At Least It’s Consistent

Remember how a two weeks ago I said that my weekend started off good but ended up crappy? And then last weekend started off crappy but ended up better? Well, this current weekend started AND ended off pretty shitty.

I went to dinner with a friend on Friday night only to come home to phone message from my brother saying that my niece, Heather’s, lungs had collapsed. On Saturday, my brother (and my niece and nephew) came into Boston to visit my sick niece and sister-in-law at the hospital. I met up with them and Heather had stabilized a bit. She was still paralzyed and comatose (by medication) but they opened up a few more holes in her chest, added some more tubes and BIG pieces of equipment and she was still fighting.

That night, we all (except for Heather, of course) had a nice dinner together. We laughed, we joked, we were back in their hotel room watching TV and having a good time. The doctors said Heather rebounded rather well so for the first time in weeks, my brothers entire family (minus sick child) were able to spend the night together.

Then Sunday morning it all fell apart again. I get woken up by a call from my Mom around 7AM to tell me that Heather’s heart stopped that morning. Doctors were able to bring her back to life but encouraged Heidi/Paul to notify family members that they might want to see Heather one last time. So yesterday was spent picking up my parents, visiting the hospital and entertaining my healthy niece and nephew since they weren’t allowed to spend much time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

While we were there, the doctors met with my Paul and Heidi to discuss options. It was decided that if Heather has another “event” (doctor’s words) within the next 24 hours, they will let nature take it’s course and not intervene. Ugh – it pains me to even write that. I mean, from the comfort of my own apartment I can easily say that Heather is suffering so much and shouldn’t have to be going through all of this. Likewise, the finanacial, physical, and even emotional, strain this is all taking on the rest of my brother’s family is overwhelming. So, I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t say that, on many occasions, there’s that part of my head that realizes things would be better off for everybody if, well, it hurts to even write it here…but you know what I’m getting at.

Yet when I’m at the hospital seeing this tiny girl under these horrible conditions, I just fill up with anger. I recall how much she’s pulled through in her short 3 years and I think she deserves a chance to keep on fighting.

So, I’m torn. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed. It’s so painful to look at her on the hospital bed. And it hurts inside even more to see how it’s affecting Paul and Heidi. If I’m feeling all of these emotions, I can’t imagine what it must be like for them.


  1. Comment by Will on September 12, 2005 11:08 am

    I can think of nothing more painful for parents (and their loved ones) than to see a child die. In Heather’s case she has obviously fought very hard and for her entire life that should have been full of light and play, love and happiness. I wish I were there today to hug you and let you vent. Help Paul and Heidi with your love and caring, and know that you have friends who care about you and send their very best as you yourself face whatever is coming.

  2. Comment by Brad on September 12, 2005 11:51 am

    and please know that all your friends are here for you if and when you need them.

  3. Comment by Mark on September 12, 2005 11:52 am

    Hi, Karl. I’m so sorry to hear that things have come to a head this way. Watching a loved one go is one of the hardest and most horrible things on earth. Just continue to be brave and know that your friends will be there to love and support you.

  4. Comment by Mark on September 12, 2005 11:54 am

    Hi, Karl. I’m so sorry to hear that things have come to a head this way. Watching a loved one go is one of the hardest and most horrible things on earth. Just continue to be brave and know that your friends will be there to love and support you.

  5. Comment by karyn on September 12, 2005 11:57 am

    There just aren’t words.

  6. Comment by Robert on September 12, 2005 12:04 pm

    Will is right, no parent should ever outlive their child[ren]. My thoughts are with you and your family, and Heather. I’m sorry Karl, but this is so sad. I’ve been reading your posts about your family and your niece and each time I’m hoping that she’ll get better, and stronger as she grows day by day…

    May you all find the strength, and peace, from each other…

  7. Comment by David on September 12, 2005 12:27 pm

    Oh, Karl, those above me have put it so well.
    Its so hard not to come out with a cliche.
    It just shows how tough little kids are. She doesn’t know anything else.
    I’ll keep your whole family in my prayers.
    Your friends are here for you…….

  8. Comment by Ronnie on September 12, 2005 1:53 pm

    You just squeeze my hand whenever you need to Karl. I am here for you and I won’t move. remember that if it gets too much.

  9. Comment by Sara on September 13, 2005 9:27 am

    Karl, I am so sorry to hear about your neice. Please know you, and your entire family, are in my thoughts and prayers. Karyn told me a little bit of what was going on, and just wanted to offer my support to you.

  10. Comment by Thom on September 13, 2005 8:43 pm

    Karl, I’m so sorry. I’m thinking of you and your family.

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