Last Wednesday started like any other day. I got up, let Cindy out, showered, dressed, had breakfast. The delivery guy arrived with my groceries and I unpacked them and put them away. Then the phone rang.
As many of you know, my husband David, often referred to on this blog as Hubby was taken ill earlier this year and spent the past eight months in hospital. On Wednesday 21 October he passed away due to complications with infections.
David had a lot going on healthwise, he had an irregular heartbeat and had been diagnosed with heart failure earlier this year. He contracted acquired factor VIII inhibitor which if you haven’t heard of it; and we hadn’t prior to David getting it, it is more or less the same as haemophilia except that it is not inherited. Doctors don’t seem to know why or how people get it. In addition David already had Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea and arthritis in both knees. All these conditions were treatable and he made it back to the rehab ward where he was learning to walk again but he could not overcome the infections that he contracted and eventually his organs began to shut down.
The end was very quick and unexpected. I’d spoken to David on the phone on Tuesday evening and he sounded fine, he had not had as much pain that week and he told me what the latest doctors had said and we talked about the usual things like what the pets had been up to. I was totally unaware that there was a problem until the next morning when one of the doctors rang to say that David was unwell and that I should come in as soon as I could. I called a friend who gave me a lift and reached Hobart in time to spend a couple of hours with David before he passed.
It feels rather unreal. We always thought that he would get home in the end. I sat with him for an hour afterwards and I still half expected him to wake up.
We met forty years ago, three days before my eighteenth birthday. Today would have been our 38th wedding anniversary.
I haven’t written a lot about David’s illness in my two blogs except in passing because I think of them as places I can go to escape from worries and write about the things that I like. However, I felt that I needed to say what had happened so that I can try to move on.
I don’t honestly know if David ever read my blogs because he was not much of a one for social media but as with my doll collection he was supportive of it. If I wanted to go out for a drive to take photos he was happy to go and if he found a location he thought that I would like he’d make a point of taking me there. David liked photography himself although in recent times it sometimes seemed he spent more time reading about it than actually taking pictures. Certainly I rarely saw processed prints. He always had a camera in the car, usually one of the film cameras that he preferred to digital. He had been talking about getting back to photography when he got better and even buying a DSLR. I took several of his camera magazines to the hospital so that he could research and decide what he wanted to buy.
He also adored our pets and I know that he missed Cindy and Polly a lot while he was in hospital. I used to take photos of them on a tablet and take them in to show him. They were our fur kids and nothing they did was boring to David whether it was Cindy jumping on my bed with muddy paws or Polly venturing down to the bottom of the garden for the first time.
He loved trains, stamp collecting and genealogy. He read science fiction books and although he would drive me crazy sometimes with his taste in television programs we had some favourite shows that we loved to watch together over and over like “Yes Minister”, “Star Trek” and “The West Wing”.
I have written before about our big overseas trip travelling on the Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian Express trains. David had never been overseas before. He saw his first snow on that trip and in Moscow had a conversation with a man who noticed the Russian made Zenit camera he was carrying. He liked that the man called him Comrade when they parted. In York, England, he stopped to ask an elderly lady directions when we couldn’t find the way to our hostel and ended up having a long conversation with her. He told me so many times how excited she was to meet someone from Australia and couldn’t wait to tell her neighbours and family all about it.
David loved to chat and any trip to the local shops or to the park with the dog would often go on for hours as he stayed talking with people he’d met. One evening he was gone so long I was sure that he’d met with an accident; as usual he was not answering his phone and as it grew dark I became more and more worried until eventually I called the police. He turned up safe and sound not long after. “I was talking with N……. & D…… and didn’t notice the time.” After that I made him keep his phone on when he was out and call me if he was going to be longer than usual.
Yesterday we had David’s funeral and it was full of all the things that he liked. I had my sister and David’s wonderful family there with me and many people from our local community. I think we gave him a good send off.