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Caring is a full time job

Being a carer for your partner

I have never written a blog before and I am not all that good at writing about who I am or how I feel. Just lately I have felt that I should give it a go and reach out to people. Caring can be a lonely job. I get sick of people telling me it’s not a REAL job and that I should go to work and stop claiming tax payers money.

I care for my husband who was first diagnosed with Epilepsy 10 years ago. This is how it all started. He had to give up work because his fits got a lot worse. He was a hazard in the work place. It was worsened by the fact that he had an accident and broke his neck. He’s lucky to be alive. I love him so much that I am thankful he is still in the land of the living. His neck is crumbled and the gravel as we call it pushes on nerve endings which caused his fits to get worse.

While going through the system and trying to work out what was the cause, he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I have always taken his mood swings as a quirk and neither of us knew he had a mental disability. It opened our eyes to how much can be hidden under the surface.

Giving up work for him caused a great depression. He’s never been the same. With the system treating us the way it has it has caused anxiety and panic attacks so now talking to strangers and going to new places is a challenge for us.

Life can never be the same. So YES, I am just a carer but I don’t get time off. I don’t get holiday pay. I don’t get any support from anywhere and I am left to rely on my own decision making to what is best for us. I don’t have time to be sick. I am needed every minute of the day. I wish I could go to work and work nine to five. I would surly make more money and possibly have a more comfortable life.

I didn’t choose for this to happen. I’m not just sat here on my backside doing nothing all day like people seem to think I am. It’s hard work. Maybe not physically every day but mentally every second. Every time he has a seizure he could die. If you love someone just take a moment to think how that feels. He has at least two a day on a bad month. There is nothing I can do but sit by his side and pray he pulls through.

So no, I don’t have a title, a posh house or children. I gave up all my dreams to be by his side everyday. Love is the foundation of my life. My gift is the days I get to see him smile without pain.

I craft to keep my sanity. I love to create. I love to see people smile and I think LOVE is the most cherished gift we can share with one another. It’s FREE and it changes lives.

So next time someone says they are a carer, take a moment to realise they give up their lives for others happiness. Give them some supportive encouragement. I know we all sure could use it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Much love to you all. xx

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When your glass doesn’t seem “half full”…..smash it up! – READER STORY

Chronic Illness craft glass

23 years ago, I was an at-home mum with a fab toddler, Cameron, so I thought I’d have another baby. Half way through the pregnancy, I was admitted to hospital with some very odd symptoms. I packed knitting, crochet and cross stitch immediately.

A difficult 8 weeks later, when Roseanne was born, I was handed an A4 piece of paper, both sides were covered with a list of her problems.

Rose was then in hospital for nearly a year battling through no swallow reflex, heart failure, meningitis, a stroke etc etc .

During this time, with a hubby working away, toddler Cam and I went to bed around 7.

Fused glass Sheep Baubles for Sheep Bunting
Fused glass Sheep Baubles for Sheep Bunting

I would then wake about midnight. What to do?

So I started crafting-in-bulk! I’d always crafted, but during this time, as the sun rose, I would be found standing still in pjs, surrounded by cards, embroideries, paintings.

I trialled selling some, and reinvested any money into more envelopes and bags.

Once Rose came home, it was quite difficult to go out as she was tube fed 8 times a day, and often on oxygen and needing suction. So every nap I sewed, painted or glued.

Pet Memory Sun Charm
Pet Memory Sun Charm

Our house had a horrid damp cellar, but we tanked it and added heating and set up a nurse call system for Rose and here grew and grew my crafting haven.

As the years went on, many, many more hospital stays led to more manic crafting, both at home and often on the hospital wards too. It kept me sane (debatable). We even chose to have another baby, and Mackenzie was added to the bedlam of the Weir household.

 

About 10 years on, I was just starting to imagine going back to my work as a primary school teacher. Rose was still tube-fed, but overnight, and her medical emergencies were lessening. I was finally coping.

We were driving back from a cinema matinee. The car skidded on spilt diesel as we were going up a motorway slip road. The safety barrier flipped us and we rolled down the embankment. We landed on a path upside down, blowing out all the windows and crushing the car’s structure. The car then carried on sliding, and rolled into a canal .

Cameron dived 3 times and rescued Rose and Mac. Finally got my legs free and helped.

Unfortunately my hubby had been under the water too long and had started to drown.

He was left with brain damage.

Over the next 10 years he battled back, and can now walk and talk, and recently has actually begun driving again. It was an extremely difficult time, but again pj moonlight crafting, waiting room crafting and my now precious dungeon/cellar helped me through.

I had a kiln fitted and when life gets really hard, I go down, smash up glass, and then melt it back together.

About 3 years ago, as hubby improved, Rose also began to come on in leaps and bounds. At 17 she began to be totally orally fed, and at 19, even came out of nappies.

Beryl Weir, Crafts from the dungeon
Beryl Weir
Crafts from the dungeon

I announced out loud on a walk with the dogs, “This is going to be MY year”.

Yeah…

I found the lump 3 weeks later.

So 2 ops and waiting rooms and radiation and severe reactions to radiation.

By gum, I smashed up a lot of glass during that time!

 

I also started to take another passion, weaving, to a higher level, treating myself to bigger and better looms. Even took one into isolation for during my glowing therapy!

