MY HUSBAND OF 47 YEARS DIED IN MY ARMS.

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Thank you to everyone who replied to me.  I really appreciate it and I am only writing this becauuse I am lost and don't know what to do with myself.  BUT, I must tell you this as I think and hope my husband knew what was happening before he died, even though he was in a deep sleep, and I really think and really hope he could hear whatwas being said.

I had stayed with him in A & E then on the ward from 2 am when he was taken in until 9 am, my sons came to sit with him and I went home to get changed and went back in the afternoon.  I stayed all night with him until 6 am the following day when my son came and I went home to have a sleep but couldn't.  My son went home at 12.30 pm. when his brother turned up and he was going to stay until 4 pm. until I turned up to sit with him through the night again. I decided to go early and got there for 1 pm.The doctors wanted us all to meet them at 4 pm to discuss what we were going to do with regards to DNR.  I looked at my husband wearing the big life support mask which blows oxygen into his body and removes Carbon dioxide and knew how much he hated the mask, so I asked my son to get  his brother back before 4 pm as I didn't want my husband having to suffer for four hours on a machine if it was not helping.  We were all there for 2 pm. the doctor came to talk to us and  said things were extremely poor and they needed to know what to do. We asked questions which were answered and I said, can my husband come out of this if the antibiotics kick in, the doctor said probably but we would have to wait and see but the prognosis was not good but they would keep up with the treatment for a few more days until they knew for sure.  My sons did not know what to do as they did not want to see their dad  have to go through the treatment for another few days if there was no hope at all. I said to them that we owe it to their dad to give him as much time as possible to fight this infection  and I wanted the doctors to carry on with his treatment for  few days and then we will definitely know what to do, I didn't want to say,  turn the machine off, without giving him a fighting chance of at least coming round and being able to talk to him again. My sons agreed,  and I think they were relieved that I had made the decision for them. The doctors said in a few days time we will have our answers and I was sure I had made the right decision and  had not let him go without a fight.  My son and daughter-in-law said they would go and get some coffee and they left the ward, my other son and I were sat next to my husband, I was talking to him, telling him how much I loved him and to fight and not give in, then within minutes everything changed, I just said to my son to get his brother back now, they all came back into the ward and just had time to hold their dad and say goodbye to him then they left me with him and he died peacefully,  in my arms without the horrible mask on, with me telling him how much I loved him.  I think my husband had heard us discussing keeping him going and he decided he had had enough and could not take it anymore.  I would love to think he heard us telling the doctors we were not giving up on him and that he knew how much he was loved and how much we wanted him to pull through. That is my only source of comfort, knowing we decided to give him chance to come back to us, but he took the final decision out of our hands.

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  • Posted

    Sheila I am sure he heard you.  When my mother was dying at her care home the staff said the last sense to go was hearing.  They told us she could hear everything we said and that this is well documented.   

    When we knew my mum only had a few days left me and 2 sisters stayed with her round the clock on shifts.  I was on my own with her when she finally went and it was awful.  She took one last breath and then no more.  The rest of the family were there in minutes but it was too late.  Even though this was June last year I still have nightmares about it.   But we console ourselves that we did all we could and it was just her time to go.   She is at peace now as your husband is.

    Going to tell you a little true story.  My mum had a plant called a Day Lilly and a flower only lasted 1 day (hence the name).  Well my sister has it and they both thought it was dead as it hadn't shown any signs of life for 4 years.  Well about 2 weeks before the anniversary of my mum's death my sister showed me buds coming on it.   The first flower for 4 years appeared on the 19th June this year exactly a year to the day of her death.   My sister and I stared at it in wonder and awe and said 'thanks mum'.  'We know you are ok now'.   We both felt her prescence.

