PARALYZED

by JOHN
(Lockwood, NY)

No one will ever love me more.

No one will ever love me more.

I’m alone.
July 2nd, 2011, approximately 7:00PM, Craig is conscious. Sue and I are discussing Mangialardo’s for pizza. Conversation’s light-to-cheerful. Craig keeps asking for cups of water. Earlier in the day I was dunking a small sponge-on-a-stick in ice water and wetting his lips. Sometimes he takes the whole sponge in his mouth to suck it dry. His right foot and leg and lower torso are all very swollen. I make a note to express my concern to his doctor.

The day before, I had a conference with the doctor who is most direct, almost rudely so. He tells me his grim prognosis, and I am smirking on the inside. He doesn’t know Craig. Before he can get away, the nurse stops the doctor at Craig’s room door and has a quiet discussion while I take my seat next to Craig. The doctor calls me out of the room to discuss a DNR … Do Not Resuscitate. My insides were screaming as I rationally agreed that Craig would want this.
Would he?
I take the clip board and sign my name to the form. Mom and Sue are in the room. I think they understood what was happening. I re-entered the room and took my seat.

July 2nd, 2011, 7:25PM, Sue nor I can remember what it was that Craig scolded me for but it caused Sue to say, “Well, he’s feeling better.”
July 2nd, 2011, 7:27PM, Craig asks me to kiss him. I did with my eyes wide open so that he can see how much I love him. I caressed his hair. I sat back down. Craig immediately had to urinate and I wasn’t quite quick enough with the receptacle. I called for the nurse to change his bedding. She came in and just then I noticed he had begun to regurgitate out the side of his mouth.

“He’s throwing up,” I urgently alerted.
“Get him on his side,” the nurse reacted.
I pulled him toward me and she pushed and I saw his eyes. The nurse held him in place, I grabbed each side of his head with my hands and demanded in his face, “Craig, Craig!” over and over again. I snapped my fingers in front of his face. Out of nowhere the room filled with doctors and nurses. I’m still holding Craig’s face and yelling his name, forcibly, looking for a reaction in his eyes. I hear a couple of people reminding me of the DNR I had only signed the day before. This isn’t making sense yet I keep looking toward the ceiling knowing he’s looking back at me, thinking me silly for being so concerned. I step back as a doctor checks for a pulse; a heartbeat. A nurse grabs my hand over Craig’s head. Why? The doctor says something to me but I can’t hear for his thick accent.
“What?”
“He’s gone.”

Comments for PARALYZED

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Jul 24, 2011
We'll Get There
by: TrishJ

John~
8 months after my husband's passing I sit in numb disbelief that he's really gone. That last night was so nightmarish. I wake up some mornings and think, was that all a bad dream? Like you said, "Oh no....they don't know Craig." They didn't know Joe either. Joe the fighter. Joe who never had any intentions of leaving this earth. The doctor came out and said, "There is nothing more we can do." I thought, no you must have the wrong patient. Not my husband. He's been brought back from death's door 20 times in the last 2 years. He's never leaving me. He's gone too. I live my days yearning to hear his voice just one more time.

Hold on to your beautiful memories. They will sustain you. Craig would want you to be happy and move on. It's very hard though most days. We must endure.
PJ

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