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Old 04-13-2015, 10:21 AM
 
Location: God's Country
4,651 posts, read 3,019,005 times
Reputation: 7546

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She survived breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and, back in '99, the dangerous Whipple procedure in which doctors removed 1/2 of the stomach, part of the pancreas, and the entire duodenum which is the first part of the small intestine. She was my little warrior princess. Then in 2011 a non-Alzheimer's dementia along with corticobasal degeneration began. By early 2013, the disease progressed to the point that home caregivers were required.

The disease took a sudden turn for the worse 6 months ago. It was necessary to have her alternate between a hospital bed set up in the living room and an electric tilt chair. She was incontinent, unable to talk, use her hands/arms, and stand on her feet. In other words, totally helpless. Had to keep prodding her to open her mouth for food and chew it once it was in her mouth. Estimated wgt, 100 lbs; normal 125.

During these 6 months, I hoped and prayed for her death, partly because of her misery, but also, selfishly, because of the burden on me. Despite caregivers, I had to lift her to / from the bed and chair, assist with the sponge bath, and assist with every Depends change which were frequent as she often had 3-4 bowel movements a day,. The Depends were almost always wet also. On top of that, I've always prepared her meals and fed her, right from the beginning. For the icing on the cake, two heavy-handed women from Adult Protective services harassed me because they believed that her vaginal area was too pink from urine contact (a urinary catheter was ineffective).

Because of the need for me to be "hands on," necessary chores weren't getting done, and I was forgetting to do things like lock the door at night. Didn't know if I was coming or going. And so I prayed for her demise. I got my wish April 10.

And for the past three days I've done nothing but cry, a new experience as I don't ever remember crying since early childhood. The guilt is overwhelming. And all her life, even thru this ordeal, she has always been sweet and gentle. My wife was the most considerate of others' feelings than any person I've ever known. Well, I didn't have time to do chores, now I have nothing but time during which I must resist the urge to eat the business end of dad's .38.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:13 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,432 posts, read 18,144,759 times
Reputation: 18811
Oh my goodness, Calvert. I am so sorry to hear about your wife's passing and the ordeal you went through. Wishing them to hurry up and die is not unusual for caregivers. We understand here. Please do not use that gun. Your wife certainly would not want you to do that. You need to go to bed, rest, scream, cry, throw something even but do not harm yourself. This is going to take a long time but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:50 PM
 
Location: One foot in CT one in KS
2,172 posts, read 2,896,361 times
Reputation: 6474
I am so sorry. There are no words that I can express to comfort you. I completely understand hoping for your loved one's decline to end at a peaceful death. We are in the grieving process too and some days the grief threatens to overwhelm us but I trust that there must be some plan to the universe and I always say that nothing happens by accident though that belief is being sorely tested right now.

I understand FWIW. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Cathy

RIP Pepper and Mrs. Calvert. "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." (Philippians 1:3)
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:34 PM
 
Location: NW AR
2,438 posts, read 2,037,769 times
Reputation: 2245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
She survived breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and, back in '99, the dangerous Whipple procedure in which doctors removed 1/2 of the stomach, part of the pancreas, and the entire duodenum which is the first part of the small intestine. She was my little warrior princess. Then in 2011 a non-Alzheimer's dementia along with corticobasal degeneration began. By early 2013, the disease progressed to the point that home caregivers were required.

The disease took a sudden turn for the worse 6 months ago. It was necessary to have her alternate between a hospital bed set up in the living room and an electric tilt chair. She was incontinent, unable to talk, use her hands/arms, and stand on her feet. In other words, totally helpless. Had to keep prodding her to open her mouth for food and chew it once it was in her mouth. Estimated wgt, 100 lbs; normal 125.

During these 6 months, I hoped and prayed for her death, partly because of her misery, but also, selfishly, because of the burden on me. Despite caregivers, I had to lift her to / from the bed and chair, assist with the sponge bath, and assist with every Depends change which were frequent as she often had 3-4 bowel movements a day,. The Depends were almost always wet also. On top of that, I've always prepared her meals and fed her, right from the beginning. For the icing on the cake, two heavy-handed women from Adult Protective services harassed me because they believed that her vaginal area was too pink from urine contact (a urinary catheter was ineffective).

