I think I should start by explaining who I am and whom I care for. My name is Samantha, but I’m better known as @carersvent. I became my husband’s carer back in 2011 after the physical health problems he had been hiding from me for years finally became too much. He suffers from ME, Non epileptic seizures, Functional Neurological Disorder, Fibromyalgia and early onset Arthritis. The list of symptoms go on and on, but after constant pain, these cause him to fall, have dizzy spells, muscle paralysis, muscle spasms. My husband has also recently been diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (2016).
What I didn’t realise was that he was also hiding some severe mental health issues too.
I’d always known that, like myself, he struggles bouts of depression. In fact in 2004 he left his job as Senior Store Designer for a well-known supermarket after what I can only describe as a mini breakdown. At the time I thought it was just the pressure of his job had got to him. Little did I know that his depression was far more severe than that and he was struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Before my husband became ill we ran a photography business together, which we called Campbell Photographic
My husband was the main photographer and I mainly came up with ideas for our shoots; whether it be for model shoots, weddings, events or life style portraits, etc. I even started to do make-up and styling on some of our shoots. These days my husband can just about hold a cup in his hands let alone a camera. Holding anything up for even short periods can exhaust him and cause great pain all along his arms and shoulders. He also gets muscle spasms and shaking/twitching which cause him pain and make it impossible for him to keep anything steady. Added together with his chronic fatigue (ME), chronic pain (Fibro), Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder, it became impossible to continue. These are only a few of the reasons why my husband can no longer work. It makes me so sad because my husband was a very talented photographer, but unfortunately life is sometimes cruel.
4am in the Red Sea - My husband working on a shoot in Egypt before he became ill.
Alongside the photography business we also ran our own magazine to promote new talents, called Sky’s Angels Magazine (there’s a long story behind the title!). We designed and edited it ourselves and wrote many of the articles. Hubby even created a music video for singer/song writer Luc Floreani.
It was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. Unfortunately with mental health and concentration problems, as well as being physically unable to sit in front of a PC for long, neither of us are capable of doing it anymore.