My wife

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roirraW "edor"
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My wife

Post by roirraW "edor" » Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:05 am

I have hardly been here at all since my wife went into the hospital again a month ago or more. I feel the need to share this, so here goes although I realize I'm not including the long story of how it got to this point...

Here is what happened to Michelle. She was fine when I saw her in the physical rehab center (a nursing home) on Wednesday night. Thursday afternoon I went to visit her there and her room was bare. I then found out that she had been sent to Riverside Hospital's ER just a few blocks away because they couldn't get a reading on her blood pressure (too low to read). This was the second time the nursing home had to send her back to the ER. They say they tried to call me, but once I got to talk to Michelle she thought she was sent around 1 PM, and I was awake and never heard the phone ring once, nor did they leave a message so they must not have tried too hard.

I went to the ER and although she wasn't great, she was conscious but in pain (chronic pain she gets from laying on her back - she lays on her side at home and can't do that in hospital beds). I got them to give her some pain medicine and after that she slept heavily. After an hour or more since she was resting I decided to leave, but I wasn't really able to communicate that to Michelle because I could only get her attention long enough for her to close her eyes back again. In retrospect, I think it's possible she was already having a stroke, or had a stroke, but that's probably just a "what-if" that I can't help thinking about, and it was probably solely the pain medicine.

The nurse told me that it was a different medicine they had given her at the nursing home for trying to control her atria fibrillation which greatly lowered her blood pressure, and which was about the fourth or fifth drug over the past several months that had been tried on her without success. Her blood pressure fluctuated but it was actually high while I was there.

Early Friday afternoon I was getting ready to leave to visit her again when a doctor called and said that they believed she was having a stroke but that neither they nor OSU Hospital had a CAT scan that would accommodate her size, and that they would move her to the ICU soon. Her blood thinness (called INR) was through the roof at 16. Normal is 1.0. The only conclusion they could make was that she was bleeding in her brain. They were also very worried about her kidneys. Through her catheter they had collected zero or near-zero urine since yesterday, and had even changed out the catheter just in case it wasn't right the first time.

The doctor then asked me about hers and my wishes for the future possibility of putting a breathing tube down her throat, and also about dialysis. To both after a brief thought I said "Yes", although I was truly only answering that because I wasn't ready to say "No" yet or especially over the phone without a face to face dialog.

Michael (her nephew) and Tony (her son) met me at the hospital and the doctor went over the details of the possibility of a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. I then answered that no, she did not want to have heroic measures taken to prolong her life. Since her eight months in a nursing home in 2001, her greatest fear was of another extended stay in a hospital and nursing home. Michael and Tony completely agreed. The doctors had also said that if she did get a breathing tube, it would be very hard to get her back off of it, and at the least she would most probably for the rest of her life have a tube through her neck for breathing. She would not want that.

I hadn't let anyone know before this point that Michelle had indicated to me several weeks ago that she wanted it to be over. I was able to encourage her after that and helped her be strong enough to start eating again (which she hadn't for a week) and get back on the road to recovery.

Back in the ICU, while we were waiting with Michelle her breathing started to take 10 second breaks once every few minutes. Then later there was 25 seconds for her to take another breath. At that point we could easily notice a steady drop in her breathing rate on her monitor. When it got down to about 17 a minute then her heart rate noticeably started decreasing and at that point I found it extremely difficult to look at the monitor for long because it was so apparent that this was a count down of her dying, and I couldn't bear it, but I didn't have long to wait at all.

I didn't know it would be so quick. I loved her and she loved me and we had some high points in our 16 years together. I can't believe that I'm not going to hear her voice again. This hurts so bad.
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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:49 am

I feel for you. I lost my father in a very similar way 16 years ago. He was comatose his last week, so at least I know he didn't suffer when he passed. :(

He was only 53 years old. I was 17.

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Stimpy
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Post by Stimpy » Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:51 am

Oh boy, this is sad news.

I know a little about how this makes you feel, as I had a simular event happen to my grandad last year. I was there with him for a week, and watched him slowly slip away. It was difficult for me, as I had never been in that situation before, and had no idea what to say or do.

My grandad was found unconscious in his bed, after he had been very ill at home. He was then rushed to hospital, where they got a drip in to him, and cleaned him up. He woke up after a few hours, and was tired and confused, but quite with it, and together. Thats when we (me, my father, mother and sister) arrived, and found that he was fine to talk, and was giving us instructions about what we should do, incase it got worse etc... So after staying with him for a few hours, it got to the end of visiting hours, and we said our good nights, and arranged to be there the next day.

We kept going back, and sitting with him, but he was definatly not recovering, and was sleeping more and more as the days whent on. It got to the stage of he almost had no idea if we was there or not, but I could kind of tell that he has moments of realization, and was trying to ask for water, but as the doctors were worried about him contracting pneumonia, we were told not to give him any, and that all we could do was wipe his lips with a foam lollipop thing, with this pink water. It was the toughest thing to take, seeing him like that. It broke my heart to be honest.

