When you think of someone being a carer most of us will automatically think of someone that has to do everything for the person they care for, including wiping their bum. Some of us will also think of a carer only having to help with physical needs and not necessarily there emotionally and mental needs.
Part of the reason I'm writing this blog entry is because I would like to bring awareness of the different kinds of carers that are out there. Also to bring awareness that carers themselves come in different shapes and sizes ... lol.
But on a more serious note, some carers are children, some are old and some are like me, fairly young. Some, if not most, even have their own health problems.
Most people will not realize that I am my husbands carer, because at first glance it looks like I just help him walk. What they're not seeing is on a daily basis I have to take care of his emotional well being as well as his physical needs (which are more than helping him to walk, I have to help him in and out of bed, help bathe him, assist him getting his clothes on and off, etc, etc). There is a lot more than this I have to do, too much to mention here, but there are other carers that do even more than I have to do. But unlike me, some carers don't have to look after someone else's mental well being ... and like thousands of others this is actually the thing I struggle the most with.
When I first saw my husband have a major panic attack it scared the life out me. But as I always do, I did my best to take care of him and put how I was feeling aside.
So as you can see and if you saw the blogs on carersweek you would have realized that not one carer is the same as the next. I never realized it when I was younger but my nan was my grandads carer I remember as a teenager helping her put my grandads wheelchair in the back of their car. I'm sure there was so much more she had to do for him, but I either didn't see it or realize it.
I have to admit it took me a while to realize I was actually a carer. I even made a list once of the things I thought I did for my husband and showed it to him. He laughed and spent the next 10 minutes adding all the things he could think of! I think this was when I realized properly that I am a carer and not all carers are the same.
When you think of someone that needs a carer you'll probably think of someone in a wheelchair or child/person with severe learning problems. You may or may not be surprised to know that this is not always the case.
There are hundreds of thousands of people out there with invisible disabilities. For example, mental illness. You can't see it but many people with it need a carer. My husband has several neurological disorders which you can not see, as well as mental health issues. He also has arthritis through all his body, but you can't see this ... but this causes him severe pain. His neurological problems cause him a whole host of problems, including seizures, extreme exhaustion, muscle paralysis ... the list just goes on.
There are so many people out there with invisible disabilities that are treated so badly by society in general and are judged because on that certain day there not using their wheelchair/walking stick and are parking in a disabled bay. Just recently a young lady in America was left a note on her car, left by someone who could not see the Cystic fibrosis the young lady has!
When most people see my husband they don't realize the pain and the struggles he has to go through everyday.
Personally I think there needs to be more awareness made of invisible disabilities and the fact that not one carer is the same as the other.
take care of each other