Carers come in the form of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, friends, and even strangers. They’re ordinary people. But they have a gift; something special which cannot be taught. They know how to care; how to be flexible enough to mould into people’s lives and be just what is needed. For some it is a necessity; for others it is a vocation, a ‘calling’. They have the power to change people’s lives for the better. And they do.
I have lots of carers in my life. My main carer is my mother, who became my carer out of necessity. She keeps me alive physically and mentally; she does all of my medical care, from setting up my TPN (feeding straight into the bloodstream), to changing my stoma bag, doing my medication, giving injections, doing catheters, sorting out supplies, arranging appointments, ordering medication, and so on, to helping with my personal care including washing and dressing, and passing me the things I need. She also runs a house, is a mother to my sister, looks after our pets and works full time. But most of all, she loves me unconditionally.
This is where my other carers come in. I have carers from The J’s Hospice two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays usually, 8am – 4pm), of which there are a team of six who come in to me. We have a personal carer who comes in three times a week (usually Wednesday – Friday, 8am – 4pm), and also picks up other shifts with us such as evenings, nights and weekends. We are currently interviewing for a/some new carers to take on some shifts. My carers are all different, all bringing something different to my life. They each have different personalities, different traits and different stories, things that make our time together unique and interesting. For this I am truly grateful.
My carers are fantastic. They help with my personal care, allow my mum to work and spend time with my sister, and keep me company. They keep me sane. We chat and generally have a laugh, and if I am feeling up to it we go out, taking Molly for a walk. They bring some normality into my life, and help me to be me. I don’t have much energy these days, I sleep a lot, and I’m not often well enough to do much (mostly chat and watch TV), but I enjoy it. I know from times that I have been out with them how liberating it is. Despite what they are employed to do, which others may think makes me very dependent, they try to keep me as independent as possible. Mostly they bring things to me to allow me to do as much as I can, and they just assist with the bits I cannot do by myself. And the best bit of it all? We laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, it dissolves the anger, wipes away the tears and brings hope to each new day.
This week is National Carer’s Week – so for all our special carers
from all of us who are truly grateful for everything you all do.