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The First Night…

It all happened very suddenly. We were having a very quiet evening together when he said that he felt his blood sugar was dropping rapidly, and he asked for some soda. I gave him a glass, and he said that it had helped a little bit. He then asked for some raisins because he didn’t want to add too much fluid to his diet. I gave him some, and he said he was feeling better. A few moments later he slumped over on the couch. He was unresponsive, so I called 911. They came here very quickly, and they performed CPR. They took him to Bayshore Community Hospital.

Of course, I went there, getting there only moments after the ambulance pulled in. When they brought him in, the paramedics were still performing CPR which I immediately knew was NOT a good sign.

One of the nurses came over to me to get Mark’s insurance information. While I was giving it to her, the Emergency Room doctor came out to talk to me. He said that Mark was not responding to treatment. They had given him medication, oxygen, CPR, and shocked his heart. It had been nearly 40 minutes and he did not have a heart beat nor was he breathing. They wanted to stop treatment, but the doctor wanted me to speak to me before they stopped.

When they stopped the treatment, I was able to say my good-bye. The only person in the room was the Social Worker, who I had asked to stay with me. I leaned over Mark, kissed him, and said, “I love you, Bunny. I will miss you so much.” The social worker took me into a private room and she sat with me. She asked me if I wanted her to call anyone. I was in shock. No one prepares for this. No one reacts well. I was stunned. I felt numb.

The first person I called, as I always do when I have a problem, is my brother Jeff, who currently lives in Chicago. I told him what happened, and he said he would make arrangements to get the first flight into Newark and he would call me back with the details. The next people I called was Mark’s family. The family line was busy, so I called my brother-in-law Frank’s cell phone. I told him what happened, and he started yelling to his parents that his brother was gone. That was not exactly the way I wanted my 85-year-old mother-in-Law and my 80-year-old father-in-law to find out!!

I didn’t speak to my mother in law, but my father in law talked to me. He was pretty apathetic about it. He never said he was sorry nor did he offer any help or assistance. He simply told me to let him know the arrangements. I figured that they were in shock.

Two friends came to the hospital to be with me even though I insisted that I was fine. Neither one wanted me to drive my car home, but I felt that I could, and I didn’t want to be a burden to someone who needed to go with me to get my car in the morning. I’m like that. I hate imposing on people. I guess that is why I always went about caring for Mark without asking anyone for help.

One friend helped me make phone calls and stayed with me until after 3:00 AM. The other friend offered her support, and even stayed the night, sleeping on my couch. I did manage to get through that first night.

In the morning the NJ Sharing Network (in cooperation with Donate for Life) called me, and they asked me a whole lot of questions about Mark, his health, his operations, his past, his travel experiences, and a whole bunch of things. They told me that a team would take the organs and tissue that they could. The very next day, I received a certificate indicating that Mark was able to donate and help others. He would have been proud!

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Categories: kidney disease
  1. Veronica York
    January 30, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Bonni, my heart breaks for you. How wonderful to know that Mark was able to help others and will live on through them. Dy by day, baby steps.

  2. January 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Bonni, you are an incredibly strong special lady.

  3. January 30, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Hang in there Bonni! Love you girl! You’ve been through the worst things can only get better. Just take one day at a time. Give Belle a hug! You are incredibly strong person and your friends are there for you. Including me, if you ever need anything just let me know. I cook every night if you ever want to come over for dinner and meet my animal family Penny and Pugsly would love to met you.

  4. Georgia Mellos
    January 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I’m at the office, while I’m reading this. Tears are rolling down my face. I am so heart broken for you. And at the same night you had IMed me to help me with my issues that I was going through. You are such an incredible, an amazing and a very strong woman. I know exactly what you meant when you sadi you don’t like to impose and that you don’t ask for help and you do everything on your own. I am the same way and I understand exactly where you are coming from. You need time to heal… One minute at a time, an hour at a time, a day at a time… whatever it takes. Maybe sometimes, you will go backwards or just stay still for a while. But you will get through this on your own time. So do take the time to greave and go through all the stages. I kept up with Mark’s reatments through your FB postings. It was as I knew him. You were both very luck to have the love that you did for each other. A lot of people go through a life time not ever experiencing anything close to it. And Mark, even in Heaven, he is still helping others with his organ donation. RIP Mark! My thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend. You have my number, please use it whenever you feel like it. God Bless you!

  5. January 31, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Oh Bonni, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve been following your advertures through your posts on line for a while now and have always wished the best for you two. May he be at peace. I’m so sorry…

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