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My wife

#1
I know I am a relatively new member here, and I have hardly been here at all since my wife went into the hospital again a month ago or more. I feel the need to share this, so here goes although I realize I'm not including the long story of how it got to this point...

Here is what happened to Michelle. She was fine when I saw her in the physical rehab center (a nursing home) on Wednesday night. Thursday afternoon I went to visit her there and her room was bare. I then found out that she had been sent to Riverside Hospital's ER just a few blocks away because they couldn't get a reading on her blood pressure (too low to read). This was the second time the nursing home had to send her back to the ER. They say they tried to call me, but once I got to talk to Michelle she thought she was sent around 1 PM, and I was awake and never heard the phone ring once, nor did they leave a message so they must not have tried too hard.

I went to the ER and although she wasn't great, she was conscious but in pain (chronic pain she gets from laying on her back - she lays on her side at home and can't do that in hospital beds). I got them to give her some pain medicine and after that she slept heavily. After an hour or more since she was resting I decided to leave, but I wasn't really able to communicate that to Michelle because I could only get her attention long enough for her to close her eyes back again. In retrospect, I think it's possible she was already having a stroke, or had a stroke, but that's probably just a "what-if" that I can't help thinking about, and it was probably solely the pain medicine.

The nurse told me that it was a different medicine they had given her at the nursing home for trying to control her atria fibrillation which greatly lowered her blood pressure, and which was about the fourth or fifth drug over the past several months that had been tried on her without success. Her blood pressure fluctuated but it was actually high while I was there.

Early Friday afternoon I was getting ready to leave to visit her again when a doctor called and said that they believed she was having a stroke but that neither they nor OSU Hospital had a CAT scan that would accommodate her size, and that they would move her to the ICU soon. Her blood thinness (called INR) was through the roof at 16. Normal is 1.0. The only conclusion they could make was that she was bleeding in her brain. They were also very worried about her kidneys. Through her catheter they had collected zero or near-zero urine since yesterday, and had even changed out the catheter just in case it wasn't right the first time.

The doctor then asked me about hers and my wishes for the future possibility of putting a breathing tube down her throat, and also about dialysis. To both after a brief thought I said "Yes", although I was truly only answering that because I wasn't ready to say "No" yet or especially over the phone without a face to face dialog.

Michael (her nephew) and Tony (her son) met me at the hospital and the doctor went over the details of the possibility of a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. I then answered that no, she did not want to have heroic measures taken to prolong her life. Since her eight months in a nursing home in 2001, her greatest fear was of another extended stay in a hospital and nursing home. Michael and Tony completely agreed. The doctors had also said that if she did get a breathing tube, it would be very hard to get her back off of it, and at the least she would most probably for the rest of her life have a tube through her neck for breathing. She would not want that.

I hadn't let anyone know before this point that Michelle had indicated to me several weeks ago that she wanted it to be over. I was able to encourage her after that and helped her be strong enough to start eating again (which she hadn't for a week) and get back on the road to recovery.

Back in the ICU, while we were waiting with Michelle her breathing started to take 10 second breaks once every few minutes. Then later there was 25 seconds for her to take another breath. At that point we could easily notice a steady drop in her breathing rate on her monitor. When it got down to about 17 a minute then her heart rate noticeably started decreasing and at that point I found it extremely difficult to look at the monitor for long because it was so apparent that this was a count down of her dying, and I couldn't bear it, but I didn't have long to wait at all.

I didn't know it would be so quick. I loved her and she loved me and we had some high points in our 16 years together. I can't believe that I'm not going to hear her voice again. This hurts so bad.
 

tdinc

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#9
My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family edor. God bless you all at this tough time and always..........
 

gonaads

Beware the G-Man
Political User
#19
Damn that sucks. I am sorry to hear this. I hope you and your family get through this and stay strong, always keep her memory stong in your hearts and minds.

I have my Mom in a Convalescent Home and I in a way understand the situation of that unknow moment when it all comes at you. I had to confront all that just before I had to put her in the home 2 years ago, She had a 24 hour window and she pulled through. Then I had to put her where she is now. I also have a DNR order on my Mom, but she is 94 and her quality of life is at the basis of that decision. I really feel for you and what you had to go through. It's a though road but as long as you remember her, not sadly but with a smile and some laughter, it will be OK.
 

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