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First post - Carers UK Forum

First post

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I am in my 40's and emigrated some years ago to another european country. I have a wife with M.E. (chronic fatigue syndrome) and a 4 year old boy. My wife has been ill with M.E. since a few months before our son was born. She was too exhausted to look after him when he was born and for much of the time I have had to try and be both his mother and father as he so rarely can see her. M.E. is a very difficult illness, people appear okay but have no energy most of the time, can cope with little stress and have difficulty maintaining a sleep pattern. Our boy is very active and has numerous allergies. After four years I am absolutely exhausted and in a tunnel of despair. We have no family to help nearby, I try to keep a full time job and the only lie in I have had, was two years ago when my brother travelled (he lives over a 1000 miles away) to look after our son whilst I had major dental surgery. I have become depressed and anxious and convinced that despite my best intentions I am failing as a parent and struggling to give my wife the care and support she needs at the same time. People who we thought were close friends melted away once the effect of the M.E. illness became apparent. I feel so alone in trying to cope with this.
Hi and Welcome
You sound to be in a very difficult situation. All I can say is that this site has made me feel less alone.
take care xx
Hi and welcome Image
Does where you are living have any support in place? Such as respite etc.? Sounds like you really need some help.
Hi and welcome Image
Welcome to the forum. You post made me feel exhausted reading it, it's vital that you get some help, either through your GP, Social Services or both. Your wife should have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you should have a separate Carers Assessment, in private, so that you can talk freely about all your responsibilities. Depending on your personal circumstances, and where you live, there are a range of services they can offer.
Dear All. Thankyou for your kind words and advice. It was good to read them. I have been to my GP today. He has advised me to take a weeks rest on sick leave initially and will contact the local social service, to see if they can provide us with some help looking after our son.
Hi,

Being miles away from family! It sucks, and you are bringing up your young son who needs lots of attention too, your a star. Look after yourself as much as you can. (Easier said than done)

You feel the 'aloneness' more acutely because as a carer our family life is a little different to the considered norm, and until your in that boat people don't fully understand. I didn't but I do now!!

Take care x
Hi Living in Hope,
I don't know you but I can assure you that you won't be failing your wife and you will be doing your best. I went through this myself looking after my mum, wondering if I was doing a good enough job... until I saw the care she received when in respite and suddenly I realised that I'm actually giving my mother one to one care, all her needs are met quite quickly and she is happy with what I do.

I think when we feel drained or stressed we assume we are failing but we're all just human, doing our best and even when drained and stressed you will be doing a very good job because you care and love your wife and son. That makes a big difference.

Don't underestimate yourself and all that you do. No carer should.

The fact that you are afraid of not doing your best for them shows how much you care and it has been said that depression is not a sign of weakness but a sign that someone has been strong for too long.

Scruffy x
hi there living in hope....we too emigrated in 2002 so I do appreciate how difficult when caring so far away from other family members etc. Support abroad can, and often is very different and sadly lacking so my only advice to you has to be to look to see if ex-pats in your area have set up any support. Details often available from consulate, local forums etc. The hospital care we have found (albeit limited NHS experience as we have to pay for private care) has been first class but it is the after care and support which many have to rely upon local organisations.

take care and I wish you all well.

Bell x
hi welcome to forum