Page 2 | Update on 'What would anyone else do'

(46 Posts)
needahug57 Tue 15-Jul-14 20:47:42

I went to see him and after the initial shock as he is so very very pale, I'm so glad that I did. I think apart from wanting to see him one last time I needed to know that it's definitely him as the last time I saw him was in Spain. I've told my boys that I've been and told them what to expect if they decide to see him. They haven't made up their minds yet.
Thank you for all your help and advicexx

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Leakingwellies Fri 01-Aug-14 08:14:47

Thank you for your kind thoughts xxx This forum is a life line for me. Mum still poorly but I honestly think she will be ok. Maybe I just don't want to face the truth but I can't contemplate her not getting better. One day at a time.

I will post again later as my dogs won't leave me alone because it's time for a walk. Just wanted to check in and say im thinking of you xx

needahug57 Fri 01-Aug-14 21:53:09

Oh that's good news. I've been thinking about you. Life really is awful sometimes isn't it. I've been babysitting today for my baby granddaughter who's an absolute joy I'm just so sad that I'm doing it alone.
This week on my own really for the first length of time since my husband died has given me chance to think things through and just maybe I'm realising what's happened. I've cried a lot but then I've needed to.
I got the probate done yesterday, hopefully I've filled out the forms correctly. I'm was feeling quite proud of myself and then I started on my letter of complaint. I didn't get very far as I had a visitor but hopefully I'll get on with it tomorrow.
Has it sunk in with you yet or do you still feel he'll reappear as I do?
I've been more able to think clearly these last two days and I'm pretty sure his job was to blame. He had a highly stressful job and was incredibly stressed for many years. I even remember once telling him if he didn't stop being so stressed that his job would kill him. He'd taken early retirement nearly 4 years ago and had completely changed. Everyone told him how much younger and relaxed he looked and it's taken me until yesterday to remember what he used to be like. I think he'd had undiagnosed high blood pressure for many years and this will have caused the hardening of his arteries. I have a friend who has a son aged 29 who is taking medication for high blood pressure and I now wonder if his could have gone back as long ago as that. His job was certainly stressful back then. I suppose I'm hoping this is the case although I'll never know because that would mean that his dad's early death and his are unrelated and our boys won't be at risk. They're both going to be monitored annually thankfully.
It's good to be able to talk to others in the same 'boat'. I'm shocked to find so many young women going through this. Why was I never aware before?
Hope your mum continues to improve XX

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Leakingwellies Wed 06-Aug-14 08:15:35

Hi I just wanted to let you know im still here. My mum is in a bad way in hospital but they are doing all they can. We have had so many discussions with doctors but the bottom line is I won't give up on her. she told one doctor she wanted to die but I refuse to accept she's near the end. So they are treating her still and re assessing every day. I will only accept it when we run out of options. I have to say the staff have been fantastic on the ward.

It was my son's birthday yesterday and what should have been a lovely day was so difficult. We cried a lot but we made the best of it. Another day looms and I am exhausted.

Im not much support at the minute but I am here and I am reading and I do care. Xx

needahug57 Wed 06-Aug-14 09:36:43

Oh I'm so so sorry for you all. I do hope your mum pulls through.
I was invited out for the day by my neighbours to an agricultural show today. I said I'd go then last night started to panic. I decided it was just too soon to try and be normal and for a whole day as well. They were taking their young grandchildren and I didn't want to spoil their day either. Anyway I thanked them for inviting me and to please invite me another time (my eldest son had told me to accept any invitations I get) but I just feel so relieved that I'm not going.
My thoughts are with you...we'll chat again soon xx

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Leakingwellies Mon 11-Aug-14 11:00:35

My mum died yesterday in hospital. It was very sudden. I am devastated xx hope you are feeling better xx

needahug57 Mon 11-Aug-14 16:29:34

Oh I'm so sorry lw. My heart goes out to you.
I had a bad day yesterday but met a friend for coffee today (nearly didn't go but glad I did) and feel a bit better. Well I did until I came back into the house and realised once more that Andrew's not here.
Sending you love
Anne xx

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needahug57 Fri 15-Aug-14 09:31:38

Thinking of you lw and hoping you're coping. It would have been Andrew's birthday yesterday. I got together with my boys and we looked at the photo album I've made.
It happened the other way round with me. I lost my dad at the end of 2012 and I was still trying to come to terms with it when my husband died.
I know how you're feeling XX

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MontserratCaballe Fri 15-Aug-14 09:41:42

Gosh, I am so sorry for your losses. Leaking, you poor darling, I am so sorry yo read about your mum as well. Life is very cruel and unfair sometimes.

