One month ago today I said goodbye to my eldest sibling. We were beginning to have some great times. Don’t get me wrong we’ve had good times, but the time we shared the last few months of her life were far better than any before. We truly enjoyed one another. Not as oldest sister with youngest sister she was almost 30 years older than me, but we enjoyed each other as two women enjoying life with our mom. See my sister an I had become distant due to her marriage. Yet we were reconnecting since his death back in April of this year. My sister and my mom were enjoying great times together. My mom would go over to her house and stay for days and they would go to Wal-Mart, Ross an other places. They were like the new Thelma and Louise. When she’d bring our mom back home, my mother would fall asleep quicker than usual. Leaving me to wonder what these two old ladies been up to? It was my sister’s idea for us to attend our Family Reunion in July, something we had not done together since at least 2007 due to our mom having a stroke in 2008. In years past my sister would sometimes come down from NY and meet us at the Reunion. My sister took our parents to the Family Reunion back in 2009 and until this past July that was the last time any of us had attended. The 4th Friday in July we were in Tampa, she drove us there. We had our separate hotel rooms, right down the hall form each other. We had such a great time. There was a photographer there so my sister asked the photographer to take a pic of her along with our mother and cousin and me. The four of us went to the reunion together.
Came back from the Reunion I had a situation with my children (will get into that another day) I had to handle, full support of my sister. She even got on me for not asking her for her assistance. I mean she literally yelled at me. I thought that was so neat of her. That meant a lot then and means even more now. Just as the situation with my children was resolved I was alerted to my sister not feeling well. Our mother, one of our cousins who is also one of her best friends and myself tried to get Betty to go to emergency. She went to see her primary Dr. which was like going nowhere. Despite her shortness of breath she says he told her to get on her oxygen which she was to use every night anyways, drink Gatorade to get her electrolytes up, and go have fasting labs done the following morning. We got back to my sisters she did get on her oxygen, I got her some Gatorade’s made sure she ate then I got a ride and went home. First thing that Friday morning before I even got out the bed soon as I opened my eyes I called my sister and asked her if she wanted me to come pick me up so I can drive her to her labs. We lived about 3-4 miles apart. So she lived around the corner just a long country corner. Anyways she said that was a good idea and said she’d get up to get ready we hung up an I got ready as well. Next thing I know about 30 minutes later I get a call she is in the ambulance.
Find out while she was in her bathroom getting ready to take her shower she started having angina (chest pains) so she called 911 on her cell phone which she had with her in her bathroom. So I got a ride to get back over to her house to get her car so our mom an I can get to the hospital to see what’s going on. It’s now about 11:30 AM we’re at the hospital ER she was going to be admitted. Diagnosis was fluid, touch of pneumonia, and a spot on her lungs that they could NOT identify b/c of so much fluid around and in her lungs. Friday night Blood pressure is low, sugar is low, heart rate is high for her giving she had CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and her heart rate was usually way lower than normal. Oxygen level inconsistent, and her breathing was labored. Still too much fluid to identify the spot on her lung. From Friday night to Sunday morning she had some ups and downs most of them were expected. We found out my sister hadn’t urinated in at least 24 hours which totally explained all the fluid an also put her in renal (kidney) failure. Sunday morning she was moved to Medical ICU. Still no one thought she wouldn’t survive this episode including the Dr.’s. It took from Friday morning to late Monday evening for them to identify the spot on her lungs as a blood clot. She had double pneumonia not a touch of pneumonia, it was in both her lungs and her chest. Less than 12 hours later she coded and they were never able to get her back. My eldest sibling, my moms eldest child, ceased to exist on this earth Tuesday August 12, 2014 at approximately 7:34 AM. The day her soul left this earth mother nature cried. It was raining an I believe it rained off and on all that day. I was in utter disbelief. The Dr’s were in disbelief. They had been saying that when she went home she would need to follow instructions, take all her meds as prescribed and use her oxygen as directed by them but she was expected to pull through. Then all of a sudden she was gone.
Why am I sharing this with all of you? Many of you much like my sister don’t take all your meds as prescribed, don’t properly care for yourselves, don’t listen to the advise of others, don’t listen to your bodies and far too many are dying young. My sister was just 67 years of age. Our dad was 84 when he died in 2010 our mom is currently 85 and still going, we have lots of longevity on both sides of our family. She had plenty of life in her, had only been retired for about 5 years. Yes she buried her husband earlier this year but I could see where she appeared to have accepted that and was ready to live her life and not dwell on his death. Unfortunately she pushed her body too far. Too often we fall into that (I’ve always done this or that) not accepting the fact that just b/c you’ve always done that doesn’t mean you should continue. She had the habit of not properly taking her meds daily, she admitted that she hadn’t used her oxygen in about a year and she was to be on her oxygen at least over night every night as she slept. So my advice to all of you and please share this is, take your health very seriously, don’t overwork your body, don’t do as you’ve always do/done, DO AS YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO DO. Take care of yourselves and if your body isn’t “acting/feeling right” treat your body like your car and go get checked out. Quit Using Excuses, get healthy be healthy and live a long healthy life. Be Blessed and Be a Blessing to Others.