Ross was in hospital for a long time and the entire focus was on getting him well enough to come home. You always put yourself last, you put your spouse and your children first. It’s a difficult thing for carers, to find that balance. That’s been one of the benefits of the carer’s group, to talk to people who understand what you’re going through.‍My advice is to try to do one thing at a time, not to try to do everything at once. Though it’s hard – my mind goes in lots of different directions! For me it’s one day at a time, one thing at a time. I work out what I can do, and I get help for the things and for the times that I can’t. Finding out where to get help from can be difficult, it takes a lot of persistence.

I always ask a lot of questions of everyone I meet. Make sure you say yes to everything. If someone says “would you like a follow up appointment?” the answer is always yes. Don’t say no to anything. If it doesn’t fit in later on, or you find you don’t need that service, you can say no then.

I learnt that I’m tougher than I think. Our family is pretty tough too, and we have a great group of friends. I’m an emotional wreck sometimes, and that comes with being tired. But I’m pretty tough. Sometimes you think about all the things that you’ve lost, but then you think about all the things you’ve got. I’ve got my health, and I’ve got Ross – between us we can work through things. Being a carer is a challenge, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else.