A continuous struggle…
“Dad has been ill all my life, he was in hospital when I was born. He was in and out of hospital all the time. He stopped working when I was 14 and he was told his medical problems were psychosomatic. He was eventually diagnosed as having MS when I was 16.
When I was young I remember riding my bike to the hospital to take my Dad cakes. I remember Andy Pandy and Looby Lou coming to the ward when Dad was in hospital at Christmas one time. It got to be very normal. One day I came home from school and Mum said Dad was in hospital. All I said was ‘does that mean you’re cooking the tea?’ Dad was a better cook than mum.
As I got older, I became embarrassed when my friends saw that my Dad was in a wheelchair, I think this was when I started to feel isolated and invisible. I had to look after him more and have many times, picked him up off the stairs when he has fallen. I started spending more time away from home with friends. I drank too much, too often to escape the situation.
There have been many times we have been told that Dad wouldn’t live, this has been difficult, every time. I have become much more aware of Dad dying, and I wonder what it will be like. I wonder if I am prepared and feel relief for him or if I have become so accustomed to the situation, that it will shock me when he does die as he has survived through so much.
I now cope, through distancing myself, I do what I have to do, I don’t think too much about it, I suppose as my life changed and I had a family of my own there is not as much room to think!
We are scared that the money will run out…
One of the areas that have impacted on us as a family for all of these years is our finance. Mum and Dad split up as my mum couldn’t cope and they sold the house and had to use the money for Dad’s care, we worry the money will run out before he dies. It is very difficult for my Dad as he doesn’t manage his own finances anymore and is treated very much like a child with pocket money as a result of all this”. (A devoted daughter)
Money isn’t everything you hear people say, health and happiness are much more important, and yes they are. However, when health fails, financial instability is the last thing any of us would wish to deal with. We still need to exist and live, even when living with a long term, critical illness. Grief and loss is a very overwhelming and stressful time for all involved, and often the process of dealing with it can take a long time, sometimes years. This can often be restricted and delayed due to other external factors, such as finances, which is why it is crucial that we consider all aspects of what we would need in place in order to give us the best possible chance of dealing with anything that life throws at us.
"Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories."