Thursday, July 31, 2008

Missing My Sister

Today is my sister's 41 birthday. Kim(berly) is next to the youngest of my sisters. She passed December 19, 1997, suffering from two aneurisms of the brain. Kim was diagnosed with high blood pressure while carrying her son. Every year at this next my sisters and I have this overwhelming feeling of sadness. We miss her and still wrestle with the fact that she is gone from us. The fact that Kimberly was only 30 years old is hard accept.

Death is so mysterious and final. At the time of Kim's death, everyone begin to think and act on the fact that life is short. And that we should approach it realizing that it is the most precious gift from God. Because no one really knows when it's their last day or hour. Over the years, we've learned to share and care for one another on a much deeper level. We spend a lot more time together and our bond has grown stronger. We do have our disagreements, but we always come back to the middle embracing the fact that we love each other and that nothing can separate the ties that bind.

High Blood Pressure is noted as the silent killer. Kim complained of headaches all the time. Often she appeared to have little to no energy. I wondered why she was always so moping and concluded that she was a little on the lazy side. Now that I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, I understand the affects of the medication used to treat it. I've been prescribed every family of HBP medications from beta blockers to calcium blockers. The doctors had a difficult time finding one that would regulate my BP. The beta blockers are the worst. What I've learned is these medication can greatly impact your bodily functions. It can take a while before the doctors can find the right med for you. Finally, exercise and ample rest can reduce stress and provide some relief of HBP.

It is extremely important to take your medications as this is what my sister failed to do. The day she was hospitalized her BP was 260 over 149; she had not taken her meds for a few days. Kim worked for Rush Presbyterian Hospital and was there when she collapsed. She lived a week after that. Each of us can remember it like it was yesterday. The morning of December 12th I had taken my final exam in calculus; went to the hairdresser; picked up my DD; then went home. For the next six days we spent most of the time at the hospital hoping and praying. Later, the doctor told us their was no brain activity and that we needed to disconnect the respirator or breathing device. Unbelievable ..., Everyone was in a fog.

My nephew is now 17 and lives with his father, step-mother, and sisters. He looks like his dad, mostly. But some of his mannerisms are like my sister. When he sees us, he gives the longest, deepest hugs. I often wondered what he was thinking but dare not ask to minimize emotions. He will soon be off to college embarking on a whole other life. ..,

I'm just rambling and missing my sister, Kim...,


  1. I am sorry about your sister. I too have HBP and when I was diagnosed my BP was 280/250. It caused damage to my kidneys or my failing kidneys caused my HBP. We still don't know. I was 30 when that happened. Its been 10 years and God has bless my HBP to be under control with meds and my kidneys to function. I pray your strength during this time.

  2. That is a very touching story and such a good reminder to get and keep blood pressure under control. Mine was getting higher, and I finally decided to go off the pill. My doctor said it was still safe for me to be on, but my blood pressure was up to 140/90 even after losing 18 lbs, down to about the skinniest I could get. It was slowly getting higher for no reason.

    I went off the pill, had my blood pressure taken about 6 mos. later and it was 112/70. My mother had HPB at a young age so it's something that I need to watch for. It's extra motivation to work hard to keep it low and under control.

    Your post serves as a reminder that one is never too young to have HBP. And it must be kept under control. It IS that important.

  3. I know exactly how you are feeling because I lost my second to the youngest of my sisters on December 26th 1992. She was only 31yrs. It still hurts but the pain lessens with time. We all cannot believe it happened and so fast. She had breast cancer, the only female in our entire family who has ever contacted the disease. She responded to none of the usual treatments and so the cancer just ravished her.
    She was like my youngest sister's twin, they were very close in age and relationship.
    She was also the family's 'darling'. Gorgeous, fashion diva, loving and always happy, always full of life.
    We still don't understand how this could have happened.
    BUT, just a day ago I felt very strongly that as long as I think about her and savor the memories, she will always be with me and very close. She is even more precious now more than ever.

    May our sisters rest forever in peaceful bliss.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. My mom died at age 38 from HBP and stroke, I was only 9. I lost my oldest sister 7 years ago from stroke and diabetes, she was only 46. She never did what the doctors asked, ate whatever she wanted and took her Insulin. She passed July 2001. I am now 51 and have been on HBP medication for 6 years now and it is under control. I do everything the doctors ask because I want to be in my children and grandchild's life as long as possible. Life is way too short. I cherish every moment I am given and I thank God every morning for waking me up.

  5. My sincere condolences for the loss of your sister. How good and kind of you to use your pain to warn and help others. I know your sister is proud of you. Thank you for sharing. *hug*

  6. I know you miss your sister. My heart goes out to you. Thanks for the BP info, I'm off to take my daily pill now. I'm sending a big hug to you too.

  7. I am sorry about your sister. When you loose someone you love only time can take the pain away. I was diagnosed with HBP 11 years ago and my bp is under control with medication.
    A big hug to you and I pray for and your family during this difficult time

  8. My condolences on your lost...I will keep your story in my thoughts and your family in my prayers...

  9. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and good cheer. I only hope that my sharing helps someone who may be faced with a similar situation.

  10. I am glad you are watching out for yourself. Thirty is too young. Sisters need to grow old together.

  11. Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 11 years since Kinm past away. I always enjoyed her. Well of course you and your family remain in my prayers. I hope you feel better soon. Love ya!!

  12. I know the bond sisters share, and reading your story, thinking about my sister, and my name also being "Kim" gave me goosebumps. God Bless you and your family during this time.

  13. My heartfelt condolences for your loss. In 1977, I had toxemia of pregnancy and HBP. I thought the doctors were just trying to scare me so I did what I wanted. It cost me my child's life. He was born premature and died 2 days later. It took another 25 years to get my blood pressure under control but not before I lost 2 other children to premature birth and several heart failures in which I almost died. I now take my medication and am thankful that I'm alive to see my DD grow up.

  14. Thanks for the sharing your touching story and sending out lots of (((Hugs)).

  15. Thanks for sharing your story.. it reminds me to thank God for my time with loved ones.. we never know when He'll call us home...

    Lots of "hugs" to you!!

  16. I'm so sorry... I have an aunt with the same problem. Besisdes the HBP she was diagnosed with another problem that needs surgery... The risk on taking a surgery is very high due to her HBP condition so we all fear for the worse now :(

  17. Thank you so much. Your thoughtfulness and kindness is always appreciated.

    I can't believe the overwhelming comments and responses from this post. Some people e-mailed me directly while others posted comments. It seems like HBP is an epidemic.

    It's incredible. The number of people who are on HBP meds. So many people have shared their experience with the disease and medication. In the beginning, I thought only a few, mostly African-Americans. Not so. What is wrong? Is it the food, air, society?

    Take care and God bless,



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