Becoming a caregiver – Val


As a last resort, Val brought her husband to a private U.S. clinic to get a diagnosis


And my husband had various testing and things. They said the lungs were clear and there didn’t seem to be any problems so you should go to the heart specialist. It took many months to get to the heart specialist, and we finally got there. He said, “It’s not your heart; your heart is fine. There’s no problem at all.” So we really didn’t know where to go. Then that cardiologist said, “Go back to the lung doctor.”

So in the meantime, my husband is getting weaker and weaker. He stopped eating. All he could do was try to breathe. That’s all he could do. That’s all he would want to do. And he just would hang his head down and try to sleep from sitting up. And finally, an aunt of Dave’s hadn’t seen him for a while, she came over and saw him and she said to me, “Val he’s dying. There’s something really, really wrong and he’s dying. You need to go and see a doctor and you need to go quickly, and you need to go to the [clinic].” And I called them [in] June 2006.  They said you’d have to wait a while for an appointment, which was in 4 days. And within 2 days we had a diagnosis. Dave had seen a neurologist, he’d gone for a sleep study; he’d had continuous Bi-Pap overnight. He slept for the first night. He woke up in the morning and he was totally a different man. He was very, very hungry and we went home with that diagnosis, a prescription for a Bi-Pap, and we were told to give it to the Manitoba government and we did. They were very quick in getting us the Bi-Pap machine, and from then on, Dave did not have the breathing issues that he had; he could breathe, he could sleep. He wasn’t on it 24 hours a day, but at the end of his journey he passed away on Father’s Day June the 17th 2012 and he was on continuous Bi-Pap 24 hours, 24/7.

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