My husband is my best friend, lover and most importantly my 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. The deterioration of my chronically invisible illnesses have placed so many more limitations on me. It has been such a hard thing to accept not to be able to be independently doing things for myself and family. Over the 10+ years that I have had complex health problems my husband has been there through it all, but this year spiralling out of control into the dark depths of despair has been when when my husband has stepped in and started picking up the slack when I couldn’t. You see when health disappears and full time catheterisation needs to be performed daily, when balance disappears and falls occur at the drop of a hat and then when limbs become paralysed and so many other changes occur it makes us accept that our world has changed. The changes to life has been forever changing just as my chronic health will be.
An average day for my husband looks like this, (of course from my point of view.) Around 5.30am my husband arrived home from working 8 hours of night shift, he will sleep for 1-4 hours and then generally will go out with our youngest son doing garden maintenance . He will then come home and help with household chores and the like. He may get a couple more hours of rest/sleep before having to go to another 8 hour night shift He many travels kms everyday, some days are longer than others.He does all of this while also taking care of me. Reminding me to take my medication, letting me rest when all is to much, he is always checking I have eaten or had a drink and he keeps track of my medical appointments and he is there providing me with the emotional support when the days are just too hard. There have been times where my husband has had to take time off work to care for me and our youngest child to which I am so very and forever grateful.
Since my health has deteriorated we have had to research and apply for some Carer assistance as it becomes very difficult to survive when income decreases and it amazed me just how many carers go unsupported and unpaid, like my husband they do it because they care and want to make the life easier for those they love. I believe in Australia there are about 2.5 million unpaid carers. On average carers spend about 40 hours a week providing care for their loved ones. For me the carers are the inspirational ones, for without their dedication and support for people like myself, I doubt I would be able to continue to live life. They are the unsung heroes, the ones who get up everyday and face the challenge of caring for someone with chronic illness and/or disability. I thank my husband everyday for doing all that he does not just for me, but for our older children that have now moved out and for my youngest son still at home.
My life is so much brighter because I have my wonderful man by my side, there to catch me whenever I fall (quite literally). Why am I writing this today, well it’s my husbands birthday and while we can’t celebrate wildly anymore I can still raise a toast for all that he does by shouting out massive buckets of gratitude. Happy Birthday my love, for everything you do, you make me strive to step forward and live that life that I love.