Monday, July 13, 2009
The Worst Day of My Life
When I started this blog in November of 2008 I wanted to make Zack and me the focal point of what it was about. For the most part I have stuck to that goal. I have not made the trauma of 2006 – 2008 a focal point of the blog though I have discussed it at times. Today and tomorrow are going to be two days on which I focus my postings on those issues. A year ago today I lived what is to this point and might well be for all time the worst day of my life. It started at 12:45AM on July 13 when I got a call from the hospital saying that Patty had taken a turn for the worse. It was a shock since at 11:30PM I had talked to the hospital and they indicate that Patty was doing well and tolerating her dialysis. In 1.25 hours everything turned around. By the time I reached the hospital that night the immediate crisis had passed but the final outcome was already determined. Over the next 37.5 hours I sat in that room (the death room as I had always called it – because that’s where the most critically sick people were placed) and I watched one of the people who meant the most to me die. It wasn’t a quick and effortless death. It was long and drawn out. With every second I sat there I watched the monitors go up and down. When the values went too low the monitors would begin to beep. Unlike previous times however the values usually never went up very much. In most cases the nurses just decided to turn the alarms on the monitors off. To this day I sit here and I shake as I think of the horror of those last 37.5 hours. I had seen people die right in front of my face before but this was different. It is hard to explain, it is hard to describe, but it was a difficult death. Patty did not want to go but her body and the horrible infection that she suffered gave her no choice. In the end I was asked by the doctors to end the fight for her - and I did. At noon on July 14 I made the decision to terminate life support. It was the last act of kindness and love that I could show the physical form of someone I loved so much. Today I will focus on those memories and I will relive what happened last year this time. Regardless of where I am today and tomorrow, I will still live my life with eternal hope and optimism. That hope and optimism doesn’t spring from any source outside of me (well except for Zack), it doesn’t spring from a drug or alcohol. It is not based upon a belief in something greater than me, it is based upon a belief that life is to be lived and cherished – not regretted, not looked back upon with questions and uncertainty. I am where I am in life and though it is not where I want to be, I will make it as happy and as content of a place as I can. Events over the last several months have confirmed that belief and outlook. Though I allowed myself to be in position where I suffered emotionally, I will never stop being optimistic. From the ashes of all that we have passed through new and different things will come and with them comes hope. So as I remember Patty during this anniversary of her death, I won’t sit back and be sad. Instead I will remember all that was good about her and what she added to my life. And with the foundation of all that she gave me, I will continue to look to the future with optimism and hope. As long as there is life – there is hope! Cherish every moment you have! - J.