Monday, June 29, 2009

While my Sister Sleeps

I saw this book at the library and thought it would be a good novel to read (yes, I judged the book by it's cover). I didn't expect it to be such a thinker, but it was! Here's the authors summary...
At 27, Molly Snow is the youngest of three siblings. Feisty but hard-working, she has always been overshadowed by her older sister, Robin, an elite marathoner who is favored to shine at the upcoming Olympic trials. When Robin suffers a heart attack during a training run and fails to regain consciousness, her family is devastated.

As Molly's parents fold under the heartbreak and her brother retreats into the cool reserve that is threatening his marriage, Molly is the one left standing. By default, she is thrust into the role of family spokesperson, not only with friends and the media, but at Snow Hill, the family's hugely successful tree and plant nursery. More crucially, Molly becomes her sister's voice when Robin can' t speak for herself. In the process, she finds her own voice.

While My Sister Sleeps is more than a coming-of-age story. Taking place over six days, this novel explores a family in crisis, peeling away layers of relationships to expose one startling truth after another. Mother to daughter, sister to sister - it is a story of rising to a challenge and making hard decisions, then loving enough to let go.

I really enjoyed reading this book and pondering the issues raised, some of which are important to me, having seen these types of situations from the nurses perspective. Wills and living you have one? I am a firm believer that EVERYONE should have a living will (a personal health care directive for what you want done in case you can't express your desires and assigning someone to make the decisions for you that knows what you would want done). yes, I have one. Another issue raised, organ donation...did you know just because you check yes to being an organ donor on your ahc card, it is still up to your family to make the decision! make sure that they know what you want done (better yet, but it in your personal health care directive/living will).
This book helped me see the family side of things. So many times I don't understand why families have such a difficult time making decisions when the outcome seems so obvious (brain dead is brain dead, there's no coming back and no real quality of life). I hope that I've been a caring, understanding nurse in situations I've been in, and I hope that this eye opening book will help me even more the next time I am caring for someone's mother/father, sister/brother, friend.
I really think that you should all go to the library and read this book...

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