It was not long after that, that I had come to the realization that he was going, and there was no stopping it. I said my goodbyes to him in the morning, as did the rest of my family. We went home for a few hours, but had planned to come back and be with him for the evening.

We had a phonecall from the hospital telling us that he had quickly and quietly passed away, just after we had got home. I will never forget the look on my dad's face, as I was the one that had answered the phone, and had to tell him, as well as the rest of my family. We rushed back to him, and sat with him, with the rest of my family.

It was tough for me to get through, because I was very close to him. But I did, and I know you will to.

My sincere condolencies to you, and your loved ones. My thoughts are with you.

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Post by bober101 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:29 am

i can only imagine the pains you must be going thru ,i can only wish that i could take away at least part of this burden away from you. I can only admire youre strengh trough the hard times till the end and beyond. You may not know it but writing about ure experiance does prepare us for our own times of despaire. It does make us stronger ,YOU make us stronger.Isint it the way of a warrior?
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Post by ricktendo64 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:33 am

Sorry m8

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RogueSpear
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Post by RogueSpear » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:40 am

I was really caught off guard this morning when I saw your post. I cannot say that I know what you are going through, but you have all of my sympathies. I'm very sorry.

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roirraW "edor"
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Post by roirraW "edor" » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:10 am

Thank you all for listening and sharing back with me. It is just what I needed. I used to consider myself experienced with very close deaths (parents and best friend) but the last had been 24 years ago, aside from my wife's brother who passed away almost six years ago, but that's not the same thing.

5eraph and Stimpy I can identify with both of you and your experiences as best as possible without actually being in your specific situations.

My wife was 55. Her brother was 55 when he died. I think both of their parents died in their 50's (of different diseases). I told my wife's son and nephew that it's up to them to break this tradition.

My own mother was 56 and my father 61. In this day and age those are so much lower than average lifespans.

Thank you bober101, ricktendo64 and RogueSpear. I know it will be rough, but every little bit helps.
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Post by Pistolero » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:08 pm

All the best to you, my friend. So sorry to hear about your immense loss.

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:10 pm

I stopped going to school. Smoked a lot of weed. Got married a couple years later to the girl I was dating at the time. My daughter was born a few years after that.

Through it all, it was my younger sister and my friends that helped me most. They never left me alone to sulk. My then fiancee encouraged me to finish high school with her at her school. Her parents, albeit unknowingly, helped me get off the drugs. And my daughter constantly gives me reason to enjoy life.

If you need somebody to talk to, I'm here.

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Siginet
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Post by Siginet » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:16 pm

I am very sorry to hear these stories. :( I too have experianced a death in the family recently. My cousin was only 18 yrs old. He was in a car accident. Hit by a motor home. They say he died instantly. It has been very rough for me as well because I was very close to him. He was like my little brother. :( When a death of someone so young happens you begin to realize that you take life for granted. One second you are having a great time with someone and the next second they are gone forever. :( Reading this thread actually brought a tear to my eyes. Even though my experiance was different I can somewhat feel your pain as well. My prayers are with you.
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roirraW "edor"
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Post by roirraW "edor" » Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:01 pm

Thank you, I appreciate it.

It's encouraging to hear how you got through your experience, 5eraph. Thank you.

I remember reading that Siginet and my heart went out to you and everyone involved. I know you can relate.
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Post by bphlpt » Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:13 pm

I was so sorry to hear about your loss, roirraW "edor". My wife and I lost her mother a few years back. It's never easy. I'm glad your wife's passing was relatively painless, for her, but I know the pain for you was unimaginable. It's surprising to me how quickly they sometimes pass at the end. I like to believe that they know that it's their time, and maybe they now have another job to do - keeping watch over us and being an inspiration for us.

Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Let us know if there is anything at all that any of us can do for you in this time of need and sadness.

Cheers and Regards.

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Post by crashfly » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:58 am

I am a bit late in seeing this thread, but I can offer only a small consolation.

It has been said that "Time heals all wounds." You may not 'feel' it now, but you are already on the road to recovery roirraW "edor". It has been appointed that everyone must die once in our lives. Do realize this *will* happen, very little we can do will change that. If that statement can be accepted at face value, that may lessen your pain. I wish you and your family well in this time of sorrow roirraW "edor". Just remember that you will eventually get past your loss. At least keeping the memory alive helps to let that person continue to 'iive'
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RyanVM
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Post by RyanVM » Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:18 pm

My condolences. I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be losing your spouse. :(
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Post by the_guy » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:45 pm

My condolences for your loss.

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Post by Mavericks choice » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:43 pm

As others have said am very sorry to hear of your loss, your mate. albeit a little late from me.
It's good to talk to people close to you in these times.

Cheers
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