Thursday, April 05, 2018

Why did our friend die?

I will tell you more about him personally in the future, after the funeral tomorrow. He was a high achiever.

I am only relying on memory, but I think at the end of 2016 he was admitted to hospital with a diabetes related leg ulcer. In 2017 a skin graft was done and he seemed to be ok and went home. But the graft was not completely successful. In the interim the hospital had picked up a heart problem and not too long after he collapsed in his local supermarket. Always one for publicity, he made the front page of the local newspaper with his thanks to the supermarket staff who saved his life.

A heart restarting device was inserted into his chest. In a queue at an airport, it went off and he did not travel. Yes, airline queues can be stressful.

His unhealed leg continued to trouble him and by the end of 2017 he had developed another ulcer on his other leg. Before Christmas he was admitted back to hospital for treatment.  He was allowed to go home for a few days over Christmas but was back in hospital as the New Year of 2018 arrived. To his sadness, he was on the wrong side of the hospital to see the city fireworks.

Since he has been in hospital, R has visited him twice weekly, and myself once weekly. In January and perhaps into February, he would always message R via Facebook and have an online chat in the evening. However to talk to him when we visited was hard as he continually dropped off to sleep for a minute and then rewake. The conversations were stilted and disjointed.

He had further treatment for his leg ulcers and contracted Golden Staph infection. He was hit very hard with a massive antibiotic attack, to which he did not cope with well and ended up in the Intensive Care Unit.

He came back but was quite unwell. His partner had to find the medical power of attorney at home to take control of his care above our friend's brother.  Another rather out there friend went directly to hospital management and outed our friend and pointed out that the Indian bloke was his long time partner. Our friend was not impressed at being outed. I cannot understand how it was not obvious anyway. The Indian guy who visits every day and is twenty five years younger is not just a mate?

The last time I saw him, late March on a Thursday, he was supposed to be moved to rehabilitation that same day. He told me it had been put forward by a week to the following Thursday. He had just received skin grafts to both legs which were healing well. He wanted the procedure to go ahead. His brother tried to stop it. Perhaps his brother was right, although ultimately the alternative may have been leg amputation and I am not sure how he would have coped with that. R saw him the day after, and while still dropping off to sleep all the time, he was ok.

Infection set in again the following week and he was back in ICU. His partner called us Wednesday the 28th and told us it was serious. His brother also called and suggested that the end was nigh. His organs were all shutting down. Such drama people, we hoped. The following day just as I arrived home from work, his partner rang again. There was no problem about seeing him in ICU now. It is open to everyone who knows him. He is going to be taken off life support and will die shortly afterwards. We hopped a tram to the hospital. Someone had just died in the ICU, so it was frantic, but eventually we were let in. He had a breathing mask on and we said our goodbyes. His nurse kindly asked if I was ok. Yes, I sniffed. We only stayed for about ten minutes. He died the following day.

All so sad and we are grieving badly. One day it is me, the next day it is R. The funeral tomorrow will help. If there is anything to learn here, it is avoid Type 2 diabetes at whatever cost.

But to end with a little uplift, he was once a conservative politician and is a member of our oddly named conservative Liberal Party. While our friend was unconscious in the ICU, his brother said to his own wife, Lynny, watch his pulse, and said to him, Turnbull has been sacked as Australian Prime Minister and Tony Abbott is back as Prime Minister. Any pulse change Lynny? Of course the reply was no.

23 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you and R. Losing a dear friend is as tough as it gets. I hope you get through the funeral OK tomorrow and can hopefully remember him in better times. My daughter has Type 1 diabetes and we know her lifespan will be shorter because of it. Life is s--- at times.

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  2. It is tough. I am sorry for you, for R, and for all who knew him.

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  3. I am so sorry, to you and R xxx

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  4. Andrew, I am so sorry. Life can be so challenging sometimes. Diabetes is a scary disease. As you know, a lot can go wrong with the body.
    I'm thinking of you.
    Hugs

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  5. I will be thinking of you and R tomorrow Andrew ... sending a big internet hug .

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  6. My condolences on the death of your friend. A big hug to you and R. A very sad end...

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  7. Much love and hugs to you both. :)

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  8. It's ever so sad.
    Hope all goes well tomorrow.
    Hugs to all.

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  9. Diabetes is scary, but it is theoretically controllable. Golden staph is much scarier because NOTHING can control it :( Good health and long life to the rest of us.

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  10. I can only send you and R my heartfelt cyber {{{{hugs}}}}, Andrew. At least you may take some comfort in knowing his end was peaceful.

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  11. His final years were very difficult. I will miss seeing him on my trips home. I wish I could go tomorrow. I'll be thinking of everyone.

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  12. I am type 2 diabetic; but borderline. My father was also diabetic and ended-up with both legs amputated. I'm very sorry for you both; losing a good friend is always hard.

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  13. I'm sorry you've lost a friend, Andrew...it is a sad time for you. There is no time limit on grief...so allow yourself to grieve. Allow the tears to flow...but also allow the smiles when recalling the happy times, of which, I am sure there were many.

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  14. This is a very sad tale Andrew. I wonder why so many diabetics get these leg ulcers? I've known several diabetics, including my mother and none of them had any such issues. A neighbour here is diabetic and his weight is out of control, with hugely swollen legs that often have bandages. I wonder if it is a certain type of person who has this type of trouble? A certain genetic history perhaps? and I've heard Golden Staph is rife in hospitals.
    I'm very sorry for you and R to have lost a good friend, the grieving and healing will take time, but we out here are all thinking of you.

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  15. It's said that talking about someone you love keeps them with you just a little bit longer. Today you introduced us to someone you 'loved' very much.
    There'll be lots of us thinking about you and R in the morning and somehow sending our best wishes to you both- be strong, Lee said it so well - there is no time limit on gref. Remember tomorrow you will be among friends.

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  16. Andrew. Most of us will experience grief during our lifetime, When it happens it seems to never leave us.
    It is a beautiful thing to constantly remember someone you will never stop loving,take care.

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    1. Vest, I have never experienced the loss of an adult lifetime companion, wife if you like. You have and I know you grieve deeply. That to me is unimaginable.

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  17. Thanks everyone. You words are of comfort and helpful.

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  18. So sorry to hear this sad tale. It is that time of our lives where we lose our dear friends and relatives. Hope the celebration of his life cheers you a little.

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  19. Thinking of you today.

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  20. Oh that is a tough loss, Andrew, I'm sorry. I know folks here whose spouses are going through the same thing, losing limb after limb, then they take the limb farther up, all while they do not take care of their diabetes. It's a really terrible thing to caretake through also, especially for a spouse.

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  21. So sorry to hear about your friend dying. My Grandma also died from complications of diabetes - she ended up having her entire leg amputated not long before she died. She basically gave up, can't blame her really.
    I hope you're doing okay xx

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    1. Fen, the same happened to Ex Sis in Law's mother. I was expecting this for our friend, but he would not have coped at all without being able to walk. Ok now, with only twinges at times. R's tablet made an alert noise tonight. No, it not David bothering him.

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