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Old December 27 2008, 06:18 AM   #1
1001001
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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.
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Old December 27 2008, 06:24 AM   #2
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Re: My Sister is Dying

I don't really have words, but ... my thoughts are with you and your family.

I'm so, so sorry.
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Old December 27 2008, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: My Sister is Dying

You and your family are in my thoughts.
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Old December 27 2008, 06:51 AM   #4
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Re: My Sister is Dying

Digits, I'm so sorry bro, you and your family are in my prayers.
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Old December 27 2008, 06:56 AM   #5
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Re: My Sister is Dying

OMG, I'm so sorry about this! You know, Dad has some friends who are alchoholics and have cirosis of the liver as well. They continue to drink heavily and are both paying for it cause they both are beginning to show signs of swelling of the face and stomach. It's a husband and wife that are usually at the baseball games when we go. I always wonder how those two ever get home safely cause they are always drunk and they usually drive themselves home. The wife is BEAUTIFUL but she looks pregnant even though she's not because of the alchohol. Alchoholism is a strange illness but it is an illness indeed. And to think that your sister is going through this..in a way, she's being selfish to you and to your family. And I'll bet you feel obligated to take care of her cause no one else will. In another way, they are making you the enabler, which probably causes conflict in the family. I'm so sorry to read about this. My thoughts and prayers go out to you especially and your family. This is a tough time to die!
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Old December 27 2008, 06:57 AM   #6
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Re: My Sister is Dying

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I will be thinking about you and your family 1001001.
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Old December 27 2008, 07:04 AM   #7
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Re: My Sister is Dying

1001001, my prayers are with you, your family, and your sister.
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Old December 27 2008, 07:17 AM   #8
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Re: My Sister is Dying

so sorry you and your family are going through all this.
sometimes what you are doing.. trying to ensure her last moments are comfortable are the only things one can do in face of a determined addict.

in the end all one can do is offer the path that an addict can take to kick their addiction and support if they chose to do so.
but when they reject that sometimes all one can do is stand aside and wait for the end.

and yes hospice is a wonderful thing.
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Old December 27 2008, 07:21 AM   #9
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Re: My Sister is Dying

1001001 wrote: View Post
Please think positive thoughts for my family and I.
Of course.
If I disappear for a while, you'll understand why.
Indeed.

I'm sorry, digits. What a dreadful thing to have to deal with.
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Old December 27 2008, 07:44 AM   #10
Mallory
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Re: My Sister is Dying

I'm so very sorry for you and your family Digits. I can't begin to fathom the anguish you must be feeling. You and your's will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old December 27 2008, 08:39 AM   #11
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Re: My Sister is Dying

Digits, words fail me.

You have my condolences and my thoughts.
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Old December 27 2008, 08:57 AM   #12
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Re: My Sister is Dying

Alcohol liver disease is one of the saddest illnesses to suffer, especially when it comes to the final stages - physically, physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually crushing for not only the person in question, but undoubtedly for their loved ones. My thoughts are with you and your family too, digits.
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Old December 27 2008, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: My Sister is Dying

Ouch! Sorry to hear about that Digits. Be strong.
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Old December 27 2008, 09:02 AM   #14
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Re: My Sister is Dying

I'm very sorry to hear that, Digits. I have a younger sister myself, and I can only imagine how I'd feel in your shoes.
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Old December 27 2008, 09:10 AM   #15
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Re: My Sister is Dying

Canadave wrote: View Post
I'm very sorry to hear that, Digits. I have a younger sister myself, and I can only imagine how I'd feel in your shoes.
As do I Canadadave,
I cant imagine what 1001001 is going through.
Good thoughts and prayers to 1001001 and his sister and family in this difficult time.
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