So now….Shhhhh….don’t tell the gods, but I’m having a ball!

Rock Pool fused glass coasters
Rock Pool fused glass coasters

My health and their health permitting, I work with glass in the morning, and fibre in the afternoon.

I spend my evenings combining the 2 into kits.

I’m teaching from home and do talks to guilds and crafty groups.

My crafts were only ever meant to cover their costs, so I reinvest any income into more luscious materials or gadgets.

Ain’t life grand!

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Told pain was in my mind before diagnosis

Chloe Morante Crafts

Hi, I’m Chloë and I am 18 years old.
Here’s my story..

At the age of 16, I started with agonising pain in my ear which completely stopped me in my tracks. I visited the doctors constantly to try and find the cause of my pain but they had no answers to give. Months and months past and several more doctors appointments were made but no one seemed to understand the pain I was in and because they didn’t understand, they had no idea what was wrong. At first they wanted to treat me for basic things like ear infections etc but I knew 100% that it wasn’t anything like that. The pain was unbelievable, sharp electric shocks that shot through my face and ear leaving me in utter agony. I used to tell the doctors that it felt like “the pain was in my brain.” Luckily, I have a very supportive family so they pushed and pushed at the doctors to get me referred because I couldn’t live this way.. especially with no answers.

I was referred to ENT who did hearing tests, pressure tests and other basic tests of my inner ear, middle ear etc but nothing was found. Since they didn’t find any problem, they referred me to maxioral facial who did X-rays and scans but once again, no problem showed. After this, I was sort of pushed away by the doctors because nothing was showing and in their eyes, they had tried all they could. A year and more went by and the pain calmed down. I didn’t forget about it but I put it behind me till I had finished college and got the grades I worked hard for. A couple of months after college the pain was back with a vegencance. This time the pain was 100 times worse. Like before, the pain started with electric shock like pain, suddenly starting in my ear but this time it didn’t last for seconds, it lasted for hours, even days. On the 7th of September I handed my sick note in at work as the pain stopped me being able to go. My family couldn’t stand watching me in pain and having no answers as to what was wrong, all we did was panic. After more maxioral facical visits, they decided they wanted to send me to a Neurologist. Months and months went by were no appointment came through so my family decided to pay so we could go private and get seen as quick as possible.

My Illness is Real!

An appointment came through and it was the day to see the Neurologist. The neurologist diagnosed me with Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia, wow, there was finally an answer! Glossophraygneal Neuralgia is a rare condition where I have damaged nerves in my brain stem. There can be numerous reasons for this but one of them is that blood vessels in your brain press on the nerves and eventually cause damage. The nerve that is damaged is the one that controls your swallowing and pain can be felt in your tongue, throat, ear and other parts of your face. The pain I feel is mostly in my ear but since being diagnosed, I have felt pain in other places. I have since been put on numerous medications, Carbomazapine and Gabapentin but the side effects have been awful. I’m waiting for an appointment to see the Neurosurgeon for the second time as if the medication doesn’t help the pain.. the last resort is major brain surgery. The pain I feel has since stopped me from going to work as it comes and goes and it so unpredictable. It can be set off by daily things such as eating, brushing my teeth, talking and even cold air on my face. The pain is unbearable at times and can’t be helped by medication so I often take strong Cocodamol to knock me out to sleep when it starts. The pain in my ear is electrifying and burning to the point where I can’t move or talk cause little movement knocks me to the ground. Throat and tongue pain feels like I am swallowing razor blades and sometimes it’s impossible to even swallow my own saliva and I beg for a feeding tube. I’m nearly 19 now and learning my own ways to cope with the pain. I’m still off work as they have kept my position open for me but I am hoping and praying a miracle comes my way very soon! Until that miracle comes my way, I have unconditional support from my family and my boyfriend who keep me going day after day!

Happiness Found In Crafting

When feathers appear angels are nearMy love for crafts started at a very young age whilst watching my mum make her own clothes, curtains, cushion covers and anything she could think of! Whilst being at school and college, in my spare time, rather than going out with friends, I would sit at the dining room table, fill it with my crafts and indulge myself in all the buttons and sparkly things! When I left college and got myself a part time job, my crafts were sort of put aside as the hours I did went up and I was exhausted by the time I got home! (Partly because of my illness.) As I deteriorated and the pain got worse and my sick note was handed in, crafts didn’t even enter my mind and all I did was try and sleep the pain away. I didn’t leave the house as I physically & mentally couldn’t, but at the same time I was sick of the same 4 walls. After seeing the Neurologist and Neurosurgeon and hope was given to me, I knew I needed to find something to keep me going. Chloe Morante CraftsAs I am still off work, I needed to occupy myself on the good days I had rather than staying in bed. One day, I rooted through my crafts and the happiness I found in those drawers was unbelievable! Since then, I have my own little work station set up, a Facebook page to show and advertise my things and I have even had messages about selling my things in a shop on a commission basis! How exciting! Crafting gives me a reason to get up and do something with my day rather than wasting away in bed because I’m not working. It helps to keep my mind going and plus, the money helps too! Crafting makes me happy and all I want out of my crafts is to make others happy when they buy and receive them. I craft to battle through my illness because it gives me something to aim for and a reason to believe in myself when everything in the world feels like it’s going wrong.

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