A day in our lives by Pat Onions

Pat contributes to CarerWatch blog on a regular basis – here is her latest.

I was listening to a repeat of a news clip on the riots in France. Riots about raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. People were throwing missiles, setting fire to cars and making their feelings known.

Feelings were running high amongst our neighbours over the channel. I don’t know what the outcome will be but if that is all their Government is planning I envy them.

I have always been an optimist. Finding some good in everyone and everything. I enjoy life, on the whole, and meet challenges head on. NO and CAN’T are non existent words in my disabled vocabulary.. They are used far too often by those whose, well paid, jobs are to help the disabled.

‘I DON’T WANT TO’ has quite a different meaning!!

This country, I (and some of my family) live in, is being dragged kicking and screaming to somewhere it was never intended.

I don’t like it any more. That feeling of a ‘comfy old pair of slippers’ is changing forever. That feeling I want to live somewhere else grows stronger every day. My husband, a true blooded Yorkshire man, feels exactly the same.

It is hard, bloody hard, trying to live in an able bodied country. With help and support most of us make a bad job bearable.

Not any more. The very fabric of our lives is being destroyed. Torn apart by ‘leaders’ promising the unobtainable. Dreams in their eyes but nightmares in ours.

Listening to the latest on the ‘Big Society’ where we are encouraged to give a day of our bent and crippled lives to charity. Could I have my day in instalments please? A minute every week and I should make it in 10 years.

This latest publicity stunt I find hurtful and insulting. Maybe I could be excused? My ‘spare’ time is spent trying to put my husband & I back together having received no help when we most needed it. ‘Spare’ time just trying to live with some normality. If it eases other people’s conscience so be it but don’t do it on account of me.

Oh….I have got it wrong. They don’t want us to join in.  We are the ones who will receive a donated day. 

Right where shall I start?

Tea and medication for husband. Let dogs out, in, feed. Husband up, shower, dressed, breakfast. That’s 2 hours. Husband not good so ring pain clinic.  Change bedding, washer on. Raining so fill airer. Dog has been sick. Clear up, washer on again. Answer phone, make 3 calls. Husband needs paper work, find. Lunch. Let dogs out, play & in. Raining so rub with towels. Hospital for me. Lecture on not resting ankle enough. Home, tea, collapse for 10 mins. Feed dogs. Check ‘phone & scanner on to read post. Appointment changed, 20 mins trying to get through to rearrange, too late gone home. Ring surgery, No appointments, computer change over. Husband not good so more medication. He dozes in pain. Sun comes out, sit outside, a little tear. Loving nudge from my  dogs. A nudge that doesn’t assess me. It doesn’t means test me. It doesn’t call me a ‘scrounger’. It is unconditional. Another little tear. 

Make dinner, clear up. ‘Phone call from therapist. How am I? Am I getting the help?  Me bath. Medication for husband & jim jams on. Big cuddle for husband, me bed. Husband good night, I only had to get up 3 times with him.  Sleep? Tomorrow maybe, after all tomorrow is another day.

A succession of Governments have promised better ‘health and well being’ for carers. As for respite? Forget it…it never happens. This is the real world.

That was a quiet day and yet we managed to use up our ‘spoons’ between us. My husband borrowed mine.

All sounds easy?…… they must remember to wear a paper bag over their head so they can be just like me and…….can’t see.

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2 Responses to “A day in our lives by Pat Onions”

  1. James Hood Says:

    Dear Pat
    I was touched by your piece
    Unknowingly you were mirroring my life (existence?)
    My wife is a stroke victim and I am a full time carer
    Should like to talk to you and see how we can help each other and others
    James – Carers Partnership Board

  2. carerwatch Says:

    James,

    To ensure your privacy I have removed your telephone number from your comment above. I forwarded it direct to Pat.

    Many thanks

    Rosemary

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