An Ode to Julie

Tuesday was my sister’s birthday and I just wanted to post how grateful I am that she is my sister. This past summer, I spent about 27 days in the hospital while my mother battled complications from acute pancreatitis. My sister who who works full time as a Nurse Practitioner in Pediatrics in Decatur spent twice that amount of time. For the past two months, Julie spent at least 7 hours a day (including weekends) in the Hospital with mom. Her time there was critical to my mother’s recovery. One of the downsides of my mother’s medical care at Northside Hospital was the lack of “continuity of care.”  Both nurses and doctors are shifted around from patient to patient in an ICU unit. So, my mother after spending a few months in the hospital had only a few repeat nurses and repeat doctors who had to read through my mother’s huge chart to understand her history. By being there everyday Julie was able to educate each nurse and doctor about my mother’s medical history and help steer her care in the right direction. She texted medical updates to our family so she could gain the expertise of the medical experts in our family, and she provided care that the hospital staff didn’t have time for. (After a full month of the use of only dry shampoo, my sister figured out how we could wash my mother’s hair in a basin with water while she was in bed and she was able to gave her a pedicure.) Here is a pic of us washing my mother’s hair with an orange camping shower and a white blow up basin that my sister purchased on Amazon:

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And here is a pic of my sister giving my mother a pedicure while my mother reviewed our tax returns on John’s iPad (we applied for an extension and were able to file them later this year):

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My sister did all of this while caring for her twin boys (now 17 months old), her four year old daughter, and while supporting her husband who just got a new job. She is one amazing woman. When we left for Norway 3 weeks ago, I still had mixed feelings about leaving while my mother was still on the road to recovery. However, knowing Julie was there to help take care of her, certainly gave me more piece of mind. So, our family owes Julie a debt of gratitude for allowing us to be in Norway this year. By the way, my mother is headed home tomorrow after two weeks of lots of physical and occupational therapy. A celebration of her progress and for my sister’s role in her progress is certainly in order!

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