Christmas is a secular holiday for me. I guess it’s tradition that keeps me looking forward to it every year…the tree, the lights, and the smells of cinnamon and apple, turkey and trimmings coming from the kitchen, the candles and sweet spices, and the warm fuzzy feelings this time of year. Religion does not play a part in it.
This year, I thought it would all be a time of only sadness. My sister was taken critically ill to the hospital on Tuesday, admitted to ICU in kidney failure and comatose, unresponsive to all but painful stimuli. As a registered nurse for many years, I knew the possibilities and none of them were good. The frustration I felt was intense. I was literally snowed in at my home, 100 miles from where she was, unable to do anything to help, unable to apply what knowledge I have to make her better.
As the hours dragged on, my spirits sank lower. I fully expected to be making funeral arrangements and to be trying to provide moral support for my sister’s children. But as time went by, she hung on to her frail life. I called the ICU and talked to the nurse…no change, only some bad lab values. Then a glimmer of hope. My sister mumbled a few words, something to the effect of “I want to go home”…then back into that dark place where she had gone.
Two days have passed, but there is slight improvement. Her kidneys are producing their amber indication of function; she is agitated and pulls at her IV lines…but she hangs on. A faint glimmer of hope!
I send her my energy…fight it, Sherri! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t leave me! Somehow, I think she has heard me! And this has been the best gift she could give me!