I am a full time working carer for my husband of 40 years, John.
John is registered disabled as he suffers and lives with a number of disabilities.
No one can foresee the future and in many cases it is just as well.
Let me tell you about John…
He was a workaholic throughout his life, working many hours a day, always doing his best for his family. He was an extremely active DIYer, tinkering with cars, fishing, gardening etc.
John was the life and soul of parties, gatherings and family occasions. He was a joker; we had many friends and had a hectic social life.
John was diagnosed with cancer a month before our second daughter’s wedding day.
Following many operations and Radiotherapy he beat it!!!!
However it was the start of things to come. Over the last few years he has become more and more unwell and has received a number of diagnoses.
It’s not just the physical disabilities that he fights each day but the mental health issues, anxiety and depression that run alongside.
John has lost so much. His job, some abilities, skills, friends. Yes, friends. I say friends, as unbelievable as it is. However he is very good at adapting and tries as hard as he can to overcome his many obstacles.
John has good days and not-so-good days and it is the not-so-good days that I feel much more pressure. It’s that decision, do I stay home or do I go to work? Although I am able to work from home, can I do my work if he isn’t well? Am I able to concentrate? Will I be taking him to the surgery/hospital, and it goes on.
John also has a history of falls and doesn’t always recognises risks because he wants to do things to help. My brother helps with jobs that may need doing with the house and garden and I am quite skilled now with laying slabs, building a shed etc. This in itself causes stress and anxiety as we need to remember to involve John.
When I am at work, I call him at intervals throughout the day. If he doesn’t answer, the pressure and stress levels obviously rise.
Prior to the ‘lockdown’ I was going to get Lifeline installed. I will continue this once the Covid situation improves. I have a friend that lives locally a couple of doors away and I have called and asked her to check up on him in the past, but I don’t want to do this as it is a huge responsibility, and John is not her responsibility.
We have three daughters who help as much as possible, but they have their own families and they all work, so I shield them from the issues as much as I can.
My caring role starts at 6am (if I haven’t got up in the night to John), helping to set him up for the day. I then get to work for 8.30am, finish at 4.30pm, get home and then get back to my caring role.
With the present situation with Covid 19 I am working from home. This has helped to reduce the stress and anxiety levels as I am aware of where and what he is doing.