Some of you may already know this, but my husband passed away last year in April. Losing him has been very tough on me. I never imagined I would be widowed so quickly. I have just now felt like I could share this with you and talk about it. Of course some of you already know I've written two poems about his passing, but this is more direct.
(Warning; there may be gruesome details in this paragraph, between brackets)
[He had sickle cell anemia. If you don't know what that is, it's a hereditary disease where blood cells become sickle shaped and so they don't carry enough oxygen to the organs and sometimes they get stuck in the veins and so blood doesn't pass easily and they are in pain. He, however, did not die of the disease itself. He died because of medical faults and negligence. [Sickle cell patients take morphine shots to ease the pain, and the doctors didn't give the shot properly, which caused the area to inflame. They surgically removed the inflamed tissue (at the local clinic) and left the wound open, telling him to clean the wound, sanitize it, and bandage it. The problem here was that the wound was too big, the only way I would describe it is that it looked like a shark bite! Then, he got serious pains because he did some work on his car and went to the hospital and was kept there for about two weeks before they noticed the wound. When they did notice it, they didn't do anything about it until a few days later. They transferred him to a private room and told him not to have direct contact with anyone. He had a blood infection from the wound which was open for too long, but they didn't tell us that. About a week or so later he was scheduled for stitching, which I think they shouldn't have done alone, because a big part of the tissue was taken off, meaning it wasn't as thick on that side of his leg than the other.] I'm not a doctor, and I know I'm emotional, but something went wrong, whether it was in the beginning, middle, or end. Two days after stitching he passed away.
Of course those who read the paragraph above will tell me to sue. I can't. The clinic and hospital are government facilities which offer free health care. The government isn't the kind where I would sue and get anything out of. I know that technically I'll be suing the doctors, but the doctors work for the government and thereby are under their protection. Others have tried. So many sickle cell patients die each year, and in most cases it's neglect, and nobody can say anything about it.
What hurts the most is that he seemed completely fine that night. I came to visit and left at about 8.15 pm. His friends (other patients, because the whole building is only for sickle cell patients) were with him until midnight, and they say he was fine when they left him. He passed away somewhere around 3.00 am, because I got the call a little before 4.00 am. They didn't tell me he passed away, they told me he was getting worse. When I reached the hospital one of his friends was so overwhelmed he couldn't talk. All it took was one glance at him and I knew. I still wished I would go upstairs and find him sitting there in his bed smiling at me. When I saw him, I collapsed! I didn't go near his body, I didn't want to lift the cloth and see his lifeless face. The nurses got me out of the room.
The first days were the toughest. I partially lost my memory, and some things I didn't remember until several months later. My heart kept pounding for a long time after that. I felt suffocated, especially at night. That feeling started to come to me less as time passed, but it still happens. Last week, it was so bad my vision started to blur and I became dizzy and couldn't walk straight. I had the school nurse (I'm a teacher) check my blood pressure and it was high. That's when I lost it. I cried in her office for so long. She gave me some techniques to calm myself down and checked my blood pressure for the rest of the week. It was normal, it was only that day that was hard on me. I feel like this happened because it's almost a year, and I don't want a year to go by, like a year will make it final, or far, when I feel it just recently happened. Sometimes, things trigger my memory. Sometimes, it's fine. I can talk about him all day, look at his picture and see people who remind me of him. At other days the smell of cologne on someone walking by will trigger my feelings and I'll cry for hours. And sometimes, nothing will trigger me, but stress will make me think of him and I'll feel just like I did on the day he died.
It's hard, but I'm trying to deal with it the best I can. This step is a good one. I'm glad I can write and share my story.
RIP to my husband. He is missed.