When you find you have accidentally joined the Special Needs Parents Club, a number of changes will occur that are well documented in the blogosphere.

You will lose some things, skills, friends and sleep for example.

Gain others, strength, fight and a dark sense of humour.

Job wise, work may become nearly impossible.

My membership of a professional body,degree and training finally had to be shelved.

It occurs to me, though that caring for Pearl on a daily basis has given me skills that I never knew I possessed, that may in fact have applications in the wider world.

I can scope out a building in seconds for accessibility, toilet potential and trip hazards. My eye is now finely tuned to a hidden step or an unexpected camber on a slope. I could perhaps work for the secret services, looking for hidden dangers or elements of surprise.

I can balance an extraordinary amount of things on the back of a wheelchair, and a surprising amount of mobility aids in the boot of a car. Maybe I could set up a small removals firm?

I can smile sweetly while staring daggers at people who park in disabled spaces, stare at small people with disabilities, or Local Authority managers. Politics, maybe running the country is my thing?

I can count out medication, understand, timings, half lives and storage, whilst knowing the side effects to at least 4 different kinds of prescription drugs. I might actually have a career in Pharmacy.

I can deal with an epileptic fit in a public place while outwardly maintain my composure. Ambulance Paramedic anyone?

However, dressing Pearl is one of my greatest daily challenges. If she doesn’t feel cooperative(and she doesn’t often) it involves her going floppy or rigid in turn. That and the ability I have to make my knackered middle aged face look reasonable with make-up (but Jane you look so well….) leads me to believe I’d be best placed to work in an Undertakers preparing the Dear Departed. And think of the peace!

How many skills have you had to master to succeed in your caring role?

Between us I’ll bet we’ve got everything covered.

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