Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I have seen miracles


My Sister celebrated her birthday today, she is now 46 years old. Not a big deal to most folks, but to our family, this a huge deal.

My sister was an infant with hydrocephalus....

There is conflicting information on the hows and whys of her circumstances. The neurologist that they took her to as an infant, said it was because of a birth related injury, forceps were used. I have since spoke with a couple of people that have told me it could have been congenital. I do not know, and we will never know.

I do recall my Mothers horror stories, as she told me that when my sister was an infant, her head became so swollen, and her cries were deafening, so they they drove her to a specialist in the town where I now live.

My parents had little in the way of money and happened to find a neurologist here in town, that at the time, that was doing groundbreaking work in hydrocephalic infants. So while other Drs. were telling my parents to go ahead and put her in an institution, because she would not EVER live a "normal life", and would be diasbaled.....this Dr. appeared and saved her...

The neurologist put a shunt in my Sisters head, and sent her home, and replaced that shunt about 4 times. He did this, sans normal fees, and would see my sister whenever she was having difficulty. My parents would show up at his office with her, and he would drop EVERYTHING and tend to her. He only asked my parents to pay what they could afford to.

She has had a hard go of things, as anyone with several primitive brain surgeries in the 1960's and 1970's , there has been damage over time, either from the hydrocephaly, or the surgeries, this is another thing we will not know.

Her motor skills on her left side have been affected, she walks with a limp, and has poor motor control over her left hand as well, her vision has been affected as well, as the motor control in her left eye is not good either.

This is an inspirational tale though I must tell you. She graduated high school, attending normal classes, was a baton twirler, and in pep club, she is probably one of the kindest and most gentle folks you will meet....She has held the same job for well over 20 years, is married and owns a home. This was all supposed to be impossible for her. But besides the Dr. performing what I know think was a miracle, she has maintained an excellent attitude, and heart. She has so much empathy and compassion for others, she understands others pitfalls and does not judge...

She works at maintaining her independence, and goes to the gym often,I wonder where she would be if she did not.

The most amazing thing? I have NEVER heard a complaint about any of it. NEVER. Even when her shunts would stop working, and her head would hurt, and she would be vomiting in a car on a 2 hour drive, not a peep. Rarely a tear from her re: pain, or circumstance. No complaints from her when she was in her teens and would go to school with half of her head shaved. NONE.

If that is not admirable I am not sure what is....

So happy Birthday to my sister, who they never guessed would live so long, or soooo well.

She is truly a miracle....

She has to leave tomorrow morning, as her vacation has come to a close, but the collective have enjoyed her presence in the house.....

I love her very much

7 comments:

Tammi said...

What a fantastic picture! And a really wonderful legacy.

Happy Birthday to your Sissy! Give her a hug for me!

dutchgirl said...

What an amazing story! She sounds like an extraordinary person, your love for her just comes off the page. :) Wishing her a wonderful birthday

Anonymous said...

What a Wonderful Sister You Are.....Look at the miracle made in you to have the patience, compassion and understanding....God Bless You.

Guard Wife said...

I love that photo!!! And, I love that you & your sister have such a terrific relationship. I also love how loving her helped make you who you are. She sounds like a terrific lady. Let's make sure when I come to see you, she can come over too??

Sarah said...

Crying...seriously.

Bou said...

I love this story.

Happy late birthday to your sister!

vw bug said...

Happy Belated Birthday. I was going to call you the other day and realized... you now work. I can't just call during the mornings. Sigh. Hope you and your sis had a great time.