To My Carer

It’s been twelve months since I was diagnosed and what a hell of a ride it has been.  Without you it would not have been a ride at all as I would just have curled up in the house and died of depression or suicide.  You have been a real-life saver and the source of my strength, my ability to cope so thank you my dearest Paul.

In the early days when I could hardly dress you were there.  In the shower, you were there when I could not bend or reach my back.  In the haze of medical visits and hundreds of tablets and weekly injections, I simply could not have coped but you were there taking notes and making suggestions. 

With rheumatoid disease, wrapped in pain and worry, with all those drugs in me making my brain foggy, there is no way I could follow my doctor’s instructions.  Just walking to the clinic was an ordeal for me. Having injections in both shoulders and then on the sidewalk bursting in to tears was a trauma burned in to my memory. Your helping hand meant that you took notes during all those consultations, helped manage all those prescriptions and got me home.  These things I could not do alone so thank you, Paul.

You and your role is so important but I know you get angry and frustrated too.  Your initial shock of what happened has been replaced with thoughts about our ability to stay together.  As time passes we have settled in to a routine and I know how important it is for you to get away and have your own time.  That's right - time out!  You and I have agreed not to expose too much to the kids as they will stress but it is important that they understand.

This disease experience has impacted our sex life in many ways.  Fatigue is a real party stopper!  Pain in the morning and evening has limited opportunity but you have been so patient and willing to think outside the conventional box.  Thank you, Paul.

Now that I and much more stable we can get out and do most things.  The future is much better for us but your role as my partner has expanded.  You are there when I have a major flare.  You are there when I simply feel awful.  These short term arrows are now combined with a much greater appreciation of what we have together.  Thank you , Paul.