My Sister


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On the 19th of March, my mom, sister and I piled into my mom’s car and drove.  Her GPS “Maddy” took us the scenic route past farms, cows, horses and trains, without an interstate in sight.  But we were in no hurry.  We gave ourselves 5 hours to make a 2 hour drive.

We got to the bookstore in Dayton with plenty of time, so we parked the car and decided we’d go into the bookstore to look around, and find out event details.

Around this time, I realized my husband had given me a 50 with the idea that he didn’t like me wondering so far from home without any sort of cash.  I sent him a quick note warning him he’d set me loose in a bookstore with cash.  He made it clear he had been aware longer than I had, of the situation, and that I would indeed owe him.

There was one survivor.  He goes by Washington.

Funny how all three of us bookworms didn’t really realize that the book signing in a book store would involve, you know, many, many books.  I think we blocked that part out in our quest.

Our quest to meet The Bloggess.

After we spent ourselves broke, we wandered to a nearby subway for an early dinner and then a few other shops to poke around.  But with only an hour and a half left before the signing started, we made our way back to the bookstore to find our place in line.  With a heads-up from the vixen Dawnie, I knew we needed to be there well in advance.  We were the second group in line, but it grew well before 6, when we could find seats.  By the time The Bloggess was presented at 7, it was standing room only.

We had front row seats.  Score!

The Dayton reading had the privilege to be the audience that was not allowed to witness a single curse word, as she read a chapter from her book.  So Jenny, in advance, set about finding the chapter with the fewest F-bombs, and friends.  The winning chapter had only 12 words that needed replaced with hippopotamus.  You heard me, hippopotamus.  But oh you should have heard her!

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more.

Then we single file got to meet the Goddess that is the Bloggess and have her sign our books.  Our coveted books of inappropriate hilarity.  I was lucky enough to be able to have 2 copies signed.  I bought the paperback version for myself (with a new bonus chapter, yo!) and had my older hardback version signed for my good friend Lisa who was spending the day back in Columbus growing older.  No, seriously, it was her birthday.  When I mentioned this to Jenny, she was sure to wish her a happy birthday in writing.  Lisa is one lucky hippopotamus!

We are all very lucky hippopotamuses.  Not just that this book has been written by someone so very real and honest and inappropriately hilarious.

But that this single person could make it clear to all of us who are so very isolated and alone, that we are in fact one of millions and not so different after all, is something we all needed.  We aren’t the only one with chronic pain.  We aren’t the only one with crippling anxiety.  We aren’t the only one with depression so bad we can’t leave our bed for days if not weeks.  We aren’t the only one who has cut to feel something.  We aren’t the only one.  You, I, Jenny.  We are all so unique but in the ways we need to be the same, to not be alone, Jenny has made it clear we are a community.  She has given us that gift.

So we are very lucky hippopotami indeed!

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I look at early days baby pictures of Luke and I see Sammy.
I look at early days baby pics of Thomas and I see Sammy.
So…

Thomas is my sister Rachel’s doppelgänger.
Luke is mine.

Thomas and Rachel at 9 months is the same child.
Me and Luke at 9 months? Same child.

Me and Rachel, obviously related, but not doppelgängers.
Thomas and Luke, obviously related but not  doppelgängers.

I look at early days baby pictures of Luke and I see Sammy.
I look at early days baby pics of Thomas and I see Sammy.
So…

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My sister was at this hospital once when she was having troubles. I knew my mom would not handle me being here well. The memories would be too much.

I also knew I preferred OSU. It’s where I was last time. It’s a plus to have as much comfort as possible when in the hospital. I know their methods and system. I like their food. Little things that add to end comforts.

I was taken by ambulance from one hospital to the other. The drive wasn’t so bad. In different circumstances it would have been kind of cool. By the end of the trip we were even teasing each other.

Then my bags were taken back into the nurse area and that triggered melt down 1. I wasn’t getting them until after I saw the doctor the next day.

Melt down 2 happened when the tech informed me I might be placed on different meds and might not get any that night. She refused to get me any definite answers and I asked if it was too late to change my mind. She said no and then continued on with the paperwork.

When she got to the part of the paperwork that states I was there voluntarily, I broke down sobbing that I didn’t want to sign until I knew what was going on with my meds. So she flipped the paper and started filling out the paperwork that I was there involuntarily. Which makes it hard to be released. I said that wasn’t fair, I just wanted answers to my questions. She left the room and a few minutes later the nurse came in. By this point I was sobbing hysterically.

I should pause the story to mention that I was paranoid that going to the hospital would lead to a change in my meds. I went through hell and life threatening side effects to get where I’m at. I’m not starting over. My med cocktail works great. I’m just needing doses increased and help while I wait out my body becoming balanced.

The nurse calmed me down and assured me the doctor had OKed the meds I was on and I’d indeed be continuing doses starting tonight. She finished processing my paperwork. I also got a promise from her that I could get my notebook, my novel, and a pen so I could have with me what makes me most comfortable.

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I’m really hurt by this. So I’m hoping that writing it all out will get it all out of my system.

When I got home from work last night I was told by my husband and father that a huge family dinner was in the planning stages. My father was going to make a huge pot of pasta, and he was going to go buy some rolls and even something for dessert.

He was planning to invite my sister, who came over to play with my oldest, never my youngest, to stay and eat with us.

For whatever reason, Rachel couldn’t or wouldn’t stay.

5 minutes after she leaves, he’s in the kitchen making a single can of soup and then goes to bed for the evening.

2 major cases of blatant favoritism in 1 day is more than I can stomach. I’m not sure which one hurts me more.

He didn’t want to cook and eat with us, just her. She loaded Thomas up with tons of new toys and candy, barely paid Luke any attention.

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