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Old December 27 2008, 05:18 AM   #1
Let the Good Times Roll!!
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Location: People's Gaypublic of Drugafornia
My Sister is Dying

I'd like to share a bit about my personal life, particularly what my family is going through and why I haven't been around much.

Simply put, my sister is dying.

I have just the one sibling. She's 38 years old. She is an alcoholic, and 8 months ago she was diagnosed with cirhossis of the liver.

She decided not to go into rehab or therapy or anything else. Over the past 6 months or so, she's been in the hospital 7 or 8 times. She always leaves AMA (against medical advice) and goes home to drink some more.

About 2 weeks ago, she went into the hospital again, jaundiced and incoherent. Her liver and kidneys are failing. The hospital told her there was nothing more they could do. They had her sign up for hospice care. The Medical Director subsequently told her she had two more weeks to live. That was 5 days ago.

My family has elected me to deal with it. I am in constant touch with the hospice staff, who have been great, even in the face of my sister's craziness. They are trying to keep her comfortable. I am arranging the funeral, in steady contact with the cemetary. Today at work, I took 5 calls from hospice staff regarding my sister and her care as she prepares to die.

Alcoholism is so insane. It's a surreal experience. I suppose moreso because of what I do. Among other things, I run a licensed residential treatment center for the dually-diagnosed. And yet there has been absolutely nothing I can do.

In any event, very soon, perhaps as little as a few days, I will be going home to bury my baby sister. Our whole family will be there of course. Our Dad. Our Grandpa. Various aunts, uncles, and cousins. And we will stand at her grave, wondering what alcoholism has robbed the world of. Again.

Please think positive thoughts for my family and I. If I disappear for a while, you'll understand why.
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States...The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'.” - Isaac Asimov
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