Bereaved Spouses

A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.

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Comment by Marsha H on July 7, 2014 at 3:16pm

DesertDove ...  There is so much that I went through in the hospital where my husband was that I couldn't get it all on this page so will leave my email on your private board and give you more info, but here is just a few of the things I learned to watch out for. (Remember, I live outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.)

  • Get a second opinion when it comes to surgery.
  • When you consult with the surgeon you have chosen and have the long talk with them as to what is going to be done ask permission to tape the conversation so you don't forget anything and always have either a family member or a friend go with the person having the surgery.  I did tape our surgeon and he's in deep do-do.  My family doctor was in awe I was able to get that with the permission of the surgeon.
  • Once the surgeon for the patient has them in the hospital they have power over the patient more so than the spouse, but the spouse can force this issue by having their spouse (patient) sign themselves out.  I was not aware of this and I was making plans for nursing care when my husband and I were led to believe he would be coming home.
  • Each hospital has a special group of people who are there to help you through the red tape, explain things, are encouraging to both the patient and their spouses and family members and we were never told about that.
  • When medications such as Morphine are given it can cause major stomach upset and my husband complained of this and I couldn't believe the doctors or nurses didn't think to give him Gravol (for nausea) before the shot of Morphine and I had to get nasty to get it.
  • The healthy spouse has a right to know what is going on with their spouse and if their specialist or surgeon is not conforming to this then complain!
  • The healthy spouse should write down questions before going to visit their spouse in the hospital and phone ahead to see when the specialist or surgeon will be there talking to the patient.  If the specialist or surgeon refuses to include the healthy spouse then complain to Hospital Administration.
  • If things are going badly and the patient is not treated with dignity in any way remember two words 'lawyer' and 'media.'  Hospital shrink back at those 2 words and don't need media coverage.  I sure used it and it saved a lot of emotional pain.
  • If a patient is terminal it doesn't matter what age they are and here in Canada they have a right to Hospice Care.  If this is not being done then complain to Hospital Administration.  Hospice doesn't always mean the terminal patient is there permanently and depending on the nature of the illness may be able to come home for a few days or a weekend and go back to Hospice.  Hospice is open 24/7 for visitors.

I'm running out of room DesertDove so please check your private post and I'll leave you my email address and give you the complete story if you like.  It is not private to anyone on here and if they want to know more they can let me know.  Hope these tips have helped all.



Comment by DesertDove on July 6, 2014 at 11:25am
Hi Carol. Oh yr welcome. yes a difficult movie to watch, but it is really good. I felt compassion for C s Lewis. here he was getting married for the first time @ 58 yrs old! Only to hv her pass away 5 yrs later. he really got robbed. & I can relate cuz I was married for 5 yrs too & the same thing happened to me. Luckily we were both retired so spent everyday together. my late husband was 2 weeks short of being 65 yrs old... life sure can be unfair huh? So yeah it's called the shadowlands w/Anthony Hopkins It has some beautiful scenery in it. The College in England is pretty. yes let me know how u like it
Comment by DesertDove on July 6, 2014 at 11:05am
Hi Marsha. Oh Wow! on the Aids info. & thank u for what u said. If it is not to difficult for u. I would like to know what they all did at the Hospital cuz I hv a very close friend whose girlfriend had same thing, but he only told me she was in hospital for a month. she wasn't old enough to hv hospice. If u want u can tell me on a private email, but I think u would do everyone a great service by sharing. cuz next time someone has a loved one with Pancreatic cancer. they will know what NOT to let hospital do, u know the ones who can't get hospice. & this close friend him & his live in girlfriend. He promised her to pay Hospital bill. which I think is stupid. @. 58 yrs old. the balance on the bill. is $40,000.00 !!! I think it was over $100,000.00 ! I don't understand why she would put that heavy load on his back! Who cares what yr credit is when u hv passed. Maybe she didn't want him to meet someone else. cuz it definitely cuts I to his providing for another gal in his life. & worse yet he is now 60. & needs a Hernia surgery & a shoulder surgery. he could use that money to support himself instead of having to do physical labor to make income. Thx
Comment by Marsha H on July 5, 2014 at 5:27am

DesertDove ... you are so right that it's all about money and the public is finally becoming aware that there are greedy people in big business with no morals even when it comes to children suffering from cancer or other serious diseases. 

I always thought that AIDS was an 'ooops' or purposely done and I saw a documentary on just that and it was.  How those poor people suffered and to pick on one group of people such as gays was unthinkable.  People who received blood transfusions contracted HIV.  I did see the 'Dallas Buyer's Club' and although depressing it was a wake-up call.  Matthew MacConhey lost weight of course on purpose for that role and as usual did a superb job of acting. 

