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my husband is critically ill, i am terrified

(378 Posts)
lemontruffles Tue 01-Jan-13 04:38:00

My husband has severe copd (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and yesterday had a severe exacerbation. This means he couldn't breathe properly and is now in hospital.

He is on a ventilator, and not responding well to this treatment after about 40 hours on the ventilator. I am utterly terrified.

I've come home to try to sleep, but can't.

He is only 61. He is terrified too. I simply can't think straight and am in a new and appalling world where nothing is right and everything is terrifying. I can't stop shaking with fear. Please hold my hand.

coocachoo Mon 05-Aug-13 11:01:29

i have been reading about your sad time i send you lots of love and prayers i lost both my parents at 11 my dear brother recently he dide in my arms your heartache will ease in time please be strong and live for your family and support eachother you are all hurting bless you. xx

dippymother Thu 14-Feb-13 18:03:32

I have been reading this post having been away from MN for a long time, and felt I had to say how sorry I am for your loss. Your DH sounds a wonderful man as you do too.

I lost my DH four years ago when I was in my 40s and my DCs were 16 and 18. It's been a difficult journey but with support from family, friends and a local bereavement group, we have come a long way from those early dark days. Accept as much support as you want, even trying counselling etc. I was cynical about counselling but it has helped tremendously, even if I didn't think so at the time.

On a practical note, I received Bereaved Parent's Allowance, as my DD was below 18, which I believe you should qualify for. Also there was a £2000 bereavement payment to help with funeral costs - presume that's still available.

Be kind to yourself, time is a great healer but no-one can tell you how much time you need - everyone is different. Feelings of guilt, shock, acceptance are all common and normal.

Thinking of you.

coxspippin Wed 13-Feb-13 18:16:02

i am sorry for your loss and send you my love; take all the kindness and care from your dear friends and family- i'm sure you are doing.

PavlovtheCat Wed 06-Feb-13 18:59:59

I am late to this, but wanted to add my thoughts to you and hope you continue to have support around you x

honey86 Tue 29-Jan-13 00:27:58

omg�� im so sorry about your loss... it always breaks my heart to see others go through this... my partner and kids dad died suddenly 4 years ago, so i know just how heartbreaking it is. its indescribable. i wont lie, its the worst thing ive ever been through. no one can even fathom the pain and the grief until theyve been thru it. the next few months will be the hardest, with arrangements etc, then anniversaries, but gradually you will find ways of dealing with it... people say that over time youll get over it but u dont, but you learn to live with it, and adapt.....
i never imagined i could get thru the week after it happened let alone four years. but i did, and here i am.
i wont preach about what to do now as everyone grieves differently but my advice would be:
give yourself time and credit- this is one heck of a heartbreak, and theres no right or wrong way to grieve. you need time and whatever space to process all of it.

look after yourself- i found this tricky, as the last thing i gave a toss about at the time was food or hot baths. but to get through the unbearable times, body and mind needs replenishment.

take whatever help/support is available- this really got me through the worst bits, im sure i wouldve gone into meltdown had i not have accepted the chicken sandwich and cuddle from my friend. and when you feel ready, cruse bereavement support is good. it took until xmas just gone for me to finally have bereavement counselling but im glad i did.

the lady asked me if i had the choice to erase all memory of my partner to avoid the pain of the grief. i said no, simply because if i was to have taken that option, id never have the beautiful moments we experienced together, the good memories, funny times etc. id bear plenty more years of grief rather than lose that, the memories of the one person that blessed my life was worth the initial pain.

take special care, i wish you all the best xxx

chimchar Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:49


You sound like a wonderful, wonderful kind of spirit and beautiful within.

I'm glad that you are finding some comfort in the dark days from your lovely dh and his special gifts. X

MunchkinsMumof2 Tue 15-Jan-13 17:08:11

I think about you too lemontruffles and hope that your darling husband is sending you messages of love and support.

BellaVita Tue 15-Jan-13 07:55:47

Like Solo, I too love reading your words, you write so beautifully. Of course we don't mind you talking on here.

I think about you a lot Lemon and wonder how you are. Maybe it is because my own DH was in hospital from the 16th Dec till the 5th Jan (he had a routine op on the 13th and on the weekend developed complications). Although I knew he wasn't going to die, he was very poorly, I felt so lost on my own during that time - we have been married 25 years and together 30. I was so thankful to get him home even though I feel like I am a constant nurse maid - he will be off work for some time recuperating.

Much love to you all x

Solo Mon 14-Jan-13 23:25:44

Big squeeeze lemon, I love reading your words, your life and your love.

lemontruffles Mon 14-Jan-13 23:17:23

Hello everyone.

