My name is Anna Jones, I am not yet 28 years old, and I have just applied to have an Adult Social Care Assessment.
This is quite far away from how I imaged life would be. Just 10 years I was winning awards for ‘sporting prowess’ at school. I’d been netball captain for 7 years, won nearly every event I entered into on Sports Day, was put in for every sports team going even if I’d never played it before.
I got my first job at 15 and worked several different part-time jobs right up until my health suddenly disappeared aged 21.
When I was at university I could pull an all-nighter with the best of them; going out with friends and coming home in the early hours to finish the essay that was due that day.
Now I cannot prepare meals, fold washing, or even shower everyday. I cannot always get out to collect my prescription or simply to get a blast of fresh air. I cannot unload the dishwasher or hang up the washing. I cannot do these things and so Mr Tree Surgeon has to do them when he gets home from sometimes an 11 hour day or climbing up and down several trees in the pouring rain. Last month he started a new course to gain a new, exciting qualification. He will be busier than ever for the next 12 months. My mum comes round to help me when she can as it is, but I want her to be able to be my mum, and not my cleaner. I want Mr Tree Surgeon to be my boyfriend, and not my carer. A lovely friend of mine has offered to pick up the slack until I have sorted out some proper help. She is coming over again this week to unload the food delivery and prepare a meal. It feels so strange that I, Anna Jones, need such assistance.
Today I used what little, precious energy I have to ring up the local council and ask for help.
The woman on the phone was so lovely. She was sympathetic and that seemed to break my heart even more; that my situation is worthy of sympathy. She has opened a record file for me and the social care team will be in touch to come out and see what help I need.
To have to list off the things I struggle with, and to look so closely at, and think so hard about each and every symptom and how they make my life as hard as it is…it hurts my heart.
I know I need this help but that fact alone crushes me.