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Posted on 7th March 2016.

When my carer needs a break.

It’s February, the shortest month but a day longer as its a leap year. I need to plan something special for the extra day being given. I have MND and I am grateful for every day, extra ones included. Initially I was shell shocked, couldn’t think straight. Now seven years on, I am accepting and make the most of what I have. Of course this is helped by my Helping Hands Carers who are my arms, legs and at times voice for me.

It’s been a week since Mary left. It’s gone quite quickly to be fair. Penny has watched two DVDs with me, cooked me some puréed apples with cinnamon and got on with the necessary routine.

Mary rang today. It was lovely to hear her voice and that she is resting nicely. She felt quite poorly for a couple of days after she left, probably fatigue and has now caught up on herself. Mary is an award winning carer. This isn’t the first time her work has been recognised. She was Helping Hands, Listening and Understanding company values winner 2016. She understands my needs before I have even communicated it sometimes.

Penny has told me what medication I am starting to get short of. I like to do the online ordering of my medication as it makes me feel useful and that I am helping in my own small way. I also need to do an online order for my liquid feed.

I’ve had three permanent Carers and have learnt a lot about their fears, needs and expectations. It’s most acute when there is a handover to a new carer. I’ve been very lucky this time having Penny available to come again for six weeks. It’s been a smooth transition from Mary to Penny and I remember that Penny likes a single duvet not a double and a hundred watt bulb for the bedroom. So I made sure those were in place for her arrival. Penny knows I like lots of drinks and films so brought a bag of DVDs for us to watch. It’s just respecting, and understanding each other.

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Sally Tomkotowicz