Definitely, when my son with LD was young and incredibly hyperactive, I was on the verge of a breakdown, mainly through exhaustion. GP told me our local Social Services were useless. When he was 16, GP told SSD that M MUST go into residential care, but soon I was caring for a very disabled mum. Rather than support me, the practice wanted me to do more and more for mum. Then I developed a life threatening illness, consultant told me I should never care for anyone ever again. I asked why I’d developed such a serious problem. “25 years without a holiday didn’t do you any favours” was his reply!
Within 48 hours of discharge, with a 12" deep scar across my stomach after a “guts out” operation, the GP practice were bullying me to try and get me to look after mum, now bedbound. I refused. It turned out mum couldn’t walk at all as she had BROKEN HER LEG! She was admitted to hospital, not discharged for 5 months. Then the hospital bullied me to try and get me do her care and shopping - I couldn’t even do my own weekly shop without help.
My husband died suddenly, I complained to the practice that his heart disease was undiagnosed. Soon after, my GP (new South African, the old one had retired) tried to kick me out of the practice for daring to complain!
Last year I gave the practice the guidelines for a practice to follow towards carers. The Practice Manager said he’d never seen it before, and would try to implement the recommendations. The last GP I saw (who fortunately knew how much caring I’d done for my housebound mum) gave me medication to help me. Told me to go back to my counsellor, as she’d help make things easier. I told her that apparently she had some Magic Wands to help me. She laughed and told me she didn’t. So no one can really help, other than give me pills. I don’t take them unless I’m utterly stressed out, as I cannot afford the time to wake up, roll over, go back to sleep, and then drift aimlessly through the rest of the day!
No one remembers the tall slim girl who was so fit that she could run a mile without getting out of breath, that used to ride a road racing motor bike in hot pants and a midriff top, that shipped steam engines round the world, drove 9,000 miles to a steam rally etc. etc. but I’m still that girl inside.
Social Services never respect my degree or qualifications, as The Carer I’m not expected to be bright enough to understand anything complicated, read legislation and their policies.
Last week my husband’s best friend came to stay with us for a few days, on holiday from Australia. He is now the only person who remembers that girl.
Social Services and the doctor just see a fat 67 year old clapped out carer. How did I get here? I loved my son and my parents, but paid a terrible price.