XH called this afternoon. He’s been at a military school for the past week. He apparently didn’t pass the physicals because of his kidney problem. I’m not exactly sure what his kidney problem is. I guess it’s the same problem that prohibited him from going to Iraq in his wife’s place for the year in 2006.

He thinks he’ll be out of the military on a medical discharge within 9 months or so.
He’s said this before, so I’m not sure what will actually happen.

After he’d told me, he asked to speak with the kids. DS12 and DD11 talked to him. They told me that he told them that he is at school and that he has the same kidney disease as his brother (who’s on dialysis 4-5 times a week and is waiting for a kidney transplant). They don’t know much except that their uncle is very sick and that if he doesn’t get a new kidney, he could die. They know the little that they know courtesy of another phone call like this from XH. He seems to enjoy giving them tidbits of scary news and leaving me to figure out what he’s said and how to answer their questions.

I’m irritated that XH thought it was a good idea to tell the kids this over the phone. It’s typical of him, though, to address these things in a non-personal way like this instead of waiting for a time when he is with the kids to tell them, answer their questions and address their concerns.

DD14 will not speak to XH on the phone, but came to me after DS12 told her about the phone call and asked if XH was going to die from his kidney problem or if he was making it up. I told her that I wasn’t really sure, but that his kidney problem was not as advanced as his brother’s and that I hoped he’d be able to receive medical attention early enough to prevent him from becoming so sick. I didn’t know what else to say.

I don’t like feeling like I did today. I don’t like being left holding the bag and having to answer the questions he leaves in his wake. If it was worth it, I’d try to explain to XH how these kinds of things are not appropriate, that slamming the kids with this sort of thing over the phone is not a good way to handle things, that he needs to get more information before telling the kids things like this with no anwers and vague information, if any.