Independence Day


“Have you been taking your meds?”

“Uh, no.”

“What have your blood sugars been running?”

“Yeah, I haven’t been checking them.”

“Blood pressure?”


I paused for a moment to regroup. She was 8 months overdue for her office visit. Still, better late than never, right?

“Doc, I decided that I needed to start taking my health more seriously. I promise I am going to do better. My baby mamma… well I call her that… died last night. She had lupus, had been really sick. She has a teenage daughter…”

“Wait. What’s her name?”

She told me.

She was gone. 

It was over, then.

Over two years I had watched her pain grow, her eyesight fade, horrible wounds opening up, infections, blood clots… suffering upon suffering upon suffering. 

We knew it was going to happen, she and I. She wanted to die except that it would leave her daughter alone, with no one. She would take any amount of suffering to protect that girl.

Independence Day came anyway.


87 thoughts on “Independence Day

  1. That is so sad. As her primary care physician, wouldn’t you be notified of her death by either the hospital or the coroner? Do you sometimes have patients who disappear and then you find out later that they died?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh. Weeping. My mom was candid many times, in her worst spells, that she only got up and kept going so she could make sure we were safe. Her final breakdown came the day my youngest sister left home, almost like–it felt to us–I no longer have to try holding it all together.

    So this … this … oh.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I imagine Independence Day can be nice, except when it comes at the cost of those who are dependent upon you. Perhaps this is a consolation to losing our daughter, as we were the only ones holding her up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on The Monster in Your Closet and commented:
    My mom taught me love, hope and forgiveness.

    She also taught me perseverance: going on when you don’t feel you can go on anymore, which was how she felt almost every day of her life.

    She was candid that she would have killed herself if she thought she could do so and still be reassured my siblings and I would be safe. Becaude those reassurances did not exist, she hung on, trying to find enough light to keep going.

    She was mentally ill in her later life. I didn’t understand how bad her illness had gotten until months after my youngest sister moved in with our godmother.

    The day my youngest sister moved out was the day my mom snapped completely.

    It was the day my mom no longer had to keep trying to keep it together for us.

    She was free. And then, when she died of cancer, that freedom became total.

    It was beautiful and brutal. I wished–and will always wish–such kinder freedoms for her.

    For me, reading this is a new kind of freedom for me: knowing there is someone not my sibling who understands. Who could have loved my mom for everything she was: broken, ferocious, tenacious, beautiful, and forever–in her yearning, her striving, her candor–the most inspiring woman I will ever know.

    Her striving paid, in part, for my independence.

    I am sobbing, and I am thankful.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I hope all the combined feelings and hopes expressed. by you and everyone who reads and comments on this post some how reach your brave patient on the other side and her loved ones living, especially her daughter, and give them comfort, strength and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad post, and as you know, one with special meaning for me. I am humbled and feeling fortunate that there but for the grace of God, and at the same time wonder what led to the severe impact of her disease:

    Was it all the disease and her ill luck with the throw of those dice? Did she do everything to stay active and eat well? Was she prescribed steroids early in her diagnosis before first-line drugs (anti-inflammatories and Plaquenil) alone were tried for an extended period, and did these lead to depression, malaise, (lack of exercise, poor diet), organ complications…?

    (If you were the doctor treating her for the lupus for its entire course, I’m confident she received optimum care, Victo!)

    Whatever contributed–or not–the disease was ultimately the culprit, and this is very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was dreading hearing this. You have written about this patient a couple of times, haven’t you. God be with her daughter. I am so glad she had your compassionate care. That does help. You are a blessing to your patients and others. There is more than one kind of healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just wanted to pop over and say hello and that I totally appreciate you always liking my posts. You have quite the fan club therefore it’s quite the honor 😀 Hope all is well with you and this is a very sad story…I pray the girl will be alright without her mother. I fear ever leaving my children motherless.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: My Article Read (7-4-2015) | My Daily Musing

  10. >insert Weepy Joey here<
    Weepy Joey has lotsa friends with Lupus and she doesn't want them to suffer as they do and she desperately wants them to see their great-grandchildren. Weepy Joey wants a cure. I WANT A CURE.

    Liked by 1 person

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