    You will get through this Sheila even though you don't think you will right now.  The days and weeks will pass and it will become easier in time.  Just hold on and stay close to your family.  Lots of hugs. xxxxx

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for what you have said.  My mother and sister were gifted, they could see things before they happened and my sister was looking to be a spiritualist.  I have been told I also have the gift but I do not want to do anything about it.  Yesterday we were all supposed to meet at the hospital at 4-30 pm to talk to the doctors about my husband and what was best for him.  It got to 1 pm and I rang my son and said I was going now and was getting a taxi to the hospital.  He said he would be there at 4-30 as he had just left the hospital to go and have a meal and my other son was taking over. When I got to the hospital I said to my son, ring your brother and get him to come back now, he said why, it's all been arranged for 4-30, I said I am not waiting so long.  My son was back with his wife in 1/2 hour and the doctor came to talk to us.  If I had not arrived until 4.00 pm and my son had not returned until 4-30, we would not have been there to say our goodbyes whilst my husband was still alive.  My son told me just now that he was annoyed that I had called him back so soon and thought I was over-reacting as the doctors had told him earlier there was no immediate danger and it could be days before he either started improving or not, but they needed to discuss things.  Something told me that we should be there before 4.00 pm but I do not know what. My sister died of cancer 21 years ago and she said I would know it was her when she visited me as she would blow through my hair.  Many times I have been sat in the room, no windows or doors open and my hair lifted and tickled.  I just said, instead of mucking about can you pick the winning lottery tickets for this week please.  I am a believer, I have not seen things as I do not try to but my mum and sister saw lots of things that were never explained and were great believers in the afterlife.  My husband knew I was a bit afraid of it and said to me jokingly, when I die, and you are in bed, you will hear the stairlift coming up the stairs.  I told him that I did not think it was funny but it is now in my mind.  My husband never hurt me in life and would not do so in death and I am heartbroken that I will never hear his voice or see him again.  Thank god I am 72 years old, I will not have many years to spend alone.
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  • Posted

    Dear Sheila

    I have followed your posts and have empathised tremendously with your situation . I have not felt that I have had anything helpful to contribute but feel I have to say that you have a talent for expressing yourself ( I am an English teacher) Perhaps, later on, a creative writing class or an

    online writing community might be an idea, an outlet for your talent.

    Thinking of you 

    Maggie

    I  

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  • Posted

    Thank you so very much, I really appreciate your kind words.
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  • Posted

    I lost my Dad,uncle and auntie to COPD. They where all on the same side of the family. My a Dad developed lung cancer which was inoperable due to the state of his lungs.

    It is the most terrifying illness I have ever seen. I cannot imagine what the sufferers go through. 

    Me and both my sisters gave up smoking since because there see no guarantees.

    My heart goes out to those suffering badly with this and to the family and friends of sufferers.

    I have a aunt who also got diagnosed at the same time as my Dad and hers never progressed or got any worse. She gave up smoking and changed her lifestyle as soon as she was diagnosed.xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying, they do say it can be genetic. My husband stopped smoking 10 years ago because he kept going to  our Gp and telling him he could not walk far without getting out of breath he must have gone back 20 times and in the end our GP told him he was referring him to Mental Health as it was all in his mind and to go out walking more. We told him rubbish, we were going private so the GP referred him to a heart specialist of all things saying it was his heart that was the problem.  The heart specialist diagnosed him straight away as having COPD saying his heart was fine, so he was officially diagnosed 6 years ago, we wasted four years  by believing a stupid, incompetant GP who then retired.  Perhaps if he had been diagnosed correctly sooner he may still be alive. The same GP, long before my husbands illness, diagnosed me as having a hole in my lung that kept getting infected, I was living off antibiotics for 6 months, he then referred me to the chest clinic and I was diagnosed with Asthma and three days after I was given my asthma medication I was fine.  I changed doctors straight away. But my husband would not change doctors so got into this mess of misdiagnosis.  It is funny how smoking has no  affect on some people but is life threatening on others.  It is a terrible illness but there is one thing that comforted me when my husband died is that he died peacefully, no gasping for breath no struggling to breathe, he just went to sleep with all his famiy around him.  That was the one thing he was terrified of, gasping for air whilst he was dying he was absolutely petrified of it.

      I wish you all the best.