Thinking of you both flowers

Leakingwellies Mon 25-Aug-14 09:10:25

Hi Anne
Im sorry I haven't been around for a while and I hope that you are doing ok. I have no idea how to get used to life without my mum and Martin and feel emotionally drained. You have been through so much too and it's a wonder how we keep going. I really don't know who im grieving for, everyone worried about me and my future feels bleak. Not taken any bereavement leave at work as my colleague has been hospitalised and im the only one who can take over her key role. Went back the day after the funeral and its stress I don't need.

Please let me know how you are doing. It would be good to catch up. Julie x

needahug57 Mon 25-Aug-14 10:45:59

Hi Julie
I'm not surprised you feel emotionally drained you've been through such a lot. I've joined way up which is for people widowed in their 50s and 60s. They have meet ups and you can post online and chat to others and I think it's going to be quite good for me. Are you a bit young for that? There's also way which is for under 50s.
I was on there this morning and suddenly thought...what am I doing on here, I've got a husband. It's just so unreal I really thought Andrew would come back and it would all be a horrible dream. It's just horrible. If someone had told me 2 or 3 months ago that I'd be a widow so soon I wouldn't have believed it. It feels odd to me that we were so close and yet he didn't know this was going to happen I feel as if I know something and something so huge but he knew nothing about it...if that makes sense. I still just can't get my head round it. But for us both to have these huge losses in our lives is just awful. For me because I lost my dad first I now feel I'm just grieving for Andrew. I'd spent 18 months grieving for my dad and Andrew helped me through it so much. But this is on a completely different level and the grieving for my dad stopped immediately. He himself said he'd had a wonderful life and he'd have been devastated by the loss of Andrew. Because it was the other way round for you it'll be different and I imagine just adds to the huge grief you are already dealing with. I've put my name down for counselling but there's a 3 month wait. I'm still having flashbacks to the night it happened. I feel as if I just watched him die because no help came for about 10 minutes. I wrote a letter of complaint to the holiday company 3 weeks ago and so far have heard nothing. I feel I have to take it further if there's no response.
So sorry you've had to go back to work so soon. You don't need any extra stress.
Thinking of you. Keep in touch
Anne x

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Leakingwellies Sat 13-Sep-14 08:47:43

Hi Anne
So sorry I haven't replied sooner. My capacity for rational thought and dialogue has been severely tested these last few weeks. I feel like I am slowly making sense of things then it all comes crashing down and I feel very anxious and unable to cope. I re read your last post and I m glad you are seeking help and support. I really hope that it helps.

Have you got anywhere with the holiday company? They sound completely unable to grasp what you are going through. Im so sorry you are having flashbacks they must be so draining.

Dr wanted to up my meds but I want to try and cope without taking anymore pills. I sometimes feel so empty and I think medicating even more will just make me more sluggish.

It would be good to hear from you. Take care x

needahug57 Sun 14-Sep-14 11:13:12

Hi Julie
I feel very much the same. I think the realisation of what's happened has finally hit me. For at least 2 months I thought it was a bad dream I really did. I'd been away on Thursday looking after my baby granddaughter and when I got home on Friday morning it suddenly hit me out of the blue and I couldn't stop crying. I got up Saturday morning and was the same but I made myself go shopping as I needed something to wear next Saturday as I'm going to my first Way Up meeting and all my clothes are too big for me as I've lost so much weight. When I got back I felt better and concentrated on how happy we'd been just before Andrew died and that helped.
I emailed the managing director of Thomsons a week ago and still nothing. So tomorrow I'm putting it all in the post and sending it to him by registered post with a threat to take it further if I hear nothing. A friend suggested I contact my MP which I might do if nothing comes of the letter.
I also complained about the way I was spoken to at Teachers pensions when I rang to tell them that Andrew had died. She was an older woman who should have known better. She offered no condolences and was sharp with me. This was just 4 days after he'd died. I was very upset. I wrote a letter of complaint and I've received an apology in just over a week. At least I got it off my chest. But Thomsons are just unbelievable.
I'm starting counselling sessions tomorrow which I hope are a help. I'm also on a low dose antidepressant which I don't think has kicked in yet after only 3 weeks. I wish I hadn't turned to them but because I was already so down before Andrew died I felt I needed some help.
Hope you're coping
Anne x

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Leakingwellies Sun 21-Sep-14 18:48:40

Hi Anne

How are you doing? Don't feel bad about taking ads. I hope you are feeling some benefit from them. It does take time and you can feel rotten in the first few weeks but persevere and im sure they will help.
How did your meet up go? Was it held locally or did you have to travel?
It's something I might think about doing in future.

