I know I haven’t been writing much, but….

Since Covid, I haven’t had a lot to talk about and don’t want to write something on the blog if I don’t have anything to say. This has been a really tough week for me. My sister, Cathy, is two years older than me, and is a type 1 diabetic (meaning she’s insulin dependent, and has been, since she was four.) She has had an ear infection for the last month or so, and no matter what they’ve done to treat it, nothing’s helped. At the beginning of last week, she woke up one morning and half of her face was frozen (permanently,) and blood was coming out of her infected ear.

Her husband is a retired ER doctor and knew her condition had seriously escalated, and took her to her physician. They did some tests and sent her for an MRI. The MRI shows that the infection has gone into her skull. At this point, the only option to kill the infection, would be for her to have a very invasive surgery that has no guarantee of working. She could go on IV antibiotics, but they won’t kill the infection, only prolong her life.

In the past year, Cathy has no balance so can’t walk and uses a wheelchair. She’s had issues with her eyes for several years, and has additional health issues. Her quality of life before this infection wasn’t great, and with no real cure for the infection, Cathy and my brother-in-law have chosen not to do anything, and have involved Hospice.

Cathy is my only sibling, and both of our parents have passed away, so it’s just the two of us, and now I’m looking at a future without her. We all know that we’ll lose those we love, but it’s so much harder when that loss is imminent.

My sister lives in North Carolina, and because of Covid, and my reduced immune system (from my arthritis,) it’s not safe for me to fly. I would really struggle if we chose to drive, as my arthritis hasn’t been under control in recent months and riding long distances is difficult for me.

I always thought I’d be with Cathy when she passed, and it’s with a heavy heart that I’m admitting that I won’t be able to be with her.

I had a boss once that asked me if I was a “glass is half full” or “glass is half empty” kind of person. I said I’m a person who sees the glass and knows it’s got water in it…I don’t measure how much, as the reality for me is that the amount of liquid doesn’t really matter. My current situation reminded me of that story, as I now see that time with my sister is finite…what I choose to do with that time is what’s important. The glass isn’t half full or half empty, it does have liquid, and that’s all that matters.

4 thoughts on “I know I haven’t been writing much, but….

  1. I am so sorry Saundra. Diabetes is ugly. I am diabetic and have lost friends and relatives to this awful disease. I will pray for you and your sister.

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  2. I’ve been lucky to have my sister for 58 years with this disease…when she was in her teens, she was told by doctors that she could expect to live 25 years with the disease…..She should have only lived to 29…If she lives to November 2nd, she’ll be 63.. It is a terrible disease, though, and the last few years, she’s really struggled…Thanks for your kind words, Barbara….

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  3. Tears streaming down my face as I read this. I was always so excited to see you and Cathy at Grandma C’s cottage. It was a thrill to me to the hang out with the older girl cousins. I’m sure it was irritating. Anyway, you were both always nice to me and I will cherish those memories. Warm virtual hugs coming your way and hoping we can get together soon.

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  4. Beth called me a couple of days ago, after your mom told her about Cathy. She and I were reminiscing about time at Grandmas and how she and I always ended up with one tv tray in the hall to the bathroom, and thought it was the greatest, having our own “special place”….It’s sad how few of the people in that house are still with us today. You and I definitely should get together and have some fun…something to look forward to.
    Cathy’s going downhill quickly now. I talked to her last night (as she finally got a box of things I’d sent her), including the round Mother Mary diamond painting I’d made her, and she made no sense….snickering about Mother Mary and talking about who she was giving it to, and how it has lights (I sent the tree of life night life in the box too, and I guess she was confusing them)….We hung up and Mike immediately called me back on his phone, telling me he was sorry he hadn’t prepared me for this change. He said she’s hallucinating now, and he doesn’t know if it’s from the pain killers or the infection. He said she thought the flowers I’d sent her that were sitting on a table, weren’t flowers, but their dog and now she can’t tell John from Mike.
    I wish I could capture all of our childhood memories and put them in a bottle, as this upcoming loss is making me nostalgic for the rest of the family who are also gone.
    Thanks for your kindness and for being there for me, Shelli..You have no idea how much it means to me…

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