I've talked a bit previously about having carers but I haven't gone into too much detail about it so thought I would talk a little more about it.

When my daughter was very tiny & I had relapsed with my M.E - see post here - it was suggested that I could get carers to help through Social Services.  My initial thought was 'no chance'!  I mean, how much more of a failure would that make me? To accept I couldn't cope with my illness AND a baby. As soon as you hear Social Services mentioned you automatically think the worst.  I didn't want my baby taking off me! The thought of having strangers in the house wasn't particularly appealing either .....how wrong I was though!

I spoke to a few people who knew a bit more about it all & soon realised that I actually probably would benefit from some help.  I self referred to adult Social Care & with support from my GP & Occupational Therapist at the M.E clinic who I had been seeing for a few years, I was assigned a social worker.  She came to do an assessment & couldn't have been more helpful.  She couldn't believe how much we had been struggling & it didn't take very long to put things in place.  When I realised what help we would get I was really emotional & very grateful.  My husband had been signed off work but needed to go back & my biggest problem was needing to rest regularly so I knew the baby would be safe while I did.

I was set up with Direct Payments which is when you get money from the council paid directly into an account which is used only to pay the carers.  My social worker had found a suitable care agency for me & I had a meeting with the owner when we worked out when I would be having care.   The carers, as well as watching my daughter while I rested, would be able to do housework, make food & drinks, go shopping for me, help me with my daughter as required & various other duties if I needed.

My first experience of a carer was not a good one. She appeared at the door & I got a shock as she looked really masculine so I wasn't sure she was a she at first! She was with us the whole day while my husband was working & she didn't have a clue about how to do even the most basic of stuff in the house.  She mopped the floor & it was worse after she had finished.  She had clearly never used a mop before! I remember asking her to make some spaghetti bolognaise for dinner but I ended up having to do most of it as she didn't know how.  Who doesn't know how to make a bolognaise!?  Then she proceeded to sit down & eat a big bowl of it!!

She was with me the following night & turned out to be no help whatsoever, she actually made me feel worse so I rang the agency in tears & they brought a different carer to meet me who thankfully was lovely.  The other carer left not long after, good riddance!

I began having regular carers & the difference it made was huge. I rested when my daughter slept then in between naps too.  I didn't have to waste energy I didn't have on making food or doing housework. I never asked them to do anything major but the little things made such a massive difference.  I have always said to my carers that they don't realise how much they help. If I was given carers I didn't like I said so to the company!  That's one thing I have always felt strongly about, that I will not have anyone coming in who I don't like or who drains me & makes me feel worse.  I did become close to some of them & despite them leaving we are still in touch.

I have had reviews each year from adult Social Care & they have always been really supportive.  My care has continued & I know how lucky I am to get it.  I recently changed to a different company & they are brilliant.  My carers are so lovely & feel more like friends than carers, something the previous company didn't like.  Not sure why as when you have people in your home you need to feel comfortable with them. The new carers can take us out in their cars, take my daughter out & do the school runs which makes such a difference.

Anyone who thinks it would help them to try to get some care, please be assured (in my experience) that it is nothing to worry about.  I honestly don't know where I would have been without it.  When I think back to feeling like a failure I can see why I did but now know that getting care was the best thing that could have happened.

Accept help. Don't feel ashamed. Don't feel embarrassed.  Don't feel like you're a failure.  Be brave & be strong.  You are a warrior! ♡



  1. A really inspiring post Ali <3

  2. You're story is so similar to my own! I also use direct payments and it benefits myself and my family immensely! I would recommend it to any one- it's changed my life massively xx

    1. Thanks for commenting Sophie. So glad it helps you so much too. Having chronic illness is so tough so whatever help we can get is positive I think :) xx

  3. Such a good read Alison! Thank you <3


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