Because of the need for me to be "hands on," necessary chores weren't getting done, and I was forgetting to do things like lock the door at night. Didn't know if I was coming or going. And so I prayed for her demise. I got my wish April 10.

And for the past three days I've done nothing but cry, a new experience as I don't ever remember crying since early childhood. The guilt is overwhelming. And all her life, even thru this ordeal, she has always been sweet and gentle. My wife was the most considerate of others' feelings than any person I've ever known. Well, I didn't have time to do chores, now I have nothing but time during which I must resist the urge to eat the business end of dad's .38.
It's a good thing you put this on the table because in a way, it seems you hold a lot of guilt. How do you know you got your wish? I think it was just her time to go and you were frustrated with the all the pressure/responsibility. You did a wonderful job and I know she is grateful for it. You should be the celebration of her life! I think that's what she always would want you to remember and share.. Peace to you.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:40 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,802,296 times
Reputation: 61840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
She survived breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and, back in '99, the dangerous Whipple procedure in which doctors removed 1/2 of the stomach, part of the pancreas, and the entire duodenum which is the first part of the small intestine. She was my little warrior princess. Then in 2011 a non-Alzheimer's dementia along with corticobasal degeneration began. By early 2013, the disease progressed to the point that home caregivers were required.

The disease took a sudden turn for the worse 6 months ago. It was necessary to have her alternate between a hospital bed set up in the living room and an electric tilt chair. She was incontinent, unable to talk, use her hands/arms, and stand on her feet. In other words, totally helpless. Had to keep prodding her to open her mouth for food and chew it once it was in her mouth. Estimated wgt, 100 lbs; normal 125.

During these 6 months, I hoped and prayed for her death, partly because of her misery, but also, selfishly, because of the burden on me. Despite caregivers, I had to lift her to / from the bed and chair, assist with the sponge bath, and assist with every Depends change which were frequent as she often had 3-4 bowel movements a day,. The Depends were almost always wet also. On top of that, I've always prepared her meals and fed her, right from the beginning. For the icing on the cake, two heavy-handed women from Adult Protective services harassed me because they believed that her vaginal area was too pink from urine contact (a urinary catheter was ineffective).

Because of the need for me to be "hands on," necessary chores weren't getting done, and I was forgetting to do things like lock the door at night. Didn't know if I was coming or going. And so I prayed for her demise. I got my wish April 10.

And for the past three days I've done nothing but cry, a new experience as I don't ever remember crying since early childhood. The guilt is overwhelming. And all her life, even thru this ordeal, she has always been sweet and gentle. My wife was the most considerate of others' feelings than any person I've ever known. Well, I didn't have time to do chores, now I have nothing but time during which I must resist the urge to eat the business end of dad's .38.
Our sincerest sympathies for the great loss of your lovely bride.

You really must think about what she would want you to do right now.
Would she want you to get out the .38 or would she want you to just to remember to breath in and out and take one step at a time?
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
3,270 posts, read 2,477,313 times
Reputation: 7221
CalvertHall, I'm so so sorry. I've read many of your posts dealing with the difficulties and heartaches you've faced caring for your beloved wife.

Please resist that urge to use the .38. I agree with the above poster that she would not want that for you.

I know in my heart that she sees you and smiles upon you and thanks you for your love and care these last years and months.

I offer hugs to you and many positive thoughts to help you through this. Hang in there, take it one day at a time.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:25 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
I also took care of my husband, although the tasks were different. There were times when I really did not want to do any of it - when I would have been happy for both of us to die right there. There were times when I thought I could not do it any more. But each time, I remembered that even though I was exhausted and spent, my actions would not be those of a spent person; my actions would be those of someone who loves. I would act out of love, and take care are the one I loved. That thought always gave me strength.

It is normal for a caregiver to want it all to end. It is also normal for someone who loves someone who is suffering to want it to end. From my viewpoint, I needed to accept that those thoughts were normal. In fact, everyone who is going through a terrible time wants it to end. What counts is what you ultimately decided to do, and that sounds like you cared for your wife until the end. She would not have asked more of you. She sounds like she was an understanding, loving person. She would have accepted your humanity, and it sounds like you need to accept that, too.

If you will allow me, I will quote for you an entry from Healing After Loss; Daily Meditations on Working Through Grief by M.W. Hickman:

Sometimes it is the last stone to be lifted from the grieving heart - the inability to accept forgiveness. And we each have our own catalog of things for which we yearn for forgiveness. The harsh word quickly spoken, the service performed begrudgingly - or not at all.