What sort of counselling are you having do you just talk and they listen or is it cbt based? I've had cbt in the past and wasn't a fan to be honest but I know lots of people find it helpful.

Im not doing such crazy hours at work anymore and feel less stressed as a result. I bought a house with some of martin's pension money and am also in the middle of doing it up to rent out for some regular income. It's very tiring but quite therapeutic as I am painting lots of woodwork.

I posted on another thread last week on here 'my husband died in July...' we are all in the same state of disbelief and shock. Ive suggested starting a new support thread we can all contribute to. What do you think? There are threads for parents and children who have died and they are very busy (sadly) but I can see that people find them supportive and a source of comfort.

Have you heard anything from Thomsons yet? What a sad excuse for a company. To fail you at your most vulnerable is shocking. Im glad you received an apology from the pension people. Ignorance of dealing with bereaved people is sadly too common and needs to be addressed.

Anyway Anne as always take care of yourself and let me know how you are doing. Julie x

jchocchip Mon 22-Sep-14 09:18:23

Hi needahug So sorry to hear of your loss. leaking told me of this thread. It is my thread she mentions above. I hope you don't mind me joining in here, I am just a little time behind you starting this horrible journey.

I saw the date and time this thread was started; it was the day my husband died (at home). They stopped trying to resuscitate him at about 6pm I think and we had to wait around for ages for the police to arrive and then for the coroner. So at the time this thread started we were sitting about waiting, not believing what had happened that day. In some ways I think I was lucky to have that time sitting with him, he looked so peaceful. I took one last look at him before they took him, the tip of his nose looked very pale. I said my goodbyes then, I didn't go and see him at the chapel of rest, but I chose one very near by and did go past the chapel a few times.

My dh was 51, he had been unwell late the night before and in the early morning I had taken him to a & e as he was in agony. They did a heart trace and discussed admitting him but after a second opinion and heart trace they told him to buy some gaviscon on the way home and have a fizzy drink. He took some painkillers and gaviscon and tried to rest, he did seem in less pain so I decided to go into work for the afternoon, but I never saw him again. The post mortem found haemo pericardium and an aortic dissection.

It still isn't quite real. I did go back to work but couldn't concentrate and my gp has signed me off for 4 weeks. I now have to do probate and sort out a lot of paperwork and the house but I find it hard to get going in the mornings. I have complained to the hospital about their dismissive treatment on the morning but all I have got back from them is a very defensive letter, no apology, I guess they have been advised by their legal advisers, but this has annoyed me. I don't know what to do about that really

Sending you both much love, now I am going to try and do something constructive today. I find it hard getting going in the mornings.

needahug57 Mon 22-Sep-14 21:37:09

Hi to both of you,
I haven't been on here for a few days so I hadn't seen your thread chocchip. I'm so so sorry. It's such a terrible shock isn't it. My Andrew died on the 27th June, 12 weeks ago. Only last week the phone rang and I thought...could it be him telling me it's all been a big mistake? The shock is just enormous.

There's a book I got out of the library called 'I wasn't ready to say goodbye' by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair. It deals solely with losing a loved one suddenly and tells you to treat yourself as if you're in intensive care and not to start being too busy. I'm still only at the beginning of this awful journey but for me it feels right to spend time alone in my bedroom felling that Andrew's near me. I am doing things, seeing friends and looking after my baby granddaughter so I'm not alone all the time or anything like that but I just feel my bedroom is my retreat and tend to go to bed early. I think we've to be quite selfish, do what we feel capable of and not listen to anyone who tells us to keep busy. Just look after ourselves as best we can.

