Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Empty Chair

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and sometimes life yanks the ground right out from under you.  On January 23, 2011, around 8:50 AM my sister passed away.  Writing this post is very, very difficult, and I am only now even able to write it.  The truth is that I'm not writing this for my readers, but for me.  Part of MY grieving process.  Feel free to move on to other, happier things.  Trust me, it wouldn't hurt my feelings.

My sister was taken to the hospital by my mom because she wasn't eating or drinking.  Melanie, my sister, was born with Cerebral Palsy, was also blind, and had other health issues.  When she was born, the doctors told my mom not to get too attached to her.  She wasn't expected to live long.  The doctors were wrong. This was when we were living in Memphis. 

We soon moved back to Dallas, and mom took Melanie to Scottish Rite Hospital, and the doctors there told my mom, that Melanie probably wouldn't live past the age of twelve.  Again they doctors were wrong.  The doctors told my mom that they had never seen a case like Melanie's.  A few years later the doctors "revised" their estimate and said she probably wouldn't live past the age of 24.  Hah.  They were wrong once again.

My sister celebrated her 34th birthday on January 3, 2011.  Four days later mom took her to the hospital, and she was eventually diagnosed with pancreatitus.  Things seemed to be okay, and the treatment was working.  Unfortunately she contracted a systemic candida infection in the hospital, which is very bad, but even the drugs seemed to be taking care of this.  There were a lot of doctors, and a lot of discussion.  The infection came back, and when they asked my mom if she wanted my sister to be resuscitated if she stopped breathing, or if her heart stopped she said yes.  My sister was moved to the CCU.

The cardiac doctor evaluated my sister, and told my mom that Melanie was too frail to resuscitate, and said my mom should sign a DNR.  This was on a Saturday.  I had been there for a while on Saturday, and had already left when the doctor told my mom this.  My Aunt called me and told me what the doctor had said, and said someone should probably be there with my mom.  I went back knowing I was going to be there for a while.

My sister did not want to wear the breathing mask.  She kept trying to take it off.  Bless her heart.  Even after not eating for almost two weeks she was so strong!  We did not want her restrained so we took turns holding her arms.  This really upset my sister. When the nurse gave her morphine Melanie would relax, and we could take a break.  It was a long night.  The nurse that night talked to the doctors several times, and they really made an effort to get the infection under control, but this point it had attacked her heart, and most of her other organs.

At one point, I talked to the nurse, and asked her some questions.  She said the doctors didn't have much hope.  However, I did have hope, and knew that my sister was a fighter.  A lot of people were praying for her.

Early that morning my aunt arrived, and I went to the lobby to take a break.  I was relieved that my sister has made it through the night.  A short time later my Aunt came in, and told me to get to the room.  All the nurses were in there, and the doctor was just outside the room.  Watching the monitor.  Mom told me to call my brother.

I called my brother and left a message, hoping he would be there in time.  I went back to room, and I knew it wouldn't be long.  We kept telling her to hang on, but she was in so much pain.  The nurses wanted to administer "comfort care", and finally mom said yes.  We didn't want her to suffer any more.  They administered the morphine, and she passed away.

I could say many things about the hospital, and that will come, but not on this blog.  I believe my sister would still be alive if she hadn't contracted the infection.

I really miss my sister.  She was such a joy, and made us all laugh.

I was going to announce a hiatus, but I'm just not sure what I'm going to do.  A gaming blog just doesn't seem important to me right now.  I need to reevaluate many things.  My sister was a big part of my life.  A big part that's now gone.

We left her wheelchair at the hospital.  She certainly doesn't need it in Heaven.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about this. I can imagine how you're feeling, and I agree that a game blog is probably not what you need to be doing right now.

    But in the future, when you come back to blogging, I'll still be here waiting to read what you wrote.

    My condolences again.

  2. You have my condolences sir, very sorry for your loss.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about this. Perhaps you can take some solace in knowing you were there with her in her last moments.

    "I was going to announce a hiatus, but I'm just not sure what I'm going to do. A gaming blog just doesn't seem important to me right now."

    Obviously. Like Gwydion said, we'll still be around if/when you decide to come back.

  4. Very sad to hear this, friend. I wish you the best in your grief.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's important to do what you need for comfort.

  6. Oh man, I am tearing up. I am so terrible sorry for your loss. This is such heartbreaking news. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. :(

  7. Frank, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Like Christian says, just to read your post is moving.

  8. Ah godz...I was hoping your return would herald good news..
    Cherish her memory. Find comfort when you are feeling joy, and maybe take solace in the fact that you did what you could.
    Having lost a lot of family in a similar manner, I sympathize.
    If you ever want an anonymous soul to rage at for such unreasonable injustices in our universe such as the loss of your sister, give me a yell at

  9. I'm glad you posted this. I wish you and your family very well.

  10. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'll keep your family in my prayers.