Well. I’m back.
Kind of. I’m back home after a month of, well, pure hell. I will come back to reading and writing, but it will probably be slowly and not on a particularly regular basis. I apologize for this, as I am sure being consistent is helpful. However, I think I’ll be writing mainly for me at this point. In that same vein, I probably won’t be touching on my normal subject matter for a while, focusing on life in a more general sense… in addition to processing some of what has happened.
To begin, in this post I just wanted to give a brief update, although I can’t promise the brief part. One consistent aspect of this has been my inability to stop once I actually start talking.
The first week of April was hell. My sister was in a coma, my parents were falling apart. I pretty much emotionally shut down, because I couldn’t handle both my sister and my parents’ grief. I stopped being able to cry, for the most part. This was obviously not a good thing, but it did allow me to basically hold my parents together.
For instance. My mom’s work called her, because they had no idea what was going on. All my mom could do was sob “Rachel is dying, I can’t do this” into the phone. So. I called her work back to explain.
In addition, you know how everyone has their own opinion about quality of life and allowing someone to die? You know how you hear about people fighting over taking someone off of life support? Well. Although my sister was showing no clinical improvement, and although we found a will that said she did not want to be on life support, and although having my sister survive as a vegetable was unfathomable, we did indeed have doctors and nurses who decided their own agendas were more important. Doctors who refused to see us, and snuck in the room during the breif moments we stepped out to eat (and then we were told “well. The doctor did come to see her, but you weren’t here.” after we actually were there all day, and waited all day to see said doctor… any idea how insulting that is?). One doctor attempted to put in a feeding tube when we went to get lunch, and against our explicit wishes. He was stopped by the nurses. Speaking of nurses, we had several who were wonderful, but also those few who refused to come into the room while we were there because it was “too difficult” for them to provide care for a comatose 28-year-old woman whose family was considering taking her off of life support. It’s a good fucking thing both my parents are in the medical field, because my sister went literally hours without seeing either a doctor or a nurse. We took care of her.
Her doctor also went behind our backs to talk with the hospital ethicist, who told him that there was nothing ethically wrong here. The doctor responded with “Well, maybe there is something legal that can be done, then.“
At the worst of it, we were afraid to talk to anyone, or have any conversations that someone might overhear. We were talking with the ethicist, as well as hospital administration, who got involved after the doctor’s little visit. The hospital didn’t want to get sued, see. Of course, little did they know we’d never do such a thing, and even if we would, we were in no place to attempt it. I though I would have to get a lawyer myself, because my parent’s were completely incapable of even considering the fact that Rachel’s doctors might take us to court. On top of, you know, everything else.
Well. Just when things seemed they couldn’t get worse (even though, clearly, they could), my sister began waking up.
She has since improved almost daily. She has regained her motor skills, can do most everything for herself, and is learning to speak again. She has also been discharged from the hospital and inpatient rehab. She’s currently at home with my parents, undergoing outpatient rehab.
We have moved all of her things back to my parent’s house. Her old work is replacing her. She has a long road ahead.
Now. It’s easy to think that all is well. It’s easy to think I should be celebrating now… and, for awhile, I did. But.
My sister isn’t particularly happy. She’s sullen, and her response to almost everything is “no”. She doesn’t respond well to my parents, or to me. She doesn’t engage. We’ve been warned that these events can either dampen or heighten feelings of depression and anxiety. When my mom asked what she could do to “safeguard” their house, she was told there was nothing, really, that she could do. If an adult is suicidal, they will find a way. And people who attempt suicide once, try again.
And my parents, who were looking at retirement, who have all this money saved for travel and spending time together, have a sullen, possibly suicidal, child moving back in with them. My mom is considering never going back to work to take care of my sister, and my dad… well. He can’t really handle taking care of her. He has SO much [irrational, unwarranted] guilt about this, he is SO desperate to reach her, to do something that helps her… he can’t deal with the fact that reaching her, right now, might be impossible.
I have A LOT of anger at what my sister did and what she put my parents through. What she continues to put them through, and what she has done to their lives.
I know I shouldn’t think this way, but for the love, I can’t handle people telling me to “think positive“. YES things are night-and-day better than they were but… goddamn, things are still shit. Telling me they’re not, or that they will get better, is not helpful to me right now.
I know a big part of that is my current mental state. I know it’s because I shut down. I also know it’s my anger and my need to process everything – something I have not yet had the time or space to do. But still.
Sometimes, things are just fucking shit.
It’s ok that not everyone understands. It’s ok that well wishes don’t always help.
Yes, I am seeing a therapist.