For the past week I have been in agony. It began with a pain in my hip, and no amount of Heat Rub and massage, eased the pain. Day by day the pain increased until I was thinking `hip replacement`. But not really, because the pain was only weight bearing. I had no pain or discomfort sitting or lying. When I could only walk with the aid of 2 walking sticks, I decided this pain wasn`t going to go and necessitated a trip to the GP. Return journey by taxi, there was no way I could walk. The GP diagnosed a strained muscle. [Must have been that gardening] He prescribed strong pain killers, [rubbish] and said if the pain doesn`t go in 2 weeks, to go back. I`m OK, no temperature, don`t feel ill, etc. I just can`t walk properly and am extrememly slow, hobbling along holding onto walls inside, and using my 2 sticks outside. But it has frightened me. What happens when/if 24/7 carers become ill. Yesterday someone rang the doorbell. Of course Dhiren was there first, he opened the door, it was the man to read the gas meter. Whilst I was still hobbling to the door, he was in a panic, shouting at the top of his voice `WHERE`S THE GAS METER?` When the phone rings, if I`m not sitting by it, it takes me a while to get there. Dhiren runs to get it and hands me the TV remote. He always vacs, but I always watch him and go round with him. This time I watched from a chair, and my heart was in my mouth as the flex became entangled round his feet. How have other members coped? And how have they coped if they have been really poorly, even bedridden. Do you have contingency plans?