People sometimes tell me I must be very strong to deal with the illness, surgery and recovery that I’ve been through over the past ten years. The truth is that the strongest person in my house is Timm, my husband. You see, he has dealt with everything I have been through too, but he doesn’t get the support that I do.
Timm is my carer, he looks after me every day both physically, mentally and emotionally. Part of me HATES this, I despise the fact that my husband has to look after me in this way, I want us to be equal partners and I feel bad that he has to care for me. But the biggest part of me has just the hugest amount of gratitude and love for the man.
Carers are superheroes in my eyes and a grossly under appreciated resource in this country. I can’t even imagine how I would have survived the past year without Timm in my life. Not only did he take on all the responsibilities of the kids, housework and our business, he had to become a nurse, a therapist, an advocate and an all round hero.
Whilst I was recovering from surgery, Timm was brilliant. As I lay in bed, resting and allowing my body time to heal, he did EVERYTHING. But now four months down the line, I’m sad to say he is still being my carer and looking after me. As I have blogged, things are not great at the minute with my jpouch, I am going to the toilet 15+ times a day, getting up through the night several times, I have massive fatigue and mentally I am not in a great place. And this is where being a carer gets so much harder. It is not about a brief period of nursing, when you are a carer of someone with a chronic illness, it is a life long relationship. And that must suck.
I write this today whilst I am sat in bed. This morning my husband got up with the kids and sorted them for school, he then got ready for work and came up, kissed me and told me to “rest, sleep and feel better”. Every night I am waking 3-6 times and so I never get into really deep sleep so mornings are terrible. I am so tired all the time! I feel drained from pooing 15 times a day, I am fatigued and have this ache deep in my joints. Yet the worst feeling is guilt.
I feel so guilty that I am not working, we run a photography company The Picture Foundry and currently Timm is doing everything. I feel guilt and sadness that our ‘partnership’ is very one sided at the moment. None of this is coming from him. He has never done anything to make me feel like he is fed up with this, he is never anything but supportive and wonderful. It is all from me, I wrote recently about chronic illness and fatigue and there I talked about a feeling of waking with a desire to take over the world, that I feel I have a million ideas and want to do EVERYTHING, but then my body reminds me that it is broken and feels like a 90 year old!
I just wanted today’s post to be a little recognition to the people in our lives who look after us. Being a carer for someone you love is a role thrust upon you not usually one you would choose. It’s a special thing to have the patience to care for another person, I know that Timm would brush this off, he would make a joke and say that he does what anyone would do. This is one of his best qualities as a carer, he jokes about it, he takes the piss out of me, it isn’t all serious, he makes me laugh when the last thing I feel like doing is laughing and always makes me remember that my illness doesn’t define me.
If you are a carer then please go take a look at Carers UK, it is a great resource for anyone in a caring role and gives some pretty interesting statistics plus help and advice. There’s a statistic that says that 1 in 8 people in the UK are carers and that saves the state £119 billion. Take a peek at the forum to speak to other carers.
There are also support services specifically for people with IBD and their friends and family, take a look at Crohns and Colitis UK.
I just want to thank Timm once again for being so bloody awesome, he is just the best bloke in the world and makes every single day better for me. I don’t know how he does it and keeps all the balls up in the air, he is juggling business, family, home and my health and does it all with an amazing sense of humour, a kindness that breaks my heart and constant love and support.
Love Sam xx