It took forever in my racing mind for the ambulance to arrive. I am sure it wasn't as long as it seemed. During that time there was nothing we could do but hold Joan and talk to her while she would murmur "it hurts".
After a few minutes her food started coming up a bit and we were afraid she would choke or not be able to breath so we laid her on her side on the floor. I hated putting her on the floor but breathing was more important.
In my mind I kept hearing the words stroke, massive, bad. The ambulance arrived and I rode with her to the hospital. The driver kept trying to get me to face forward and his prompting only heightened my concern.
As soon as we arrived at the hospital they took Joan off one way and me to a waiting room. Knew it was going to happen, nothing to do but wait in the room. Valerie and Brian arrived, the doctor and nurse arrived.
The doctor in a long winded way was trying to explain to me what was going on. I finally stopped him, again my mind racing so maybe he did better than my mind allowed me to understand. He explained she had a massive hemorrhage and I had a decision to make.
I asked what decision fearing the worst and he said, "We can take all measure necessary, or let nature take its course."
Pausing, I asked, what do you mean all measures necessary? He replied, we can put her body on machines and keep it alive. Yes, I heard, body and it. Nowhere did I hear in his statement we can put her on life support and keep her alive. Asking further I said, and what is, nature taking its course?
He said, she will die in the next 2-48 hours.
More panic, more breathing, I asked what happens if we put her on life support? He replied we can keep her body alive for a long time. I interrupted him, asked, will she ever wake? Is she in there?
He replied, "We can keep the body alive for a long time, until the organs begin to fail but I do not believe she will ever regain consciousness." He continued with something about the size of the hemorrhage.
I looked at Valerie and Brian, I heard every conversation Joan and I had on this topic over the decades in single moment. I knew where my rational mind was heading and one word screamed in my head, one word I couldn't push away.