My Husband was given 18 months to live back on February 14th, 2007. He was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Hypertension, Emphysema and later with an AAA and A Fractured T12. Eighteen months came and went. Then, we started our ride on the roller coaster from Hell. I watched the Love of my life change from a strong, hard working man to a man who spent 24/7 in bed. Only able to get up to go to the bathroom and who had to wear a catheter for three years.
He would try not to let me know how bad it hurt. He would think I was sleeping and he would scream and be crying. He had an e-coli urinary track infection for over four years. Over six years and three months later, we would ride the coaster over and over again. He would always get so close to dying- over 10 times and every time he would bounce back.
There were things he wanted to happen before he left this world. He wanted to see our sons again. They came at Easter. He wanted to live long enough to see the adoption happen. The adoption was final on April 11, 2013. He wanted my Social Security and Disability Insurance to come through, so I would have an income.
Hospice took the choice for him dying at home away from me. He had to be taken to the hospital on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Everyone kept saying- They didn’t know John. He could bounce back just like before. I didn’t think so. John stopped breathing three times on his way to the hospital. The hospice nurse was in the ambulance with him and gave him his Roxanol and his Oxygen would go up. I had that gut feeling that this was it. Six years and three months, at this point, seemed like a mere few days...
Around 4:45 p.m., I got a phone call that my Social Security and Disability Insurance had been approved. I told John and he started crying. I told him everything he wanted to happen, had happened. He was able to talk as they tried to make him comfortable. I had told the nurses that if it looked like he was going to go to wake me up, and at 2:15 a.m., they woke me up.
I was laying beside him and I leaned over and laid my head on him and hugged him. His Oxygen shot up to 77 and his heart rate 100. I had stopped his passing. I cried and cried because that meant he had to suffer longer. The nurses said that he had enough medicine in him to put two grown men on ventilators. He finally settled down and I talked to him and told him ~It was time to let go and go to Heaven.
He kept trying to pick up our Chihuahua, Poco, who died on March 13, 2011, and our cat Gizmo, who died in 1999. I had just put on one of his favorite songs, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) and was telling him that he wasn’t alone. I was right there with him. He lifted his head and glanced at me.
I said, “It’s okay, John Baby. I love you so much Baby. It is finished. The battle is over.”
He held my hand as we laid there. He pulled his arm away and laid it on his stomach. I hit the nurses button and they came running. But, My Baby was gone. I walked over to the window to look out while they took care of him. I didn’t want to see his face.
The nurses left the room. We were alone. I got my stuff together and as I was leaving, I went to his head and laid my face on his ear and talked to him. Told him Thank you for 25 wonderful years and that I loved him and would do it all over again. I kissed his forehead. I started to leave the room, when, I had a very strong urge to look at him. So, I turned and looked at him. As tears streamed down my face, I smiled. John had the most peaceful look on his face that I have ever seen. No look of pain or torment. Just Peace. I am so glad I looked back. It is a memory I will not forget.
~Susan Stevenson Lee~