On June 25, at the age of 40, I had to hold a memorial service for my husband. Everyone says that this is way too young of an age for me to have to go through this... be a widow. I'm pretty sure that there isn't ANY good or "right" age for this to happen to anyone.
On June 18th, my husband was with his best friend getting ready to help a member of the community out with some yardwork. His friend told me later that Steve (my husband) had complained of "the worst headache of my life" but continued to make preperations for work. Not long after that comment, he told his friend that he had to sit down, that he was feeling a little weak. When asked if he wanted to go back to sit in the truck he said that no, he was ok... just needed to lie down for a minute.
When I reached the area where my husband was, his friend and his wife (a nurse) were with him. Along with the local volunteer rescue workers. When I knelt beside him, where he lay on the hot ground, he reached out and took my hand and turned his head to me. I wanted him to talk to me, tried to get him to talk to me... to no avail. His eyes were fixed (looking upward and to the right). He was hot and his left side seemed to be paralyzed. As I tried to help rescue cool him off by placing wet towels on his skin I watched another person cut off his favorite t-shirt. One that he's worn for years... and I thought "Ah man.. he's really going to be upset about that"
Steve squeezed my hand hard a couple of times, then reached out to tug on my hair... then grabbed my hand again. He started seizing the moment the ambulance drove up. I kept thinking that it was odd that only the right side of his body was shaking... and that I had never seen anyone with heat or sun stroke so I didn't know if this was normal or not.
When the ambulance stopped just at the entrance to the interstate that night... on their way to the hospital with Steve... I knew that something was horribly wrong. But still being in a state of semi shock I didn't push the issue with anyone. I just stood back, next to my car, and let them do whatever they needed to do inside that vehicle. When the driver of the ambulance jumped out, slammed the door and stated "whoever is following me to the hospital had better not try to keep up because I'm going to be hauling ***" I again had that feeling of impending doom.
Upon reaching the ER I was told by one of the paramedics that there was some good news... Steve had started breathing on his own again on the trip there. I thought... wait... I didn't know that he had STOPPED breathing. A nurse came out and asked his sister and I and her husband to please step into the "family counseling" room. I knew at that moment that my husband would never be well again. I had no idea what had happened... why that feeling came over me I'll never know... but it did. I'll never wish that upon my worst enemy.
I was told by the neurosurgeon many, many minutes later that my husband had suffered from an "intercerebral hemorrhage" and that there had been "significant" damage to the brain stem. Just for the record... that is the LAST time that I saw my husband's doctor.
When we were allowed to go back to see him, he was barely breathing on his own (they also had him on a ventilator) and one of his pupils were fixed. His heartbeat was strong. I thought that maybe a few days stay and I would get to take him home with me. That I may have to take care of him for the rest of my life... but that was ok. I could accept that. Even welcomed that thought.
For a time.
After four agonizing days of hearing about the softball sized clot on his brain, clinical diagnoses, trying to futily straighten out hands and arms that were posturing up and watching my husbands face gradually grow more and more peaceful... I removed him from Life support. He died at 1:43 PM on Monday, the 22nd of June.
No one will ever know why this happened, what caused it (speculation was a congenital birth defect) or why it took 44 years for it to happen. My husband was a healthy man. A Law Enforcement officer on the verge of joining the State Police. He had no health problems aside from high cholesterol, which was controlled with medication, and a few seasonal allergies. A man taken from this earth in the prime of his life.
I want to know why.