Nothing prepares you for caring

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Last week was Carers Week and the theme was prepared to care. I was asked to speak to the Cross Party Group on Carers at Holyrood and here is part of the speech I gave.

I have been a carer for my wife Claire for about eight years. She suffers from Chronic Pain but it was eight years ago I gave up work as a programmer to become a full-time carer.

The Chronic Pain she suffers from has become more debilitating and now her loss of mobility has reached the stage that she currently is stuck in her bed 24/7. She struggles and fights everyday to do things that you and I take for granted.

I was not prepared for the financial implications of me being a full-time carer.

I was not prepared for having to fight for my wife to get the Benefits that she is entitled to.

I was not prepared for having to see my wife in pain and not be able to do anything about it.

I was not prepared for being called a bully when I stand up for the person I care for.

I was not prepared for the heartache our children would go through when they see their mother in pain

I was not prepared for having to fight every step of the way.

I was not prepared for how it would affect our relationship however that has not been a negative thing we are closer now than we have ever been.

We laugh we joke we get through the day.

MICHAEL GRIEVE