Who cares for the carer?

Another week lies a head, OK I know it is Tuesday, but it was a Bank Holiday yesterday in the UK, so Adam has headed off to his work as normal today, the start of my week alone. He works only a 10 minute walk from here which I think he likes for two reasons, first he actually normally likes what he does and secondly he know if he is needed he can be home quickly. I’m never sure what he thinks is going to happen to me that would need him to come home, but he calls every lunchtime just to check everything is OK. It is really sweet and loving of him and I do really appreciate it. In some ways we both know it is also a sort of game.

Adam has only been in the house twice when I have taken a bad fall, the first he slept through and didn’t know until the next day when I told him I had knocked myself out and wouldn’t be going into work that day. The second I fell in the bathroom and he heard the thud. I was concise this time but there was a bad cut on my arm, which I would have dealt with by myself if he had been at work. The game on the phone is him trying to work out if I am really OK or just saying that to keep him happy and me, sounding fine even if I’m not.

I am sure there are people all round the country who play exactly the same silly game with the ones they love. Adam has enough stress piled on him because of my health, without having small details were I haven’t been actually hurt added into his worries. If you think about it as an able bodied person would you tell anyone that you had fallen in the hall that day and picked yourself up with no damage done? No. Other than as something to have a laugh at, there would be no point.

When I was still able I was the one who did 90% of the housework because I wanted to, as a houseproud person I hated to see even small amounts of dust anywhere. Adam has taken this job over and although he isn’t someone by nature who sees dust and mess, he doesn’t really do too badly. He now also is the person who does all the laundry, changes sheets and generally keeps the house ticking over. We share the cooking still and I do the bulk of the shopping online. The balance for now works and we have both had to adapt and accept more than ever the differences between us as people. We never were the type of couple who went out a lot or through parties, so not going out really isn’t important at all. Adam daily when working does take a hour out from everything, he goes for a walk, regardless of weather I know that although he finishes work at 5, I will rarely see him before 6. He still disappears off on his bike when the weather allows and tries to keep fit lifting weights, so he has his space and activities that gives him time to himself. But I still worry about him, not so much for now but for the future.

I watched my friend Jake fall apart, his mother died and had to take on the role of carer for his father. The death of his mother clearly was an added issue, but the daily work and striving to keep up his mothers standards, in what he still saw as her house, even though he had moved home again, with the work and stress of his fathers Alzheimer’s slowly destroyed him. He lost weight and for the first time in his life was taking tablets just to cope. He wore himself out, he did have some assistance but nothing like as much as he needed. In all honesty I would have said that he needed a carer of his own. The thought that that is what awaits Adam terrifies me, I can’t imagine what it is doing already to Adam. When we do talk about it, his stoke answer is that he is my husband and it is his job and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Well I do, because strangely I am human and as such I worry. There have been many many greater brains than mine that have thought this problem through, they clearly haven’t found an answer either.