Having A Carer At 27 Years Old

Having a carer isn’t something I expected to happen at 27 years old. I suffer from Chronic back pain, Sciatica, Depression, Anxiety & apparently (yet to be diagnosed) PTSD.  Due to my ESA being refused after 2 years receiving it, we have had to look at other options. I simply can’t cope with a tribunal, talking to strangers, going through my weaknesses yet again. It is honestly soul destroying, my mental health isn’t at a point where I can fight a battle like that.

For the first time in almost 8/9 years I felt suicidal again. I genuinely felt my family would be better off without me. I  thought about facing a tribunal but because I know it will be a struggle to attend, explain myself & I didn’t want to put the whole family through several more months of stress. Instead we have had to look at other ways to get by & as part of that, the Mr is now officially my Carer.

Having a Carer
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

My Carer

Anyone that knows me well will know the Mr has been caring for me fully for the past 3-4 years. We never made that official on paper but it has been the case since Izzy was around a year old. I began to struggle to lift her, the pain would cause me to lose my vision. Things got worse & I know me fighting it & trying to appear healthy did more damage. It took a long time for me to accept I couldn’t manage a lot of daily tasks.

The Mr has done so much for us over the years, kept me going during my lowest points, making sure I take my medications, book & attend appointments, reminding me I have to eat at least twice a day, helping me up, chores I can’t manage, shopping, school runs & so much more that it makes sense for him to finally be my Carer on paper. I often joke about being useless without the Mr & it’s completely true, we’ve had our ups & downs but as my health has declined he has gone above & beyond to help me any way he can.

A Shock & Relief

Receiving the award letter was both a relief and a slight ‘oh’ moment though. As I said to the Mr, ‘This means you’re officially the adultier adult!’. I panicked slightly then, realising I had fully admitted I need help & a carer for at least 35 hours a week. It’s one thing having that help, it’s another seeing it written down on paper.

Once I calmed down it made me realise a few things. Whilst the DWP left me feeling useless & worthless, I do genuinely need the help and whilst ESA may be a nightmare to have awarded due to the shocking state of the system, we are entitled to something! It’s been a rough 2 months with barely any money coming in so it was a relief for the Mr to be awarded & paid carers allowance. I realised I am not admitting defeat like I first thought. Instead, I’m accepting help to enable me to get through day to day life smoothly.

Daily Life

Since my ESA was refused daily life has been a bit upside down. I’ve really struggled to do anything I enjoy, including blogging; feeling guilty for letting the family down. Now we have another solution I don’t feel so bad. I know we are on a low income because of me, my mental & physical health but knowing the Mr’s help is now at least recognised I feel a little less like it’s all on my shoulders. Knowing we have some kind of income other than my PIP is a huge relief. Even though I make it difficult because neither of us can work, I feel a little better. It’s tough being ill, it’s even tougher asking for & accepting help but I think in a way I will find it a little easier to ask for help now & not just from the Mr.

 

 

DIY Daddy

 

 

A huge sigh of relief

I can finally breath a huge sigh of relief! The last few weeks have been so damn stressful it’s unreal! I’ve been stressing about my ESA assessment decision almost constantly, we had to make such a tough decision and re home the cat’s knowing whatever the outcome we just can’t afford the extra cost’s any more, we’ve had several problems with the refit the council are doing and 2 kids at home with it all going on this half term (which of course has been miserable!) has just been utter chaos!

Getting a call yesterday morning from a number I didn’t know freaked me out and I almost rejected but I am so glad I didn’t!

It turned out to be the person finalising my ESA decision which initially made me panic even more as I was convinced I would be refused but I spoke to such a lovely lady and after a chat and adding on a little more information about the side affects I’m having from my medication she made the decision to award me ESA for the next year!

Honestly I was gob smacked I’ve heard so many depressing stories and anything that involves the job centre has always gone badly for us so to finally be taken seriously and have all that stress lifted had me almost in tears with relief as I thanked the lady on the phone.

When she explained I had originally only been given 6 points based on my anxiety and I would have been refused as I needed 15 to pass I nearly passed out but after explaining the nasty side affects of my medication to her and how things have worsened in general she had decided to award me full points!

My assessment was based on my chronic pain which without the medication side affects they see me as fit for work. My depression was basically ignored because I told them that although I have attempted suicide a few times in the past, knowing I have a family now I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to attempt it again knowing the emotional and financial impact it would have on them. My anxiety was at least considered severe enough to be awarded some points but looking at the overall picture it’s horrible to think how many people in a similar or even a worse situation would be refused and deemed fit for work!

I know I am extremely lucky to be given this break and I appreciate it so much being able to just focus on my health and my family for the next year and I’m hoping in this year I learn to manage everything better so one of us can go back to work and we can start saving and getting somewhere at last!