       

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    • Posted

      I remember the nurses at the hospice telling us that they can hear all you are saying and how if they think you are suffering,they are sneaky and just allow themselves to slip peacefully away. I remember kissing my Dad and arranging to go see Dad the next morning at 10am...I said "see you tomorrow Dad,love you". He passed away the next morning at 9.15am xxx
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    • Posted

      That is exactly what happened to us.  I had been with my husband from 6 pm the previous day and my son came to take over at 6 am the day after and stay until noon whilst I went home and got some sleep. My other son got to the hospital at noon and was staying until I turned up  at 6 pm. to stay the night again.  I decided that I wanted to be with my husband so went back to the hospital for 12 noon, so that meant my two sons and myself were all there together at noon. The doctor came to see us and discussed DNR but I said as long as he could keep giving him antibiotics and using the special oxygen mask which eliminates carbon dioxide from his blood then I wanted to give my husband a fighting chance,  the doctor told us that things were not good but I said we owed it to my husband not to give up and whilst he was still with us there was a chance he might pull through if the drugs kicked in.  My son said he would go and get us some coffees and just as he was leaving the ward everything changed, my husbands breathing slowed down, I told my other son to call his brother back into the ward straight away.  We were all around him telling him how much we loved him and how grateful we were for how he had looked after us all our lives.  My sons left me and their dad together and he died in my arms so very peacefully, which was a godsend.  I said to my sons that their dad must have heard me tell the doctors that I wanted to wait a few days and see how things were and he must have thought, not a cat in hells chance, I have had enough of this it is time for me to go.  I have also heard that hearing is the last to go and even though he was sleeping I do hope he heard what we said.  How on earth do we manage to go on when someone you have known  all your life dies and leaves you on your own.  We were teenagers when we started courting and have never been apart until he got this illness and started being admitted to hospital.  My life seems to have stopped, there does not seem like there is anything to look forward to anymore.
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    • Posted

      Oh Sheila.

      You just made me cry.

      I know exactly how you are feeling but for you it must be so much worse as he was your love,your life.

      I have a auntie going through just the same now. I said my Dad died,that was 3 years ago but my uncle died earlier this year. My auntie is going through the exact same emotions as you are.

      She gets up,keeps busy,sees family but every day is a struggle for her. She says she feels like she is just going through the motions to keep everybody else happy but inside,she is torn apart.

      You are grieving and there will be many stages to that,hurt,anger,blame, every emotion you will feel at some point. You are allowed to feel all you need to feel for as long as it's there. Don't question or analyse your feelings. Try and accept that this is how you feel today because you are grieving.

      There is a point to carrying on but it's very understandable that you are not feeling that yet. Moving forward will happen at a pace your mind thinks you can cope with. 

      You have been through so much. Allow yourself time to heal. It won't happen overnight but a time will come when you look upon your life with your husband with fondness instead of pain. You will never forget but you will evolve because that's what our minds are trained to do.

      I came upon the COPD forum by accident. I am in the support group for depression and anxiety. I am so glad I came here. You may not think it but you are amazing and strong and inspirational xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, it is such a relief to pour out your feelings to someone who understands.  We have, or I have a  massive German Shepherd dog , he was my husbands best friend and companion and that helped my husband a lot as he would not leave his side. They loved each other to bits, I fed him and did the mundane things for him, but my husband sat with him on the sofa day in and day out.  A week ago he  cut  his paw on  broken glass some louts had thrown away and I took him to the vets for it stitching. I have had to take him back today to the emergency hospital as it got infected and he has now got a lampshade around his neck,  on antibiotics and painkillers and banging into everything as there is not much room for him without the lampshade, never mind with it on.  It is like the dodgems in the house at the moment, he is walking into everything, poor little lad.  I have been crying today as I cannot do with my big bear being ill as well. 
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    • Posted

      Bless your heart. Hope he's feeling better soon. I'm animal mad too.

      I had four cats but had to rehome them all when I came to stay with my sister 12 week ago. Breaks your heart when they are hurt.

      xx

      And anytime you need a chat,I'm here. Just poor it all out. I really don't mind xx

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