Monthly Archives: December 2013

Chapter 8

Machines kept their dutiful rhythm IV lines pushed fluids into a body that wasn’t functioning. The doctor returned with the forms. The forms that would let a body that had died already rest. The papers that I had to sign. The papers we as a couple had discussed. At 5:34am I was handed the papers that had the time and date on them. I looked at my daughter and told her how sorry I was and signed a tear actually fell on the paper. The doctor counter signed. The paper was now telling me what my heart didn’t want to hear my head couldn’t understand and my soul knew I had to do. Funny thing about these three getting together. They make you doubt Your heart aches your mind can’t even remember your name and your soul keeps you upright. You can recall things that happened years ago but you don’t know what you did in the past five minutes You know you have to call and tell His family and dearest friends but your mind can’t find the words you go on auto pilot.
My daughter called His family and mine I called His closest friends. I can’t tell you what I said exactly but I remember the scream in His closest buddies voices asking “what??”
and I’ll be there as soon as possible.
By about 6:30am everyone had come to the hospital navigating through three feet of snow. Everyone was crying, and when they weren’t their eyes told that they had been. All couples – it was the first time I realized I wasn’t going to be a couple- they
came in sobbing saying how shocked they were, hugging me each other and His family members. Men kissed Him and cried telling Him how much they cared for Him and don’t worry we take care of Her. At one point I went to the nurses desk and told them that all that need to come had. We waited for drugs so that when they took His vent out there would be no anxiety or pain. Ten thirty they arrived. This was the first time they asked me to step out. I went to His ear told Him how much I loved Him and some personal things just for Him to hear. I hugged and kissed Him put my ear to His chest and hears how fast and hard His heart was pounding held His hand and said “I’ll be right back they just want to take the tube out now ” the drugs were flowing into His veins now. The curtain was pulled and in less than what seamed a minute “Mrs your can come back in” their faces were so very very sad they made brief eye contact and then looked at the floor. No one went back in but me – at least for a couple of minutes. He took three breaths and stopped. I put my head on His chest and heard nothing. He left He was gone it was 10:34am. The Doctor came and and that’s what she told me He’s gone. I stayed maybe half an hour. I couldn’t take it. The it was I was a widow. I learned that I wasn’t a Mrs anymore I was a widower. I wasn’t half of a couple I was the wife of the Late Mr. I was in about 15 and 1/2 hours a widower. It sucked. I kept saying that why? I have no idea. I guess it was the harshest thing with out cursing I could say. Elaine was a widow. No one asked me if I was ok with that – why would they? I wanted the last day of my life to do over. This wasn’t a game no do overs. I learned I was completely alone in a room full of people.

Chapter 7

Endless minutes turned into hours. My daughters eyes were so big taking in all what was going on with her dad. She was just as frightened as I was maybe if possible more. A decision was made to call his mother brothers and sisters to tell them of his illness. Before they came it happened again – his heart stopped. Again with much proficiency the doctors and nurses began CPR administering drugs and he was once again back. Off to do MRIs CAT scans more blood work. I felt as if I was part of a very bad video game. Machines beeped and then there was the reports that kept coming back from blood work and other test. They addressed me as Mrs. I’m sorry one time his kidneys are failing. Next I’m sorry his liver is failing. One nurse God bless her gave me hope to transport him to a major hospital that took the most serious cases. They said no. She gave me the number and said I should go home and get some rest I would need it. I took her advice and the number and made my way home. I called the number at 4:30am and spoke to a male nurse who was angered that I had the number and said the my husband had been turn down for their help. I was just getting into bed when the phone rang Mom get up I’m on my way to get you. My daughters friend who was a nurse had heard a code being called and wanted to know if she could do anything for her. He one more time without me being there was brought back When we arrived we saw that they had shocked his heart this time to start it. He was so swollen and looked so very ill. The doctor came in and said that his lungs were failing along with his heart kidneys and liver. The question I never thought I would ask blurted out “would he be able to get through this and would his mental capacity be as it was before”. She just looked and with one word broke my heart. “No”. It was 5am February 7.2010. I was taught what I thought I already knew very well. I learned desperation The kind when you have no control over a situation. The kind that takes your breath away the kind you always hope is never yours to bear the kind you pray that doesn’t ever happen to you. The kind you can only imagine and pray you never experience.

