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Hi, my name is Kathy. I am relatively new to being an unpaid carer and it took me sometime before I even would call myself such and come to terms with this new chapter of our lives. My hubby was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2019, aged just 51, and around 6 months later the pandemic hit…

I have started writing a blog all about my journey, with a hope that it not only helps me, but also others who may be able to relate, as carers present or past. Hopefully it will be a help on some level, or at least a comfort other people on a similar journey.

My blog is on my Facebook page which is called ‘My blog’ (username Katunpaidcarer) if you wish to take a look. But extracts are going to shared here too.

I haven’t blogged in a while, partly because of trying to get my head round the small job I have picked up and feeling pulled in two directions.

It happens to us all I guess at some stage of our lives, our parent/s age and get to that point when you wonder how much longer do they have?

My dad is in hospital and my mother was left at home; a home not suitable really for aging parents. She is frail and not that well. She spends a lot of her time lying in bed and if she makes it downstairs lies on her chair. It’s hard to see her in so much pain, just wanting to die.

I have been down quite a bit lately, partly because the weekend just gone my sisters and I had a meeting to discuss what next. Don’t get me wrong, my mother and I have never been close. She has softened with age but one doesn’t totally forget the history, although I have forgiven her.

But this is not the point here. It is exhausting for us all, but for me I got into church on Sunday and sat and did some breathing. I needed to let go of all the burdens. Why do we as humans do this? But we do. I was concerned about hubby, I can at the moment leave him alone for short amounts of time, I am not at the point of personal care yet, and he’s working hard to maintain his independence for as long as he can.

I had a message in the morning to say he had had a bad night… I don’t like to be away from him when he is having a bad night but, as I said to my sister, it’s a fine line – I can’t molly coddle either. It is trying to hold that balance at this stage, where I am available to him and where I can run to help him if and when he needs it as some days his fatigue and balance is bad. But also to accept that every day is different for him in his new phase of life. And he has to find ways to balance things out and not overdo it when he is having a better day and then suffer the day following.

For me I found it difficult having to be pulled toward my parents, as has happened again and again with my sisters and I, going from one crisis to another, as they see our help in between as ‘interfering’. But now we do finally think my Mum is heading toward the end.

So, we are in the waiting for her to pass or put her in a home, as she needs full time care. How do I feel? Not only torn but really want her to let go. One day I will look back and she will have passed to a better place, but to watch a relative suffer is so hard, feeling helpless to do much.

I will end here, but I can empathise with anyone feeling torn between two people in their family needing support/care. It is so wearing on the emotions, and exhausting physically too.

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