Friday, 22 April 2016

I do care really!

My first blog, and I should probably start with an explanation. I hope the 'I don't care' title grabbed your attention, and it is true - well not in the official jargon sense anyway. Proper terminology can be useful to convey a message, but it can also give a very wrong impression or a picture that is far removed from the intention.

Kay, my wife of more than 20 years is 'disabled'. This comes as no surprise to me, and we don't need to use the word except on official documents or when a shorthand explanation is required. Indeed before she agreed to marry me, she made me sit down and listen very carefully as she explained in graphic detail what the likely progression of her conditions would be. So I'm neither surprised nor in denial.

I am primarily a husband who happily made promises when we married. Those promises were of course mutual, although it should be said that at the time, the worldly goods that Kay endowed me with consisted of a cordless electric drill and an ageing Astra estate car.

Anyway, back to the point about jargon. I am officially categorised as Kay's 'carer', or more currently her 'personal assistant'. (PC jargon changes with the seasons). Labels are certainly sometimes helpful, but this makes our relationship sound like a rather dry and humourless transaction, a chore or a burden - which it never has been. 'Carer' seems to me to bring with it various unhelpful implications, so I can confirm that it is only in the jargon sense that I don't care - I just happily do what we both agree would be helpful, not because I'm designated as a 'carer' but because nothing could be more normal!

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