I gave in to the anti depressants because I felt there was no support but since then I have started counselling with a local cancer support group and they were able to offer me this because my dad had died of cancer 18 months before Andrew. I had my second session today. The lady I'm seeing is lovely and very supportive. She allows me to talk as much as I want to and then gives me support by encouragement, telling me how brave I'm being etc and that everything I'm telling her she has heard from other people. I feel I could tell her anything and really feel it's going to be good for me. She says that along with my GP she will support me if I want to come off the ADs.

As for Thomsons Julie...yes at last I have progress! After my letter of complaint was ignored and then an email to their Managing Director was also ignored I then sent a recorded delivery letter to the MD with a threat to go to my MP if I got no response. This was just last Monday. Within a couple of days I received a phone call to say that a thorough investigation is taking place and I even had a call from the Captain who is leading the investigation. Apparently the crew didn't even let head office know that Andrew had died! I think there has been a cover up.

That's dreadful that the hospital have been so unsupportive chocchip. I know how I've been feeling with regard to Thomsons. You feel as if nobody cares. Maybe when you're stronger you too could meet with your MP for advice as surely they could be sued for negligence. Not that it will bring your dh back but at least you'll feel as if you've got justice. I would definitely have done this. I did think about the papers but didn't want my name splashed across the press.

Since then I've felt slightly better. Whether it's the ADs kicking in, the counselling or Thomsons acknowledging they need to do something I don't know. Mind you last night it hit me again and I couldn't stop crying.
I think when we're young as we all are, you both are far younger than me (I'm 57) we are grieving for two things. Firstly our husbands and secondly our future together. Like me you would be expecting to have 30 more years at least together. It's just so cruel and so hard to understand why it had to happen and so hard to believe that it's happened. Maybe we'll never get over the shock. It must be terrible to watch your loved one suffering but there must be a sense of relief and much of the grieving must be done before they pass away. I'm sure it's still a tremendous shock though however it happens.

Yes I went to the Way Up meet and it was good. It was at Skipton which is about 50 miles away so I went by train but there's one soon which is about 15 miles away so I'll go to that. I met other people in the same position, some who had husband's die suddenly. I met two people who live locally and they arrange meet ups around here so hopefully I'll be invited along. One lady who lives about 12 miles away has exchanged phone numbers with me and we're going to meet up. She's 5 years down the road so it'll be nice to see how she's doing. I also joined Jolly Dollies even though I'm not too jolly but felt it would be good for local support. There aren't many of us around here.....4 I think but we're meeting for coffee tomorrow.

Gosh sorry I've rambled on a bit. Yes a new thread's a good idea.

Lots of love to both of you

Anne X

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jchocchip Wed 24-Sep-14 08:41:10

Hi needahug You are just a little ahead of me and I am going through the same emotions. I am waiting for counselling to start, mentioning cancer charities reminds me that my consultant suggested I go for a massage or something at the haven, I am well but had a lumpecotmy 3 years ago.

I saw my MP at the agricultural show 4 days after dh died. He was very shocked as he knew my dh and they were in regular correspondence. Maybe I should contact him to help me respond to the hospital.

I'm glad the Way Up meeting was good. I'm about 12 miles from Skipton, my dd has just started her A levels at the girls school there, so we must be within 60 or so miles of each other! I may join Way, I was 47 when S died, 48 now so just under the age limit.

Much love,

Jane x

needahug57 Wed 24-Sep-14 13:06:39

Hi Jane,
It took me a few weeks to feel I could complain to Thomsons. I'd wait until you feel ready and then do something. I've had people telling me not to let it drop but to fight on. These people haven't been through what we're going through and I think we need to look after ourselves and just be gentle on ourselves. So do it when you're ready.
I still haven't claimed my £200 flight ticket back yet. I tried weeks ago and the form was so complicated I gave up so it's waiting for me when I feel I can tackle it.
I live in Morecambe so quite a way from Skipton but there was someone else there from Morecambe too.
Do you find that the reality hasn't hit you yet? I've been in this daze like state most of the time since and it's really only been this last few days that it's hit me that he's gone. Each time it's worse and I can't stop crying. I think it must be my mind's way of just releasing a little information at a time. Maybe it's because of the circumstances, us being on a cruise but it's still like a dream and I can't accept that it's happened. I can't believe that 13 weeks ago today we were so happy strolling round Cadiz. Andrew bought me a lovely dress and handbag. He just seemed so well and to think of what was going on inside him. Life seems so fragile now.
Lots of love
Anne x

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jchocchip Tue 30-Sep-14 10:13:21

Hi Anne sorry it has taken me so long to reply, I had a very busy weekend and spend yesterday recovering.

