What impact has this had on your friends, family, partner, parents etc.
Wow. Yeah. My Illness has had a huge impact on those around me. Mainly those closest to me, namely my husband, daughter, parents and sister. My friends have been affected by it but not as dramatically and not as often.
My husband and I had been together for 6 months prior to me becoming seriously ill. He ended up working part time and moving in with me and my dad to care for me during the day. His job choices have always been dependant upon my health, he cannot work outside of the town we live in because he needs to be able to get to me quickly and he doesn’t drive. He has had to have unpaid leave when I was very unwell and unable to look after Wildchild as I am classed as a dependent. He has had to feed me, bath me and carry me to the toilet. He has looked after me in hospital and out. He has accompanied me to endless doctors appointment, made a ridiculous amount of phone calls on my behalf and fought my corner every step of the way. He has pulled me off the emotional floor and totally held me together when I needed it. He has cuddled me for hours when I could and not touched me at all when I couldn’t. He has picked up so many prescriptions, sorted and dispensed all my medications. He has translated my backwards messed up sentences. He knows before I do when I am about to enter the land of “you’ve totally overdone it” but also understands my want to occasionally pretend to be normal (whether or not he agrees with it is another discussion entirely). I could go on forever he does so much for me, including making sure that I eat and being my personal chef. I don’t think I thank him nearly enough. But I do love and appreciate everything he does and, although I hope to God never to have to repay the level of kindness he has provided me with, if I can I will in a heartbeat.
My parents. When I first got really sick I was living with my dad, it was just him and me. He has always had my back (and I hope that he knows I always have his). He has always been my rock, my safe place, my home. Throughout my childhood anxiety he was the only one who understood, the one I could turn to and, at one point, literally the only person in the entire world who could get me out of a panic attack. He has been behind me every step of the way, he has sat in surgeries with me arguing with doctors. He has fought against the benefits system with me and both won and lost. He has paid for me, budgeted with me and helped me to stand financially on my own feet. He has been my taxi, my hospital appointment companion and most importantly my friend. He has sat up a night watching me to make sure I am still breathing and doubtlessly he has worried about me every second of every day. Once again I could carry on forever about how much he does for me and how much I appreciate it. I hope he knows how awesome he is, how thankful I am and how much I love him.
My mum and sister are wonderfully helpful and supportive, I think that sometimes it harder for them to understand as they have not both been around since the very beginning and haven’t been hit by the same chronic Illness bus as my dad and husband have. They help me however they can, mum makes me food and my sister takes me places they both look after Wildchild and take her to do fun things that I’m not able to do with her.
Finally, Wildchild. Some people might say that she is the least affected as she has never known any different. Whilst it is true that she has only ever known what it’s like to have a chronically ill mother, no a healthy one, she is also the closest person to me. She relies on me and is dependant upon me. There are things that she cannot do that she would like to because I am sick. There things she knows how to do and things she has to do that most other children don’t because I am sick. She has to put up with people looking at me, asking questions sometimes being rude. She cannot have me do all the fun things with her that we would love to be able to together. She brings me love, laughter and snuggles everyday. She tells me she doesn’t care that I’m sick, that she would still choose me as her mum against all the healthy people in the world. It does affect her but she takes it all in her stride, we find our own ways around everything and we have a wonderful happy time together. She keeps me going and I love her.