I am so sorry your dear husband had to go through so much and have such treatments.  I can certainly relate to you as my husband had pancreatic cancer and what the doctors and hospital did to him there was unthinkable and I had to fight like a wounded grizzly constantly.

Comment by Marsha H on July 5, 2014 at 5:21am

Theresa ... very smart of you to ask those question donating to cancer research.  I always ask what their administration fees are and they are stunned and can't even answer that.  Anything over 10% is too much.  Thankfully in British Columbia, Canada a cancer patient can get Marijuana and they carry a special document with them just in case they are stopped by the police.  However, some say the Marijuana the government gives out isn't as good as the Marijuana growers have and so many of us are on the bandstand to fight government to legalize Marijuana mainly for medicinal purposes and treat it as a business (farming it) and stopping the grow-ups here that can be dangerous for the police to enter premises.  Killing two birds with one stone, but oh no, that would make no sense to our government yet they would be making millions in tax money.  The more I research all of this the madder I get.  There is a drastic drop in chemo therapy treatments by patients and they are looking for alternative treatments. The pharmaceutical companies are in dire straights over it and it's means of course a big loss of money.

Comment by Carol Kayser on July 4, 2014 at 9:18pm

DesertDove, thanks so much for the suggestion.  I want to see the movie it just looked gruelling to me but it sounds like I should definitely see it!

Sorry that happened to your husband - that's quite disgusting:( where is the respect for the patient...sigh.  Good for you for doing that.




ps will let you know re the movie!

Comment by Theresa Wimann on July 4, 2014 at 7:25pm
I donate nothing to cancer research. When they call I ask if they are testing biological or physics based treatments. They ask like what. So I ask are they researching cannabis use for cancer treatment. If they say no, I say you are part of the problem then. Why would I want to have something artificial in my body?
Comment by DesertDove on July 3, 2014 at 11:16am
Oh I whole heartily agree with u Barbara & Carol what u both say is soooo true. If anyone hasn't seen it. I highly recommend u rent. the movie. "Dallas Buyer's Club" with Matthew McConahey based on a true story touches on this very subject!! All the greed those med'l & pharma companies have!! In my most vulnerable state of mind. the Hospital where my late husband was in even did a treatment he didn't need, but I didn't know. until one time they came in at midnight & I said he just fell asleep. Can u do it later & the rn said to me u can stop it if u want to. So I did. he had Hepititus C. liver was shot. he was dying & here they were giving him ammonia treatments! I hate them for that. It's the almighty dollar!!
Comment by Barbara Sullivan on July 3, 2014 at 7:03am

Carol -- our society is all about greedy profits and NOT about advancing to a cure or prevention of cancer.  Science is sold to the highest bidder and our (U.S) government agencies are in cahoots with the corporations who see a cheap, natural treatment of cancer as a threat to their bottom line.  

My husband was given a single injection, during his cancer treatment, at a cost of $11,000.  I later learned that the same drug is available in Canada for $2700!!!  In California for $8000.  And, various prices in other places.  The drug companies are NOT in a race for the cure -- but, in a race for cash!  

My heart breaks for the lives lost and the families devastated by this disease -- and I am tortured by the thought that my husband and so many others might have been saved --- except for the love of the almighty dollar!  

My sister, who has been battling cancer for 2 years, recently waited for 3 weeks for a drug that neither Medicaid or Medicare will pay for -- as a single Mom who has been unable to work due to her illness, she cannot afford to pay for the medicine, herself.  

In my small community there is almost always some event going on to raise money to pay for the treatment of a child with cancer.

How heartless and greedy can the drug companies be?  Heartless enough to allow a child to die -- while they keep their researchers busy looking at yet another expensive drug that does not cure!!!

Forgive the rant!!!  I just hate that we are all held hostage by big corporations!


Comment by Carol Kayser on July 3, 2014 at 1:00am
Oh Wilela and Marsha. I feel exactly the same. Good conversation to have. I don't contribute because I feel very strongly the same way and have friends that do too. I did ask though a friend who worked there and you can make a specific donation to certain research and it must be directed right there.
I have a very close friend, he is quite brilliant and owns a company in Victoria with a branch in England. He and 3 other researchers/doctors their goal is natural cancer treatments and a blood test to detect early cancer. I can look up the links, but he has had dealings at all levels of healthcare and government and his words to me were they didn't want to hear it if it didn't involve drugs and chemo. Around the world other research is being done on non chemo based treatments but in Canada the cancer agencies absolutely refuse to work with anything else and in fact threaten their patients not to take anything else. It's a big political, drug company, profit driven organization. Patients are not their priority, they are their own priority.

Well that's me on my soapbox!
Hope you ladies enjoyed Canada Day!


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