That’s what one carer declared the other one to be the other morning! In fact, someone had once also told her “if ever I shit myself, it’s you who I want cleaning me!”. She is indeed thorough! 😂
Such banter often occurs over something that is of course an intensely personal intimate moment. Quite literally. I can’t help but chuckle to myself as they’ll be mid cleaning me then stop what they’re doing to gesticulate along to their conversation, as I lie there completely naked between them. 😳😁
I have to be honest, though. I’m going through my hardest time yet, with my anxiety increasingly turning into panic attacks. I think what’s at the root of it is losing use of my arms. I can still use my right arm but, as I’ve written before, I will lose function of that before too long and it terrifies me. I won’t be able to do anything for myself and it’s the little things that are bothering me most, like wiping my nose, putting my glasses on and off, scratching my face, moving the duvet over me at night. I’m terrified and it’s starting to spiral out of control.
I’ve got a hang up about waking and getting up now. The carers have had to stop and give me a moment several times as they’ve washed and dressed me the past few mornings as I’ve got myself into a bit of a state. Once I’m downstairs and in my wheelchair I’m generally ok but when I’m in my bed it grips me. I’ve adapted pretty well to the loss of function up to now but I can’t see a way through this.
So I thought now might be a good time to think of the positive things that have come out of this relentlessly cruel disease. Don’t get me wrong, in no way do they come anywhere near balancing the bloody awful things, but it’s an attempt at being upbeat.
Firstly, I get to spend all day every day with Sue. We love being together and always wanted to retire at the same time. Of course, not in these circumstances, but we’re determined to make the most of this time and just appreciate what we can, while we can.
Next has to be the insight I have had into the world of carers. It is truly a privilege to witness the amazing work they do and the difference they make to people’s lives every single day. With the coronavirus, the whole country is finally realising it now, and rightly so. Here’s hoping it inspires future generations to aspire to be carers and other healthcare workers, rather than overpaid footballers and celebrities. I now consider many of my carers my friends. They bring so much to our lives and I love them.
Also, I now have the perfect excuse to only wear comfy clothes! I always would have before I was ill if I’m honest but a combination of work and, more to the point, being married to Sue meant that was never an option. 🤣
Apart from anything else, having stretchy clothes is really helpful when others are dressing you. My carers like my stretchy clothes so that’s a good enough reason in itself, quite frankly.
Even better, though – I don’t have to wear a bra anymore! Largely because of the position of my PEG as it’s quite high up. But also I just can’t be bothered.
So, comfy-clothes-and-no-bra days every day for me! Jealous? Well wait til you hear this…
Last week I had a haircut! One of my carers used to be a hairdresser and, on her own time, cut my hair for me. Ha!
And finally, not forgetting I’m cleaned by the best foo-foo cleaner in Cardiff!
So these might be dark days for me but I shall try to remember these small blessings and be grateful. I hope you are managing to keep your demons at bay too.