What's Caring Done to YOU

My husband was very tired this morning. I took a photo to show him. Sounds weird I know, but I was shocked by how tired he looked.

We were both shocked and horrified at how tired and drawn he looks, all from caring for our two sons.

I dont think even I realised till I saw the photos myself

The truth is he is always tired he is snoring on the sofa as we speak. It saddens me that it has come to this. He is only in his early 60’s.

He has been to the GP. Theres nothing medically wrong with him.

I try and do more and let him rest when he can.
I feel it has aged him 15 years. I do a lot. However I feel he does more as he ferries our sons about.

It should be a time of life to take things a bit easy. We are not spring chickens anymore. However we are working harder than we ever have.

Having two carees means theres no gaps.

Do other carers feel caring has aged them too? Through lack of sleep, doing too much etc.

My husband paid the ultimate price at the age of 58. His dad died the year before, at the age of 87.
I developed a life threatening illness at 54, when I asked the consultant what would have caused it, he said that “25 years without a holiday didn’t do you any favours”. He then told me I should never care for anyone ever again. Completely and utterly ignored by Social Services. 2 days after discharge the GP was trying to bully me into caring for mum again, with a 12" wound across my stomach, not even a formed scar!!

That was when I realised I just did not matter!

That’s what I’m afraid of. Something happening to my husband.

I’ve told him we cant carry on forever.

You are right. Us carers dont matter. As long as we carry on.

All of us are VERY important!!
The trouble is the carees get very wrapped up in themselves and forget that we are human beings too. We have needs just like they do!
I am experiencing the same problem with my mum (age 89). Everything is 'me me me '. She never used to be like this.
Fortunately for me Mum can be left on her own for several hours so I recently told her how lonely and isolated I feel and I’ve started going to social events nearby. I feel like I’ve been in a prison for months and am being let out for good behaviour!!
I’m going to a local 'Carers support ’ meeting on Friday.

Cloudygal, ask your husband what he would like to do. Then make arrangements and tell your sons that you can’t help them on that day because you have already made plans to go out with friends/ relatives or go to a club etc.
In other words you and husband take control then you will both feel much better.
How old are your sons? I’m assuming they are teenagers/adults.

Hi Rhona

One is 24 and the other younger. We cant really leave younger one at home alone. Or the elder one for long.

However I am lucky in that I get to do my favourite sport I love so am quite active and meet up with a few friends .

However, that is only as hubby is around. If something happened to him what with the two of them I wouldn’t be able to get breaks at all!

It is impossible for us to go out together.

Its good that you are starting to get out.

I fell asleep while driving my car, I woke up and thought where am I, am I watching “Escape to the Country” what are all these fields.
NO I was driving along at 60 miles an hour along a country road, lucky long straight road, I had probably only fallen asleep for maybe half a second but I was very lucky.
At the very least crashed and wrecked my car or been badly injured.

I went to tell my doctor expecting Sympathy help understanding regarding my caring situation, he told me to contact Social Services.
DUR what did he think I had been doing for years and years .

I was clearly exhausted years of caring, doing nights with NO RESPITE NO BREAKS.

I am real real careful now If I am tired I don’t drive.
Its a waste of money really, I am paying tax, insurance everything for my car, only done 2000 miles last year.

But safety first.

Yes, I did that twice, having driven 60 miles to get my son from his residential college and then turned straight round to drive back. Really, really scary. The A36 from Salisbury to Bath is scary when you’re wide awake!
After the second time, I made sure that I drove to Warminster, wandered round, had a coffee and cake, and just chilled out for a while. Then I’d get my son and drive home.

Omg that is a scary thought to fall asleep at the wheel.

Re your doctors visit Londonbound, I dont think anyone gets it, unless they have been a carer.

If my hubby hasn’t slept enough over night, I have ordered a taxi. And I let him sleep in the morning later than me.

Unfortunately, I think his age (he is older than me), and years of caring without a break take their toll.

I have just found oldest son a supported living place now, but it will take him time to settle.

I had to persuade hubby it was the right thing as initially he said that oldest son was too young (at 24). Luckily oldest son is happy with it.

Cloudygal, I’m really pleased that you have found a supported living place for your son. There will be a very long period of adjustment for all of you, but it’s so much better to do this at the age of 24, than 40 or even 50 something, when they find adapting to change much more difficult.

Thank you Bowlingbun

Yeah will be a long period of adjustment, and certainly in the short-term (first year or more), there will actually be more work for us to do…

Especially as we have a younger one with additional needs too.

But, it’s a positive step!


Hello,I am a carer for my poorly hubby.He has terminal cancer, & is severely sighted & deaf.also suffers from osteoarthritis in his & knees.I suffer from Anxiety & osteoarthritis hips & knees.I am utterly exhausted, & have very little time.We have no children.Feel fed up.Ok hubby does have care workers twice a day but the rest of the time,it’s up to me. Regards Amanda h

It has changed my life. I also care for a family member who is only 3 years old.

I am only 23 years old so retirement is not a option yet. My caree has open defect spina bifida. I used to work full time but recently as of last month I cut back on my hours. I still have many years of paid employment left. My mom knows of my caring situation and is very supportive. So is my dad.

Hi Honey Badger

Thank you for your reply.

I was immediately struck by how much you have had to deal with.

You have been caring for even longer than me.
What are your plans for your adult sibling…?

Do you get any time off at all . Do they have any support at all apart from you?

It is do wrong we have to fight so hard for everything.

Something has got to change with this system which puts the onus on carers to fight for every crumb of support.

I certainly was surprised the GP wasn’t more concerned about my hubby.

Take care of yourself.


You are still so young, and have a lot to deal with. It’s good that your mum and Dad are supportive.


I’m so sorry to hear about your husband.

Twice a day does not sound a lot.

What about contacting social worker and telling them you are exhausted and need more support.

Sad world that we have to push…but we do.

  1. It’s really aged me. Of all the siblings, I am the baby but I look like the oldest one. My hair is going grey by the day.

  2. I’ve put on weight. I can’t eat during the day so I normally shove all kinds of junk down my trap in bed. Not helpful and not good but that is the only time I can eat without feeling queasy.

  3. My speech impediment is back. I think it’s to do with the lack of sleep. My words come out jumbled. I sometimes sound a bit like Yoda which is more than embarrassing at work and at team meetings. I try and keep my mouth shut and not talk unless I really have to.

  4. My colitis is back. It’s stress related I know but what can one do without any support.

BUT on the plus side, I know all about arthritis, urine retention and catheters and learning difficulties. And I also live 4 people’s lives in 1. Hurrah. And I can multitask too. I’m a superhero or something like that anyway!!! :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:

And finally, I came across this fab forum and have come across all of you lovely people :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:


That’s tough.

But with all that, you have managed to keep your job which is impressive. Most of us haven’t managed to do that.

Simply cant understand why there is not more support for carers.

In the early years I couldn’t have imagined one of my sons going into supported living yet, but what with lack of appropriate services and support for me…its come to that.

When will they realise more support should be offered.

If my job went, I would have a meltdown. Work, be it stressful and something I don’t enjoy, is my escape. I don’t have nightmare neighbours banging doors scaring the hell out of me every other minute and I don’t have to instruct and control 2 other people, so it’s a relief.

I know I told my manager I am struggling with home life a bit, I hope this is not taken as a weakness because I know they are making cuts in our department. But it is what it is and if I am chopped, so be it.