“John, take a breath!” I screamed repeatedly as I pounded my husband’s chest with my fist.
Moments earlier we were sitting in bed talking about our plans for the following day. Suddenly, John raised his shoulders in pain. I barely had time to ask if he was alright when he collapsed into my shoulder.
I pulled him onto my lap and started screaming at him and beating his chest.
He did not take another breath and I watched horrified and helpless as the light in his eye went dark.
I scrambled out of bed, struggling to pull his 200 plus pound body to the floor.
I started CPR on him while dialing 911.
I could not get his heart started.
In a matter of minutes an EMT arrived at the door. I watched as he administered CPR on John, also with no result. (I was shocked how hard he pushed, caving in John’s ribcage with each thrust.)
He needed his paddles and the rest of the emergency team was a few minutes away with the life-saving equipment.
Once they arrived, and after two attempts with the defibrillator, John’s heart started beating again. He was bundled up and taken to the nearest hospital.
This was almost 10 years ago and yet the emotions are raw…terrifying in the moment and heartbreaking for the outcome. A few days later, John was declared “brain dead” by the first neurologist who examined him. He is unable to move or speak and has limited cognition.
John spent the next 366 days in 4 different hospitals and 2 skilled nursing facilities (SNF). It was during these 366 days that I became an excellent caregiver.
I spent all day every day with him, observing and helping a few doctors, and many nurses, CNAs, and therapists perform their procedures and tasks. Other than these encounters, I have no formal medical or nursing education. I learned many helpful techniques during that year, and just as many detrimental things.
Many of the products or supplements I use with great success are not FDA approved. There were no clinical trials that meet FDA approval. Personally, I don’t care if the FDA endorses a product. I always do my research and then decide if the product could provide a benefit while doing no harm.
Only you can decide if this is an approach that works for you.
In the months ahead, I will blog about these products and topics of interest to the in-home caregiver. If you are interested in reading, use this link to the signup form and you will receive an email letting you know there is a new article to read. You will also receive my formula for a safe, effective and inexpensive perineal cleanser you can make at home
My hope is that you find a bit of information in these pages that will help you with your daily routine taking care to your loved one while giving you supportive information for yourself.
Love and Blessings,