March 21, 2011 for ever etched in my mind….
My late husband had had his second leg removed on March 5th, 2011. For the past month he was suffering from a really rough cough and was having trouble breathing. Just seemed to be getting worse than better. But how sick could he actually be? The doctors said before he had to be in good health to be able to have the amputation. And they proceeded with the amputation…. So, we really thought he wasn’t that bad. BUT… in the back of mind and in the pit of my stomach… the cough just didn’t sound right. He was having laying down to sleep and we had propted him to sit up sleeping. As each day passed he seemed to be loosing colour and slowing down in his thinking, speech and just overall. I kept saying we need to take him into the hospital, but he fought me and said the next few weeks he will have his checkup appointment for his amputation. He’ll have them check him out then.
We entered the girls’ March Break from school and we spent the time watching Disney movies and playing while their daddy spent the time sleeping. It was a quiet time, but one I am grateful for having. As it was the Sunday before the girls had to go back to school that my late husband fell into a comma. For a couple of nights he had been making a very weird raspy sound when he would breathe. He spent most of the day in bed and hadn’t eaten for two days… I finally convinced him to come out to the kitchen for a change of scenery and had made him a sandwich. He sat at the table, pale and breathing with some difficulty. He finally agreed that in the morning that I could take him into the family doctor. He didn’t eat his sandwich and as the phone rang he headed back to bed. The phone was a family friend who wanted to talk to him, but he was so tired he didn’t take the call. I got the girls to bed and walked into our bedroom. I asked if i could get him anything and he said no. I was exhausted and stressed and asked if he would be ok if I took a shower. He was set and said no problem if he needed me he would throw something at the wall for my attention. We both laughed and I headed into the shower. By the time I got out, which wasn’t very long, as I didn’t want to leave him long, he had already fallen asleep. I didn’t want to wake. I know now, he had actually slipped into a comma then. He was still breathing funny and making a very weird sound with each breath. I eventually fell asleep myself and was woken up by the “silence” in the room. My first thought was, “Wow, he finally fell into a deep sleep, he’ll get some good rest now”…. but the silence was very disturbing. As I rolled over I realized he was slumped forward and didn’t appear to be breathing at all!
Please don’t judge me, but I was mad and scared all at the same time…. and I hit his shoulder hard… hoping to wake him up, but knowing at the same time there was something very wrong!
I called 9-1-1 and EVERYONE came, ambulance, police and fire. I think I had everyone’s coffee cups at the sink, as they had all been to calls at our house on a regular basis.
By this time the girls had woken with the commotion and my sister had arrived. My sister stayed with my girls to keep them safely away from the event happening. My parents arrived while the paramedics were working on my late husband. After what seemed like forever they finally carried him out of the bedroom and put him on the gurney. They were trying hard to keep a heart beat but they kept loosing him. On the ride to the hospital his heart stopped four times, and the ride is not that long! By the time I could go in and see him, he was wrapped on ice to help cool him down, hoping to reduce the amount of brain damage. His heart stopped one more time before they could stabilize him to move him to ICU. And again… in ICU they had three hours of trying to keep him stable enough that I could go in and sit with him. Even after I was allowed to go in and sit with him, the doctors were administering medication to help his heart keep pumping. I made all the necessary calls to dear people who I know would want to come and to my pastor. I was called out by the doctor to discuss what I would like to do… as my late husband’s condition was failing. My late husband had had a kidney transplant and needed medication to keep his body from rejecting the kidney… he had missed his two doses already, which was an issue and had probably lost the kidney now. His heart had stopped so very many times, even if he woke up he would have major brain damage and would probably not recognize me at all. The doctors said we could wait 24 hours to see if he woke up on his own but he would be in a vegetated state and would have to remain in the hospital until he passed. What was I to do?? Two little girls now and am going to loose my husband, my best friend!
After a few more small discussions, I conceded to honour my late husband’s request of not being resuscitated and agreed to have the machines turned off. As I stood by his bed side holding his hand tight…. my late husband’s heart began to slow down… beep, beep echoed in the room . . . and then! He squeezed my hand two times…. our signal to say we loved each other … and his heart stopped.
He was gone.
Now I had to tell my little girls their daddy had gone to heaven.