It's been a while since I wrote on here, but I keep thinking about this thread and wanted to return.

jumpedup thank you for your typo! Spot on: Love on. Yes, that's the message smile

I've had such a strange time since my husband died, I hardly know what to make of it. Because of the extraordinary ways that he has communicated with me, when I'm able to hear him, when I'm in a quiet reflective place where I can hear what he's saying, it's hard to know whether he's here or whether not. Has he left? - well, he definitely has left physically - or not?

I miss his physical presence so badly. I wish I could hear his voice. I wish he could kiss me, and hug me like he'd never let me go. I wish he was just here in our house, and, well, here; just him, like normal, a bit grumpy, or a cheerful, or a bit worried, or encouraging, you know, just him, here, like normal. My children miss him this way. so do I. We all miss him.This hurts, and sometimes it hurts so badlly it's hard to keep going.

Yet he seems to have told me, somehow (how????) that he's in a wonderful place, full of love, full of joy. And flying. He's given me about 30 presents: this is no coincidence.

Everything of any significance that I have been given has been a gift, something given to me that I have needed to be able to receive when I am in a calm, quiet place inside me.

Honestly, if you met me, you'd be absolutely astonished that I'm saying these things. I am such a middle of the road kind of person! I live a quiet, happy life with my husband and kids. I work. I cook and clean (occassionally....) and sew and knit and read and write and dream a bit and a bit of gardening: I am a happy, quiet person. I am a bit cynical. I am aware that people are rationalizing, but not necessarily rational. I am quite silly. I dance madly when I've had a couple of drinks. I'm soooo ordinary.

Yet I've had an amazing, extraordinary, flying, wonderful love in my life, and that makes me amazing and that takes me beyond the ordinary: true love takes all of us beyond, and into something fantastic, don't you agree?

I have so many things I want to say, and I hope you don't mind me talking about them on here.

Today, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the blanket that is being made for me. It's another gift. For me, this gift represents not only something beautiful and particular and special about the love that my husband and i share, but it also represents something about the absolute best in human nature: benevolence, kindness, love, connection, generosity, thoughtfulness, mindfulness, altruism. Everthing that is good within us seems to be being woven into an actual, real object; this is astonishing and very beautiful and life enhancing and uplifting. All these things are being woven into something real, and I'm completely blown away by it.

I have good days, and hard days. I have found, in my times of troubles, that I live in world of love: from my real life friends, and my family, the support has been astonishing and wonderful. And I have also found that strangers understand things about me, because, do you know, people have the capacity to deeply understand and love and be benevolent, and act on this understanding.

Our lives can be soooo hard. Yet, they can also be utterly amazing: this is what I've found these last 2 weeks.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Fri 11-Jan-13 18:20:22

A beautiful testimony lemon - I will continue to think of you over the coming days/weeks/ months x

BellaVita Wed 09-Jan-13 15:35:53

LemonTruffles for you thanks xxx

lemontruffles Wed 09-Jan-13 11:58:00

Oh, and thank you to those people who have shared experiences similar to mine. I finding that it's hard to tell some other people about such unusual and strange and wondrous things because unless you've experienced something similar yourself, other people can wonder what you're talking about - I know I've been this person myself for most of my life.

There are definitely things beyond this world that we live in now. I don't know what they are, or how they are connected to us here, but it's a place where our souls go after death, and my husband has gone to a place which he has clearly told me is full of joy and love. He's also clearly told me not to try to find out where he is; I mustn't start speculating about the afterlife, it's dangerous and will drive me nuts; I can only accept that he's there, and in his celtic blessing he has reassured me that we will meet again.

I guess true love never dies, and in this I find hope and joy for the present and for the future.

lemontruffles Wed 09-Jan-13 11:49:58

Hello again. It's a very busy time, isn't it, after someone dies? Just so many details that have to be dealt with, they're the awkward, time consuming bits. I'm surrounded by lists, lists and more lists.

Thank you to everyone who has been so kind and thoughtful to me. I'm very tired at the moment, despite starting to sleep a bit better, and think I'm going to try to rest for a day or two so that I don't become ill.

I've been deeply consoled by my new belief that my husband is now in a different, happier place, although I still simply miss him being here with me, and chatting together, and laughing about all sorts of things, and so on, and that physical loss is going to take a long time to get over. But I'm certain that he is now in a joyful place full of love, where he isn't constrained any more by the terrible limitations of his physical body and the illness that slowly wrecked it. I don't know how to explain this, or where he is, just that he is there, and still loves me, and that all with be well in the end.

I'm going to end here, at least as far as this thread goes. I just want to say thank you to all the kind, generous people who have shown such benevolence and thoughtfulness and kindness to me during the darkest days I've had in my life; you have been a valuable part of the support and love that I've been shown, and I've realised an important lesson which is that people can be full of goodness even towards a stranger like me and that this goodness is at the heart of love.

