Repeat, Repeat …

My inquisitor and I ended up sitting almost knee-to-knee.

I was asked to recount the whole experience up until then. I tiredly, bare-bones explained the events of the night before and the morning of.  I was asked a lot of clarifying questions.

I told him about sleeping on the couch, about the bacon and about Sadie sitting perfectly still.

When asked if I thought Jeff might have decided to overdose on purpose, I said, “No.”

“Maybe accidentally?” was the next suggestion.

“Absolutely not,” I insisted.

“Was he depressed?”

My hesitant answer was yes, but that Jeff was taking medication to help with that.

We spoke for a while about how Jeff felt awful he couldn’t work. How he hated saying he was on disability. How he meticulously filled his tackle bait box to avoid any over or under medication misses.

How he was doing less of the things he enjoyed. But, also about the way he rose each morning, verbally thanking God for another day. And how he repeated the sentiments aloud each evening, saying it had been a good day to be alive.

Then, we went back to the sequence of events.

I explained again what had happened.

There were questions about what time it might have been at certain points and when Jeff last took meds.

I guesstimated on the times and had no idea about the drugs. I learned later, Jeff’s estimated time of death coincided with Sadie’s signals.

What I find odd now, is that I really don’t remember Jeff taking pills. I can’t even picture it in my mind. I obviously recall the medication box and the myriad of reminders I arranged to be sure his meds were taken. To-do lists, email, phone calls.

Insulin was occasionally out in the open. Sometimes right before going into a restaurant, sometimes at a restaurant table, but rarely at home.

I suppose Jeff may have been discreet for my sake. Likely, though, it was more for Jeff’s sake – so he didn’t have to listen to my objections about his self-administering through the leg of his jeans or through the middle of his T-shirt.

It was commented more than once, that they would be able to tell by the pill count if he might have overdosed.

I repeated, “Absolutely not.” More than once, as well.

Then, came the canned movie line. If I thought of anything else that might help, I should call the number on the card I was handed.

I took the end of the interview as a sign that it was settled; that he finally believed me.

Jeff would never do that.

Quote for the Week: 2019 11 26 There are times when it is appropriate to be thankful jakorte

For The Count

 

Someone in some official capacity let me know that they were going to be in our bedroom for a quite while because they had to count all of Jeff’s pills.

You know… the major medications we’d finally got on track to fill at once, instead of making multiple trips to Schmidt’s Pharmacy per week. Yes, the multiple prescriptions that had just been filled a few days ago.

Somehow, our across-the-street neighbor got pulled into that and spent time counting along with I don’t know how many others. If I had to estimate, I’d say it’d probably taken an hour and some. But, then again, my reality clock wasn’t wholly functioning.

I did learn an interesting bit recently. I’m still not sure of the order of things, though.

Our next-door neighbor told me this.

She’d seen the line-up and flashing lights from her kitchen window and dropped everything to come over and see what was going on.

Shortly after she arrived, an officer came to find me. I was asked to return to our bedroom. My friend followed and was told she could not enter. Her response had been, “Where she goes, I go. I’m not leaving her alone.”

When asked who she was, she answered, “I’m a friend and I’m staying by her side. She’s not going anywhere without me.”

Pulled aside, it was explained to her. They wanted to see my reaction to my dead husband. Because she is a fiercely protective and feisty  Oklahoman, she set them straight. She pretty much told them they were crazy because everybody who knew us knew we were deeply in love. She stood her ground and stayed.

For all the irrational panicked murder-mystery thoughts I had, it never occurred to me they actually investigated our home as a crime scene and me as a suspect. It was quite a shock to me when I learned this 2 weeks ago.

I vaguely remember. I think it may have been the EMT, who’d told me that there had to be an investigation anytime anyone Jeff’s age died at home. I didn’t think that meant what it meant. I thought it was more like a “yeah, sorry, procedure” thing.

This part I remember on my own:

Walking toward the living room, I noticed there was one chair sitting in the middle of our living room. I stood in the dining room watching as an officer dragged a second seat away from the dining room table.

He asked me to sit. Seeing a notebook in his hand, I suggested we could just sit at the table.  He pointed to the chairs and said we could sit there.

So, I sat.

Quote for the Week: 2019 11 19 there are many good reasons schedule jakorte

 

Midnight Movement

I led the way to the bedroom, feeling badly.

He didn’t know he wasn’t going to enjoy this ride with Jeff.

I guess I went in first. I stood beside Jeff on his side of the bed, in the same spot I’d been standing in. But, it felt different. Different from the moments before. It felt weird.

We’d recently slid the bed straight across from the inside wall to the bowed-window wall. I was thinking, if we’d flip-flopped the bed, he should have been on the other side.

