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Feel Like a Widow

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On March 31st, 2013 my husband Richard laid down on the sofa with his beloved poodle, and told me he had a headache.

About at hour later, he screamed out to get him to the hospital. I ran to him to find him vomiting, and having a seizure. I tried to keep him on his side so he would not aspirate. At the local hospital, the scan indicated a massive bilateral bleed. He was flown to the closest Neuro ICU. Before he got on the helicopter, I told him "I love you butt head". He said, " I love you A-hole". These were the last lucid words I heard from him.

He spend a month in Neuro ICU. He failed the swallow studies, and the Doctor's pushed for gastrostomy tube insertion. Against my heart instincts, I allowed the Doctor to insert the gastrostomy tube, as two of his brothers felt he would recover.

He cannot speak. He still cannot swallow. He cannot walk or sit upright. He is now in a nursing home, and most of the time I don't think that he even knows me. He is 57 years old.

I have to sell our house in the country as I cannot maintain it without him. He was the primary caretaker for our 3 dogs and 4 cats. As a nurse I will not be able to properly care for them, and I'm afraid I am going to have to put them down, or send them to a shelter.

I am scared to death, and I feel like a widow who is mourning the passing of a man who is still alive.

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Hi Pam,

I had an SAH and it was not easy for my family, I never spoke but I sang and I was in cuckooland for approx.

a year.

Then the surgeon said he thought I would benefit from having a shunt fitted.

My hubby was a bit uneasy about this but surgeon said if it was his wife he'd have it done.

So Glad my hubby listened to Surgeon.

I do not know about your Hubbys condition but all I can say is good luck.

Has he shown any signs of knowing you?

Wishing you and hubby well. xx

WinB143 Hard post to reply to x

Edited by Winb143
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Hi Pam,

What can i say, my heart goes out to you. I really hope that you have some supportive family around to help you.

It is very early days for your husband Richard, try to keep positive, easy to say i know.

I am so very sorry you are having to sell your house, work and have the worry of your husband and the 3 dogs and 4 cats. Such a heartbreaking and stressful time for you.

Wishing all the best to you and Richard.

Take care xx

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I am sorry to hear of all that is going on in your life at the moment.

I am also very glad you found this site. We don't have all the answers, but we are very supportive.

I really feel like many of the people here are an extended family. In times of hardship we need all the support we can get.

If you need an ear to bend feel free to send messages, or if you think many people can help just ask in here.

All the best, prayers and positive thoughts go out to you and yours.

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Hi Pam, warm welcome glad you found us.

Yes I hope you have a good support net work around you really does help.

its a very scarry place your in just now, maybe Rehab would be better than a nuring home they'd do physico may help with the sitting up and walking and stuff they thought I would be 80% disabled glad to say Im not.

Your maybe mouring the person you knew the there is still a person there we all couldnt be where we are today without our 'other halfs'

take care

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I too couldn't talk at first, but now I can. I can say that I recognized everyone around me though so don't give up hope that he doesn't know you're there. It is so early in his recovery that all you can do is take it one step at a time. New growth will take place. I am still having improvements and it has been 18months! He really is grateful for you as I was for my husband when it happened. Yes he went through a lot and so did I, but we did it all together and our lives are totally different now, but they are ours again. Keep the hope.


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Hello Pam,

I am sorry for what has happened to you. It just gives me a pit in my stomach. I hope there is a better outcome for you and Richard in the future. The same thing happened to my mother. If you ever feel the need to vent, there are a number of wondderful people here to listen. I feel like a lump for complaining about headaches after reading your story. I wish the best for you and husband.


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hi pam

im sorry to hear the news about hubby I was in the same position you are in now I know how you feel but don't give up its still early days so far it took lin 18 months before she left hospital and is now in a nursing home lin had a massive bleed sounds very much like your hubby I also worked in the health service and the fact that what happened is so close to home if it had been someone else you could deal with it but like me because lin is so close to me and personal I fell apart because there is nothing I can do to make it better and that's what's hurts big time I and you cant do anything except be there

I do have empathy for you big time its sound strange he is in a nursing home so soon but if he gets the phyiso and help he should make some progress the peg feed is normal don't feel guilty about it you did right

one question did you and hubby have life insurance with critical cover if so claim it should pay the mortgage off take time before you make such a heavy decision take a deep breath

only time will tell how hubby will progress lin is very much like hubby but lin shows that she is still with me even after 4and half years I will send you a pm with my number use it if you wish chin up we are here to support you and hubby take care keep us updated if you can which part of the country are you in?

take care thinking of you

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My heart goes out to you. A SAH is a very traumatic experience for both the patient and their loved ones.

The feeling of helplessness can be overpowering, but as others have said, do not lose hope. Richard is still with you and as long as there is life there is hope.

Do not forget to take time out for yourself, and build up a strong support network to help you get through these difficult times.

Post as often as you need, there are plenty on this site who will offer help and support.

Take care,


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Pam. I'm so sorry. Your world has turned upside down and having to make all these decisions and changes must be agonising. I hope you have some comfort and support from family.

. There's a lady on another stroke forum , Kate Allatt, who has written a book on her experiences, she shares openly that whilst she couldn't do anything in the early days but she could hear and understand everything. The brain definately shuts down the external channels like speech and movement where massive healing is required.

My family were told no hope. Couldn't possibly survive the severity of the bleed. If i did then Most likely the hydrocephalus effect would have left me in a damaged state.

I'm not who I was. I can't do what I did but I have made a huge journey as have many on here so I think there's always hope. But even when all seems hopeless the squeeze of the hand is still felt.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Pam,

My Mum & I are in a similar situation. My Dad had a massive bleed on 28th March & is still in hospital. He too has a PEG feed fitted.

Although there have been periods where he seem's to recognise us, conversley, there have been times we could have been anyone. It's so hard & frankly surreal.

I know my Mum has worried about whether she will be able to keep the house on if Dad dosen't come home.

Surely there must be support out there.

Have you spoken to the RCN? Surely they might be able to offer some support. I know there is a benevolent fund for NHS workers, but not sure what the criteria is.

How have your work been? Are they supportive?

Love & Hug's



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