When the carer is ill

Its a bit difficult to call in sick when you are a carer. You have to grit your teeth and get on with it. Well so I thought.

Last weekend I thought I had a throat infection but when I saw the doctor on Monday I was told it looked like bad tonsillitis.

But as time went on and despite being on penicillin, it didn’t improve. I was unable to eat and could barely drink water. As my throat was so swollen my saliva had nowhere to go so I was constantly wiping my mouth (or dribbling).

I’m usually a huge bit of a chatterbox so felt very strange that I couldn’t speak. I did quickly discover that my dear husband is useless at charades so I was constantly having to write notes. I even had to email my Dad and ask him to ring up the hospital and cancel our hydrotherapy session today as I wouldn’t have been able to make myself understood. Oh and sleeping? You can forget that.

I had been able to the basic tasks as Sam’s carer because I forced myself to. Despite wondering around like a zombie. He still got his feeds and drugs on time and nappies done. But it was hard, really hard and very exhausting. What I did find a scary thought if what if there was an emergency? I needed an ambulance? I’d have to run to a neighbour, give them a note or manically text someone.

But I didn’t know what to do. None of our friends or the Grandparents feel they can look after Samuel and with Auntie C busy I just had to get on with it. Sam’s Dad is a teacher and I didn’t want to ask him to take time off.

But today, after texting Auntie C to ask her to make me a doctors appointment, it all changed. My doctor suspected I have Quinsy, an abscess around the tonsils. She admitted me to hospital and told me she was seriously concerned about me and uttered the kind words ‘You look horrendous’. So I asked her to phone my husband who came home at once.

And here I am. They are trying to rehydrate me and have given me steroids to reduce the swelling. Later or tomorrow they will look again at the abscess and may drain it, or, it may just pop!

And Samuel? He is very happy snoozing away with his Daddy with not a care in the world!

But this experience has shown how difficult it is not being able to call people in to look after Samuel while I wallow in my sick bed. With Samuel’s epilepsy better thanks to the new diet, I’m hopeful that maybe his Grandparents may start to feel they can do more. But they have to get over their own fears like we had to. If I can learn how to put feeds through a gastrostomy button then anyone can!

I didn’t think I would ever be able to call in sick in this job but today I had no choice. I do feel bad about it but Sam needs me well. I just hope he’s forgiving and goes easy on me in my back to work interview!

UPDATE: Thank you for all your kindness while I was poorly. I’m much better. And Samuel? Auntie C and the wonderful carers and nurses at Julia’s House stepped in and saved the day(s)!

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11 thoughts on “When the carer is ill

  1. Sending lots of love and wishes for a speedy recovery!
    If you ever need any help, please do ask. I’m happy to do some training with you and have lots of cuddles to spare anytime for your gorgeous little boy x x

  2. Gosh, wishing you much better soon, it sounds like you’ve been/are really poorly 😦 you know you need to look after yourself so you can go back and give Sam your all, but I know it’s tough taking a break from the round the clock job (that you can do better than anyone else!). Hope you’re better soon x

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  4. I hope you feel better soon. It is awful when you get ill as a carer because you can’t affor to take a day off. There is no support for looking after our SWAN either so we have to suck it up and deal with it as well. All this and the government talking about more cuts in benefit and support it just looks like it is going to be more difficult.

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