Instead, when we’d moved it, he kept his spot closer to the door. I was closer to the bathroom, just as I had been, and was suddenly wondering why.

It wasn’t such a mystery. Not even worth calling a question. The answer was easily there before I finished asking myself.

Midnight movement.

That’s what he’d called it. He’d said just because he was awake didn’t mean I had to wake up. He’d said having to walk around the bed meant he’d bump into stuff and would wake me. As far as I was concerned, the bumping concern far outweighed my need for sleep and was scarier than me without enough.

Jeff’s legs were sensitive and easily bruised, A break in the skin could easily become an ulcer. Ulcers easily became infected. Fighting infection was getting harder and harder. Poor blood circulation, neuropathy, obesity, heart issues, stomach troubles – were all set in motion by his unconquerable diabetes monster.

The soft snap of a glove snapped me out of my pondering.

I tracked the sound: startled to find the medic had moved around to the other side of the room and the other side of the bed. I hadn’t noticed. I’d thought he was still behind me or beside me. Not so far away.

I tracked the source: finding it. I stared at the glove, followed it to his wrist, up the arm – eventually traveling to the responder’s face.

There must have been something more than the vacancy I felt in my expression because he seemed a bit surprised.

I don’t know what question I was wearing, but his stop-in-mid-motion answer was:

“You know I’m not going to try to revive him, right?”

 

Quote for the Week: 2019 11 05 IF is a futurate escort jakorte

Slightly Familiar & Fourth

 

Sometimes, if I move a certain way, it recalls the exact physical feeling; the act of turning away, turning my back on Jeff and the eerie finality of walking out our bedroom door.

I got as far as the dining room when the phone I amazingly still had in my grip, rang.

911 was calling me.

Apparently, I was supposed to stay on the line until it could be confirmed help had arrived. Until I was securely handed off to the next step.

I opened the door to find a man already standing in place, ready to move in, so I stepped back.

I registered the familiar face and was bit stupefied by that.

That and the fact that the situation had changed into something; moving, forward, fast.

With the screen door behind him and one foot inside our home, he said something official-sounding announcing he was who he was.

I don’t think I moved.

He told me his partner so-and-so had gone back to the ambulance for more equipment, then bent to grab what was already piled up on the porch.

I don’t think I said anything.

Which may have accounted for the curious look he glanced my way while straightening up.

When his focused eyes took me in, he actually sort-of smiled.

“I thought I recognized this address…” he said.

 

I couldn’t blame him for the almost grin. Jeff was a memorable rider, always joking. Even with acute pancreatitis.

Even the night that Nannee blew her airhorn. There was a lot of laughter that night. From everyone – Jeff, me, the crew of two. Nannee, as well.

This would be his fourth trip to our home.

 

“Yes.” I agreed with his observation.

A full beat passed before I added, “I can’t wake him up.”

“Where is he?”

“In bed.”

He glanced around.

I realized he was waiting for direction, so I led the way.

 

Quote for the Week: 2019 10 29 Adding a slightly familiar element to an unexpected jakorte

He Would Have Laughed, Part 2 (graphic, dark humor, but it won’t get any worse than this…)

 

This is the last of my confessions. Mostly silent for 13 years; hesitant for dark humor.

At the time, not even an iota amusing. But, you know the bottom line as well as I do:

he would have laughed.

______________________________________________________________

 

Despite what should have been a series of solid physical confirmations, I still wasn’t sure.

I mean I suspected I was sure, but surely there had to be some way to be surely sure.

I needed to be absolutely sure. I didn’t want to tell the EMTs that he was dead if he wasn’t really dead.

After all, it had been getting harder and harder to wake him up, so maybe….

I couldn’t let them just assume he was dead and take him away.

I faintly heard the siren.

Desperation encouraged denial. I launched one final effort for conclusion.

 

I reached out and squeezed.

His stuff.

Hard.

Very hard.

Nothing happened.

Nothing at all.

Nothing. at. all.

 

That was the catalyst. My epiphanic moment, framed with the possibility of tarnished guilt, dully matted with automatic apologetic thoughts.

I believe I was rather rational. Calm, while mentally running through the untimed Sunday morning sequence of events from opening the bedroom door to believing in my own final absolute surety.

I relived it all – this short period of my life flashed before me like I was the one who’s life was ending.

That’s when my internal irrational being woke up and spoke up and slapped me.

A solid smack to the back of my head, snapping it forward, then back, as the blinking-red ticker-tape of panic resumed its scroll.

“Oh, my God. What if there’s bruising? They’re going to think I abused him!”

I hadn’t yet conjured a remedy for that, when the knock came.

“They’re here,” I announced and promptly hung up the phone.

Quote for the Week:2019 10 22 Death should ever be treated with irreverence jakorte

 

 

 

He would have laughed… (beware – graphic, dark-humor truth.)

