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Hello Group.
I don't know if this is the correct place to say this or talk about what has taken place this last week but I need to let the pain out because it is hitting me hard today.
RIP August 7, 2019 (Courtni Jensen)
Courtni was at work the week before last and passed out in the bathroom. Woke up to a bunch of people standing around her as she laid on the floor being pulled from the stall. About that time the EMT had showed up so she was out for a little bit. They checked her blood sugar as she laid on the floor and it was at 498 which is super high.
Took her to the hospital and the doctors wanted to do an angiogram so they could se what the heart was doing and stint it if possible. Come back that they could not stint the blockage because all her arteries where almost 100% blocked so she needed a triple bypass instead.
This whole process lasted about a week in which the staff was doing stress test and the like to her. They also put her on insulin to control her blood sugar which my wife had ignored for to long. The stress test came back fine!!! She was running and didn't pass out at all. She was up walking the halls of the floor, no problems at all. After she passed out she seemed great, normal, better then normal!
So finding out all that information they scheduled the bypass for August 16, 2019 this year. They needed to send her home in the meantime to lower her blood sugar so when the surgery took place she could heal correctly.
Finally she was home and comfortable. Blood sugar was dropping like it was supposed to, eating healthy which we had started 2 months before this all took place. 2 days go by and she finally hits the 130s like she was supposed to be at, both of us where excited finally she had it under control.
Next morning, I got to watch my wife of 21years die in my arms.... She was only 39 years old when she passed away and I am only 41.
Those couple, minutes as she passed away, seizing, and shaking, and gasping for air haunt me all the time. I wonder if I killed her with the meals that I was making for her, since they weren't the same as what the hospital was giving.
I was cleaning up the mess in the bedroom after the paramedics left the apartment, yes... they left there junk all over the place so that was a slap in the face coming back from the hospital after she passed away.
And here is the biggest kicker that I hate myself for... As she was passing away in the bed I didn't notice the whole time that she had put her little nitro bottle on the headboard above her head. If I had known that it was there maybe, just maybe, I could have given it to her and maybe she would still be here instead of just letting her die...

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi, friend

I understand your pain and the millions of questions running through your head. My husbands heart stopped in the night, i went to the toilet and i walked past him laying dead on the sofa, used the toilet than ran past him again and went ypstairs back yo bed. I also think if only i would have stopped snd looked at the sofa and discovered him, maybe he could have still be brought back.

not only that, but a day prior to his passing we were hugging in bed and we both listened to his heart beating abnormally rare, at slow intervals. He said: thats my heart. I did not say anything, i just thought to myself: this heart sounds like it could stop any second. And indeed it stopped one day later. Why didnt we go to emergency? Why didnt we do something? I couldnt tell you. I suppose noone thinks these things could happen to them. 

On top of that, our last exchange of words was me being horrible and telling him to let me be since im tired.

There are many questions. Many things we could have do e and maybe should have done. But does it help anyone going over them a million times over? Our beloved spouses are gone, nothing is going to return them to us. We did what we knew best in those circumstances/ moments. It is always much easier and clearer in retrospect. But who would have known? We did what we could, friend. When ones time has come, noone can stay in the way, not even the strong marriage love/ bond. Its too late for questions and regrets, we are on a no return road, no point tormenting yourself with that. Instead, pray for her, help her by praying for her, by doing good deeds in her name, by doing charity in her name. And pray for yourself too, that you will gain strenght and wisdom in this horrific road ahead of you. 

Hugs and i am truly sorry that life handed you this. 

Please don't feel bad.  I know it is so hard.  My husband had liver disease and I did not cook the healthiest food for him either, and I really felt so guilty about that after he died.  Like, I didn't care enough or was too lazy to make low sodium dishes, etc.  And I also went out of town and left him and that very day he went into a coma and of course I was beating myself up that I wasn't there to take care of him even though the doctors said it was fine for me to go, that he wasn't that serious.  I think when people are sick to the point of being near death, none of these things really can make a difference, I had a somewhat similar experience with my dad, and the bottom line is, we just don't know, we're not doctors, I have yet to meet anyone who has a loved one die suddenly that does not feel guilt and regret and TORTURES themselves over what they could have done differently. You are not alone!!!  Just know that there is nothing you could have done, I feel sure of it and I bet your wife would not want you to be upset about these things.  God bless you, I empathize!  But don't add guilt to your grief if you can! She will always be watching over you, I'm sure of that too.  

