Monday, June 30, 2014

Powerless & Okay With It

On the phone with my mom last night about some t-shirt designs for a family event in July and my sister came up. She left Vegas early to start working at a week long camp down in Oregon but apparently she didn't get to complete her mission. She had a seizure and was brought home.

There are a few important points to remember in regards to my sister. A) No, she is not epileptic. B) Yes, she has had seizures before. C) No, she is not in treatment for anything specific.

I was immediately angry when I heard the news. Angry at the doctors that have done nothing to help my sister and my sister who has done nothing to help herself. But there is nothing I can do about any of it.

My husband tended to me and helped me quite a lot when I was in the depths of some bad depressive episodes, but could he force me to decide to live? No. No one can force someone to live or make the choice to care for themselves. I can't make my sister take care of herself and all the interventions or hand holding in the world won't solve her problems. It's up to her and watching her suffer the consequences of her decisions sucks for the rest of us, but that's how it is.

What are her problems exactly? I'm not sure anyone knows the full extent of the situation. She's deathly afraid of needles (well, the hospital kind, not the tattoo kind) so testing or treatments become problematic. She's severely anemic and suffers from "gluten sensitivity" and pleurisy. Her nutrition is horrible. Her self-esteem is horrible. She has had depression and self-harming problems. It's not unusual for her to try and eat as little as possible in a vain attempt to lose weight, yo-yo dieting is common, she may or may not have a history of eating disorder, I do not know. Fainting isn't strange and the seizure business has happened before but that occasion was resulted from an alcoholic binge. All in all, she's got health problems and they aren't being addressed.

The hippie in me believes that proper nutrition could solve the majority of her problems. The paranoid in me thinks she might have some strange disease hiding among all the symptoms. Whatever it is, I hope she makes the decision to face it, take responsibility for her health and chose health for herself. Until then, all I can do is tell her that I care, that I'm afraid for her, that I'm mad at her, and that I will support her when she decides it's time to get better.

For now, I'll take care of myself and hope for her. I'm powerless to cure her but I can still care, and that's enough.

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Be well, HBF