lost my husband
by Ann Hollingsworth
My husband passed away on the last day of January 2014. In 2008, he suffered his second heart attack. This time they did stents instead of by pass as they did after his first attack in 1988. The stents knocked plaque loose which traveled to his brain and caused a massive stroke with left side paralysis. I cared for him at home until July, 2013, when, as a result of botched surgery on my neck, I had to put him in a nursing home. The rest home was awful! They neglected him and, to be honest, discriminated against because he was white. It took five months to get the home to act on a transfer to another home. During those five months he went from 175 to 125. Despite my repeated requests that they bathe him, shampoo his hair, shave him and clip his nail, these were only done once in five months. When I would ask for him to be cleaned, I was told that was the responsibility of the second shift and they didn't think he could talk so they didn't bother with him. I also requested that his hair be cut and was told that their barber "didn't know how to cut white hair." Once he was finally transferred, he began to bounce back. He was slowly gaining weight, going to therapy every day, and his mind was becoming normal again. On January 29, 2014, he had a doctor's appointment and he was fine. The next day I was having lunch with a friend when they called me to say he was unresponsive and having trouble breathing. They transported him to the nearest hospital. The ER Dr told me he was critical that he came in with no BP. They began treating him fearing he had suffered another heart attack. They were going to do a heart Cath but decided it would not a good idea. His blood sugar was over 700 when he was admitted. They could not get him stables and told me I needed to decide whether to continue treatment or let him go. I waited until our daughter arrived and I had spoken with his brother. It was the next morning when the decision was made to stop and he passed away about 30 minutes later.
I feel guilt because I let him stay in the first home. I feel anger at the disrespectful way he was treated. I also feel anger at the cardiologist who in December, 2012, that he was fine after another doctor had told us, after a stress test, it was bad. Mostly I just feel like I will awaken from this nightmare. My husband and I would have been married 43 years in April. I feel like I have lost my place. I miss him so much.