Dear Snagglefoot,  I’m so sorry for the loss. This is a terrible “club” to become a member of. The guilt at first is normal, and over time you should learn to let it go, as sometimes there is nothing you could have done. We don’t have a crystal ball, and unfortunately no one can see the things happening inside our bodies. 8/20/18 I also lost my husband to a sudden heart attack. That morning he was feeling fine. He waved goodbye when I backed out of the garage to run a 30 minute errand. When I returned home, after searching inside and out, I finally found him on our bathroom floor. Needless to say with my background, retired dental hygienist, when I started CPR I knew he was gone. Pupils fixed and dilated. However they did not call it until 30 minutes had passed at the hospital. Never was he revived. He was being treated for h. pylori, a stomach bacteria. Was on the second round of meds. Unfortunately it also is pretty much the same symptoms as heart blockage. In April when he first started having symptoms,( burping, pain around upper stomach, upset stomach to almost anything he ate), and I said this might be your heart. Well, he yelled at me “it’s not my heart” it’s lower. When he tested positive for the h. pylori he seemed  relieved that it was a diagnosis for something other than a blockage. 

However, now I know he had both going on at the same time. He was very stubborn sometimes, so he would never have listened to me. We were at the doctor in May and all he ordered, besides the blood tests, was a EKG.  Of course, he passed that and was so happy. It took me almost 6 months to let the guilt go.

1. The errand was short, and I will never know when he went down, could getting home even 5 minutes earlier have saved him 

2. Should I have pushed for more extensive heart tests, him fighting and refusing me all the way

3. You retest for h. pylori 4 weeks after you finish all the antibiotics. By then the symptoms were returning, and he refused to get a blood test as he was sure it was not killed. So, looking back I know he would have refused to get the blood test even if I had insisted,  so what if??? And we found out yep it’s killed oh, but by the way you have a heart blockage. 

But, this guilt haunted me for months. Could I have prevented his death. I will never know, and through grief counseling I have finally released  this. Yes he was  71, but he was always so active, you would have thought he was 10 years younger. 

On a side note: our doctor sent a card stating how sorry he was, and when I went in 2 months later is ask for a 30 day Rx for Ativan. He again said I’m so Sorry about his passing, BUT YOU NEED TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH YOUR GRIEF. Omg really!! But until you are in this yourself you really have no idea.

this site does however,  so write your thoughts. I does soften over time. You lean to move through and carry the grief. 

Hugs to you

jlsrdh

 

Dear Snagglefoot,

I am so sorry for your loss. The pain is simply overwhelming, especially when you probably thought you had caught Courtni's health issues in the nick of time. Nearly three years ago, while I was cooking him a "heart-smart" dinner my husband had a massive heart attack and died. He had been diagnosed only five days earlier with "stable angina"  and put on medicine. We both thought we had dodged a bullet, but we had not.  Utterly shocked and in pain, for months I went over and over every detail of the previous week as well as the time from which we recognized he was having a heart attack (and not just angina) to the time I called the paramedics, identifying everything I supposed I had done wrong that had led to his death.

Three years later, I realize that blaming myself and identifying all of my supposed missteps was simply a way of trying to get control of a situation that was was completely out of control and that I could never have controlled. I hope you will come to this understanding as well in time.

Writing about it here is completely appropriate and hopefully will help you heal.

I am just so sorry for your loss of Courtni.

Best,

Erica

Dear Snagglefoot

i am so sorry for your loss.  Losing your soulmate has to be the hardest thing ever  to cope with.  It is very hard to accept and we all say" what if"

Trauma from a sudden loss is very painful.   I am sure you did the very best you could have done for her at the time.  My husband collapsed with a cardiac arrest at

53 years old.  I was with him. I agonised over not listening to him better when he told me he didn't feel well and didn't know why. I so wished I had made him go to the doctor then..1 week before the event.   I also was upset with his cardiologist who had ordered an ultra sound of his heart 2 weeks before

as part of a yearly checkup. He knew he had a heart block. In the electrics of his heart...(where the electric signal has to jump across a broken bit of insulation in his "wires".  A simple ecg would have picked up a big gap in his heart beat.

But you can't change the past. Blaming the cardiologist wouldn't have brought him back.  My father in law recently had a heart attack and when I went to get his medicine (just yesterday)I mentioned that he had a spray to put on his tongue but that it hadn't worked when he was having the attack. The pharmacist told me that that wouldn't have stopped a heart attack...only angina. So please don't beat yourself up about that.  It is early days for you and like me you are probably in shock

I had a grief counsellor and she helped me develop stratagies for dealing with the trauma.it was a huge help for me(I didn't search for one the funeral company just sent her).   My heart goes out to you..it's a long journey and I hope you have lots of  loving support. It is 6 years ago for me..he is in my memory forever..but I can smile again and even though you can't imagine it..you will again too...hold on!