I know what you mean about forms, I have a pensions form that I took one look at and filed to do later! I must get that out one day when I feel up to it.

I've been into Skipton today, giving my dd a lift to school, but Morecambe is quite a bit further.

I think I am not quite believing it yet. We quite often spent weekends apart, as my mother is 89 and housebound, so I'm not completely unused to sleeping on my own, but everyday there is something that sets me off.

I know exactly what you mean about life seeming fragile, Steve's death seems quite similar in that he had been well, in fact he had been losing weight and doing more exercise and seemed a lot happier in himself. We had the post mortem and it was an aortic dissection and haemo pericardium that was given as the cause of death. Do you mind me asking what happened to Andrew?

Much Love

Jane x

needahug57 Wed 01-Oct-14 21:01:22

Hi Jane
It's been 3 months now for me and it's taken all this time for me to really realise that he's not coming back. When it happens suddenly it's such a massive shock isn't it. My husband had a sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of the night,. We'd been talking 10 minutes before when he came back from the bathroom. His heart just stopped and I was woken to this horrible loud noise which was his brain trying to get his body to breathe. I've been told that he probably felt nothing and knew nothing about it. That's a comfort and he did look completely peaceful as if asleep but no comfort to us who didn't get chance to say goodbye. The holiday company were dreadful. The nurse (not even a doctor was sent at first) took 10 - 15 minutes to arrive. I have to believe that he couldn't have been saved had they got there sooner but I shall never know. At last an investigation is taking place.
I feel thoroughly traumatised. I think I told you we were on a cruise when it happened. I'm having flashbacks of that terrible night all the time.
Life's just awful. I miss him so much and can't imagine my life without him.
Sorry but I've been having a particularly bad day.
Love and hugs
Anne x

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jchocchip Wed 01-Oct-14 21:31:51

Hi Anne

Such a shock and no warning at all. My dh had been ill for about 17 hours but the hospital led us to believe that it was nothing serious. Despite the failed resuscitation, he looked very peaceful and had just slipped away. I wish I had been able to say goodbye properly. I talked to him during the resus but I'm sure he had already gone. There is a possibility that treatment could have saved my dh, but having spoken to friends, one who is a surgeon, I believe that even with treatment it is highly likely that he would have died. Flashbacks are horrible, I do get a vision of them resuscitating him, I don't think I will ever forget the details of that day, but I am managing to sleep. I do feel tired all the time still though. Traumatised is a word I can relate to, it was traumatic and it is going to take a long time adjusting to the new normal.

Today was not too bad, I bought a book to stick the sympathy cards into and I am finally going to take them down off the walls, though I'm not sure I want to, it will be good to have them in a scrapbook.

Hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

Love Jane xx

needahug57 Sat 04-Oct-14 18:06:52

Hi Jane

17 hours is no warning at all. It seems like we've both been through something very similar.
Do you feel as if it hasn't really happened? It's very slowly coming together in my mind that he's gone but most of the time I'm in denial. I go out and am not upset at all but as soon as I get in the house it starts but yet I feel a great comfort when I'm at home as i feel as if he's here.
My younger son seems to have accepted it and is getting on with life, feeling sadder but able to live. My older son is like me and can't believe it yet.
I think it really will be time for us before we can get our heads round what's happened. Whether it's because it happened on a ship and that's the reason it doesn't seem real I don't know. The whole holiday is a blur to me.
I think back to 15 weeks ago today when we set off on the cruise. Oh how I wish we'd known what was going on inside his body as a bypass would have saved him but he simply had no symptoms. He cycled most days and worked himself hard at the gym and never got breathless nevermind any chest pains. He took early retirement 4 years ago and everyone told him how it had taken years off him. He'd had a stressful job and he was just able to relax and was so much happier.
My nanna lived to be 90 and my mum is 86 which means if I live to be 90 I've got 33 years and that's how long we were married. I just can't imagine being around for 33 years without him. Sorry because you're a lot younger than me.
Life's so unfair isn't it. I know I'm luckier than some as there are so many really young women left with young children but you just don't expect it to happen and nothing prepares you for it.

Hope you are coping
Anne xx

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