Day 0

From iGeek
< Grief
GriefDay 0
Melissa wanted to go, I had to do that for her. Knowing this didn't make it better/easier.
Melissa wanted to go, but It was over. I knew that. She'd begged me to let her go while there was still much more hope -- but the odds for a better quality of life had evaporated, so I had to fight it for her, even knowing the loss I was causing. So we drugged her up, took her off everything, and let her fight to the end. Bye bye babe, the world and I lost someone special.
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Created: 2023-03-23 
  • Stop the suffering The day of her death, I had a purpose; end her suffering. We all die, she couldn't take any more, there was no good path out, so (with the Hospitals help), I could help her die in her sleep (on happy drugs), with her Mom and me by her side (crying our eyes out), telling her how much we (and everyone) loved her. It took 7 hours, but at 11:52 they called it. The last words I got to say to her while she was conscious, was "You know I Love You more than anything in the world, right babe?" She looked at me, blinked once. and squeezed out a tear. She knew she was dying, and that I loved her.
  • It didn't happen the way I thought it would (or the way the movies show) with everything just going flat. Earlier, she was stopping breathing for 30 seconds or a minute, her SpO2 (Oxygen in blood) would start crashing, then she'd gasp up to the 90s again. I thought she'd go by just forgetting to breath until her heart stopped. But after an hour her breathing was regular and was having none of that easy exit. Many hours later her heart stopped beating, but the ECG line kept sending signals. Then blood pressure crashed from 44/22 or so, to 8/8, and she kept breathing the whole time. Then that stopped, and I watched the color in her face drain to white. Then 30 seconds or a minute later, she breathed once. (After death). Then a minute, and one more gasp. She wanted to go, but didn't want to give up her life.
  • Life is for the living
  1. The nurse listened for her heart. Called in the doctor, who called it.
  2. The love of my life had just passed, turned white while I watched, and was gone.
  3. But life goes on for the rest of us. Now what?
  4. I had the supreme indignity of living. I had to put all her things that no longer mattered on a cart, and push them out to my car.
  5. While walking out with Mary, I said, "She broke the deal, Husbands are supposed to die before wives". Mary replied, "Mothers are supposed to die before their daughters". I cried. She wins.
  6. The best marriages end with one person heartbroken... I'm glad she isn't feeling what I'm feeling. But sad that she's not the one alive. I prayed to take me instead, don't take her light from the world. Not that I don't love life. I just have this undertone of I've had a good life, and she's touched and brightened more lives than I will. I'm a good person... but she was a better one.
  7. While walking out, I told Mary that "in some ways, I'd wished Melissa had just passed while running. This was a long harder path for her. But she got to see her friends, and feel how many loved her and doted on her, and see what a little fighter and spirit she was (even in a broken body). Mary got to mother her again for 3 1/2 weeks." I'm not sure I wanted Melissa to have to pay that price for that reward, but I'm not exactly sad about it either. Melissa lived her life, and exited it, scrappy, stubborn, and she did it her way.
The boy who knew too much?

I knew too much medically about what was happening (I think).

  1. Her heart rate was 46, but in tachycardia and doing 200 plus BPM. Her heart was running the fucking marathon of her life. Her low BP was causing her body to gasp and try to oxygenate. Whether her soul wanted to go, her body was fighting so fucking hard.
  2. As your BP drops, your heart rate goes up to compensate -- since her rate is low, her heart just flutters -- but her flutters in rhythm, and still manages to work. (It freaked her doctors out). It looks like it's beating at 46, but it's doing 4 or 5 flips per beat, and for some reason, it works for her. She could run a 1/2 marathon with it being at 200.
  3. Her body lasted 7+ hours. Even the nurse came in and said, "her heart is so strong"... and so big. Literally and figuratively. (She had an enlarged heart, in both ways).
  4. The Hospital, had forgot about her pacemaker/defib, and I had to ask them to shut them off (that took hours to get the tech to do, because the "magnet" didn't deactivate it, like they thought). If they hadn't of shut it off, she probably would have lasted much longer.
  5. I asked them to take out the vent for partly the same reason -- but mostly because she hated the vent and could breath on her own. I couldn't let even her last subconscious thoughts being, "please get this fucking vent out".
  6. I was killing my baby... but she had begged me for it, she was going to die anyways. Once that's innevitable, I was going to do it as mercifully as I could. I asked for pain/relaxation meds as often as they would let me. If they left me the morphine around, I would have helped her day-drink herself to peace.
There's an even darker alternative. Engineers think through ALL possibilities. It's kinda how our brains work. So I'd modelled the worst case scenario the first night they told me she might be brain dead.
  1. My nightmare was simple: she's in pain and she can't come close to having the life she wants (can't remember people, can't see, is in diapers and immobile), but she still has enough brain to know she is tortured and is begging me to make it stop.
  2. My choices are to either (a) watch her suffer and ignore her pleas (b) put her in a home so I didn't have to see it (c) give her the peace she begged for.
  3. Well, both a and b were beyond my ability. And c left me with the choice of going to prison for killing her or going with her. I'm not suicidal, but if those were the only choices left, then while I think Romeo and Juliet were fools, I couldn't let her suffer, and I wasn't going to prison (or going to try to poison her, etc). If you're going to torture her to death, you're going to have to take me out. So in nightmare land, the choice was clear. Fortunately, that choice never came to pass.
  4. When she first said "I'm done... please just take me home, let me see my lake, and take me out", my heart was a little broken at how bad it was for her, but I chuckled a little because she was so far above the mental and physical disabilities of my nighmares. She started getting mad (thought I was minimizing her pain), but I explained all the progress she was making, and that she could get her life back -- it would just take a month of hard work ("Julie told us so"). Her sight could get better and we could get devices to help, I was setting up accessibility for her iPad/iPhone so she could use them without seeing them, she wasn't going to be bed-ridden, the pain would go away (God, I was praying it was going to go away or controllable via medication), I promised her I would not let her suffer, but truth be told with her likely physical abilities, I probably wouldn't be ablt to stop her if she was in permanent pain. She trusted me, started doing the work, and was progressing gloriously.
  5. Her friend Mandy, had later scolded Melissa for asking that of me, "You expect your Husband to go to prison?" But I think Melissa knew by then, that either I wouldn't let her suffer, or she could make her own decisions when she got home. She didn't have to ask it of me. I knew. I risked my life stopping crimes against strangers -- I like to think I would give mine to stop torturing my wife.
  6. Underlying all the grief I feel (and it's a lot), is a tiny bit of survivors guilt that sepsis was better for both of us than the worst case alternative. But I also know in my heart, that I was doing the best I could for her. 32 years earned her all the loyalty that I have to give.
  7. A lot of people say things like that's so hard, but it's the right thing to do. And both are true. It was SO hard, because there's always a 0.1% chance that with enough breaks/miracles, she might have lived, and gotten her life back (or found a new quality of life). So the thought, "you gave up on her" is something that never go away completely. But there's the much louder voices of reason saying, "if the shoe were on the other foot, you would have begged her to do what you did for her", and I know she was begging me for the same. So I have comfort of knowing that my job was to be her advocate. And I was the best husband I could be, through to the end.


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02/18 my wife had a 2023_Heart_Attack, and passed away on 03/22/23; the hardest day of my life. Except for the ones after it.

Tags: Grief

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