Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Builder to carer, a journey

I must say I feared for my safety when it became evident that my husband was going to have to become my carer . Here is a man who has been a builder since the age of 15 , a typical builder, one of the lads who could swear and drink with the best of them. He has always been hugely sociable and what I would describe as a man's man , one of the lads. Those of you that have read my previous blogs will be aware that I am actually the opposite kind of personality to my husband so I took on the role of wife, mother, housekeeper, Chief Cook and bottle washer and he continued in the same vein as he had previous to us getting married for some time after the marriage.
We were both very young when we got married and we've grown and learnt together throughout the marriage. One thing that became obvious quite early on in our relationship was that my husband lacked sensitivity , never was this more evident than the day I called him home from work as I was about to have our third child, yes he rushed home to take me to the hospital but imagine my feelings when not just Trevor but six of his workforce came in our house so that he could pay them their wages before taking me to hospital! Oh the stories I could tell about those days, but maybe that's a future blog.
We had our up and downs as most relationships do but we muddled on, the point I'm really trying to make here is that Trevor had never had to have much to do with the house or the children or indeed my welfare, self sufficient, independent, and capable of running the home and the family he had been able to leave the daily routine very much in my hands.
For the first 15 years of psoriasis appearing it would come and go not really causing a huge problem I learned to work around it and life continued as normal. When the arthritis side of things kicked in it affected my legs and my spine initially so mobility was my main problem . This meant I could continue to work, and look after both the house and the children although luckily my children were growing up by this time and didn't require so much running after.
I found that by adapting how I did certain tasks meant that I could still do them, then there were the ones I did even though I shouldn't have been, yes stubborn is my middle name! My daughter took away the steps to stop me hobbling up them to reach things rather than wait for someone to get them for me, imagine her horror a few weeks later when she caught me balanced on the sides of the bath painting the bathroom! And so the bath was removed ( lol, only recently when I needed a wet room)
Gradually I had to release my grip more and more on being superwoman and accept I was needing more and more help. As is only right one by one my girls left home to progress with their own lives and Trevor had to learn such things as where the Hoover lives, how you disentangle one shopping trolley from another and how to wash my hair without drowning me. As the psoriasis has got worse and the arthritis has taken over practically every joint I have become capable of doing less and less and he is having to learn a whole new trade I.e husband, father, grandfather, housekeeper and chief cook and bottle washer, and most important job in the world... Loving personal carer.

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1 comment:

tinysuz said...

As usual Penny you continue to amaze me, you are a true inspiration. I too married the same kind of man as you but we have mellowed and adapted and still enjoying 41 years of happy marriage albeit there have been many ups and downs!