My husband is critically ill and I don't know how to cope. He was taken to hospital and had surgery for appendicitis. His appendix had burst and he had a major infection. During his recovery in hospital he suffered a severe stroke. Ten days later he collapsed in hospital with another major infection and was rushed to ICU. I was called to the bedside early on Sunday morning. After several hours of fighting for his life Bernie was finally stabilised but still critical. Later he had a stomach bleed and had to have five units of blood. On Monday the doctor told me to prepare for the worst but said they wouldn't be giving him maximum support if there was no hope. Tuesday he seemed a little better but today, Wednesday, I've rung the hospital and they said he had another bleed in the night and has taken a step back. I've been told to ring back after the consultant has seen him later on this morning. My family have all emigrated to Australia so I have no family here to support me, however, I have a fantastic network of friends who are all helping. I feel as if I've been thrown into a completely alien world and I have no idea how to cope with this mentally and physically. I'm exhausted but can't sleep. I don't want to take sleeping tablets as I don't do very well on medication and it often makes me feel ill.