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.

9 thoughts on “Who cares for the carer?

  1. it is very hard on carers often, and they can be forgotten, but I think when you’re the one being cared for you do become very aware of how much they’re doing for you, often holding down a job as well, and doing all the other things needed in a marriage…Ray does the vacuuming for me now as I can’t do it anymore, he does stick the washing into the machine and used to hang it in the garage on the rotary dryer, which I couldn’t reach, but now we’ve got an outside line I can do that again which has really pleased me…and he carries all the shopping and pushes the trolley home as I’m very limited in what I can carry…if he reached a stage when he couldn’t do that, all our shopping would have be done on line…but not there yet…I’m always deeply moved by the amount of care and love carers give to us, and am a huge admirer of so many men who do it day in day out with no moans, but I’m also aware of the huge toll on them it can take so do watch out for any tell tale signs of fatigue…haven’t seen any yet here, but do watch out for it still…I think, as with you and Adam, llw, I count myself hugely fortunate to be with somebody who loves and cares for me so selflessly…Have a lovely day…GBHs…XXX

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  2. Hmmm. I’m going to be (maybe) evasive and think long and hard about this, because it touches on issues that I have faced 24/7 since my ‘sweet other half,’ who has MS (albeit almost asymptomatic) dumped me 1 month ago. If I think that I have anything constructive and positive to post, I’ll do it later. I hope it’s raining less where you are than here in Brittany!

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  3. I know I am luck, many men especially at his age of just 22 when I was diagnosed would have run a 100 miles. No matter how much we love each other it isn’t fair for anyone to find themselves as a carer. They need so much more support than is available, for now we cope it is as I said the future that I worry over. There is little enough help available now, with the cuts what will be left.

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  4. the thing is too watch out for the warning signs…if you’re heavy and he’s not, lifting you or pulling you upright is going to take it’s toll on his back and then there’s the stress of it all…must be good for carers to have other carers to talk to so I would definitely look into that if, or when, I become far less able to move around freely…had a taste of it last year and really, really don’t want it back for a long while, but it just arrived almost overnight and took at least three to four months to improve…there was something in the Queen’s speech I believe about a draft bill…lot of bloody good that is when so many need help right now…and no more meals of wheels for many…that’s so bad…Adam is still young so fit but, as time passes, all of us slow down and stiffen up, and I’ve already noticed it with Ray, his back and shoulders and knees play up so he’d find it very difficult lugging me about even if I’m pretty light weight…life can be no picnic sometimes, but, at least, it throws us some wonderful moments…:) Take care, llw…Have a lovely day…GBHs…XXX

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  5. the thing is to watch out for the warning signs…if you’re heavy and he’s not, lifting you or pulling you upright is going to take it’s toll on his back and then there’s the stress of it all…must be good for carers to have other carers to talk to so I would definitely look into that if, or when, I become far less able to move around freely…had a taste of it last year and really, really don’t want it back for a long while, but it just arrived almost overnight and took at least three to four months to improve…there was something in the Queen’s speech I believe about a draft bill…lot of bloody good that is when so many need help right now…and no more meals of wheels for many…that’s so bad…Adam is still young so fit but, as time passes, all of us slow down and stiffen up, and I’ve already noticed it with Ray, his back and shoulders and knees play up so he’d find it very difficult lugging me about even if I’m pretty light weight…life can be no picnic sometimes, but, at least, it throws us some wonderful moments…:) Take care, llw…Have a lovely day…GBHs…XXX

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