|Carol with Finger and Toe rings from West Africa, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery|
in rings – how you feel while caring
it's reminiscent of a wheel, you never get off
a sign of devotion, trust and
symbol of love
all the things you would do for a child
rather than being back in the pram they're in
a wheelchair, return to childhood
back in the circle
difficult to accept care – irritation
because it means you can't cope and that's a failure
finding a few moments to get your head together
no end to the task, no breaks
care is frustraton.
It's reminiscent of a wheel, being a carer. You never get off. When you're not with the person you care for, you're thinking of them – are they getting properly looked after? Your brain is only intent on that one thing.
Finding a few moments to get your head together.
Care is frustration. I didn't give as much as I wanted, didn't get him what he really needed, couldn't keep him at home eventually. Frustration when people don't give you the right information or do the job they're supposed to and you do a lot of work for nothing. You make a complaint and they never get back to you, or fob you off. Ring so an so, then ring so and so. Phone call after phone call in amongst everything else you've got to do.
You don't think of it as how you show care, you do it automatically. You do a million things. All the things you would do for a child, all the things you would do for an adult. Provide food and warmth, making sure they're eating healthily, changing them, putting food in their mouths. And of course rather than being in a pram the person is in a wheelchair and you're pushing them around as you would a child. So again it's a circle, you're back in the circle.
It's difficult to accept care, irritating. Cos it means you can't cope and that's a failure. People ask are you alright and you always say 'Yeah'. It's a difficult thing to accept care when you've cared for someone.
Carol, interviewed 16 July