Re: Received very bad news this morning!
I am sorry to hear that. Please take care of yourself, be calm and centered, and take advantage of all of the supports that are offered by the hospital. The hospital cafeterias usually have some very healthy menu options for visitors, and there is often coffee, support services, and a place to nap in ICU waiting rooms. Even if you don't need these for yourself, helping your brother to find and use all of these supports and to incorporate them into his daily routine (as it will evolve) will be a big help to him, and ultimately, to his wife. Establishing a routine and a way of being in the hospital for those who are not patients is often an overlooked but necessary and very helpful task. Even giving him a backpack to use with essentials in it like bottled water, some kind of sleep aid, packaged snacks, a notepad and writing implements, and a change of clothes to sleep in (i.e. flannel pants and a soft tee shirt) can make a world of difference. I also found putting a journal and a pen in the patient room to write down information and to keep track of progress and visitors was a big help. And later on it can serve to help your s.i.l. catch up with lost time and to fill in the blanks. Please remind your brother that even in a coma, it's likely his wife can hear or feel his presence, so encourage him to hand hold and cuddle up with her...nurses can teach him to watch her vitals to gauge how much contact she can tolerate or is helpful... Sending prayers and stay calm vibes.