Who is holding out for reprisal? Is the one who has died scouling and shaking an accusing finger in some netherworld? More than likely it's we who continue to berate ourselves: How could you?

"When you forgive yourself, you are forgiven," says Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who for many years has written about and consoled others with the stages of grief.

Imagine a conversation between you and the one for whom you grieve. Would you want that person to be without flaws? Such a person would bear little resemblance to the one you love.

No more does that person want perfection of you. You wouldn't be recognizable, either!

I will try to let the weight of guilt and regret slip away. I am not perfect. I am loved. And love makes all kinds of allowances - and keeps on loving.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:59 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,739,165 times
Reputation: 7078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
She survived breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and, back in '99, the dangerous Whipple procedure in which doctors removed 1/2 of the stomach, part of the pancreas, and the entire duodenum which is the first part of the small intestine. She was my little warrior princess. Then in 2011 a non-Alzheimer's dementia along with corticobasal degeneration began. By early 2013, the disease progressed to the point that home caregivers were required.

The disease took a sudden turn for the worse 6 months ago. It was necessary to have her alternate between a hospital bed set up in the living room and an electric tilt chair. She was incontinent, unable to talk, use her hands/arms, and stand on her feet. In other words, totally helpless. Had to keep prodding her to open her mouth for food and chew it once it was in her mouth. Estimated wgt, 100 lbs; normal 125.

During these 6 months, I hoped and prayed for her death, partly because of her misery, but also, selfishly, because of the burden on me. Despite caregivers, I had to lift her to / from the bed and chair, assist with the sponge bath, and assist with every Depends change which were frequent as she often had 3-4 bowel movements a day,. The Depends were almost always wet also. On top of that, I've always prepared her meals and fed her, right from the beginning. For the icing on the cake, two heavy-handed women from Adult Protective services harassed me because they believed that her vaginal area was too pink from urine contact (a urinary catheter was ineffective).

Because of the need for me to be "hands on," necessary chores weren't getting done, and I was forgetting to do things like lock the door at night. Didn't know if I was coming or going. And so I prayed for her demise. I got my wish April 10.

And for the past three days I've done nothing but cry, a new experience as I don't ever remember crying since early childhood. The guilt is overwhelming. And all her life, even thru this ordeal, she has always been sweet and gentle. My wife was the most considerate of others' feelings than any person I've ever known. Well, I didn't have time to do chores, now I have nothing but time during which I must resist the urge to eat the business end of dad's .38.
Calvert, I wouldn't be so hard on yourself. Honestly. It's so hard taking care of someone you love so much. So hard to watch the once lively, fun loving life partner disappear into herself and grow farther from you and your reality. It's possible that you were both praying for the same thing, and that you both got your wish. She may have wished to no longer be a burden to you, to free you from caring for her, to love you enough to let you go. She wanted you to live a good, long life after hers was over. She fully understood the pain and anguish you were going through and wanted to relieve you of that pain. She knew you would grieve, and wonder what was worth living for, but she's got an answer for you, a reason for you to keep living. She just hasn't revealed it yet. Our loved ones rarely leave us without having a plan for us. Hang in there. Spring is here, life is new, a time of rebirth. Enjoy it. Think of her, happy and young, and pain free. Her mind is sharp again, she still loves you and is so grateful you loved her. Remember and enjoy. That's the best gift you could give her. Plant flowers for her, cry for her, but also be happy for her and hold her memories tightly.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:11 AM
 
Location: NW AR
2,438 posts, read 2,037,769 times
Reputation: 2245
A support group would be of much help and offer the one-on-one time you need. CD is full of people that have schedules, taking care of families, in business or in school. ( some are alone) There are many people out there that hurt over the same issue. Many people grieve over the same thing and may need you and also might help you to connect to yourself. It's a win-win.

I can't think of anyone that wakes-up and wants to be suddenly sick. My best to you.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:37 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
Were you helped at the end by a hospice? Many hospice organizations sponsor support groups and grief counseling. Either or both might be of use to you. Even if you did not use hospice, you might still be able to attend one of their groups, or you might find something similar through other sources. I attended an eight session widow's (and widower's) support group, and it was very helpful for me.
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