Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Department of Work & Pensions, where it all began

So I don't know whether I really want to bore you all with the ins and outs of my battle with the department of work and pensions, so I will just give you a little over view to get you up to speed as it were on where I am at, this blog will be stage one!

When I got the clots in my leg and on my lung, everything changed.

Even though I was recovering from knee surgery I was doing ok, I was independent, well some might say stubborn, and would do things for myself whilst balancing on crutches.

When the blood clots hit, a kind of wave crashed over me and I couldn't do anything. I couldn't place my leg down on the ground without crying in pain, the throbbing in my leg was so intense and no amount of painkillers seemed to make it go away. I couldn't breathe, wow, I couldn't breathe, just typing that brings back so many horrible memories. I'd get out of breath just trying to get from my bed to the bathroom. I couldn't wash unaided, my leg would swell up so quickly, and I'd get so out of breath everything was an effort.

When I was first diagnosed and discharged from hospital I was still living with Luke, he and Mike were a massive support, as much as they could do for me they did. But James, my James was there, he would work from my flat, changed his meetings, come to the hospital with me, as much as he could he did, he was pretty much, well no he was, my carer. He helped me get dressed, he helped me wash, get me in and out of the shower, the bath, helped me wash my hair, got me food, helped me into bed, helped me start my physio, everything. I eventually got to the point where much as I wanted to stay living with Luke and have my independence, not only did I need 24-7 care I couldn't afford to stay living at Luke's. I didn't even try to apply for housing benefit and council tax benefit.  The thought of trying to fill out all those forms, when I was struggling to breathe was too much to bear, as it was I was spending all my efforts documenting everything that happened at the hospital that got me to where I was, but that and the subsequent complaint is for another blog.

I moved in with James at the beginning of July, and we just kept muddling through. Still unable to work, we were advised that I was now disabled and that we should apply for disability living allowance and carers allowance. Benefits hadn't really crossed my mind, I was just trying to get through each day, try and keep my INR stable and just stay positive. So the thought of considering myself disabled was odd, totally random and well laughable. I am 31 years old how can I be disabled?


(of a person) Having a physical or mental condition that limits movements, senses, or activities.

Well I guess this is true to me and I am disabled, and so James and I got the forms and filled it all out, the very long, laborious forms we filled them all out told the truth and sent them back. Feeling positive and hopeful that yes all the questions we answered did relate to us and well great we actually can get some help getting through this, wow if only we had known this before, why didn't the hospital make us aware of this? Oh well better late than never.

Wrong, the response I got was, 

Although you have difficulty, you don't need help to get in and out of bed, use a bath or shower, dress or undress, get up and down stairs, move about. You are not entitled to help.

The next day I fell when I was in the bath, the bruise was massive.

But of course I didn't need help...............................