I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - we did. It was so great to be with everyone, my in laws came, my brother and his four kids, my dad came - my mom got sick that day and couldn't make it, and then Colleen's kids were here. It was a wonderful houseful of people. The food all turned out good - everyone ate enough and we talked and laughed and had a nice time. Later on, my brother took all the kids to the movies - he's a glutton for punishment isn't he? My in laws had to leave before it got too late, and we spent the evening napping and watching television and eating leftovers - isn't that what you're supposed to do on Thanksgiving?
Prior to Thursday it had been a difficult week. My sister, who I've mentioned has MS, has been getting worse and worse. She is on a program of chemotherapy to try to help stop the MS symptoms and when she came back from her last session of treatment, she just really went downhill quickly. She was living alone in an apartment, but she was falling a lot. Last week the "meals on wheels" people who deliver her a noon meal everyday found her laying on the floor - she had spent the night there because she couldn't get back up. They called my dad and he and another guy helped get her up. That night my mom asked my brother to go by and check on her and again, she was laying on the floor so my mom went and got her and took her to her house. That next day she asked me to go over in the morning and help her get dressed so I went over and I woke her up. She sat on the edge of the bed and just seemed "out of it" sort of in a daze, so I told her maybe she needed to wake up a little bit and I would come back in few minutes to help her out of bed. I went out to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and when I went back into the bedroom she was laying on the floor. I was able to help her roll over and set up, but I couldn't lift her so I had to call David and he came home from work and we got her out to the living room and sat her in a chair.
She was doing really well prior to this, as far as walking goes. She was getting around without a walker or cane - which she has used occasionally. Then in just a day she was doing worse than ever. She fell several more times at my parents house - once in the bathroom which scared my mom, of course. So they took her to the hospital for an evaluation and then on Wednesday she was admitted to a type of nursing home where she can get round the clock care. I am relived, because I know that she will have people watching out for her and making sure that she eats and doesn't fall, but it's also one of the most heartbreaking experiences I've ever been through.
If it was just her physical decline, it would still suck, but I think I could handle that. The worst thing about this disease for my sister is that seems to be taking her mind. She is confused a lot. She doesn't remember things. It's like a person with alzheimer's - except that she's only 40 years old! This disease has taken away her ability to talk. She doesn't speak very well and when she does, it's short and as few words as possible. I think it's because she has a hard time accessing in her brain the words that she wants to use. It's so awful to watch. I look into her eyes and it seems my sister isn't there.
I wish I had a magic wand to make everything better for her. She's lost everything - her husband lives in another town so he can keep working at his job to make sure she has health insurance. Her children live with me and my parents, she can't work, she can't speak, she can't walk, she can't live alone, she can't drive . . . it's so awful for her, for her children, her husband, the rest of her family and friends. And there's nothing that anyone can do really. It's a huge pile of suck.
I don't think my sister is ever coming back, and I'm more sad about it than I can put into words. It's like grieving for someone who isn't gone yet. I want to remember all the wonderful things about my sister - the things that her children won't know - I have to remember for their sake, so I can tell them that she wasn't always this person that they see now. I miss my sister that was my best friend. The person I could always rely on to be my cohort. The one person that would put up with my crap - and the one person who wouldn't put up with my crap. I miss the person I would talk to about everything. I miss the person who knew all about me - who lived my childhood with me. The person that I could say one word to and they would know EXACTLY what I was talking about.
I'm not trying to be selfish - I know that her children and her husband have lost more than I have. Next to them, my complaining seems pretty petty, but I don't mean to sound that way. I'm just saying that it hurts a lot to see my sister disappearing down a well of disease and misery and not be able to do a damn thing about it. It hurts to lose someone. It hurts to see someone you love suffering.