I’m in bed trying to sleep but I can’t, with my brother in the next room choking and gasping for air. He’s visiting this weekend and I can’t sleep because of the noise and because it’s making me so angry that he refuses to get treated.

He moved out of town for work about 5 years ago and had a really hard time adjusting. Over those 5 years he developed several health conditions including severe obesity, heart issues, high blood pressure, and a handful of other issues that are undiagnosed including sleep apnea. He clearly has depression but does not acknowledge it. He does not go out except for work and food, and does not have any friends whether in person or online. I constantly try to address these issues with him but he sees no problem with his way of life.

He finally reached a point where he wanted to change (around the time of my wedding for some reason), and signed up for a gym and personal trainer even though he’s extremely stingy with money. Several months of progress later, COVID-19 hit and all gyms closed. He became even more of a shut-in and his health grew worse. I haven’t seen him for a while because COVID, but when I saw him today my heart broke. He looks so terrible and cannot keep a straight gaze. His face is dark and splotchy like you can just tell there’s circulation problems. He somehow lost weight in his face and arms (he has lost his appetite in recent months and hasn’t been eating) but his midsection is insanely large, I don’t even know what’s going on there. He can barely take a few steps without wheezing in pain even though he has lost weight overall.

I begged him to go to the doctor, especially to start treatment for sleep apnea. I know there are tons of other issues but the SA has been going on for years and I know it’s killing him and contributing to his host of issues, including depression. He kept saying that he will eventually when work is less busy and he has time. When I kept pressing how serious it is, he got defensive and said that he will take care of himself. This is the same argument we’ve had for years. And any time I even bring up the topic of therapy or counseling, he gets extremely upset and refuses to consider it.

One of his unspoken reasons for not wanting to go to the doctor is due to medical costs even with insurance. But staying this way will cost more in the long run. He has the money but is afraid to lose it. What is the point of hoarding money when you’re on track to die in the next 5 years? I really don’t want to see him die alone and in pain. I am furious because even though he is the one in the most pain, he is hurting our parents by refusing to get medical help. He’s a grown man (33) so we can’t force him to do anything. I am considering cutting him out entirely and refusing to speak to him until he goes to the doctor. Is this a bad idea?

Maybe it is inappropriate for me to vent on this sub, and if so I apologize. I was just frustrated and reading more about people’s experiences with SA in the sub. I am just wondering if anyone has been through a similar experience on either end and has any words of advice. I am extremely worried for my brother and am wondering if there’s a perspective that I’m missing that could possibly help him. Thank you for reading… (crying and trying to sleep with the noise)

[edit] Quick update— thank you for all your comments, I cannot respond to them now but I really appreciate it. After some emotionally charged discussions with my parents over the speaker phone this morning, my brother has agreed to go to Urgent Care near my place with me today. This is 200 miles from his home so not ideal but if me holding his hand to the doctor is what it takes, then I am happy to do so, and it looks like it was what was needed. It will be a challenge getting him to receive SA treatment when he goes home, but we’ll start here for now…

[edit2] Brother has been hospitalized for congestive heart failure. Here’s to a long road of recovery. I didn’t think all this would happen this suddenly when I made this post last night but here we are. Thank you to all who commented for more perspective and especially the ones that gave me more determination to stick to my guns for his health. Pursuing SA treatment will be on him but I hope this experience genuinely wakes him up.

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