My Husband, My Carer
My husband is my part – time carer, without his help I would not get through the day. There are some days which are better than others, where I don’t need his help as much. MS has created limitations for me. It has been a hard thing to accept. When I started dropping the pieces my husband stepped in and started picking them up. We came to accept that our dynamic would need to change for us to survive as a family unit. It was unspoken, and just came to be. That dynamic will be forever changing just as our family circumstances will be and as my MS will be.
An average day for my husband generally looks like this, (of course from my point of view.) Around 6am our children wake up, ready to start their day, he gets up with them and organises breakfast. Once he has them settled he comes into me with coffee and my breakfast so I can start my day. After sharing drop off duties with our children, my husband goes off to his full time job. He can travel anything from 100-600kms a day, some days are longer than others. He then comes home and steps into daddy mode, helping with dinner, bathing the kids, reading books, getting them to bed.
He does all of this while also taking care of me. Reminding me to take my medication, letting me sleep in the afternoon when I need to, checking I have eaten and keeping track of my appointments. Providing me with the emotional support when the days are hard. When at my worst he has helped me dress, cleaned me up after incontinent episodes. He picks me up from I fall and when I can’t get myself back up. There have been times where my husband has had to take time off work to care for me and the kids, and although I am forever grateful for the flexibility of his work, we are also aware that being self employed he does not get paid for this time.
In my time spent with the MS community I have met and also heard of carers of all ages. They range in age of 9 (yep! Crazy I know!) into their 70’s, many go unsupported and unpaid, like my husband they do it because they care and want to make the life easier for those they love.
Within Australia there are 2.7 million unpaid carers. On average carers spend approximately 40 hours per week providing care. For me carers are the inspirational ones, for without their dedication and support people like myself would not be able to continue to participate in life. They are the unsung heroes, the ones who get up everyday and face the challenge of caring for someone with a chronic illness and disability.
I thank my husband everyday for doing all that he does not just for me, but for our children. My life is richer because I have him by my side, there to catch me whenever I fall.
Statitics sourced from http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/about-carers/statistics/