jmgoyder

wings and things

Facebook friendships

Over the last few months I have become Facebook friends with many of the staff at the nursing home where Anthony lives. Some of the staff have ‘friended’ me and I, too, have actively ‘friended’ others. This means that my blog (which automatically connects to my Facebook) is accessible to the very people who look after Anthony.

This is a little bit scary because I feel like I’ve made myself vulnerable. On the other hand, it is the most wonderful thing to be able to connect with these fantastic carers outside the context of the nursing home. The Facebook connection is virtual, yes, but also very real because I see many of these beautiful people every week and sometimes every day!

I didn’t deliberately plan these Facebook connections; it just kind of evolved and now I feel enthused to connect with as many staff at the nursing home as I can. I want to thank them personally; I want to acknowledge their amazingness; I want to know about their lives, their woes and joys.

I want to hug them back. So, to the staff at Anthony’s nursing home (yes, he thinks he owns it), many many many thanks! I think we can use Facebook to communicate.

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When the carer gets sick

Even though Anthony is now being cared for in the nursing lodge, and I am no longer physically exhausted, the emotional exhaustion has been a force to reckoned with and I seem to be susceptible to any flubug doing the rounds. I just rang and asked the head nurse if I could visit today but she said no because of my flu – understandable. But I haven’t seen Ants for 3 days now and he is as forlorn as I am about this.

The first time I succumbed badly to a flu was a few years ago when Ants was still at home, Ming was still at school and I was still working. That was the beginning of the end of the way we were. I ended up in intensive care, with very bad asthma and exhausted. I had to take leave from work, we got more home nursing help and Ming began to take over some of the night shifts looking after Ants – toiletting, turning him over etc.

It soon became obvious that I would not be able to go back to work in my usual capacity because I couldn’t leave Ants alone. On several occasions I would come back from dropping Ming off at the busstop, or from the local shop, to find Anthony had fallen.

My job allowed me to continue to teach online and I threw myself into this with gusto but the night shifts continued to take their toll and I got sick again, and again.

It’s just flu and no big deal but I wonder why and how I could still be so fatigued when I am no longer working, no longer up all night and when I feel so positive. The only thing I can put it down to is a slowly breaking heart.

I know exactly how to remedy this because I have decided that this year will be full of laughter no matter what.

Carers get sick too and this is the trouble. So if you are a carer, look after yourself. I always hated it when people said this to me but now I understand.

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