British Lung Foundation
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I was diagnosed with severe emphysema last November and I am struggling to keep going, I work part time as a technician in the aerospace industry,I am also a carer for my wife who is quite badly disabled and in receipt of DLA I am finding that I could do one or the other jobs without too much difficulty but NOT both I have been working in the morning then going home to look after my wife I then sleep for an hour as i am exhausted then I wake up and do everything else either housework or shopping or i take my wife out as she is housebound without me, I find myself torn as i dont want to stop work it is the only thing I have outside of being a carer but I am worried that if I carry on as i am i am putting my long term health at risk, and my wife cannot look after herself never mind me. i am not sure what to do i am 53 carnt afford to stop work but feel I'm killing myself at the moment would appreciate some opinions

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5 Replies

With your own health in a very poor state it will only be a matter of time before you are forced to give up work if you don't seek help now. I feel it is really important that you get in contact with BLF helpline asap. They will understand better than anyone what to do because you will be able to discuss your circumstances in complete confidence. Mentally and physically you sound worn out, this is not a good state to be in. I urge you to seek an emergency appointment with your own GP because if you don't see someone soon and talk about the guilt, the tiredness and everything else that is effecting you will crack. My own husband is my part time carer and full time worker and he is often tired, and when I am really poorly he is full time to both. Then he is exhausted, so doing what you have been doing for over six months it is no wonder you find yourself in such a state. Giving up work is frightening when their is money to worry about, but my husband found himself in a similar situation a few years when I was really poorly and we did manage.

xxxx Daxie Mad

I agree with the first post u need to get help for yourself because if u are burnt out all of your choices wont be choices anymore, its difficult being a carer, i am one to my disabled son and have copd myself, probably due to the fact we put their health above our own and there is no let up. I can understand that u want to have outside pursuits as staring at the same walls drives me mad! my son now has more of a life in terms of he has a carer 5 days a week and gets to go places the only place i get to is the drs , hospital and tesco! is there a way u could compromise and work part time? best of luck and here if u need to chat ok xx

Hi Gaffers

I'm sorry to read of your situation at the moment and i think 'torn' is a good way to sum it up.

Obviously working gives you independence and something of your own outside of home which we all need.

The BLF has a really good booklet about caring and one of the points made is to make sure you are looking after you - does your GP know you are caring?

Social services can come out and do a homecare assessment for you both and a carers assessment for you.

We can also advise you on support and benefits available.

There are different support services and respite to enable you to still have time for you.

Please give us a call on 03000 030 55.

Best wishes


Hi Gaffers,I'm sorry you are in such a tight spot, you are clearly worn out with the stress and worry that ill-health brings,it puts you in a distressed state of mind and you can see no immediate answers but there is help out there.First you need help with looking after your wife,you are entitled to have assistence and if you phone the number that Jo from BLF has given you have made a move towards the help you need.Next make an apt. with a GP you like and can talk to and get his support.Find out as much as you can about your Emphysema,do you feel that you are 'severe'? I am supposedly 'severe' but I go on how I feel not what the medical proffesion tell me,( think well= feel well) ( live positively)

You might be able to claim for financial help,if you have a little more coming in perhaps you could save up for a little 'break' for you and your wife.All the best,C.

I understand you don't want to give up work because it gives you that important link to the outside world which very often a carer feels they lack, perhaps if work is so important to you it is time to consider looking at having extra help at home. List the issues before you get in touch with BLF and see your GP for all the things that are causing you such distress. I also think a 10 minute slot with your GP is too short so book a double appointment you have much to discuss. Let us know how you get on, sharing the burden is part of the recovery and answer to your difficulties. Don't be afraid to ask for help, there are too many carers out there struggling, obviously I don't know where you are from, but search for your local Carers Support Group too! Good Luck and hope to read soon that you are having the support you so much need. Hope this helps and good luck. Auntymary x

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