Hi everyone. I’m Adrienne. I look after my dad, who is 88 years young. I try to enable him to live as independently as possible, but since the pandemic he has definitely aged. He has multiple issues - COPD, Asthma, Angina, continence, Macular Degeneration and cataracts, and he is extremely good at falling over. He had a heart attack in 2019, and has stents. He is also pre-diabetic and has an enlarged prostate and pancreas.
Whilst he is receiving treatment for most things, and they appear to be well-managed most of the time he can’t do things like drive, or cook. He likes to think he can do things like the washing up, go up ladders and walk long distances, but realistically? Not so much. He can dress and keep himself clean, and he gets seriously enviable sleep.
So I live with him and make sure that when he does come a cropper I can take him to hospital. I also take him to his various appointments at various different healthcare settings.
I have been with him since 2014, when I was injured out of my job (it wasn’t during work hours). Just nerve damage in my wrists, but my sector was landscape conservation which needs people to operate machines like chainsaws, and they just couldn’t insure me. So I came home to work out what I wanted to do next. I must admit, this wasn’t it. But in the absence of any better ideas, here I am. I work part time as an office cleaner as the hours tend to fit around likely appointments, and I have a hobby making and selling items in felt. Although with the increasing number of appointments he has I am having to reconsider, as I am less able to find the time to actually make any felt (it’s a slow process).
I struggle with feeling guilty that I am not doing a good job. I struggle with time management, and I struggle with no longer being a full-time worker with financial independence - dad pays the bills (which means that normal financials are not a problem at least). I struggle with not knowing how long I will be a carer. I struggle with not knowing what I will do when I am no longer a carer, or where I’ll live, or if I’ll have any money, or be able to do things like have a social life (I don’t really at the moment). All this struggling leaves me with less ability to actually do what I am here to do, and I feel guilty that I am not doing a good job. I’m getting myself in a right old twist with going round in circles, and am now hypertensive.
Dad is a star at putting up with me. He does however think I’m an idiot who can’t hold down a job (he doesn’t really understand that insurance is a significant issue for employers, and that nerve damage is enough to end a career. But to be fair, I have had a lot of different employers and was made redundant a lot in the past).
Anyway, I have to get dinner ready and go to work now, so I’ll just say hello!