I'm not really doing well. Emotionally that is. On the outside i look like i'm handling my sister's death pretty well. But on the inside, i really am not. I think i'm just in shock. It's hit me but then it really hasnt. She was in the hospital over a week before she died so its almost like she is still in the hospital. But i know she isnt coming home. Please dont ever send me to that hospital if i ever get sick. Yeah i know its close and yeah my doctor's have privilages there, but please. Dont send me there if i get sick. I dont think those night nurses know what they are doing. The night Laura died we signed an authorization form to have an autopsy done because she had been in the hospital over a week and they still didnt know why she went into respiratory distress. The next day,Friday, they called my sister-in-law and told her that they had been trying to reach us since yesterday and couldnt get a hold of us. Hmm. Interesting. They have my home number my cell number my daughter's cell number my brothers cell number my sister-in-laws cell number and couldnt get us till mid Friday morning? Interesting. Apparently, we signed a consent for surgery form and not an autopsy form. Um. No i didnt. I read that form, my brother read that form, my sister-in-law read that form. It was an autopsy form. She says "Oh well..you know how they are down there. They are SOO picky." Yeah thats what she said. So i went back in there and signed a different form. I got a copy of that form. So Saturday comes and we have a Memorial Service for my sister in the funeral home chapel. It was a very nice ceremony. Me and my daughter and my two oldest grandgirlies stood up in front of everybody and said a few words about Laura. We had a nice tribute board full of pictures of her and bright yellow flowers because yellow was her favorite color. Sunday was Easter and then i was off on Monday. I woke to a phone call and a voice mail. The message was from a private autopsy guy who said there was a confusion about some forms from the hospital and he wanted to know if we still wanted the autopsy. What??? So i called him. Had to leave a message. I then called the hospital to check on it. I called the CCU and spoke to someone i think was a unit secretary and she said she had just sent those autopsy papers down today. I then spoke to the charge nurse who just happened to be the nurse that had me resign the papers and she in her same attitude said..oh you know how they are down there. I told her that i wanted a hospital autopsy and not a private autopsy and she said Oh its the same thing. Thats just what they call it. So i call down to pathology. I speak to a girl who then transfers me to a doctor who says this..."Um, since there was no one here over the weekend those papers didnt get to us until today and um..they assumed you didnt want the autopsy done so your sister's body isnt here. She was sent to the funeral home." WHAT!?! My sister is being cremated. The doctor said she would call a doctor and have him call me and she will call the funeral home. I immediatly called the funeral home to see if my sister was there. She is. I tell them there was a mix up and we are still wanting an autopsy. They tell me they will not do anything until they hear from me. I then call the private autopsy guy and he tells me that a private autopsy will cost approx $3200.00 up front. He says that a hospital autopsy would be free but it has to be authorized by the attending physician. He said it use to be that 2 family members need only to sign a form to have that done but now a physician also has to sign. He was very nice and very compassionate about the whole thing. So then i was on a mission. I spent my Monday off trying to locate a physician to sign this. Her pulmonary doctor was gone till the next wednesday. How appropriate. And his associates that also seen her in the hospital were gone as well. So i called back to the hospital and spoke to someone in Medical Records who looked in the chart and gave me a name and number of another doctor. I spoke to that doctor who was very nice. He said he was just the internal med doctor and wasnt sure about the procedure as to signing for an autopsy. I told him that i feel as if my sister is being disrespected with all the mishaps going on.He said he wasnt the doctor in charge of my sister's care. He said that one of the pulmonary doctors that treated her was chief of staff of this hospital so he would contact him and have someone call me back. I had yet to recieve a call back from anyone as of Tuesday. My daughter suggested i call the critical care doctor that called me the morning before my sister died. I still had his cell number. Good Idea. I called him. Told him everything that had and has been happening and he was the one who actually got the ball rolling. He called the Chief of Staff who authorized a limited autopsy. The private autopsy guy called me back in less than an hour to tell me that it was good news. He would still do the autopsy but the hospital was going to pay for it. No charge to us. He would also go to the funeral home and do it there. That was Tuesday. It is now Sunday and i still havent gotten the results yet. I need to call the pulmonary doctor tomorrow. I also need to see if the death certificate has been signed. Nothing more can be done until that is signed. So my sister is still at the funeral home down the street. Safe and sound the funeral home tells me.
Ive been thinking some really weird things. When my mother died it was really hard on me but with my sister dying it has really hit me hard. She was my best friend. We lived together since my daughter was 4 years old.My sister was 9 years older than me. I realized now that Im going to be alone for the rest of my life. I know i have these kids and my daughter but emotionally im going to be alone. My sister was the one i talked to about everything. I could be irrational and stupid and it was ok because she knew i was just being irrational and stupid. But now i have to keep my game face 24/7. No one knew me like my sister knew me. My friends and coworkers have been awesome thru all this. Jeff has been great too. But its still just not the same.
Life as i have known it is over. Im only 46 years old. How am i going to do this?