If I could wish for one thing, it would be this: for my younger sister Bea's health to improve. Because of her terrible health, I have to act as her caretaker, even though I am twenty years older than she is.
I am 71 years old. Beatrice is only 51. She is my baby sister: she is the youngest of the lot. I am also in a lot better health than she is.
Beatrice has numerous health problems, among them being diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, COPD (Bea has to use oxygen 24 hours a day), rheumatoid arthritis, shingles, poor circulation, obesity (Bea weighs over 480 pounds easily), and kidney problems. She is unable to walk; when she is up, Beatrice has to use a wheelchair specially made for people of her size.
Most of the time she is in her hospital bed. She cannot do much of anything for herself. The only time Bea does go anywhere is to her many doctor's appointments: she sees at least six to eight doctors on a regular basis (more often than that if she is in the hospital or is having yet another health crisis). I have to pick up after her, bathe her, administer her meds (as directed by her doctors), keep tabs on her health stats, drive her to and from her appointments, call the ambulance if she needs to go to the hospital, and cook for her.
Recently, Beatrice suffered a stroke. it was a pretty bad one. She has just gotten out of the rehabilitation facility only a few weeks back, and she is unable to talk or hold a normal conversation with me. The only word she can utter: "Sister, sister". She is also paralyzed on her left side and is blind in her left eye. She cannot move her left arm or leg at all.
She requires much in the way of physical, speech, and occupational therapy. That's another thing. I have to take her to her therapy appointments twice a week at the hospital. Seems that's all I ever do: run my sick sister from one doctor/appointment to another. I no longer have any time for myself.
Now that Christmas is coming, I don't know how we are going to manage having one. I can't get to the store to get something for her because someone has to be with my sister 24/7, 365 days a year; she cannot be left alone, in case something should happen unexpectedly. It is going to be a very sad Christmas for us.
I sleep downstairs because I have to be close to my sister, in case she calls me during the night or any time during the day. When I hear her soft, whispery voice say, "Sister, sister", I know Beatrice needs me. I then tend to her needs as quickly as possible.
Sometimes I cry because my world revolves around Bea. I no longer have a life; it was stolen from me when my sister came to live with me. I do love my sister very much, but sometimes I wish inside that she would just die, so she wouldn't have to suffer any longer. This kind of life is something I would never wish on anybody! It's the worst!
*to be continued.*