A week ago today...
my darling husband passed away. He went into the hospital on January 21 because he was having breathing problems, and his bloodwork showed that he had had a heart attack and was in renal failure. The kidney problem was a big surprise to us; the heart attack was less of a surprise because he had been a smoker for more than forty years, and had a history of other circulatory problems (stroke in 1993, surgery on his carotid artery, bypass surgery on his left leg). He had triple bypass surgery on January 31, and came home on February 8. He was on dialysis three times a week, but we had settled into a routine, and he could tell that he was feeling better from the dialysis treatments. He also no longer was nauseated either during or after the treatments, and had been dismissed by his heart surgeon because he was recovering so nicely.
On Thursday, Marc 8, DH had a dialysis treatment. I was at our lawyer's office picking up some paperwork to settle my mother's estate (she died in December, 2006). Our next door neighbor called on my cell phone to tell me that DH had fallen. The neighbor and his wife had heard him calling for help, and had gotten him into the house. I rushed home, and when I looked at him, I realized that DH had had a stroke. I called 911, and the firemen, paramedics, and ambulance people were here within minutes. They rushed him to the hospital and I followed a short time later in my car.
His brother, who works at the hospital, met him in the ER. By the time DH got to the hospital, he was in a coma. The neurosurgeon did an emergency craniotomy to relieve the pressure on his brain, but he was very honest with me and told me that he believed that DH had also had some sort of brain stem injury that probably caused the fall. DH remained in intensive care until Saturday morning at around 3:40 a.m., when he passed away. He was an organ donor, so he made a trip to a local university hospital to let them collect anything that would help someone else.
I think I am probably still in shock. He was doing so well after the heart surgery, and even though we always knew another stroke was a possibility, this was very unexpected. I have a wonderful support network, but they can't help me explain to our little dog that her "Pop" will not be coming home. My dad died in January, 2005; my mother in December, 2006; my husband in March, 2007. I think it will take me some time...I am going back to work in another week after our spring break, and while that will be hard, it will probably be the best thing for me.
In the midst of all of this, my mother's last remaining brother refused to let me use one of my maternal grandfather's cemetery lots. There are nineteen lots that will NOT be used, but he decided that he'd rather not have DH buried in one of them. Fortunately, my dad's family also had lots, but my uncle's actions probably hurt me almost as much as losing my husband. I at least understand WHY DH died; I'll never understand my uncle's decision...but since I know his wife, I really probably DO understand what happened.
Onward and upward...