set of text messages to BIL #2. Basically my husband was telling brother #2 that he can longer live in our house because he cannot trust him to be an adult. Pneumonia is a treatable condition, but only through a medical professional. BIL #2 never responded back. In fact, he’s out in San Diego partying it up. My husband and I, on the other hand, are staying at home focusing on recovering.

You see, BIL #2 has never gone through life experiencing serious consequences. He thinks somehow rules defy him. Out of the six siblings, he’s lived a pretty charmed life. I gathered from family gatherings he was the charismatic and charming one growing up. Throughout school, he was popular and went to a lot of parties. He personifies the Gwendolyn Brooks poem “We Real Cool.” He always laments how life after high school just sucks, and yet he continues to think it is okay to be a full-time bum not making it better. It also does not help that he lets his mom baby him.

Health update:

I want to wrap up this post on a high note. As of today (Saturday), I am on my last day of antibiotics and I am breathing a lot better thanks to my inhaler. Today I braved going to the gym. I was worried I was going to be wheezing, making everyone in the exercise class uncomfortable. I almost skipped exercising and I am glad I did not because I came out of it better. I made it through an entire exercise class!

This week’s botanical walk will be around the Desert section. I returned to work on Friday and I did my weekly walk around the Botanical Gardens for lunch. I would love to have a field of Matilija poppies in my front yard.

Tags: Weekend Coffee Share

19 thoughts on “You’re not made of Teflon”

  1. Julie, you poor dear. I know you have been struggling with your BILs for a long time now. I read that Lost Angeles County has 67,000+ homeless out of over 10 million population. You two have been part of the reason the figure is as low as it is. I can’t imagine having pneumonia and living on the street. I had it this year along with the pulmonary embolisms. Your BILs have no idea how lucky they are. They might qualify for low-income housing. There’s quite a waiting list, but you could insist that they show you that they are on as many lists as they can find. Best of luck, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Marsha,
      I am surprised the percentage of homeless people in LA is so small. But 67,000 people is a lot and enough to fill a small town. You have brought up a great point that there are many multi-family households that keep the number low. I think the biggest difficulty is that they don’t help out and when we ask for it, it’s like pulling teeth. They are very lucky how good they have it, but unfortunately they don’t want to change to be better. That was our initial plan to have them move in with us. Maybe we were too optimistic because in reality they just wanted to move into a house and still keep their lounge lizard lifestyle. I actually worked in senior care and we did manage many affordable housing buildings. I have referred them to those resources. Aside from housing authorities through municipalities and counties, they could look into churches and non-profits.

      And also, wow pneumonia and PE? How long did it take to recover?


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in the hospital for five days. Then in the care of a vascular surgeon for eight months for Deep Vein Thrombosis. My lungs took about seven months to be declared totally cleared by a pulmonologist. I am not on a yearly recall with the pulmonologist and no longer have to take any medication. Today was the first day I’ve been off of blood thinners in eight months.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Are their parents unavailable? I feel so badly for you. That is so much responsibility to be saddled with. You could change your locks and put their stuff on the front lawn. LOL


      3. BIL #1 is leaving in August. It’s been his plan since last October. My husband gave BIL #2 a deadline of two months. My husband did tell his mom the news bc BIL #2 never responded to his message. I’m sure what pla. Will be from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Julie – what a terrible ride you’ve been on. And now, you’ve been punished for being benevolent. I fear that some people just have to hit a wall of some kind before they are willing to grow up. You’ve never mentioned anything about them not being able, as are some with mental or physical disabilities, so they are choosing to live off of your hard work. It’s not fair. It’s not adult and now we see that it’s not necessarily even wise.
    I fear the answer is going to feel terrible, mean, but necessary.
    You and your husband are to be commended for giving them a chance to plan out a life for themselves, but it may be time now to honor their choices of not providing for themselves and enjoy the consequences.
    sigh. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Gary, Even if they had a disability (physical or mental), their actions are insult to that community and the people who advocate them. There are many people living with disabilities who want to do “normal” things and contribute to society and they do those things and they do it well. Through my job, I interact with that population (and those from low-income community) and I think of all people I would have the resources and network equipped to get them where they need to go but they chose to not pursue any of those avenues. I think this outcome is most hardest on my husband because he’s invested time, he was the most optimistic in believing they would turn their life around.


    1. Really? I’m am pretty mad but I had really low energy for so many days because I was sick. The days afterwards when I was better, I made sure he did not forget what he had done. Also I think what helps is writing about what happened. It may not be honorable, but it helps me process some of my most difficult and dark moments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s