My sister was found to have a mass on her brain, (yesterday). She goes back in today for an MRI with contrast.
I am so sick about it.
She’d been losing her sight and it all came on within the past few months. I suspected something wrong because she was tired a lot. More so of late.
She is my baby sister. She was the one who left her job and came out to Alabama to help me take care of our parents. It was hard at first and we at times fought. If you can picture 50-60 year old’s fighting.
She is/was a massage therapist and into natural remedies which is why she only went to her acupuncturist and chiropractor, seeking a “natural”solution to whatever was ailing her. Now, that I think back on it, she has complained for some time that she had not been feeling well. She thought it was a mold issue. (She lives in Florida) She complained and yes, there was mold in her air conditioning and her landlord took care of it.
Even so, she’d been complaining about an overall not feeling well and we’d make jokes about how it sucks getting old. I still kept insisting she see a doctor. I told her that I understood her wanting to go natural, but sometimes it’s valuable to find out what is for sure going on and if there’s a natural course of attack, then she can make that decision. She “said” she agreed with my reasoning, but she kept putting it off.
What was interesting and I mentioned this to her, if her cats got sick she’d take them to the doctor and spend whatever necessary. She always came second.
For a time, I talked to her less out of sheer frustration. I didn’t want to hear about the acupuncturist and chiropractor. Please understand, I have nothing against them, but I just suspected more. I wonder too, if they had not recommended the same, because many do and will, but she wouldn’t say.
She finally said she had gone to the doctor. I discover yesterday that she went to a Lenscrafter optician. When she told me about her visit, she made a joke about, “Hey, you know the big letters on the eye chart? Well, I can’t even see those! My eyes are really bad.” He did recommend she see a specialist but then she said well, I haven’t heard back from him with the referral he would recommend. I suggest she call him. She never did. She said, no $$. She is on Medicare, but had not gotten the supplemental insurance and she was no longer working. If you know anything about massage therapists, they are independent contractors with no benefits whatsoever, so of course no retirement income. She said she had put some money away, but says, she doesn’t know where it went to. She wanted me to come out. She asked me often. I wanted to but wouldn’t go.
These are my reasons. If I’d gone out, it might have resulted in a vacation and that would have been her reasoning. Excuses. I’m not an awful sister, but… I knew if I did, my time would be limited and I knew I’d be spinning my wheels, not knowing the area and trying to find what was available. I don’t know people, services or doctors there and at the end of the day, nothing would have been accomplished.
I kept insisting she call her “boys” and let them know what was going on but she wanted me to come out. I dug in my heels. She kept saying they had busy lives and her daughter in law had just lost her dad and a few years before, her mother. No, she didn’t want to put that on them. Her boys are busy, with sports and raising kids. One, has a girl in college on a sports scholarship, I think she said, another in high school. The college student would come on occasion and help her with things. The other son has little ones. Both “boys” are busy. Well guess what? She broke down and told them and they aren’t too busy to help their mom and they are the reason she is getting help. They know the right doctors. They got the referrals and are taking care of business… and in short order.
Because she couldn’t see, she had possibly mismanaged her bank accounts and they’ve had to step in to help with that. Everyone is getting involved.
The daughter in law said they’d seen her not that long ago but she behaved “normally” so they were unaware. She is not a complainer, so she never said a word to them. Even when she spoke to me, she didn’t actually complain. So when she finally did let them know the extent of her vision loss, they immediately got her help. Their doctor, did not order the tests right away because she had been taking so many herbs and potions, he said they would cloud the tests and he wanted to wait until they were out of her system before doing blood work. Now, I wait for more.
Before the MRI, the “kids” asked for our family history. I sent that to them. Before the MRI, they said the doctor had indicated she was depressed and they thought she had begun to be forgetful. Depression can do that too. Just in the last couple of weeks, I had noticed a turn. She was sleeping more and I reasoned that perhaps that was why she was losing time. She would forget things. She kept talking about how I was going to be there in a few days after I had explained I would come in October. She forgot. THAT IS NOT HER. She was once a bookkeeper at Disney World. She knows computation.
The doctor gave her simple equations and she could not compute them. She got angry with him for asking her to “think”.
I am writing this because for the last few days I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and I don’t know what to do.
I lashed out at hubby. I hugged hubby. So glad I have hubby.
I feel ANGER. I am so angry. Angry at her for not going to the doctor when I suggested and how so like dad that was. Stubborn and rebellious. How could she do that to us? I am the eldest and yes, I can be so bossy! I know that, but it doesn’t make me wrong. Why didn’t you go? I CAN’T LOSE MY BABY SISTER!!!!
Then there’s the GUILT. Why didn’t I just go over her head and enlist her boys whether she liked it or not? I know why. I just never guessed it was that bad and I am feeling guilty for not having known. I want to scream!!!
And, SAD. I am so sad. What if it’s not a slam dunk remedy?
PAIN. It hurts so bad. My emotions are all over the board.
Last night, I kept remembering all the good times she and I shared in our misery taking care of our parents. Our parents had been difficult our whole lives. We marveled at how well we had all turned out despite the abuses. She is a beautiful person and an artist and I know she’s not dead, but with the my back log of clues, the evidence may have been there longer than we knew… I don’t know. I know as we grow older, it is inevitable we lose people we love. It’s all part of life.
I call the family on this side of the country to let them know. I called my son in Texas only to learn he lost one of his best friends this past week of a brain tumor. He was 38. I guess age doesn’t matter.
Can I be royally pissed? Certainly, but I forgive her. She is sweet and loving and probably never imagined it was that bad. I sometimes wonder if children of a hypochondriac parent put off things for fear they may be parroting them?
Spread throughout this blog are pictures my sister has drawn, using crayon. It is Crayon Art which she has won awards for. I love them.