Carpe Diem

Once upon a time (two years ago, in fact – during my last visit home to the States) there was a mostly-happy, mostly healthy family. No serious problems. In the last two years, however, things have changed so much. Don’t waste time, or your life…things can change so drastically.

My mother, who was having some slight difficulty with her throat before I left, found out that she has MND/ALS. On this trip, it was exhausting to try to talk to her…exhausting for her to form the words, exhausting for us to try to understand her.

My youngest sister has a very rare, and extremely acute, form of transverse myelitis, which causes high levels of chronic pain, muscle problems and weakness, and problems with eyesight. The outlook isn’t great. She didn’t have a severe attack while I was there, but she quite often ends up in the emergency room with bad attacks.

Her baby is a total charmer, an elfin sprite with enough personality for three babies. She also was born with several holes in her heart, which need to be repaired when she’s two. The problem is, she’s very small and doesn’t eat. Her weight is in the bottom five percentile for her age, and they can’t do open-heart surgery unless she gains a lot of weight. Getting her to eat anything is impossible.

My other sister has developed a mystery illness which is causing her to drop weight; her doctors haven’t been able to diagnose what is causing it. She’s weak, she’s dizzy, and strangers give her well-meaning lectures about eating disorders. She handles it well, but personally I would be tempted to tell them to fuck off.

So, I suppose the moral of the story is that you never know what is waiting in the future. Live your life, enjoy it to the fullest, because you never know…none of us do. Bad things happen to good people, and I don’t want to hear that everything has a purpose. That makes me angry.

I don’t want to sleepwalk through my life.

2 thoughts on “Carpe Diem”

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine how tough this trip was, and how much your family is going through.

    One thing I do know – you have NEVER been one to sleepwalk through your life. I have no fear that you’ll start now.

  2. I think that one of the hardest lessons in life to learn is that bad things happen without rhyme or reason. They just happen. I’m sorry for all the problems in your family, it’s very sad, and you have my deepest sympathies.

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