I have sat down to write this post so many times. I have tried to think about what I would say. How do I explain my sissy’s health & life situation? So I decided to make this part 1 of a 2 part series.
I guess I should just start at the beginning. She has been sick for over a decade. 10 years of her life robbed by illness. Could you imagine?
At first we all were puzzled and really going through the grieving process, if you will. How do you understand something NO ONE can explain? Why can’t they fix her? What is wrong? All the questions and very little answers. The 5 W’s and the H. It was like a terrible dream that kept replaying even when you open your eyes.
I have said this before, her mind is sharp but her body cannot keep up. She is so smart, beautiful and kind. She has so many hopes and dreams but some days she can hardly get out of bed, living in a constant state of exhaustion.
Her body rejects food. It’s like she has had the stomach bug forever! Her resting heart rate is like she is at peak cardio fitness 166. She lives her life at home and at the lab. I could go on and on. I think you get the picture.
She HATES for me to share too much about her illnesses, but it unfortunately it is part of this story. My sister and I are separated by 2.5 years just like my boys. She is hands down one of the best people in my life. I got her permission to publish this post. I share this not for sympathy but rather to share something I often harbor and choose not to open up about. I have said this since my first blog post, writing is cathartic for me and helps me deal with my emotions.
With that said, we do not want pity. I have wanted to give a better understanding of her health situation without going into too many medical terms or details.
Year after year she gets worse. My parents have taken her to half a dozen hospitals and specialists across the country. At first the trips were hopeful. Now they have be come daunting and almost impossible for her to travel. The feelings of fear, anxiety and hopelessness hang in the air as they head southbound 75 to Dallas. The latest trip was again answerless and uneventful.
Being a mother myself I cannot imagine the internal pain and anguish my mother feels. Seeing your baby sick and unable to help them has IS the worst feeling in life. The strength between them is astonishing. I remember hearing stories of a mother who lifted a car to save her child. The motherly, mama bear instincts to protect our young are true and inherent.
My mother is truly a saint. To say that I admire my mother and sister is an understatement. My sisters ability to carry on despite her withering body is nothing short of a mental miracle.
We get to a place of hope and then she lands back in the hospital. This time last year she was in the hospital and we had just gotten home from our family beach vacation.
Last month it was Mother’s Day weekend and again we had just gotten home from vacation. Poor thing was so sick she had to be admitted to the hospital. This time it was for her low potassium and other labs showing she was dehydrated. She needed more fluids than she and mom could administer at home, thru her port.
So here were are, one year later, and if feels like we are living in Groundhog’s Day. All she wants is to be at home and celebrate Mother’s Day with her mommy.
When I came to visit her, she was still sleeping. Her face grimaced and she was in pain while she was dreaming. My mom wakes her up to eat her breakfast at 2pm. They listen as I tell funny stories about the boys and our trip to the beach. The 3 of us hens can create quite a stir in the hospital. We roast the men in our lives and laugh so hard we pee a little.
It is not long after, she starts to have a spell and goes to the bathroom. I hold back tears as I hear her have a terrible vomiting fit. She moseys back in with her IV pole, looking defeated and apologizes. She lies down on the hospital bed and gets her medication from the nurse.
This is when the laughter stops. My job has become the comic relief. The one they send in with the camera man saying “SMILE!! You’re on candid camera.” Unfortunately this is not a BRAVO original series.
This is her life. My mom’s life. My father’s life. My brother’s life. Our life as a family. Seeing someone you love, sick and in pain is nothing I wish on anyone.
My boys do NOT know the REAL sissy. They only know she is sick. They help her with her meds and love her to the moon and back 100.
The lump in my throat is growing. I tear up every time I say this. She has told me that the boys are her only reason for living. That without them she would want to give up. I am so thankful for my babies & blessings that bring her such joy.
So there it is. A tiny glimpse of the last 10 years. Thank you to everyone who asks about sissy. She hates people doting on her but I always remind her that there are so many people who love and care about her. The next chapter is going to be a happy one. I have made it my mission to make certain of that.
Over last few months I have been working with some amazing people on a BIG exciting project.
Finally, it is time to share and reveal my BIG surprise for sissy. So stay tuned for part 2 and continue with us on this journey.
I hope I make you proud sissy because I am so proud to call you; My sissy.
My day one.
I love you.