Thumbwitch Wed 09-Jan-13 09:12:35

Just found your thread, Lemontruffles - so sorry to hear of your loss but your later posts are amazing - full of love and wonder, and the messages from your fantastic DH.

You will have ups and downs, of course, but I hope that your experiences are helping to support you through the dark times. xxx

MunchkinsMumof2 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:24:04

How are you today lemontruffles? Have been thinking about you and hoping that you are ok.

t875 Tue 08-Jan-13 10:41:33

Thinking of you Lemontruffles, such a horrible time.

Hope you have got RL support for you and were here for you too. xx

I don't know if anyone mentioned this but when i lost my mum I phoned CRUSE 24 hour helpline a few times and they were great and im actually seeing them at the moment, after losing my mum so shockingly, literally she went to bed, I had a normal chat the day before laughing and joking then my mum who has been around me for 40 years had a massive stroke in her sleep and never woke up, the shock hit me hard around 6 months and i got very panicky and down, not depressed but wasnt feeling great.

So I thought I would try them and i'm glad I did it has been a real help to me and my dad is now going to see them in february after seeing me so positive about it.

PM me if you want to talk further.
hugs to you and thinking of you xx

JuliaScurr Tue 08-Jan-13 10:21:49

wine for later on

one day/hour at a time

MovingOnNow Mon 07-Jan-13 18:17:05

Hi Lemon. I hope you are doing okay. I wanted to tell you about something that happened to me. My dad died early in December. During his stay in hospital, we had had problems with my five year old son being clingy at bedtime and wanting to fall asleep on our bed. My son has special needs, probably autism, and we were going along with it. On the night my dad died, I was watching Katherine Jenkins in my room with said son lying next to me half asleep. All of a sudden, he started giggling and then he gave me a hug and looked straight into my eyes with a smile, bearing in mind eye contact isn't his strongest point. He then got up and went into his room. I followed him and he had got into his bed, so I turned out the light. He then said close the door so I did and as I did he said Goodnight mummy. This was the first time he had done this in months. I had a funny feeling as I had been with my dad in hospital in the afternoon and felt that he would be gone in the next few days. About an hour later, my sister phoned me to say that he had died. It was just such a strange thing. Also, when we visited my mum at home for first time, my son walked into their front room and came straight out and said Grandad's crying. I have no idea if these things have significance or not, but I quite like the feeling it gave me. Also years ago, I was driving home with my older son and he suddenly burst out laughing and giggled all the way home, he was just a bubba and quite a serious baby really. When I arrived home my mum phoned and told me my aunt had gone. Several times after that, I found my son playing peek a boo in his cot with an imaginary friend. I hadn't seen my aunt in years and in the end I visited her grave with flowers and said right I've been to see you now, can you pack it in with the spookies cos you're freaking me out! I remember telling a friend this story and she looked at me like I was bonkers. Maybe I am, but generally I am cynical and practical! Have a good evening. I know how much my mum is struggling at the moment.

ssd Mon 07-Jan-13 16:52:25

hi lemon, he'll come back to you again and you'll know, you'll feel him again....but I think sometimes they are away to where they are now and you just feel lost at these times....and these times are desperate, I know.

have so much to say, but don't want to sound weird, am thinking of you and relating to so much of what you're saying


Lemonylemon Mon 07-Jan-13 15:26:52

lemon Thinking of you. These early days are dark and very, very tough. Just one hour at a time. Don't worry about anything else apart from just getting through. You will do it.

The merry widow website is a great place in the early days.

From another lemon who has been there.....

JuliaScurr Mon 07-Jan-13 11:25:20

Hey lemon
hope it's a bit easier now
you will be up and down for a while
take good care of yourself, like we all would if we could be with you
one day at a time

AmberLeaf Mon 07-Jan-13 10:20:00

So sorry for your loss Lemon.

I've been very moved reading your posts about your husband.

The love is palpable.

flowers xXx

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 07-Jan-13 09:55:57

The signs that he has sent to you are making me grin, even the slug! Your love is so deep that it knows no boundaries.

As today has dawned, your journey will be difficult and have its up and downs but underneath all of that you still have your love. That will never go.

Your posts and beautiful and written with such tenderness, I hope that writing is helping you to come to terms with your loss and make sense of these amazing happenings.


MunchkinsMumof2 Mon 07-Jan-13 08:51:28

Good morning lemon, I can imagine that waking is hard as you have the momentary feeling that all is well before you remember but your husband is willing you not just to exist but to live and by that I mean find some comfort from his lovely signs and the reignited memories of his fun personality. Have sweet tea, wrap up warm and sit where he would and watch the birds. You are going so well, your heart is broken and yet you write so movingly and beautifully about your wonderful husband. Allow yourself some pride for that alone.

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