It is amazing how we all go through life with blinkers on, it isn’t a choice, it is just part of being human, if we took in everything to it’s fullest extent, I believe we would implode unable to simply cope with cold reality. It doesn’t matter if your life is straight forward and simple or you are living with problems beyond anyone else imagination, we all actually ignore so much, because we don’t want to deal with it, then or ever. There are though problems that we all do have to face, things that ignoring will not work and we have to stop, think and make decisions, no matter how hard they are. Before anyone starts to worry this post isn’t about me having some terrible news to pass on, just thoughts. I suppose it is inevitable with my having more time than most that I will think about the things others choose not to, I have found myself lately wondering about my future, the time when my health takes total control. It has already taken a great deal from me but there is still far more for it to take, before it takes it all. I suppose the time that is worrying me is that point when I have to start asking for and accepting help, when it is no longer a case of choosing when I can have a shower, or that I want to go to bed for a sleep. I know that Adam will be more than happy to help me but there is something so wrong about the whole situation. When you have always been a person who is determined to cope, to stand on your own two feet and to do everything for yourself, well it’s hard to imagine ever being any different. I have already accepted many things, some took more time than others, but I have managed to stand back and let Adam take over. I even now allow him and sometime ask him to fetch and carry for me when he is here, but when it comes to the personal things, well I just don’t know how to ask or accept.
I guess that we all have those points, those small items that seem to be there to embarrass and make life difficult, not because there is any real reason behind any of them, they are just there nipping away at you all the time. Adam is my husband, not my carer and no matter how much thought I have put into it, I just find it impossible to make that step between the two. Having him help me with anything personal should be easy, but it is totally the opposite. Even helping me with something as ordinary as dying my hair, has proved to much for me, as I let him do it twice before returning to the required struggle of doing it myself. I found it just to frustrating and difficult to let him learn how to do it, it’s my hair and dying destroys. If I can’t get past teaching and letting him learn something as simple as that, how will I manage when it comes to the even more personal side of care that I find impossible to even talk about with him. On a couple of occasions I had to let him assist me when my bladder let me down completely, he didn’t bat an eyelid, he just set about clearing everything up while I hid in another room, to embarrassed to even face him. After 13 years of marriage you would think that embarrassment should be something that just isn’t there, but the physical side of our lives stopped long ago, even when it comes now to him insisting on putting me to bed at night, I am embarrassed by the fact he will see me naked at all, as well I am no longer thin and attractive, illness destroys you appearance quickly once mobility vanishes. Extra weight, muscle wasting and the total collapse of my body, have left me not wanting to see myself, far less wanting Adam to see me naked.
Yes I know that he will be reading this and maybe that is why I am writing it, in a way writing it for him in a hope that he might understand a little, if not all of this. Self conciousness and embarrassment are monsters to deal with, stupid as it may sound coming from someone who has been able to write about with ease on subjects that most people simply couldn’t start on, well I don’t understand either. I expect it is like so many other things in life, it is down to how we perceive ourselves and others, the roles we all play out in life, changing all of that is a huge thing and actually a painful thing to even start on. Unfortunately I am being forced to even think about any of this far sooner than many people have to, no matter how much I would prefer to sit here with my head stuck in a bucket, I know the time where we will have to face these subject head on, is getting closer. Every time that I find it harder to get out of bed, or to stand up from sitting on the settee, every time I get stuck on the floor or I can’t walk well enough to simply manage an every day task. All of these thing add up and over time they have shown me that I have to get past it, but that is all easier said than done.
Husband to carer is probably the biggest set of blinkers I have been living with throughout all of this. It’s nuts but I can honestly sit and talk about the horrible things that are happening to my body, when and how I want to die, or even what I want to happen once I am gone. Yet the years between there and now, are just all to difficult to think about for long, far less talk about. We all face those years when someone will have to do the simplest tasks for us, as we all at some point start to head backwards in time. Someone will have to feed us, clean us and wash us, someone will have to take over and assist when our legs don’t walk, be able to know us well enough to talk for us and to make decisions for us based on years of knowing us. So why is it so hard to actually sit and talk about it, to work out how these things can be done and to plan for a future when our partner has to take over and be us, for us. Of all the difficult conversations and situations I have faced through out my life, this has to be the most difficult and the biggest. All of us will be faced with this as some point, including you, but I don’t remember ever being taught or ever witnessing on TV in drama’s or documentaries, just how you deal with any of this.
I am sure this is more my probably than Adams and that I am building this into something far bigger than he will see it to be, as he keeps telling me, he is my husband and it’s his job to look after me. If the tables where reversed I wouldn’t have the slightest problem with caring, cleaning, feeding and making sure his life was as good as I could make it, but that still doesn’t make it any easier for me.