Warning: graphic, dark-humor truth. He would have laughed. You might, too. You might not, though. 

Peripherally, I spied Jeff’s ever-present mega-jug from Speedway on his night table. I tested the weight out, concluding there was water in it.

Actually, I didn’t conclude there was water – I really just concluded liquid. It likely could have been what I call soda or what he called pop. I assumed it was water, which is why I decided to pull the lid off the monster mug and dump the entire contents on Jeff’s head.

It was water.

There wasn’t as much of it as I’d thought.

It certainly wasn’t the deluge I was hoping for.

He didn’t wake up sputtering.

“Are you doing it?” the operator asked, referring to the mirror test she’d requested.

“Oh, my God!” I cried. “How did this happen? He’s not waking up! How could this have happened?”

Almost out-of-body, hearing myself and thinking; cliché. Soap opera style dramatics.

Frozen, fleetingly, I wondered: was drama reenactment of reality or was my reality a reflection drama?

Sensing my conclusion, I was assured, the ambulance was on the way. She said she’d remain on the line until it arrived.

Having endured Jeff’s preference for based-on-true-events TV, I’d either half-watched or got completely sucked into countless crime-solving and autopsy shows.

A horrifying scenario popped into my still grappling brain.

“They’re going to think I drowned him!”

“Oh, my God!” I blurted aloud, in response to my silent reasoning. I scooted around the bed.

“Do you hear the ambulance?” The voice surprised me out of my own head. I was shocked to find I was still holding my phone – firmly plastered to my ear.

“No. I don’t.” I replied. Swiping a washcloth from the counter, I scrambled back to Jeff.

I used the maroon square to swipe Jeff’s wet face and hair.

My inner dialog continued. “Oh, no! If he starts breathing, inhaling water could kill him!”

I pushed a small corner through the tiny opening between his teeth, trying to sop up any of the gushed liquid that might have run into his mouth.

“They should be there soon…” came consolingly over the line.

Well past the verge of hysteria, another terrifying possibility crossed my mind.

“Oh, my GOD!” I wailed, wildly recalling the frequency with which the tiniest of fibers had helped solve mysteries and finger murderers.

Fortunately, only heard within the confines of my scrambling head, my error screamed, “They’re going to think I smothered him!”

Quote for the Week: 2019 10 15 The brain works with remarkable speed to process jakorte

“911, what is your emergency?” (graphic)

Some of this is just the gist of my recollection, not necessarily verbally accurate to every word spoken to me.

Some of this is 100% precise thoughts and words and deeds – mostly mine.

Overall, though, generalization and sequence should be enough to put you there, with me.

When the operator answered, I was momentarily stunned; marveling at the accuracy of every stereotypical dramatic portrayal of a 911 operator.

“911 – what is your emergency?”

I wasn’t expecting that.

“911 – what is your emergency?”

I wasn’t particularly panicked, but I was absolutely emphatic. “I can’t wake my husband up. I’ve shaken him and yelled in his ear, but I can’t wake him up.”

“Is he breathing?”

I put my ear to his chest.

“Are you still there?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I’m trying to listen….”

“Do you know CPR?”

“Yes, I think so… but you’ll have to remind me….”

She urged me toward mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, instead.

“OK, tilt his head back.”

“I can’t,” I said. “His head won’t move.”

“Put your hand under his head, and push up on the back of his neck.”

“That’s not working, either,” I said.

“Is his mouth open?”

“Not really,” I reported. “Well, I mean, a little… like normal sleep…not closed, but you know, not open.”

It was explained to me that I was going to have to open his mouth in order to breathe my breath into him. I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I awkwardly tried to ease his lips apart.

“I can’t,” I said. “It won’t open.”

“Try putting your hand in his mouth and pulling down” she suggested.

I inserted two fingertips and squeamishly applied pressure to his bottom teeth.

“It won’t move,” I reported. Exasperated with frustration, I raised my voice to make the situation clearer. “Nothing is working!”

“Is he breathing?” she asked, again.

“I don’t know!” I repeated. “I can’t tell.”

“Do you have a mirror? Can you go find a mirror?”

“Yes,” I said, but I didn’t move.

I stood there, frozen, scanning with my eyes. Head to toes and toes to head and head to toes. Panicked bubbled up as I almost came to grips with reality.

“Are you still there? Did you get the mirror?”

“Yes,” I said, even though I hadn’t left his side.

Instructed to hold the mirror to his lips and watch for condensation fog, I must have registered some part of the truth, at that point.

While I instinctively knew what the mirroring result would be, I also concluded we were wasting time.

I needed to try something else. Something powerful.

Something with enough impact to prove what I didn’t really want proven.

Quote for the Week: 2019 10 08 insisting on static concrete paths leaves no consideration jakorte