My Husband‘s Death

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With great sadness, I want to share the death of my husband with this community.  He was diagnosed in August 2022 with Myelodysplastic Syndrome.  For him, there were no treatment options or cure.  He managed alright despite this horrible disease and prognosis (along with other health issues with severe pain).  Last October 2023, his disease progressed to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.  Nonetheless we continues to do things, get out for bird watching and nature walks, granted his ability to walk diminished as time progressed. He was getting red-blood cell transfusions every two weeks.  Although he didn‘t think they helped much, he still was able to get up and go out.

On Wednesday 09 May, he was still in bed at 10:30.  I checked his temperature - 39.9.  I contacted healthcare.  Doctor prescribed antibiotic, but had made a mistake, so I never got anything until late afternoon.  H mostly slept, drinking little bits of water.  He couldn‘t keep anything down.  When I got him to take antibiotic early evening, he threw it up.  With high temperature still, I called off hours doctors.  A doctor came to visit.  He said it was sepsis.  He needed hospitalization with IV antibiotics.  Also he could get his blood transfusion, which he obviously wasn‘t going to be able to get the next day.  We thought we had him convinced to go.  Doctor called for ambulance.  Ambulance arrived with three people.  My husband refused!  They spent at least one and half hours trying to convince him.  Ultimately I was left with a very sick husband.  I also must add, I had had my hip replaced 8 days earlier so I wasn‘t as able to care for him.

He slept through night quietly.  Next day, temperature was up to 40.1.  I called doctors again.  Then temperature up to 40.3.  Two doctors arrived.  They confirmed sepsis and blood in vomitus.  Asking him a number of questions, they were able to say he was unable to make informed decision about hospital.  Thursday late morning, he was taken by ambulance to hospital.  I had promised him all the previous times that I would do everything in my capacity to keep him at home.  I wasn‘t able, however, to give much in the way of support.  

Hospital treated him with IV antibiotics and also did transfusions, adding in platelet transfusion too.  Thursday evening, doctor from A&E phone me to say that he wasn‘t responding to antibiotics, that he had had the transfusions.  They were shifting their focus to keeping him comfortable.  In other words, he was dying.  Doctor advised it would be good if family member got there.  Of course, I cannot drive so I phoned his son to ask for transport to hospital.  He came and took us to hospital.  They had moved him to quieter more private room.  He was resting quietly, still alive but non responsive.  I sat by his side holding his hand, caressing his face, talking to him, even reading a Kipling story(he likes Kipling).  Close to midnight, nurse came in to say they had private room on ward available for him.  rest though I indicated that she should check him.  She could not get anything.  She got the doctor.  My husband was pronounced dead at 00:05 on Friday 10 May, less than 48 hours after I discovered his fever.

Although death was expected soon than later, this was fast and unexpected.  I am numb.  I am struggling with utter and absolute grief with the death of my husband. His son brought me home around 01:15.  Obviously I did not get much sleep.  Adding to incredible stress, this son had to visit me 12 hours after his father‘s death, to accuse me of all sorts of untrue things, that I prevented his father from seeing his grandson (when it was his father‘s own wishes not to see people).  He called me a liar.  Very angry, very aggressive.  I asked him to leave.  He did but not without adding more horrible statements.  I was hysterical for quite a while.  I have basically no support, no friends, some acquaintances.  My family is in US.  Although I‘ve been here 13 years, I do not have friend connections or much of a support network. (Typing helps).  As I processed this, I absolutely will not, cannot accept such rude and abusive behaviour from my husband‘s son!!!  

I reported this incident to police, though I doubt, I hope, he would act any further on his anger.  I also changed the locks as he has house key.  I have been keeping him well informed about his father … another false accusation he made against me.  I have heard nothing from him until yesterday.  He texted me wanting to know if I had news on funeral.  Not yet.  I responded simply and with respect.  

Again I am struggling.  I realize that sadly there are a lot of people who have to deal with the death of the spouse.  Now I truly understand how horrible it is.  I like to believe he is free, out of pain, reunited with those who went before him.  

  • Hi  and I am ever so sorry to read about the death of your dear husband, please accept my sincere condolences.

    This is a difficult journey you are now embarking on and you need people to talk with who have been through this before. With this in mind you may find it helpful to join our dedicated…… 

    Bereaved Spouses and Partners Group

    …… where you will connect with others who understand and can give you support.

    There is quite a lot of information in What to do after someone dies and many hospitals have bereavement services who may be able to offer support.

    The Macmillan Support Line is open 8am-8pm (timings may differ across services) 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00.

    This service provides practical information, emotional support, financial guidance or just a listening ear.

    Sending you supportive ((hugs))

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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