Saturday, February 2, 2008

Update: We Still Need Your Prayers

My sister, Barbara, was transferred about 3 weeks ago (I think) to a rehab facility much nearer her house than the hospital was. The reason for the transfer was, there was nothing more the hospital could do for her.

However, now her insurance company has decided that as there is nothing the rehab facility can do for her either, by way of making her better that is, they will no longer pay for her to be there -- as of January 28. It isn't clear yet whether insurance will pay for her to get ANY kind of care, because in the middle of that conversation, her husband had to hang up before his temper led him to say something he might regret. (I mean it's frustrating when the managed care manager asks couldn't some personal friend come in and sit with her for a while every day, when what she needs is NURSING care 24/7, and when this person asks how you FEEL about something, when how you feel is totally irrelevant...) So we'll know more on that Monday. Meanwhile the tab is growing by nearly $400 a day.

Barbara, who is 6'4", is down to probably 135 pounds; she can't eat much because to do so makes her nauseous. She is completely bald, of course, from the chemotherapy. Her eyes look hollow and one of them doesn't track very well with the other. She is clumsy with her hands.

Her spirits, thanks be to God (and Fr. Gregory) are excellent. She even still has her sense of humor; tonight, when I asked her how her day had been, she said, "Relaxing!" Yeah, right. She's paralyzed from the waist down.

She asked Fr. Gregory what she ought to be doing and not doing during this time. His wise advice, applicable to any of us, was: DO pray, pray, pray. DON'T worry.

The rest of us? Mom seems to be bearing all this much better than we thought she would, unless she's putting on for us. (Mom?) She reads this blog.

Dad has the mixed blessing of being unaware of very much that's happening even to himself, let alone his youngest daughter. There is no point in telling him.

Michael, our brother, is pretty reserved so I don't know. He and Mom came with me to church last Sunday, first time he'd been in an Orthodox church, except when Demetrios and I were wed.

Wendy, our sister, copes by trying hard to retain an optimistic view of Barbara's future.

I have a hard time getting up in the morning. I have to force myself. Most days I get dressed, but not every day. I feel as if my body were made of lead; it doesn't want to move, or if it does, it moves slowwwwly. I don't think I go around in a cloud of gloom and doom or anything like that; Demetrios says I don't. But what I notice is how easily I become irritable and how little, unimportant things upset me. I cry a lot. Well, I expect most of you reading this know all about grief, but I'm a neophyte. Somehow, miraculously, this is the first time I've ever had to face anything like this.

But then I do still get to talk with Barbara by phone daily, and together, we are even now creating warm and beautiful memories I shall always cherish.

Thanks for all your prayers and please do not stop yet.


Elizabeth said...

Be assured of my continued prayers for your whole family, Anastasia.
We went through this with my father, and it was so very hard to bear.
Sending you hugs !