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WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT CARING? - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum


Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I'm like most Carers, I had to find out everything about the medical condition in our family to survive.
I honestly feel information is power, the more I learned the more confident I became to challenge for improvements.

People in authority, who think they know best do not intimidate me, if they are wrong or the treatment is not what it should be - I don't accept it, in fact I give as good as I get!

marie x
I have to agree with you Marie, sometimes the powers that be understimate the knowledge that we have of our cared one's condition, and it is good to question their decisions at times.

I have also learnt to look at what people can do rather than what they cannot.

When it comes to caring I tend to act immediately, after all, if you are in doubt about a health condition it is something that you can't afford to put off.

Seeing a loved one heal, or that you have made a difference to their life, because of you is something that is priceless and rewarding. seeing a person heal makes me happier and is better than one of these Image
I would far rather my son was "normal" whatever that means - it's not been an easy road.

But I guess my main reward is seeing him spread his wings and learn to fly - maybe not so high, maybe not so soon as the other children, but nevertheless grow into the kind of fine young man (he is coming up to 15) that any parent would be be immensely proud of. In the mainstream, all the way, never knowingly marginalised or patronised.

He regards himself as the equal of anyone, and rightly too. As a parent, knowing I haven't failed him to achieve his potential is a reward in itself. Apart from that, he is probably the best hugger in Scotland!

id have him if u ever didnt wanthim though,, he looks like a proper adveture loving boy, how boys should be, not all on the xbox or just being a wombat!

When matt has come off his bike and been really bad, i cared for him 24/7 like a baby, he coul go to the loo by himself , have a bath and couldnt remember me at times, he thought i was a nurse for a whole day, i didnt argue with him he was too confused, but when i sat next to him on the sofa and he put his arm round me i knew that if he didnt get any better ( i was told 50/50 as he had such a knock tot he head, well a whole bike on his head) i knew id still love him and still look after him and treat him with dignity, but thats love ,, fine line between love and being a carer which is why its better whenu r a carer for some one u love
I agree with Catja. What is good about having to wipe your 23 year old son's butt, to spoon feed him because he can't do it for himself anymore, to try to help him cope with the knowledge that he is the last one among his friends still alive and to know that his turn will soon come?

What's good about knowing my son will never be a father and I will never be a grandmother and that if they find the cure for muscular dystrophy my son will not be offered it because at 23 he is "too old". What's good about knowing I am the one who passed this on to my son and if he had a different mother he would not have this damned disease?

Yes his father and I have a closer relationship with him than probably able bodied 24 year old men have with their parents but the trade off (hgis life and ours) is not worth it.

I have to agree with you Eun, sometimes I wonder and my loved one wonders - Why Me?

Surely we didn't need to learn to be kind, compassionate & strong this way - and why some and not others? What kind of justice is it that the people with the most beautiful and kindest of hearts have to suffer?

Caring is a life changing experience, and it is a fast track huge learning curve, with positive and negatives, I try and look on the postive and am grateful that I can be of help - but at the same time I cannot answer the question - WHY ME?
Surely it is about balance, we lose a lot but we also gain a lot? It is not about compensating for what we have lost but realising that there are also positive aspects to caring. You cite losing friends for example, yes we lose friends but the friends who remain and those we gain while we care are true friends, something the others prove themselves not to have been and you cannot lose what you did not have in the first place. I have learned to enjoy my own company and cherish solitude, I no longer need or miss people round me and to be actively engaged in things, I can sit and just be at peace with myself and my surroundings.
<takes a deep breath> Well good for you, Parsifal, but the only thing I have gained since becoming a carer is weight, and that really wasn't needed.

I already had a really good relationship with the person who is now my caree - I mean perfect love and perfect trust. If anything, that is now pushed dangerously close to breaking point once or twice a year because of the longterm illness etc without ever seeing any ****y end in sight.

I was already comfortable with solitude. I was already able to appreciate the little things in life, I was already able to manage on a tight budget. I was already experienced at wading through benefit forms and reading through small print.

There is no future beyond what there is now. It just goes on and on through the decades with the only realistic ending being death after a long slow worsening with fewer and fewer remissions.

I will concede that the few v good friends have remained - just haven't seen them in over 2 years! As for relatives - even the close ones can't be bothered to come over here, hardly pick up the phone or email either.

And that's my life. This isn't something I wanted to do. IMHO & IME it's not fulfilling - if anything it's one long round of saying "it doesn't matter" and "it's okay" when it does, and it isn't, but saying so isn't going to change things so there's no point. YMMV <shrug>
We deal with extraordinarily difficult circumstances in different ways, some of us feel despairing, angry, resentful, I do sometimes too, at another time I could have started a very different thread, but on the whole I feel quite accepting of the situation as it appears some of us do and I am aware that, for me at least, although like everyone here I would not choose this situation, it is not all bad.

I do regret my husband's poor health and I would want it to be otherwise and it is not much fun being a disabled carer but I am actually mostly content with my life. I do not regret what I personally have lost, I would have lost it anyway but not so soon, but I do regret what my husband has lost and I regret that sometimes he makes me incredibly angry when he will not comply with treatment, I wish that I could hide my frustration. Perhaps I am mostly content because I live each day as it comes, not looking back at the past or forwards to the future, either as it will be or as it could have been, so I have nothing much to regret? Or perhaps I am too exhausted to care about the things anymore which bother most people who are not carers and am entirely focused on getting through the day.

There many good things that I have learned from being a carer, for example, I have learned how to fight for services for my husband and when to give up, I have learned that when I feel down it will pass in a few days and knowing this makes it easier to bear and it does pass, I have learned how immensely strong I can be when I need to be, I have learned to stand up to bullies on my own behalf and not just on behalf of others, most of all I have realised that I can still love a stranger who is not the man I married, that however sad or angry or frustrated I feel, however much I feel like a carer rather than a wife, that my love is still as strong, if not stronger, than the day I married him.
Everything everybody has posted is true.
May I also add that through necessity, we have become more educated in this issue and are hopefully able to help/ pass on knowledge/ and change things eventually for the better.
I do meet a lot of people whose lives appear to revolve almost entirely around material things, bigger house, bigger car, new lawnmower, bigger TV, shiny computer.

I don't have the comfort of a belief in an afterlife, but I do have the satisfaction of knowing that my life as a carer is - at least in part - dedicated to supporting other people, not merely gratifying my own - ultimately futile - acquisitiveness and sensation seeking.
I must admit that I tried to find good things in my first post and be positive about caring as that's the life I have.
But I also feel that Catja's post is spot on and really it is how I feel most days now. The problem I have is that I can change my life and put my Mum in a home, but can I really do that to make my life better?
My own feelings are ........'we win some', 'we lose some'....whether we are carers or not. There is a balance in all things - good and bad.
After reading this thread, I remembered something that a friend said not long ago to me.....and that was 'I don't think that I was made to be a Carer'. She finds it hard, and is not looking forward to the part where all the personal caring comes into it.
Got me wondering - are some people 'natural' carers?
But, as this thread is about what is good in caring - for me, is that when night time comes, I know that I've had the pleasure of having my son around for another day - whether it was a good, or bad day. ...and knowing that he will be there in the morning.
For just this much, I am thankful for.