Chapter 6

Saturday February 7th 2010 we woke up to a blanket of white. Must have been a foot of snow on the ground and blizzard conditions. I hopped out of bed made coffee fed the dogs and peered out the window to watch the endless snow flakes fall. My husband after about a half an hour hadn’t gotten out of bed. I went to our room to find him still under the covers and he had fallen back to sleep. I dressed took the dogs out in the snow and came back in. Still he was sleeping. I made another cup of coffee warmed up and went in the room to check on him. After asking if he was alight he turned over and he looked so sick. He informed me that the flu was back. I got dressed again walked to the nearby connivence store and bought some ginger ale for him. He was still sleeping. I asked him if he wanted to go to the doctors. His reply was as expected “no”. Once again I went outside to start the huge task of removing snow. It had been some time now when for the third time I woke him up. He was sweeting aching and just looked very pale. I pleaded with him to let me call the doctor once again the answer was no. Back and forth I checked in him and continued to clear the snow. He was throwing up now. I kept bringing him fluids and he was not feeling better he was feeling worse At 6pm I said enough I’m calling an ambulance he said ok. Got out of bed and patiently waited. Due to the weather it took 15 mins but at least the 3 feet if snow was cleared from our driveway. He was so pale his heart was racing and now he was having difficulty in breathing Our dog was pacing back and forth to him and back to me looking as if he was telling me he needed help. When the EMTs arrived they took one set of vitals and said he needed to go now. His heart was racing his blood pressure was high and he had a fever. They had great difficulties in starting an IV due to he was so very dehydrated. We arrived at the hospital were my daughter was a nurse and was on duty Doctors allowed me and my daughter to stay with him while they were assessing ha condition. Doctors told is that his oxygen levels were dangerously low and that they would have to intubate him. He said find just please help me. He looked over to us we said we loved him and then the doctors had the equipment they needed set up. He looked at me with such fear in his eyes. I told him I loved him again. A drug called succinylcholine was given to him to temporarily paralyze him to insert the breathing tube He went unconscious The doctor was having a difficult time getting the tube in. I learned the true meaning of fear in one blink of an eye. Machines began to scream His heart stopped. Nurses started CPR I heard the pounding on his chest the doctors ordering epinephrine and other drugs. I watched as a mask was placed over his face and pumped manually to breath for him. I seen tubes of blood drawn and rushed out of the room. They started his heart again he was on a vent and unconscious I stood in a corner with my daughter watching in disbelief what I had just witnessed. Then the questions began does he do drugs – no- does he drink had he been sick – yea he had the flu this week. Through all of this uproar He didn’t move. I was fearful for what was to come I couldn’t think fear had taking over my body. I just stared at him and answered question after question. I learned that night at 6:40pm (time called when CPR was started) that true fear is not being afraid of a person it’s beIng frighten through the loss of control. The inability to change or help in a situation that a loved one is in.

Chapter 5

Happy 50th to my husband!! What a great surprise party it was. All of our friends and family together joining in having such a great time . The party lasted till very close to dawn. We were going along like any other couple. Loving on our grandchildren – we had three by the time Dale was 52 twin girls and a boy!! Normal average people living a nearly normal life. He was eating so many Advil it was scary but he explained to me it was the only way he could get through the day and the doctors regulated his doses He never missed work until that week. February 2,2010 a Monday said he just wasn’t feeling well. I asked him to go to the doctor he said no it was just the flu. He stayed in bed. Tuesday he went back to work and finished out the week. Friday his friend joined him at our home after work for a couple of beers. They talked and laughed till nearly midnight. We went to bed and spoke about the up coming snow storm the weatherman was predicting two plus feet of snow. A rare occasion for our neck of the woods. We joked about how the shelves would be empty of bread and milk. He told me he had brought enough wood around to make sure it would last the week for the wood stove. Said he had gas for the generator too if we needed it. We could here the wind whipping outside our windows as it began to snow. We fell asleep. That night was one of peace even though we woke up several times to hear the wind howling. I had peace of mind and heart. I felt safe. I felt loved. I was taught that the saying “calm before the storm” was never more true.