I'm hoping that journaling will help, but I don't want to do it on my own computer. I don't know how to start this so I'll just start with "it's Sunday night and it's just hitting me that I'm never going to see him again."

My husband died on Jan 19, completely unexpectedly. He was fine on Monday - we had gone out and done some shopping, gotten some lunch, spent time together. Monday night I went to my dance class and he practiced his guitar. I kissed him goodnight and he went to bed in the back bedroom because his tooth was bothering him (he was scheduled for a root canal on Tuesday).

About 6am I heard him up and around and heard him being sick in the bathroom. His stomach sometimes bothered him, so that wasn't anything really unusual. He went back to bed and I also went back to sleep. About 7:40 I went in to check on him and see how he was doing. I asked about him being sick and he said he had vomited up some blood. I asked if he wanted me to call the doctor and he said no. At 8:00 I was calling our doctor's office anyway, but there was no answer. I tried the paging service but didn't get a call back (I later learned I had put the callback number in wrong). I went in to sit with him and asked if he wanted me to take him to the emergency room... he said no, just to check on him in a few minutes and he'd try to rest. He never liked people to hover and fuss over him when he wasn't feeling well, so I went to the den. I was trying to get hold of the doctor again, as well as the dentist to cancel his root canal, when he walked down the hall to the bathroom and told me, "I need to go to the hospital." That was about 8:30. I thought he meant he wanted me to take him, so I waited for him to come out of the bathroom so we could go. I remember commenting to our cleaning lady (who was in doing our monthly cleaning) that I was glad he said he wanted to go, because I was about to take him to the ER if he didn't.

When he came out, he asked "Are the paramedics on the way?" as he went to the back bedroom, and that's when I realized he wanted an ambulance. I called 911 and then went back to sit with him. I told them they were on the way. He asked me, "How do I look?" and I answered, "Like you need an ambulance."

The paramedics were there by 8:40. They wheeled the gurney into the back bedroom and I held his hand as they asked us some questions about what was going on. He answered some of them, but he passed out shortly after they got there, before they could even get an oxygen mask on him. Two EMTs deadlifted him onto the gurney and I asked, "Am I riding with you or following?" They said to follow and I asked them where they were going - it was to a hospital a few minutes away. As they wheeled my husband out to the ambulance, I picked up my purse, his wallet, his medications, and my laptop computer (with the idea that I'd be spending the day in the hospital at his bedside). I asked our cleaning lady to take care of the dogs when she was done, and went out to my car to follow the ambulance.

The ambulance didn't leave right away. I knew they'd said something about getting an IV into him and thought maybe they were waiting to do that before they headed out, rather than try to do it in a moving vehicle. It was a couple of minutes before I realized that all four emergency personnel - from both the ambulance and fire truck - were in the back of the ambulance. I got out of my car and went to the ambulance, and that's when I realized that the entire ambulance was moving up and down rhythmically. That's when I realized they were doing CPR. That's when I started praying.

About a minute or two later one of the responders got out and I asked what was going on. He told me my husband had gone into cardiac arrest, then asked if I wanted to ride with them to the hospital. I clearly remember saying, "F*ck yes, let me get my stuff" and running to my car for my purse. I only vaguely remember the ride to the hospital, because I was clutching the door handle and praying to whatever gods might be listening, all the while knowing that cardiac arrest was a bad, bad thing. There was something on the radio about an accident near the hospital, so we had to take some side roads, and I remember thinking that if I had driven him, we would have been caught in the backup from the accident.

When we got to the hospital, the driver told me, "I'm going to help them get in and then I'll come get you." I answered, "Okay, but don't be surprised if I'm not here" and got out of the ambulance as he did. I stayed out of the way as they wheeled my husband into the ER with a paramedic doing chest compressions all the way to the treatment room. I think I gave the hospital staff some information about my husband - I vaguely remember that - then stood in the doorway of the treatment room while they worked on him. Chest compressions in real life look nothing like they do on TV.

As they worked on him, one of the EMTs asked me if I wanted to stay or if I'd rather go to the waiting room. I told him that I wanted to stay, that I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. I told him that my mom was a nurse and I knew what the chances were. He let me stay, and I stood there watching and praying while they worked. As the EMTs updated the ER staff I learned they had given him three shocks in the ambulance, as well as bicarb and two doses of epi. His blood glucose was 225 - "normal" for him was about 120, as he was on medication for diabetes. I wasn't in hysterics, which may be why one of the nurses asked if I wanted to sit with him. They brought in a chair and I held his hand while they continued chest compressions, held his hand while they stopped compressions and looked for a rhythm, held his hand when they said he was gone.

It was maybe 9:20. An hour and a half after kissing my love good morning, he was gone forever.

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