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Still In Denial


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I lost my husband Jim 5 months ago on Jan. 8, 2012 after 2 months in the hospital. Jim had a major stroke on Nov. 14th and soon after had his 5th heart attack, kidnet failure, developed pneumonia and was put on a ventilator. He was sedated for the first two weeks and that had a trach. The doctors only gave him a 5% chance of survival. So I began to prepare for him dying. After about 1 month he woke up, started talking, joking around and was a little like his old self. He was on a feeding tube, blind in his left eye and completely paralyzed on his left side, but he was getting better. He no longer needed dialysis and seemed to be getting stronger.He was then scheduled to be discharged to rehab on Jan. 3rd. On December 30th he had trouble breathing, had another heart attack and was put back on the vent. By this time he had been transferred out of ICU into a regular room (which I had a big fight with the hospital) but they said he didn't need ICU anymore and insurance wouldn't pay. Then on Jan.5th he developed flash pulmonary edema and his kidneys stoppred functioning. The doctors said that he had a small chance of survival and my children and I decided to take him off the vent. He lived for two more days. The guilt I feel is so intense that it really hurts my heart. Everyone tells me I did what he would have wanted because he would not have wanted to live in a wheelchair, on a feeding tube and posssibly on a vent the rest of his life and his heart was only working at 15%. I know all this in my head but it has not reached my heart yet. After 5 months I am still very much in denial that he is gone.

Sheryl

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Sheryl,

Those early months are so difficult. It is very hard to get our minds around what has happened. The months preceding your husband's death were a roller coaster of emotion as you watched your husband seem to get better, argued with the hospital, dealt with your fears and so much more. That is all very exhausting and shocking. Frankly, I barely remember the first four months after Bill's death. It takes time for us to "get it" as it violates all we have known and all we want. I am so sorry for your loss.

I understand guilt but in reality the decisions you made seem so appropriate and your children agreed with you. I think most of us have wrestled with guilt...not doing enough, not doing it right, on and on. We want the best for our partners and death never feels like the best.

You are in my thoughts and prayers,

Mary

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Hi Sheryl,

My beloved man passed away on Feb. 19th, so I am just shy of 4 months. I understand the guilt, and grief which comes with the choices and decisions that you had to make. It is all still so raw, isn't it? I think the best advice I have gotten is be kind to yourself. Time is the healer and it seems to play games sometimes. I feel better and then I feel horrible. I still find myself expecting to see him come through the door - as it sounds like you do as well. I am certainly not a therapist, but I think all the things you are feeling are normal and natural and part of the grief process. It is hard, however, to know this unless you have been through it before...and who wants to go through that.

Peace to your heart,

DeAnne

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Sheryl, You of all people would make the very best possible situation for your husband for YOU are the one who wanted to keep him around but you selflessly made the best choice for HIM, not yourself, and for that, you can be proud. My husband would not have wanted to stick around as an invalid, dependent on me, and his quality of life so greatly diminished, either. I'm sorry you lost your husband, and sorry we're in a health care system that makes determinations based on money instead of our loved one's best interest. Please keep coming here, if we have to go through something like this, at least we have company here with others that understand and have been through it.

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DeAnne,

I am sorry to hear you lost your husband too. Seven Father's Days ago today I lost my husband as well. I didn't see how I would live without him, but somehow I am still here. I am listening to the birds singing outside and it reminds me that no matter what is going on in our lives, or how unthinkable it might be, life is a cycle that continues. It took me a long time to realize that.

You sound like you have a real positive attitude and it will aid you tremendously in this walk no one wanted to join.

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To all my new friends,

thank you for your support and kind words. I know talking to others in the same situation really helps and where no judges you or says inappropriate and hurtful things helps on this very hard journey. Yes thereare ups and downs, usually more downs especially at night when the house is empty and so quiet. I try to keep busy during the day. I was retired and decided to go back to work part time so that really helps especially I work where my husband worked and the support of the people there is overwhelming and so helpful. They talk about Jim and help keep his memory alive for me. I even laugh sometimes. I have a new granddaughter who is 8 months old and was born 6 weeks before Jim got sick so he got to see and hold her for those 6 weeks. She looks just like him and has his mannerisms so I believe that he is part of her.

I still believe at times that he is still going to come home but as the weeks go back I guess reality is setting in and I feel sometimes the sadness and hurt are getting worse not better. I know this is all normal and part of the journey but it is confusing and maddening because I still don't understand why all of this has happened. I realize through therapy that some questions never get answered. Right now I still can not accept that.

Speak to you all soon.

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I think part time work sounds perfect, it gets you out but allows you to have other days to decide for yourself and spend time with your grandbaby. I'm glad you have a supportive work environment, I find it helps if people talk about my husband. It was hard for me when my old job went under and I got a new job, they're all young and don't have a clue what it's like and they never knew him.

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Sheryl, I'm so very sorry for your loss and I can relate with you still being in denial. I think I'm doing somewhat better than I go back to feeling horrible. The love of my life needed a vent. at one point and he didn't believe in having one so that was one of the worst nights at the hospital not knowing if he would make it or not. Luckily he made it through that night and I had a few months more with him. I understand the guilt you are feeling but know you and your family agreed on the decision and I'm certain Jim would not want to continue to live that way. My thoughts are with you.

Missing Him

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I think talking to people who have been in this place is much better. I love all my friends, but they can not understand what I have been through and I am sure they get tired of my grief (even if they say they don't). I am a teacher and was so busy until late May, now I am finding myself with too much time on my hand. I think working or being productive also helps a lot. I planted a patio container garden, which is something thing Charles had talked about us doing this summer. I try to stay busy. I worry, however, that I am just pushing my grief under. Sheryl, do you do something as a hobby? I am a photographer and found that while I am just going through the motions of normal, it is becoming more normal.

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Dear Sheryl, my experience is very similar to your own (see my earlier posts) a nd I so much relate to what you say. I too am still in denial and to be honest I want to stay there as whenever I confront the real world and believe my tee has truly gone I can't find a way to carry on. I don't yet believe he won't come back to me as our love is so strong I feel he wouldn't leave me. Hiw stupid and unrealistic is that? I have found this site so helpful in making me know I am not alone.

Jan

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Dear Jan,

How you feel about tee is definately not stupid or unrealistic. When people tell me that I have to accept what happened and go on I usually tell them that they have no idea what they are talking about. Even people who have lost a spouse don't know how feel. Grief is so personal and everyone handles it differently. A couple of weeks after Jim died I was looking for a site like this and I ending up on a forum called the light and beyond. I did not realize it was from England. I know wanted to find a site the was from this country. Where do you live? I live in Goshen, new york. I thought if I made friends with people on this site we could call each other as well as communicate on the forum. I try very hard to Jimto keep busy during the day but there are some days I just want to stay in bed. The nights are the worst, but I talk to Jim all the time (and sometimes yell as well). Keep in touch.

Sheryl

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