need help--husband died at home - page 5
Hi, First of all, let me say I am a 39 year old nursing student and on Sunday, March 11, my husband died. This may be a long post so please bear with me. You see, I have been beating myself up over... Read More
Mar 20, '07:icon_hug: Dear Pam
I am just checking in on you.
I pray you are able to let go of your doubts etc and were able to speak to someone about your fears/doubts.
I wish you strength and love at this sad time in your life.
Just try to let go of all the 'yucky' stuff and be there for your children.
If I could hug you I would. I found the hug so there you go.
SabbyLast edit by Sabby_NC on Mar 20, '07
Mar 20, '07I am sooooo sorry.
First, it sounds like you did EVERYTHING you could possibly do.
Second, most Diabetics never experience chestpain due to neuropathy.
When you have someone who's physical body has had some much going on, it is really hard to say what really occurred. I know that Type 2 Diabetics are considered cardiac risk factors BEFORE they even have noticable cardiac complications like HTN and hyperlipidemia. So their risk factor goes up when they get the complications.
This is going to be a really hard thing to live through with your kids. Your kids watching the situation will know you did what you could, would have seen that everyone tried to help dad, but you both will have things you will want to work through. I really recommend grief support for yourself, for your kids, and for your teen. I work with kids in these situations and they really experience help and support when they are connected with other kids who have lost a parent and been through a traumatic situation.
Give yourselves time to work through it, but don't go it alone. Again, it sounds like you did what you could do and your husband's body had a lot of burden on it that couldn't have been overcome. If it isn't to late, did you order an autopsy? Sometimes you can get an answer for what caused his death. I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.-kimmercris, arnp
Mar 20, '07I am very sorry to hear about your husband. you did everything you could but it's hard not to beat yourself up. My husband died 2 years ago and I used to think I was a terrible nurse because I could not save him. Looking back there was nothing I could have done either as he was very ill but it was still sooner than anyone expected. Please take care of yourself and your children.
Mar 20, '07oh my what you must be going through. Please know you are in my prayers too. My husband is my best friend too, and I think replaying everything in your mind is perfectly normal. although I have never been through anything like this. I replay silly things in my mind that shouldn't even matter, but let alone something like this. you are brave and did everything you could-
Mar 20, '07My thoughts, prayers, and hugs go out to you. Please see someone to talk your feelings out. Be good to yourself.
Mar 20, '07I hope that with the time involved and the caring and compassion from friends and family near and here you are doing as well as can be expected.
I hope you have found that someone or just here to talk with and be assured that you did what was needed, but it was his time and he was ill.
I am sure that you can now look back and even though you did not get to say goodbye like you wanted, you said he was your best friend and I am sure he knew this.
That is why we must live every day like it may be our last and without regret.
Comforting thoughts for you and yours from another nurse that would probably beat herself up as much as you have done.
Mar 21, '07Dear Pam and Sons,
I am so sorry about your loss. Nothing anyone can say will truly help. I know. Only time helps alittle, as the grief will fade. My daughters, 4 and 10 at the time, shared a similar loss. My son was stillborn. I truly believe my girls are stronger women for sharing this grief. I am glad your boys were able to see what YOU COULD DO, and that what they saw will be part of them forever. Put your shoulders back and know that you could not have done anymore more than what you did, because hear me... You would have. Please try to include your children in talking about what they saw. And try to share with them how you feel about what happed, and what you were able to do. They stood by in a terrible experience. They need to know that however they reacted to their loss, was perfectly ok. That their feelings be validated, and expressed, (maybe they will grow up to be a nurse or paramedic?) And that it is ok to be angry. I know it is. God Bless.
Mar 21, '07pyseymo,
I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds to me like you did everything in your power to help you husband. He may never have had any rhythm other than fine v-fib or asystole.
I hope you have a lot of support around you. Please take care of those two kids and know that our thoughts and prayer are with you.
