Death by Medication Toxicity

Death by Medication Toxicity

Aunt Ruby, a woman who’s been as close to me as a family member can be, passed away this morning. She was removed from life support more than 48 hours ago yet somehow managed to hang on for much longer than anyone expected. Although Ruby had several serious conditions, including congestive heart failure, she ultimately died from medication toxicity. About a week ago, she was put on medication for her rheumatoid arthritis. The instructions on the bill bottle were not clear, however, and she wound up using the medication incorrectly. (I would’ve done the same.) She ultimately suffered from organ failure, although it also caused burns from the inside out. All of this happened VERY quickly.

When Aunt Ruby was down here about a year ago, she had a heart attack. I spent a week in the hospital with her, reading to her from my books, sharing stories, and just hanging out. I washed her hair in the shower, gave her pedicures, and put lotion on her. We had a good time. Before the heart attack, I’d given her and Mom tickets to see Gillian Welch in concert. She’d loved the song “Orphan Girl” and asked me if I’d sing it at her funeral.

While I won’t be able to do that, I did want to honor that request in some way. Here’s a cover of me singing “Orphan Girl”, along with a photo tribute of Aunt Ruby. Rest in peace, Auntie.


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