A Sister’s Emotions

This morning at 5:30 I woke up to the phone ringing and then the answering machine picked it up. This was the first night in almost a week that I wasn’t sleeping with the phone next to me. I knew it wasn’t for Jack because the person talking was going on and on – not the typical early AM call we sometimes get, “Jack, I do not need a ride today.” from Jack’s friend and co-worker who he rideshares with.

Instead it was my sister telling me there is a liver match for her. I was wide awake and afraid to get out of bed to listen to the message. I still haven’t listened to it.  I got out of bed and called my sister back right away to hear it from her.

Emily & family1

In the only way I know how to process my feelings in a stressful time in my life is to write about them.  I started out with a list of my emotions and physical reactions:

Scared

Terrified

Nervous

Sadness

Helpless

Anxious

Speechless

Worried

Frightened

Relieved

Distracted

Stressed

Frustrated

Antsy

Lack of appetite

Nausea

Heart racing

Shaking

Sobbing

Why are my feelings so negative when everyone who is replying to the news is so excited and happy?

Our family knew this was coming since she was a baby, now she is 40 years old, and the time has come!   (Many children with Biliary Atresia have a liver transplant when they are still a child.)

Another family will have to suffer the loss of a loved one to help my sister live.  I know, a precious gift of organ donation is priceless, incredible and unbelievable.  A gift, I would not hesitate to give if my family was put in the same situation.  I am sad that this has to happen to someone and someone else’s family.  I am thankful people are organ donors and I will be eternally grateful to this one special family that saved my sister’s life.

The things I am doing today:

Praying constantly.

Sending positive vibes to my sister.

Wishing I was closer.

Hugging my sweet little girl who wants to hug me and wipe away all my tears while I cry today.

Drinking too much coffee.

Baking.

And I may just clean my house, just like Emily would (AKA “the white tornado”).

With my birthday coming up I get frequent questions from my husband about what we could do for my birthday and is there anything special I want for my birthday?  He is great, no guessing and all expectations are expressed.  My wishes usually involve not having to cook dinner or a paddle or time alone in the sewing room.   I don’t spend any money on myself, ever, unless it is around my birthday.  That is when I may buy a yummy coffee from a coffee shop or new socks for myself or a yard of fabric I have admired (and only if I have a coupon).  My life is simple and I am happy.

Last week when I was praying for my sister to make it through this, it occurred to me that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was for her to have a new liver.  Tomorrow is my birthday.

It is 6:00 PM and Emily is headed for surgery now.   Please help me pray for my sister and her doctors and for the grieving family.

An interesting resource:  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/atresia/

A prayer for Emily

A Prayer for Emily – On Waiting for an Organ Transplant

Ancient One, Breath of Life, In Your wisdom You have given medical science The skill and ability to transplant organs, Renewing life for the critically ill. G0d of compassion and mercy, Bless my sister, Emily

With this gift of life. Release her from fear and pain, From moments of uncertainty and times of despair, From powerful medications, debilitating treatments and temporary interventions.

Open the hearts of men and women To share their health By giving blood, Registering as marrow donors And dedicating themselves to organ donation.

Open, too, the hearts of families Facing the death of a loved one, So that, in the shadow of grief, They find the strength to give the gift of life. May they find meaning and comfort In their time of suffering and loss.

God of healing, My sister Waits in the shadow of disease, In the shadow of pain and suffering, In the shadow of mortality. May this wait end soon, With a healthy organ, a successful transplant, And a speedy recovery.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Please pray for my sister.  We have gotten word this morning that a match has been found.