My Beloved One
(sacramento, ca, usa)
I lost my husband unexpectedly/suddenly and am not satisfied with answers I am getting. I know no matter what I will never get what I want but there are unanswered questions that probably can't be answered as there was no autopsy.
It began as a cough that persisted, never sick in bed, had two treatments of antibiotics and he had an incident of coughing a little blood. A cat scan was done and nobody got back to us with the results until I persisted and given the answer our dr was off but the 2 covering for him would call. This was about 4:45 PM. At about 5 PM our doctor called from his home telling him there were a couple of suspicious spots on his lung, liver, bladder and he wanted him to be seen by a specialist,supposedly the best pulmonologist/oncology/lung. That was like getting a death sentence. It was the worst, longest weekend ever.
We got the appt. Monday with the specialist, answered his questions, most importantly told him my husband had a very serious lung issue which was undiagnosed but he was in ICU for 27 days.
After many tests, scans, biopsies, it turns out the one spot on his lung was pneumonia which by the 2nd scan had gotten smaller so they didn't do the biopsy. The liver and bladder was non existent. The dr felt because of the other spot on his lung which was Stage 1 cancer could be gotten to easily as to its location, he would remove the entire lobe he would need no radiation or chemo. My husband chose that method.
The day of surgery he was in for 4 hours, after which the dr came out and told me it took 1 hour to get to the lobe because of the scar tissue. Scar tissue? That was never mentioned before and he said it was due to the recent pneumonia he had and I blurted out oh no, he wasn't even sick with that, it had to have been from the 27 days in ICU with the undiagnosed lung issue. He replied, "Oh yeah, you did mention something about that" telling me he never checked into it.
He was in ICU and due to go to the regular floor that day after the removal of the tubes. He could not have done that he was much too weak. He complained constantly of severe heartburn which he does have a history of but never to the extent it was in the hospital. He did not complain of pain at the incision site, just heartburn. On the 5th day, his daughter from Arizona arrived with the intention of staying with him all night. We were already with him at all times in shifts. She arrived at 3, I had been there since 4:30 am and I stayed until about 6, told her I would be back about 4:30 am and she could take the car home and sleep.
I was up and getting ready to go and the phone rang and it was her and she was hysterical I could not understand one word. I asked her to repeat it and all I got was "crash cart" and I was on a run out to the hospital. At one point, one of the drs working on him asked her if she wanted them to continue and she said yes as I was on my way and it is not that far. Right behind me was another daughter and the 18 year old granddaughter he cherished. When I saw what they were doing and the dr explained any further action would be futile I said, don't, just take it off, I didn't want him hurt anymre.
He passed away at 6 AM of a massive heart attack, arythmmia and last cause was lung cancer. Without an autopsy I don't know how they came to that decision and it took me a long time to call the surgeon and when I did he was very nice, said he was as shocked as we were and it had never happened to him ever before in his career. He said he thought a blood clot had gone to his heart. Again, no autopsy. At the time I just didn't want them to touch him anymore and if I had my wits about me I would have okayed the autopsy as his wishes were to be cremated.
It has been almost 9 months and I am as bad or worse than day 1. I found paperwork from his 27 day stay in ICU that was here at our house and had I known it was, would have taken it to him on the first visit as it shows a lot of his same issues. He had just turned 70 years old and we had so many plans. When he left for the hospital early that morning he was a healthy man, but he kept saying "I don't feel good about this."
The rest of what happens after a death was done but I am half a person with no purpose and it was like getting kicked in the back and falling to your knees, did not see it coming. I am tempted to call the surgeon again as I have the report from his 27 days. I have no plans to take legal issues with him, I just feel I want him to know that I know he did not read those records. I need something, anything for some peace of mind. Grieving can be a forever process and in my case right now that is how I feel.
I know this is long but the books and others who have gone through it say to keep talking about it and how many times do your friends want to hear it. It is an obsession. I have joined a Bereavement Support group and the first time I went I felt it was where I needed to be because these people "got it." I lost a son at age 25 and it was horrible but this is the worst physical, emotional and mental pain I have ever been through.
For my beloved one.