I have made mention on here before of how my sister’s liver is basically failing and she became severely ill over the summer and through the fall of 2014. I have gone back and forward with myself over what details I might offer on that situation. It isn’t my life and isn’t my story. However, she’s the only sister I have.
So let me back up about 20 years to tell the full story of a sisterhood in trouble.
Growing up and especially during our teenaged years we did not exactly get along. We actually fought rather viciously. There are so many things that could be blamed here, but aside from accepting my share of it, I’m not going to point fingers, name names, and list events. It is suffice to say we were terrible sisters.
As young adults and well into my 20’s we never fought like we did, but we still picked at each other. Basically, we didn’t necessarily like each other. It was somewhere between Loki and Thor, and civil. I mean I’d totes steal a battleship for her. She’d totes follow me to another planet to bring justice for my crimes and make amends. You know. Only technically by age I’d be Thor. Whatever. You get the point perhaps.
Then a few years back one of us, I think her, decided that really we needed to grow up and be sisters, dammit. We needed to make an effort to know each other as adults and get along for everyone’s sake. We needed to attempt friendship. And you know, we did, but you couldn’t call us close, even if we were friends.
Then in the summer of 2014 she came a little too close to death at the hands of the disease called alcoholism. I’m not going into this too much as this is her story, but she was (is) an alcoholic and her liver was (is) failing. As we all know alcoholism is a disease and not a choice, so fighting it was hard and took a couple attempts. As well as a second, longer stay at the hospital when she came closer to death. That was just over 5 months ago. I know this as she is now proudly just over 5 months sober. (She also quit smoking, you go girl, you fucking rock!)
Well, becoming sober and finding recovery was a huge help, but medically not enough. She of course needed treatment for her failing liver. They did all that could be done and sent her home with medications and steroids to continue with and awaited to see how much her liver would heal. The answer was decidedly not enough. So, my sister officially needs a transplant. There are no further treatment options aside from this. As she is 5 months sober and has not touched a drop since before that 5 month mark, getting a transplant is seriously doable.
Except her urine sample keeps showing alcohol use, despite her blood not. They don’t necessarily assume secret drinking, but they can’t give her the transplant under those conditions.
Here is the deal. Pick up any sort of hygiene product. Check the ingredient list. I bet alcohol is in it. Including hand sanitizer (duh) but also things like toothpaste and deodorant in small, trace amounts. Trace amounts that your skin soaks in and your liver gets rid of with no problem at all. Won’t even show up in your pee. Unless your liver really is that bad. That close to total failure. That’s how it shows up in your pee, but not your blood.
So she can’t be on the list, but she can fight to be reconsidered. They aren’t just going to let her die without a fight.
She will be called up randomly and will have 24 hours to get herself to a specific medical lab where she will produce a specimen on the spot. Think random drug test, only random alcohol test. At first I think it’ll just be urine, but probably blood too at some point if needed. That way if she is constantly and randomly showing she’s sober via her blood, even if her urine isn’t, she can prove her sobriety and they’ll either figure out what’s going on with her liver or just acknowledge it’s failing. Either way she’s sober.
Additionally she is now a label reading champ and hopefully there will be nothing in her beauty, health, and food lineup that has alcohol in it. It is hard because if that juice in your fridge is just the slightest bit fermented, you won’t notice and your liver will sort it out without issue. Well, my sister also won’t notice, but her liver won’t sort it out at all. So she also has to watch every bite she eats, as so much food has trace amounts. Like certain food dyes and certain flavors of greek yogurt.
Needless to say this is a hard battle but my baby sister has a great team around her helping her fight it both in her family, her medical team, but also her big sister.
We are closer than ever. Even have matching infinity “sister” necklaces should the world question. I tell you there is nothing in the world like almost losing your baby sister before she even turns 30, to scare you into the relationship you should have had all along. I’ve always loved her, but now I openly adore her. (Crap. I’m crying again. I do that these days. About everything.)
Loki and Thor sure as hell don’t have that.