My dad has had health problems since I was a little girl. I was just nine when he was first hospitalised and it felt as though my entire world had shifted.
My big, strong, amazing dad was human after all.
He’s had further health problems and this year he turns 80. My mum is his primary carer however she often needs a hand now that he is older and his health issues more serious.
Mum doesn't ask for help as often as I'd like but she's better than my dad who desperately wants to avoid being a burden to his children. It took me years to convince him that looking after him was a privilege, not a burden.
It became so bad that whenever he was sick or in need of urgent care he'd beg my mum not to call us. He didn't want to inconvenience or worry us.
One time a friend was driving past their house, saw the ambulance outside and called us. Another time my mum rang to tell me that dad had been rushed to hospital. She was distraught because she knew dad would be upset when he found out that we knew. I couldn't understand why he was being so proud and so stubborn.