It’s been a bad week. On Tuesday I had to bring up issues with two of my carers, something which inevitably produces fun anxiety symptoms like tummy problems, pins and needles in my hands, constant rocking in an attempt to self-soothe, and an inability to rest.
It’s so frustrating. These are not big issues, yet I have to bring them up repeatedly because carers apparently can’t either remember everything, or just consult the list of tasks which we have available for that exact purpose. The impact it has on me is completely out of proportion to the size of the task and it’s infuriating that they can’t be bothered to do things properly.
I was as firm as I could be without being rude, and I’m hoping that this time they will actually listen to me. I’m planning to question them every time they come for the next couple of weeks as to whether they’ve done the things. Hopefully that will drum it into their heads that it’s actually important.
I should not be forced to put such pressure on myself. They’re supposed to be making my life easier, not more stressful.
If they keep on not doing the tasks, I’ll have to complain to the agency. I really would prefer not to have to do that but there comes a point where I fail to see any other option. Neither of their responses was particularly impressive. One said, “Oh, I forgot where things are kept,” and the other said “I’ll try to bear it in mind”. Colour me underwhelmed.
On a side note, have you ever noticed how much energy being anxious takes? Ugh.
It’s not just this Tuesday, though. That afternoon, I also got an email from the care agency saying they could no longer fill my Friday afternoon slot, which caused another upsurge in anxiety though not as severe as the previous one. Apparently the only solution they could think of was to add yet another person to my team (I’ve already got five people and that’s too many).
We switched the Friday afternoon slot to Thursday, but now I’ve learned that this means somebody will be coming in on their day off. Which I’m not happy about. The agency clearly don’t give a shit about the wellbeing of their carers, but I do. So I have to think what to do about that. On the one hand, if she doesn’t have the gumption to say no, is that really my problem? On the other hand, I also know that she’s just come back from being off ill for four weeks and I don’t want to contribute to her developing a long-term illness.
But it’s not just these… incidents. They come up more or less constantly; it feels as though there’s always something I have to be thinking about beyond the usual planning (and oh, I had not anticipated how much planning is involved, that takes a lot of mental energy as well!).
It’s the people. Being there. I only have six and a half hours of care per week, but sometimes it feels actually painful. I keep trying to think of metaphors to explain how it feels and how hard and painful it is, because I never feel like I really describe it properly. I feel as though it shreds me up, and I barely get a chance to repair the damage over the weekend before it all starts over again. Never a chance to relax.
I don’t know. It’s so hard. I want them to leave me alone – and yes, I know I’m paying them to be here. All I want to do is cancel the whole thing, but I can’t. This week I seriously considered whether I could manage without them. I would spend less money on convenience foods that I could microwave than I do on care. I could have someone come in once a week to do my cleaning. But there’d still be the other day-to-day things they do, like taking all my dirties downstairs, stacking the dishwasher, bringing my clean crockery back up, emptying my bins, refilling the filtered water so I can use a kettle upstairs. All things which if they weren’t around my mum would have to do.
So I have to continue, and sometimes it really feels as though it’s killing me. Obviously it isn’t. I’m not dying. I just feel awful all the time.
It’s been five months and a week. I thought I would have got used to it by now, but I haven’t, and it hurts.