denial. shock. sad. pain. acceptance. anger. peace. repeat. repeat. repeat...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

accidental death

I talked to ME today. It completely threw me off-guard because I was about to start a meeting, answered my phone, then realized who it was. So I excused the person out of my office and took the call.

There are two parts to his death. The final ruling is accidental. Part one is coronary atherosclerosis (artery blockage) and part two is drug levels (of some meds he was taking). The nortriptyline was a medication he was taking for depression at night.

When I first spoke to the ME, I didn't know what to say. What he was telling me lead me to believe he killed himself. Even though I checked all the medicines the day of his death and thought everything looked okay. I would've known if he took medications because I watched them, just to be sure. I called the ME back about an hour later with some questions.

1) Did his heart stop?
2) How many pills does the level equate to?

1) Yes, his heart stopped.
2) He cannot tell me this. I asked if maybe his body wasn't breaking down meds like a normal, healthy person and he said yes, it's very hard to say because of his current condition. He also said that the level in Scott's body was not a suicidal level. It was accidental. He also brought up hyper-thryroidism and this could contribute to his accelerated heart rate. WTF. I mean, can anyone become a doctor? Why is no one putting two and two together of ALL of our fucking hospital's so fucking outrageous that some doctors call themselves that.


I administered all his medications. I have no idea why the level in his body was a toxic level. I cannot help but think I somehow fucked up the meds I was giving him. I know I cannot think this way, but it has entered my mind since this all so fresh in my head. I don't remember giving him two doses that night. I vividly remember giving him one dose, and checking his blood pressure before he went to bed. Obviously my mind is racing.

I know I cannot go back and change anything. I seriously think that his body was just like "fuck you, I cannot do this anymore." He was so small, so sick and the medication dose just might've been too high. I looked up information on Nortriptyline and it's a medication that needs to be monitored to ensure you do not reach a toxic level. Would've been good to know. And also, if you do enter a toxic level, it's causes major cardiac issues...i.e. exactly what happened to Scott. So this, plus his heart disease, lead to his death.

He had another level of an anti-depressant in his body, but it was at a therapeutic level. He wasn't even taking this medication and had been off of it for probably like 4 weeks so I thought it was odd it was still in his body, but I have known this for a while now. This lead me to believe that his body must not have been getting rid of meds or something. I cannot play doctor, although I think I'm smarter than a lot of doctors out there about putting the pieces together, I can only move forward. I can only cherish the time we had and know that he's not suffering anymore.

That's all I got for now. I need therapy. I need to be okay with what I've learned today and right now I am okay, but not great. I'm glad to  know, but my mind really does keep racing with "how could this happen, what could I have done, did I kill him, etc. etc. etc."........


  1. This is a lot to process right now, so don't try to take it all in at once. I think it'll be easy to blame yourself as you tried to manage his medication, but it's the Dr's responsibility to manage levels like toxicity. Obviously his body wasn't processing things at an appropriate level, hence the former anti-depressant in his system. SO MANY people have died from things like this, not that this makes it easier, but I think doctor's these days don't manage medications well anymore. Ugh, stay strong girl, you'll make it day by day :)

  2. You certainly have a good head on your shoulders. Please don't think for an instant that this was in anyway your fault. There seems to be so many other factors involved that were out of your control. You did exactly what you needed to do for him, remind yourself of that. (((HUGS)))