My name is Beth and I am 27 years old, I work in the hospitality industry and I have been classed as a carer to both my mum & brother since I was 3 years old, and this year I will have been suffering from M.E for 17 years. My brother has a range of mental and physical disabilities and my mum has a range of medical conditions (she has just recently been diagnosed with M.E & Fibromyalgia)
Growing up being a carer was all I have known, so this was “normal life” to me. I loved helping my family but when I was 9 years old I first started showing symptoms of M.E (extreme tiredness, joint pain and not eating much). Thankfully as a child I wasn’t doing as much as I currently am in my caring role. Like many people with M.E, I wasn’t listening to my body and kept pushing myself until I would suffer from flare ups. As I was growing up i was thankfully improving where I could return back to school nearly full time however while this was happening my family's health was declining, which resulted in my caring role increasing.
Growing up being a carer was all I have known, so this was “normal life” to me.
My role as being a carer included: helping with the shopping/cleaning, occupying my brother while my mum was doing things, helping to pay bills, sorting medications, arranging appointments for everyone, reminding my mum and brother about anything important etc. As mentioned above my role has increased. However when I was younger I would have done about half of these things but now I do all of them, as well as making sure I don’t suffer from a flare up myself.
Being a young carer/ carer can be extremely hard at times and it can push your health and your energy to its very limit but for myself I would not have it any other way. I have finally recognised what my limits are (not that I listen to it)
Thank you for taking the time to read this small blog into my life of being a young carer (now carer) while suffering from M.E and other health issues.
The ME Association
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