Nick’s last day in hospital – includes VIDEO

Continuing on from last week’s post, I bring you this, Nick’s last day in hospital:

Thursday Night:

Nick had drifted off to sleep, while I lay on the stretcher besides him. His health that day had steadily declined to a point where he wasn’t able to communicate much, and when he did his voice was just a whisper. He’d barely been out of his bed in over 24 hours. The once rowdy, confident Nick of old was gone, replaced by this quiet, raspy voiced person instead. His face was angular, having lost all of its plumpness and his body wasn’t much more than skin and bones.

I couldn’t believe we’d ended up here, but yet we were. Only 7 months earlier, we’d had it all and now I was contemplating a future alone, without my partner in love and life. But still, I stay focused and strong, Nick needed me now, and we vowed to stay positive, always, and one thing we never did, was ask ‘why us?’, I wasn’t about to start now.

Nick's last day in hospital - includes a video
Nick and I in happier times, note the rainbow in the background!

Halfway through the night, I remember him waking me up to say he needed to go to the bathroom. He motioned to the bathroom door and started to try and get up. I went to him to assist, but he pushed me away, showing he wanted to do it alone and he did, just like that. He steadied himself on the side of the bed and lifted his torso up and starting the few steps to the bathroom door, not saying very much, just mumbling as he went.

I stood behind him, ready to catch him, but he seemed strong, shuffling his way across the floor. I was secretly thrilled, watching him do this alone, when he’d needed assistance before. It gave me hope that maybe things were turning around. He started shuffling back to bed, again unassisted, though I helped him swing his legs up onto the bed and he went back to sleep. Me with a big smile on my face, thinking in the morning, we are finally going to have good news, this had to be a sign!

Friday:

Next morning, I start about my normal routine, making my bed, folding sheets away, and getting ready to head back to the apartment to shower and change. Nick wasn’t very responsive, but I put that down to the morphine working its magic. His oncologist came in to check on him with more tests, I started to rattle off, how Nick had walked unassisted and it was a good sign, blah, blah, blah…apparently I wasn’t quite the nurse I thought I was.

Within a half hour of his visit, and me almost on my way out back home, the doctor came to me outside the room and said, ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea you go anywhere, Nick doesn’t have long to go and I’d hate for you to not be here.’ Uhh, doctor said what ???

Although this was something we knew would happen eventually, from the week starting off so well, I couldn’t have imagined that the last two days meant the end, right now! But, seeing him laying in his hospital bed, a shadow of his former self, his body once strong, was now giving up its fight, there was nothing left to give, he couldn’t go on, I understood what had to happen next.

Apparently, his final act of walking himself to the bathroom, is a common occurrence in people who are near the end, they somehow find this last store of energy to use. Have you ever witnessed this?

Anyway, I dove straight into action, telling everyone who’d listen that we had to get him home. I spoke softly to him and told him I was taking him home, he nodded with a faint smile, acknowledging what i’d said, he knew his time had come.

The ambulance would take us and i’d follow in my car, Nick tried to speak, he was telling me he wanted me in the ambulance with him, and then the thought occurred, that if he didn’t make the ride home, I wouldn’t be with him. Change tactics, I called his good friend, John to meet me at the hospital to drive my car, so I could ride with him instead. Sorted.

The palliative care team were sent to the room to speak to me, to discuss end of life options and support for me after his death, I told them I was fine and thanked them for coming by. They said, ‘You do realise Nick isn’t going to make it and the end has come’, but I was prepared and standing around talking to a bunch of ladies about it, was taking me away from my final hours with Nick.

I was given bags of medication to take with us, since we were going home, we were also going it alone, without doctor assistance. I didn’t really know what that meant, at that stage, just that it was Nick’s last wish and I was going to make it happen.  Our oncologist and another good doctor friend, came past and briefed me on what might happen when the end came, I think anyone else might have fainted having to hear worst case scenarios, but I took it all in and hoped for the best.

Then came the farewells, nurses, doctors, other patients, receptionists, our beautiful pharmacist friend, it was a steady stream of people who Nick had touched so dearly in his time there. The news had travelled fast. Some couldn’t come into the room, not wanting to see him like that, how far he’d deteriorated, they called me outside instead, to pass me their details and give me a hug. There were tears as we said our goodbyes, knowing we’d never be back there and I could never re-pay them for the friendship and support they’d given us.

I started making phone calls to our families, to meet us at home, the news was less than welcomed, but I knew he’d want them with us when the time came.

And soon, it was time to leave the hospital, the ambulance had arrived, we were going home. and I was ready.

I’ll end this here and I want to include the below video of Nick in better health, the date is 28th September, 2010. This video is far less emotional than the last I shared.

It shows Nick talking about his chemo treatment and as always, his love for his baby girl, Claudia. I like that it shows his strength, in trying to maintain as normal a life as he could, under the circumstances.

As he said, he kept soldiering on and never gave up hope, because everyday is a new day!

I think that’s something we should all remember, when you’re having a bad day, when the kids are crying, when your work day hasn’t gone as planned, when you ruin your new favourite shoes, everyday is a new day and a chance to do over and start again.