Mar 21, '07Thanks everyone for all your kind words and prayers. Just an update for everyone---my husband was an organ donor and I was contacted shortly after arriving back home from the hospital after his death by LifeLink of Fl. They said they could still use his corneas and skin tissue and bone tissue, so this made me feel really like one positive thing came out of this! Because of his health, I didn't think any donation would be possible.
My sons and I will be getting some counseling through Hospice starting next week. I will also be able to return to nursing school Monday the 26th although childcare may be an issue at times. My instructor is bending over backwards to keep me in school- she's a super lady!
Again thanks for all the prayers and support! Pam
Mar 21, '07First Pam I want to send out my condolences to you and yours. Im really sorry for your loss and have been through a similar situation. 5 years ago I found my dad in bed Im assuming had passed at that point. (hx of 2 heart attacks years ago) He stayed home sick from work with jus a cough or so and hours later I came home to find him in a horrible state. This was before I started nursing school at 17 and had no idea how to help him. I started CPR called 911 went to get a neighbor and everything and couldnt do anything. The paramedics sent me dowstairs they didnt want me to see him be shocked and told me mins later that he had been dead for hours. I guess I will never know what happened or if I could have helped him but I do know now that I did everything I could. I even blamed myself and thought pound on someones chest taht is havin a MI is that nuts?? But after everything learned that was ALL i COULD do.
I have to admit that it was the scariest site EVER and I wont even get into details of what I saw but I hope that as a soon to be nurse in MAY that I will be able to help someone in that position next time around. I definitely did not take the grieving time that I needed and rather tended to my mom who also lost her best friend so unexpectedly. But that got me nothing but severe anxiety years later. So I can offer advice that you NEED to talk to someone and take care of yourself ASAP. If you need to talk to someone who does get it, PM me dont hesitate!!! I will keep you in my prayers
Mar 22, '07I lost my husband, too, quite suddenly for me just over 7 years ago. I was only 38 at the time, and the children were 2 and 5 years old at the time. I haven't yet had the time to read all the encouraging words sent to you in these past 7 pages, but just wanted you to know that I've been there (as for the loss... my husband hemorraged here at home with me by his side, just weeks after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.) Anyhow... I can surely understand all the after-thoughts you might have, and all the sleepless nights where visions of the last moments keep running through your head. If you ever want to, feel free to email me. I'll gladly give you my regular email.
God bless you and your children,
Mar 22, '07This is a late reply and I hope you see it.
This is the hardest lesson every nurse and doc needs to learn: even when we do everything right, we can't save every patient. No matter how we wish for good outcomes on everybody and no matter how hard we work on saving them, it's just not going to happen.
You did everything right. He was probably gone instantly. He was certainly gone when the paramedics got there.
Stop beating yourself up. You did everything right. Find a grief counselor if you can't stop reliving this and obsessing over every single second. It can save your life.
Mar 24, '07I think most people, even non-medical people go through those feelings of "is there something else I could have done". And it seems to hit harder when you are in the medical field. Realistically we know we did all we could, but emotionally those feeling can go on for a very long time. Just keep reminding yourself that you did what was possible for you to do but there was likely nothing , nothing that could have changed the outcome. And that includes if he had been in the hospital already when this occured.
Was there an autopsy? The actual cause of death might help.
My younger brother was found dead by my dad early one morning. My sister and I (both RN's) were called to the house and we found that he had been dead for several hours. (It was determined probably 2 hours at the least) Crazy as it sounds, I went through 5 years of periodically asking myself, "Why didn't you just go ahead and do CPR so you would know for sure?" Rationally I could tell myself those thoughts didn't make sense, but my heart wouldn't listen.
Maybe you could talk to his attending physician. Sometimes to find out and understand what happened can ease things for you.
In the end, what you are feeling is so normal and to be expected and you will work your way through it in your own time. I am so sorry for what you and your children have gone through. Like someone else already said, it was his time. Even though that doesn't help you one bit right now, maybe later on it will provide you with some comfort.(((hug))