Hi Snagglefoot --  I don't usually respond to people, but your pain is so palpable. When my love died Sept 11 of last year, I was shocked just like you. I have spent the last year second guessing myself about what I missed or didn't do, or what was obvious to everyone else but me (that she was never coming home again). I've made myself miserable and tortured by these thoughts. I got some relief from a Grief Group I attended. People challenged my negative beliefs about myself over and over again until I found some respite from my own feelings of guilt, remorse, failure, etc. What I know now is that I was paralyzed by fear, shock, unreal optimism about her recovery, denial, disbelief, shame, guilt, self-recrimination, etc. I'm 100% certain that you did the very best you could under the circumstances of finding her fighting for her life after hope was restored for her recovery by the promise of the surgery and the blood sugar drop. Why would you have been prepared for what was happening? If her blood sugar was dropping as intended, why would the meals you prepared for her have been an issue? You haven't had time to sort it all out. It's going to take months if not years. Keep talking to other people about your fears and let them challenge your guilty feelings. Eventually, you will find that you were as much a victim of her death as she was. Even though I am an atheist, "GriefShare" has helped me heal some. I will always find pain missing my love of 23 yrs, but it's gotten a little more manageable over this last year. Love and hugs to you! Many of us understand your pain!!

Know that you did all that you could do. No you did not know what was about to happen. You will never know if you could have given her medsor done something else she would be still here. We all have those feelings and we must try to put them aside and be ok with not knowing at some point. My husband of 18 years was murdered in the garage of my home. I have spent time saying why didn't I make him leave the house? Why didn't I make him do this or that? And the reality is I could not have known what would happen on that day. And everything I did in that moment was the best that I could do.

Hello, first I am sorry for you loss. I don’t have any magic answers but this is some of what I have learned since my husband, Mark, died June 2, 2018. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Jan, 2018, made it through chemo, and had the surgery on May 31. The surgery went terribly and his vent was removed late June 1.  Most every one second guesses themselves and have the moments of what if this, what if that. Telling you not to do that is not realistic because I still do it myself. Why didn’t I insist on the second surgical consultation? Make him go to MD Anderson? I still have those moments but over time it is not so much of the time. I try to remember I did the best I could and I am sure you did too. We get thrown into these hideous moments, everything can happen so fast and then slow. This loss is so very new for you. I. The beginning of my loss, people would say ‘be kind to yourself’. It has taken me a long time to try and do that. I hope you can try to do that too. 

Take care,

kris

Hello, snagglefoot... I kept your post (which came by email) up on my desktop for days because I wanted to respond, so deeply did I feel for you. But this past week was a non stop, crushing week and I never got to it. I did notice that many did respond so I felt less compelled to, but having just come to visit this page for a moment just now, I wanted to respond to you finally.   

I also have a lot of those feelings of having failed in ways that I might have helped change the outcome, but I reason with myself and know that I did do my best and nothing I did or did not do was malicious...    you must forgive yourself any of your human frailties and treat yourself with gentle kindness.  This life hurts. In every couple, one will go through this... it's just so hard when it's 'our turn' and we had no idea how difficult it would be and how many ideas we can have that fill us with pain or shame. Let it go if you can and focus on the goodness.  There is some... remember some fun or humorous moments... talk to your lost spouse... and slow but sure, life will get a tiny bit easier eventually... 

What a terrible experience!  I am so so so sorry for your loss and am sending hugs your way. Please understand this:  most of us who lost our beloved spouses suddenly can play back 1000 scenarios in which we could have saved our precious loves from dying.  The reality is that most of those scenarios could have never happened, including you somehow magically giving the right dose of her medicine.  If she had to die, let her die in the arms of the person who loved her most in this world.  that is the gift you gave her.  Please keep coming back here & we will listen & pay attention to everything you share here.  Meanwhile, I am sending hugs & tears for your beloved's terrible fate & for you.

Your story is so sad.  I feel similar.  On Tuesday my husband seemed to be ok.  Wednesday he was supposed to go for his 2nd round of chemo.  He did not feel well Tuesday night.  Was very hot & very week.  He couldn’t sleep & was sitting on the couch.  His breath was heavy.  I noticed this but went up to bed feeling that I’m taking him to the hospital the next morning anyway & if he’s not n good enough shape for chemo, he’ll be at the hospital & they’ll treat him.  At around 3 am I went to the bathroom upstairs & thought I heard the water running downstairs but did not check it out.  At about 5:30 my son came upstairs & said dad fell in the shower & was asking for me to help him up.  Well both my son & I couldn’t help him & after awhile I finally called 911 but at first my husband was fighting me about it.  The emt’s also left a lot of gloves, etc. . . in my bathroom.  I feel they wasted too much time taking the bathroom door down (my son & I couldn’t find a screwdriver) then they ended up just carrying him out.  They were asking me about all his pills, I didn’t know what he takes & I’m in a frantic state.  Did not feel they were nice at all.  At the hospital I was told he did not have a heart rhythm.  They did get a rhythm but it was short lived.  He was pronounced dead at 7:14.  I’m haunted by maybe I should have brought him to the hospital that night because he was so uncomfortable, also I should have checked when I first heard the water running &;lastly I should have called 911 immediately & not have listened to him about helping him up.

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