Having carers… Giving in?

Wheelchair Rugby and Me
5 May 2019
“We Don’t Do Disabled’s”
24 May 2019

Mrs W and the hooligans.

Taxi banter

Not for the first time in my life, I had a chatty taxi driver this week. And not for the first time, the bloke was nice enough and curious about my disability – though in this case only using it as an intro to be able to talk about his arthritis. I don’t mind, honestly. We all have our challenges. And pain, or worse constant pain, always weighs heavy. And neither do I mind not talking MS. Am happy to explain, happy to put misconceptions wrong, happy above all to laugh at my condition and my frequent mishaps and adventures. But equally happy, nay happier, to listen and talk about other stuff!

And not for the last time, I got the naive question, (done in a Dorset accent), “Progressive illness. So it’s getting better then?” Ummmm, no. I do wish some clever person naming our condition years ago hadn’t used that positive word to describe what’s happening. “Downhill with bumps”. “Crap, getting crappier”. “OhDearitis”. “Wibbly wobblier forever”. “Onwards and downwards”. Just some ideas…


But actually, physically at least, I’m not sure I have ‘progressed’ or indeed ‘wibbled’ much at all these last few months. Some of that I can put down to luck, as will always be the case with MS. Lots more I can put down to exercise through an excellent physio and some bloody marvellous Wheelchair Rugby workouts. My fatigue on the other hand is possibly worse. I YouTubed on that thrilling topic here. zzzzzzzz…

My memory and thinking is definitely ‘wibbling’. Must blog about that. Memory permitting. Ho ho ho.

Anyway, crappier or not, I recently came to another grim little moment in my jolly old MS life. Booking carers to pop in on me a couple of times a day. After all, I can’t make the simplest of meals any more – especially as I try to eat healthily. No ready meals, pot noodles definitely out. And a cup of tea takes too bloody long to be worth it. I struggle to get the gazillions of pills I have to take out of their containers and into my dispenser. On a bad day I can’t do up shirt buttons. And as for cuff links… It’s not nice and it’s not pretty, I know that. And so, regrettably, carers have become a new addition to our household’s routine. All these new people in my life have been invariably lovely, unfazed, and thoroughly professional. We’re actually going to cut back on their hours as they go about their business so very efficiently. But it’s a weight off my mind and another way of feeling on top of life.

But it’s tough to accept help for such simple tasks. I cringe on a daily basis already, asking so much of my long-suffering wife and my ever-indulgent children. After all, I set about my marriage vows and then parenthood with a vengeance, determined to pay back the fact I was definitely punching way above my weight. I cooked, I cleaned, I ironed, determined to earn the right to family bliss and the odd fumble in the undergrowth with my wife. They remain my real, unsung carers, with not nearly as many opportunities to let off steam as I’d like or they deserve…

Mrs W and the hooligans




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