I joined a LDS widow group by invitation from a sister in the ward who lost her husband rather suddenly. They were married 7 years. We were married 6 on this Earth. It is a good place to talk and get empathy, but it also stirs up a lot of old (I guess not really that old, only 3 months old) memories.
I have felt really, really bad about your hospital experience. I have felt bad about the way you were cared for. Someone asked me if it was because of your disabilities, and I have to say yes. When someone thinks, because of your disability, that they should make decisions on your behalf because you are ‘impaired,’ and those decisions end up causing you severe pain and even death, then yes. I have to believe that their inability to deal with you as if you were another fully functioning adult male cost you your life.
I know you hated the hospital. You even cried. They wouldn’t feed you because of your stomach pains, and in the end, they stuck a tube down your nose and you were constantly gagging – incredibly thirsty (because they wouldn’t give you water either) and so hungry that you said you just wanted jello so bad, and cried because you knew you wouldn’t get it.
I wish I could go back. I wanted to give you water the Tuesday before you died, but I thought that the hospital knew what they were doing. I wish I had given you water. I wish things hadn’t been so bad. If I had knew how truly bad they were, I would have fought harder, of course. But I thought you’d come back home. I really did.
Before your lungs collapsed, you said something about “if I die,” so you must have felt things were really going wrong by that point. And you did die a little more than 12 hours after that. I thought you were just being paraoid and a little pessimistic because you had been in the hospital 3 times at that point, and never got better. Even the pain meds weren’t strong enough.
I wish I knew what really happened. I know you went in for what the hospital called “pancreatitus,” but they treated that, toook your gall bladder out and you still had the same symptoms as you did before you went into the hospital. I don’t think you died of an abscess due to gall bladder surgery, like the death certificate says. I think whatever you went in for they missed, and it killed you. I don’t know what it was, and obviously the doctors didn’t either. Your surgeon even told me on the day you died that he had “no idea” what was wrong and that the attempt to drain the abscess revealed it wasn’t a normal abscess at all. It might not have been an abscess from your surgery.
I just wish things had gone better. That your passing would have been easier. That I wouldn’t have doubted you so much. I wish I hadn’t got mad at you that Saturday for waking me up with vomiting. I wish I hadn’t left on your birthday when they moved you to ICU — but they wouldn’t let me sit in the room with you. They kept me in the dark. They didn’t say you were dying. They said you were ‘seriously ill.’
I thought you’d come home, even then. If I knew you weren’t coming home, I would have stayed. I would have demanded they let me hold your hand, or foot or SOMETHING. I wouldn’t have left your side.
I just didn’t know…
I still say “I’m so sorry,” whenever I think about what happened at the hospital. And I am. Maybe you are fine with everything now, but I’m still so sorry…