My wife Donna had her first day at her new job yesterday (Monday 29.02.2016) since resigning from her Safety Officer role in January 2015. Congratulations!
Between January 2015 – February 2016, apart from being the best wife and Mum she has been busy with assisting me with my day-to-day tasks. If I were to list all the things that my wife assists me with there would not be enough data space on the internet so I have listed seven things that mean a great deal to me.
Appointment Scheduling – I have a habit of double booking medical and rehabilitation appointments as well as cramming too many appointments within an individual day or a week. Donna ensures that my appointments are spread out evenly to allow sufficient rest time for such appointments affect my fatigue levels significantly.
Time Management – I am very easily distracted and will divert onto different tasks that aren’t important at the time in which I lose track of time. In addition to this, my awareness of time is very poor and will regularly underestimate how long a single task or multiple task list will take me to complete. Donna ensures that I keep on track with getting ready to leave for appointments. She will also review my chores or task lists prior to me commencing them for I add more than it is physically possible to achieve in the time allocated.
Appointment Support – Medical appointments or associated appointments require the completion of forms and involves the communication of historic events. Donna attends all of my appointments to assist with completing forms, conveying information to Specialists if I am unable to and recalling historic events. In addition to this, Donna takes away notes of significance in order to relay these back to me when we get home for I do not retain the information received.
Attention & Concentration – My attention and concentration levels are far from good these days and can affect many things like listening, participating in conversation, reading, completing a task to name a few. When Donna notices that I am having difficulties in maintaining my attention or concentration levels are running low then she will talk me through all the things that are happening around me that may be contributing to these affected functions. This may result in Donna taking me away from a busy, noisy area or as simple as talking me through what I am thinking of at the time in order to regain some focus.
Cognitive Support – In most instances, leaving the house to go somewhere such as running an errand or attending an appointment will require verbal communication skills. Donna in most cases will come with me so she can fill in any gaps of my conversation for there are many times where I stumble on words, sentence fluency or just forget what I was there for.
Risk & Safety Management – Whilst I have risk and safety management embedded into my long term memory, problem solving is difficult for me and I will do whatever comes to mind as a suitable option. If a solution is found, then my focus shifts very quickly to the task and will skip any risk or safety aspects involved of completing the task. Donna in most cases has prevented many incidents and near misses due to her being present at the time.
Health & Wellbeing Management – My rehabilitation journey has been very challenging at times however I am very stubborn when it comes to getting my rehabilitation done. If I have multiple rehabilitation or medical appointments within one specific week, I will fatigue easily which affects my ability to function in other areas such as cognitive functions. In addition to this, there have been many times when I have received bad news in relation to my situation which results in an emotional rollercoaster. It is Donna that is always with me to either slow the pace down or to lift me back up in times of difficult situations.
I have mixed emotions at Donna returning to work and no matter how I have tried to write this I still seem to come off as a selfish bastard. From my prospective, it is a good opportunity for me to see how I will function without her on a daily basis. I know its sounds like I need Donna to do all the housework chores and to wipe my bum but please don’t misinterpret my attempt to not sound selfish. I contribute to the household chores, wipe my own bum amongst many other things and so I should. The only thing I’m worried about I suppose is doing something that is risky or unsafe when I’m in one of my unconscious states. For now, Donna and I have agreed that I wont be using anything that is associated with fuel or fire or any power tools such as a grinder whilst she is at work. All the other things on the list as far as I’m concerned if I don’t remember I can live with it…life will go on! At the end of the day Im venturing into new ground again which forms part of my rehabilitation journey. Now that I am home alone, the strategies and coping mechanisms that I have learnt will be more important than ever before.
On the positive side of things, I am extremely glad that Donna has returned to working for she is a very intelligent woman who needs to have something more in her life than just caring for me. She needs to be within a working environment again to stimulate that smart mind of hers which I believe will be great for her. She has always been a driven business woman and I have no doubt that she will be very successful in her new venture. Good luck!
…and to my darling wife, thank you for looking out for me, being there for me, being my brain for the past 2+ years. Love you to bits xxx