Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Late Night Call

There's an unwritten rule in life that states bad news rings the phone late at night. Last night was one of those nights for me.

Around the year 2000, my sister informed me that she had Hepatitus C and liver disease. My sister is one to avoid the truth so what she failed to say is that she had cirrhosis of the liver due to alcholism. It's an ugly truth and I suppose I can't blame her for wanting to keep it quiet but she forgets who I am. I am her younger sister, the one who watched alcoholism distruct the lives of those I love. I've lost two of my beloveds to a disease that shouldn't be kept quiet. Hearing her news was difficult. I still felt the deep pain of losing my brother and mother even though more than 7 years had passed since the second funeral.

At that time, she was given 6 months to 2 years to live. A rather bleak prognosis but it was time. She had time to get her affairs in order, to be with her twin daughters, to cherish a day. But my sister has rarely had a day worth cherishing due to many poor decisions she's made. I'm sure I sound judgmental but we all know the truths that are tucked away within the fibers of our families.

My niece called at midnight to tearfully tell me her mother was in the hospital and her liver was failing. Although she's outlived the initial prognosis, the one given now is less optimistic.

By what I've gathered at this point, Gina, my sister, will be in the hospital for 2 to 4 days as they try to stabilize her. She's suffering from toxin poisoning and dehydration and is in immense pain. I called her today but she was not able to take my call due to her pain. That makes my pain twice as bad considering she is in Indiana and I'm in Florida.

I'll make a decision on travel after I've had a chance to talk with her physician, which will hopefully be later today or tomorrow. In spite of my attempts, my thoughts don't lead to much hope for my sister. Frankly she's done little to help her situation. There are steps she could have taken that may have been to her benefit such as quitting smoking. Because she's a smoker, she's not eligible for transplant. Her liver is gone, her condition has worsened and if she makes it to Christmas, it will be a surprise. With that said, my level of optimism is what it is.


Anonymous Robert said...

Juli, I'm so sorry. I wish I had those magic words, but I've never learned them. I'm thinking of you.

August 07, 2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger HermanTurnip said...

I'm sorry for arriving late to your recenting postings.

I just want to say how sorry I am that you're having to go through such a painful period in your life. I wish you only the best. You and your sister are in my prayers.

August 08, 2006 9:21 PM  

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