Friday, 14 December 2007

A Friend in Need

There is one thing about being a carer that I really dislike: when I’m ill there is no one to do the things that I would normally do.

Mr Man and I struggle on, and he helps me as much as he can, but there are some things that he just can’t do or cope with. He can’t collect my prescription for me; he can’t go to the shop to get some shopping; he can’t even phone for a take away. That’s not his fault, and I don’t blame him for that.

Sometimes I just wish it didn’t all fall on me, especially when I feel so ill.

I asked my youngest brother to buy a few things for me the other day. He did it, but he wasn’t very happy about it. So I dragged myself out tonight to do the things I felt too ill to do, rather than ask for his help again.

How do other carers cope? I suppose having a good support network helps, but like my Mum, I find it difficult to ask for practical help. It’s not pride; it’s guilt. Other people have their own problems to deal with. I don’t want to be a nuisance, and having people help so begrudgingly does little to ease your mind in that area. I always find that the ones who are most willing to help are the ones least able to.

It seems a friend with no need, is a friend indeed.


maz said...

Hi, when all else fails I get online shopping from tesco, get it all delivered and stay indoors with warm drinks!

Trouble is, things have a way of cropping up at times like these don't they!!

Hope you're feeling more your old self soon.

maz x

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thanks Maz.

I must admit it was years ago when I tried the Tesco online service, but I didn't think much to it at the time. The problem is, when I'm first ill I tend to make do with what we have, hoping the illness will be short lived, so by the time I think about shopping we're running out of things, and if I remember rightly Tesco deliver a few days later.

It's a good idea though. Thanks for the tip.

Calamity Jane said...

Don't you always find that people offer to help over and over, you refuse not wanting to put them to any trouble, until one day when you're desperate, you ask and they react as though you're expecting them to sacrifice their firstborn?

Mr Mans Wife said...

I couldn't have put it better myself CJ!

lady thinker said...

I too use online shopping. Sainsburys do it for me.
And there are such organsiations like Wiltshire Farm Foods or local farm fresh food they usually do ready cook frozen and are able to carry in and place in freezer for old or disabled people.
Your local social services Dept should have a list of deliveries in your local area.
Re your brother i do hope YOU WONT rush to his aid the next time he has flu or summat - then he may appreciate how it feels to be alone with no cheerful help forthcoming.
HUGS - hope you feel better soon.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thanks Lady Thinker. I've used one of those organisations that deliver frozen meals before. They were very good, although Mr Man complained that the meals weren't big enough! I think we all get caught unawares sometimes though, and need just a few things from the shop.

I feel much better now thank you. Thanks for the hugs! :o)

Tilly said...

It's the old thing that people just don't want to get involved and are afraid that you will become a burden, so they don't do even the most simple things, like get in some shopping, or make a casserole, or take the dog for a walk...My children ask why their uncle doesn't do more to take care of his mother. It's incomprehensible to them - but how do you explain to a child that some adults just can't cope?! Or don't want to. What bugs me when I'm really stretched to the limit is when they phone up to tell you all about their holidays....!!!!!!

Re online shop. I saw locally that Somerfield does free deliveries. I haven't had time to investigate, but I don't know whether that would also help. Asda deliver to home too - not sure how their charges compare with Tesco's.

I hope you are feeling much,much better. And ask away if you need help. Don't let the others make you feel bad. That's their problem, not yours!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Oh, don't talk to me about unwilling sons - how my family responded to my Nan's need for care would make an interesting story. But I suppose you're right; some people just can't cope. In saying that, sometimes I think it's a bit of an unfair excuse, because in reality how many of those who do take on the responsibility really cope? Their health suffers, their nerves are frayed, but they don't have the choice of saying "I can't do it because I can't cope" - they just have to do it.

Actually I should maybe blog about this sometime because it's an issue that has affected my Nan's care and Mr Man's care. And if my family read it... well at least they'll know how I feel.

Thank you for the advice about online shopping Tilly, and for you well wishes. x

Robert said...

You know, I could have written that post myself. I recognise all the problems and thoughts.

I have grown-up daughters who are....quite....willing to help me when it doesn't put them out too much. They WILL do what's required when I'm incapacitated or have an unavoidable non-reschedule-able appointment, but like you, I'm reluctant to ask for assistance. But to be fair, they're always available for their youngest siblings.

I've thought about I ASHAMED to ask for help - is it an admission that I'm not totally independent? I EMBARRASSED to ask for help? I feel GUILTY when asking because it's MY problem & I don't want to inflict it on others?

My wife & I use online shops for the majority of our purchases (because of her particular problem). If you start doing this before you HAVE to, then it's easy to continue when things aren't going so well. (Iceland is another company who deliver in many areas.)

On your previous post, you commented on the lack of information given to carers and those requiring care about what financial and/or practical help is available. In my dealings with social services over the last 20-something years (mostly about my son, who has severe learning difficulties), it is apparent that their no.1 priority is containing their budget. I am lucky because I am a good communicator, good at research and VERY persistent - so I generally get what's due...eventually. (I have just recently sorted out mt son's accommodation - after a six-month struggle!) But I am totally aware that others less fortunate than I constantly lose out. And that can't be fair.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you for your comment Robert. Once again it illustrates how all carers have the same problems.

Re: information and services - I agree, they all have a budget to stick to and so make it very awkward for people to get the help they need. Well done for persisting. Unfortunately so many people don't have the emotional strength to continue doing that. I've reached the end of my tether in my fight against respite cut backs and the problems associated with that. I shall write about that in depth soon.

Robert said...

Caring for Marie at Christmas is not very onerous. And she's been improving recently, so I can risk being optimistic for 2008.

I hope that 2008 will be an enjoyable year for you. In the meantime, have a happy Christmas.

Best wishes!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Robert. I hope you enjoy the holidays with Marie and the rest of your family.