Having perspective over these type of issues, is what will see you through the hard days, because life isn’t perfect, its made up of lots of less than perfect moments, but it’s how you react to those times, that make you a stronger person.

Without Nick battling and losing his fight, I might not have learnt this life lesson, which is why I am grateful for him and everyday I have been given.

Thank you for reading, i’ll pick this up again next week, please continue to share, like, comment, it means the world to me to get Nick’s message across, life is precious.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post!

Til next week, Michela x

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14 thoughts on “Nick’s last day in hospital – includes VIDEO

  1. Hi Michela
    My sister in law and her family were over last night and she told me about your blog. So I googled it and started reading it then and there! Totally forgetting they were there. I have been reading it all night and I have never been so inspired by yours and Nick strength. It’s obvious this blog is such a great healing for you as well as great memories for your daughter but in doing so you have created great inspiration for so many people. I’m a big beleiver that everything that happens in ones life is for the soul to grow and evolve so when we die we take these lessons with us and both our souls and other souls learn from each others experiences. It feels like you and Nick have shared many life experiences together and in this life time you have fulfilled an amazing experience that not even physical death can separte. Thank you for sharing your experience with us it takes love and courage to open yourself to others and you ooze both take care and look after yourself and your beautiful family xx

    1. Hi Jo,
      Thank you so much for reading my blog and also for taking the time to write me, I really appreciate it!
      I’m so glad to hear you are inspired by our story, I never thought anyone would want to read it when I first started. It also encourages me to keep writing when I receive such beautiful feedback as yours. Please thank your sister in law for getting you onto it, i’m also always so surprised to hear people discuss it and spread the word about it, Nick would be thrilled!
      I agree with you, everything that happens in life is for us to grow through and our souls to learn from, there are no accidents in life, im a firm believer in that and its why I am never bitter about Nick’s passing, it was just what had to be and I still feel close to him, even if its not physical anymore.
      Thank you so much, I hope you continue to read along
      Michela xx

  2. Michela, I have just started reading from the beggining of your experience with Nick and I am just speechless. You have become and are a testament to the true meaning of the word ‘strength’ and your beautiful daughter is lucky to have you as a mother to share this strength with. Even though I never met your husband, Nick was a survivor and an inspiration to others. I am a big believer in that bad things seem to happen to good people. Your story is a BIG reminder that everyday IS precious and to just enjoy every moment and not fret about the ‘bad days’. I look forward to reading and watching more of your story.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thank you so much for reading along and taking the time to write me, I really appreciate it!
      You absolutely get the message of my story, to be thankful for every day and to not worry, because everything will work out.
      I always think if Nick could be so happy and content and know that he was dying, and not going to be around for us, then what is my excuse for having a bad day, when I still have so much life to live??
      Hope you continue reading along!
      Michela xx

  3. I absolutely agree with you. How you choose to react determines how much God is able to support us. As we choose to react in positive ways we get added strength and we find healing. When we react selfishly, with anger or bitterness then we are left to deal with the problem on our own. Choosing to react positively helps our character to grow and helps us become better people. It also makes it easier the next time to choose to do it right. The death of my husband has taught me this principle as well. Great job at taking tragedy and turning it into a learning experience… It’s the only way to get through, and the only way to heal 🙂

  4. More hugs coming your way.

    It’s amazing the strength we find in difficult situations. You can see it in Nick’s video that he found it and read it in your words that you have, too. There is such wisdom in Nick’s words, too, about “soldiering on and never gave up hope, because everyday is a new day!” Those are words we widows need to live as well.

    1. Thank you for the hugs, much appreciated!! Yes, Nick was an amazing guy who managed to find strength in his diagnosis instead of falling apart. It’s helped me be the strong women I am, watching his footage reminds me of how well he handled it, knowing he was going to die and leave us behind. Definitely words to live by, for widows and anyone who feels hard done by! Thank you for reading!

  5. I love that the takeway, when you discuss having perspective, it isn’t that those of us who have NOT suffered such a loss should use death as the perspective, but simply living with the realization that the perspective should be that we always have the chance to do over, do better and life more fully.

    1. Thank you Naomi, you’re spot on, you don’t need to have encountered a death or been left a widow to learn to appreciate and to know that there is good in every day, no matter how difficult your situation.
      And thanks for reading along and your suggestions the other day, very appreciative of your blogger eye!

  6. Lesson learnt from today – do not read Michela’s blog while at work!! Not easy to answer the phone with a big lump in your throat. Love that photo of you both with the rainbow xo

    1. Hey Tiff,
      A lesson learnt is never a wasted one, maybe try waiting til you get home to read the next post! Thank you for your continuing support, its so appreciated! xxxx

  7. Michela, my heart is breaking for you. I cried watching this. He was so strong and positive, what a beautiful man he was…what an unfair, bum deal, to be without him. Sending you hugs. 🙁

    1. Thank you Stephanie for your kind words, yes, such a bum deal, but im not bitter, we had the best and worst time of our lives together once he was diagnosed and I’ll have those memories forever.
      Thank you for the virtual hugs! xx

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