Looking after sick friend around work, struggling badly now

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
Hi everyone. I'm nearly 29, and i look after a sick friend/former girlfriend. Since her dangerously bad pregnancy that almost killed her, her bladder and kidney functions have completely packed up. Allergic to all anti-emetics, lost so much weight shes struggling to keep over 6 stone, can barely eat or drink anything without throwing it up. Doc said she is def too sick to not be receiving disability allowance but of course Atos or whoever said different because of course they do. have basically been working three jobs at 90 hours a week to support her and her family over last three years. Parents want nothing to do with her, in-laws shout at her to get better as it's 'inconvenient to her son' who is a lazy weed addled user layabout but does take care of the baby so that means he has to stay. Has basiclly been forthright he's being unfaithful to her now shes ill and now would rather not help out at all. So now its me for everything including finanicial and physical help as social services have said if they split they loose every bit of help they're getting right now and will be on their ow, so he has essentially been given carte blanche to do whatever he pleases and the authorities will have to side with him as he does care for the child.

I'm averaging 2-3 hours sleep a night at absolute best, my work is suffering, i have been depressed for god knows how long and because of the pressure put on me by both the in-laws and my parents to stop helping because they don't even believe the doctors verdict that now she is so sick until treatment is sorted she MUST go into hospital everytime she feels the slightest bit one way otherwise she'll drop dead, i've been struggling to be overtly positive and/or upbeat around her. Because of this sustained level of stress and how i've badly dealt with it, she now says i hate her and she hates me but she'll have to put up with me until this is sorted, which could be a year away. That is the prison we've been given. not ONE family member or friend has offered any help whatsoever, all i want is a night off not going over there after finishing my two jobs for the weekday around rushing her painkillers and food in the breaks between and not clearing up around the lazy evil husband, having to hoover and wash up and everything in-between and then if she feels like she needs to go to hospital to re-up the fluids then we have to do that which we sometimes have to do until i need to take back home again to then get back to to work the next morning. It's eternal, i've got a little storage cupboard of my own at the day job and have been laying out blankets and pillows to try and sleep in my quiter periods of the day. All anyone suggests is i start paying off my debt but if i refocus on me, she's dead. No ifs, ands or buts: i would be condemning her to an early grave if i stop helping even for a seconds its so bloody desperate. And we both know it. We're miserable. NO-ONE will help us. No-one. Everything in my body hurts. We now have a choice: i work myself into a heart attack helping her or she loses my help so i can help myself rest for just a while and she dies.


I don't know what do to. I'm desperate. I want help :(
Who owns the property you live in?
Has she had a Social Services Needs assessment? What was the result?
Have you had a Social Security Care Assessment? What is the result?

To be honest, it sounds as though you need to walk out and find your own place. You're describing a relationship that is destroying you both.
She lives in a seperate property with her husband and the child about 10 mins from my house and 45 from my day work, i live at home with dad and brother who has aspergers, which compounds it. Housing benefit kicks in next month for her so thats a little load off my plate when that happens but still around that and basically her sleeping from around 3-4 till mid morning while i'm back at work in the day for up to 9 hours and working in the pub in the evening up to 5 hours is such a tussle to manage, everything has to cleaned up and washed and moved on her behalf everyday after that because he just won't do it and if she tries to do it herself it immediately knocks her sideways and exacerbates her condition tenfold, meaning back in the car to go back to hospital...AGAIN.

once again, the services said that they cannot assist with anything becuase (on paper at least) she has a husband even though he has said openly he does not wish to help with her anymore but he will help with the child and in their minds, the kid always comes first so she has to suffer to fit in with their criteria. I have not heard of a social security car assessment, sounds american to me, what does it involve?
Oscar, we are ultimately all responsible for our own happiness.
This lady clearly has problems, but she has a child and a health visitor should be visiting, and arranging whatever she needs. It could be that you are inadvertently making things worse, rather than better, because no one is seeing just how much she needs help.
She didn' ask to be this physically ill. She's mentally scarred as well at what her husband has done to her which i'm not surprised. Her previous gynacological health problems she reckons were the reason her in-laws hated her so much is that she couldn't produce a child when they wanted it and now she finally has, they want nothing to do with her or the little girl.

All the health visitors have gone on leave so it's entirely up to us. and once again because they see the husband looking after the baby, they've said they don't approve of what he's doing but if he physically exists in the house....then that is enough for them and their overseers to believe she has enough care. As an invisible illness and one that has proved to be what the doctors told me is 'a rare version of an even rarer condition' the health visitors (when they've actually showed up) have struggled to get to grips with whats actually wrong so seemingly cannot come up with a plan of action.
I still don't think it's something that you should get involved with, as you are the ex.
I'm 65, have been a carer for most of my life. I've learned that some things are worth the effort, others are not. You are so involved with this situation that you have absolutely no time for a LIFE OF YOUR OWN. If you ever want a loving relationship, children, a home of your own then you need to let this go, it's not your battle to fight. Live your own life.
Oscar
None of this is your responsibility. By becoming involved you have let who should have responsibility off the hook. You are being used. You need to back off totally, and get your health and life sorted. Your family comes before anyone else. If you feel the baby isn't being cared for then you report that to Social Services and let them deal.

I recommend you get a self help book called "Overcoming Low self esteem" by Melanie Fennell. It's readily available in either paper or electronic format

Hope it works out for you. Do pop back to let us know how it's going

MrsA
If she's married, it's her husband's responsibility. If you're willing to do all this, then it's him you're doing it for. If his presence prevents her from getting help, and she doesn't boot him out, then she is colluding in his use of you. You are being used by them both.

It really is up to you what you do but, if you stay, nothing will change until you break down. At that point, you could damage your health and lose your job. Is it worth it?
Oscar, I would say that you are doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Your heart is doing the 'right thing' but it is the wrong thing for your friend. As others are pointing out, your 'support' for her (not questioning that it IS support) is acting to enable this impossible and unsustainable situation to continue.

Take a step back and review the situation. What do you think would solve the problem for her?

Given the husband is a waste of space slob (other than literally holding the baby - as in, what is he doing, when you say he is looking after the baby)(does he work, by the way, I can't believe he does if he's supposed to be babysitting!), then nothing really can change, can it?

If she is ill, as you say, then either she needs hospitalisation, or she needs to be registered disabled and have a care package drawn up by the social services etc. What that care package will do, presumably, is sort out for her house to be cleaned (will it?), and ....wel, I don't know, what care DOES she need??? I mean, what is it that 'someone else' would have to do if YOU say went under a bus (with exhaustion!)??

If you think that SS etc etc are being utterly unhelpful, and given the situation with the useless husband, to be honest, surely her leaving him would be for the best? Staying is not viable, as the husband will always be useless.

At this stage, I would say that phoning maybe first the Samaritans, as a first port of call, or, if you can find a contact number, an organisation that acts as a women's refuge for abused women (and let's not quibble about whether she is or isn't abused etc), and see what they can come up with. It could be that physically getting her and her baby out, and into a safe refuge, is the first essential step towards sorting out this situation.

The husband seems useless at the very least, and surely she needs to accept her marriage isn't working, and exit it. Get housing as a single mother, with care needs herself, and a support package for her, to free herself from the husband.

Would this not work?

At the moment, you are simply keeping this unsustainable situation going, and that is no long term solution.

I would say the best way to help her is to help her get away from where she is now, to a safe place of her own.

Wishing you all the best - you are clearly a VERY good friend, but something has to change, in a major way, in the situation you are holding together, if that, barely, at the price of driving yourself into the ground.

Kindest wishes, Jenny