Monday, 21 November 2011

Appeal Going Ahead

I have a post written on my positive experience on the WFI I had to attend last Monday, exactly a week ago today, which I will post once I have access to my tablet which it's on but today I got another letter from the DWP about the appeal I lodged a month ago.

After my relief about my WFI my good mood, and relaxed deposition which has allowed me to actually achieve a few  hours uninterrupted sleep which hasn't happened since this whole WCA review began months ago, has come to an abrupt end.

My nerves are once again shot and building up as I now face an appeal process which could include an ATOS medical and a firing squad face to face appeal to the DWP and whoever else attends such boards.

I got a letter just an hour ago saying that the decision maker at the DWP had looked again at my WCA and other documents that he used to make his initial decision taken into account the points I made - which is ludicrous as I meet the first descriptor on their own paperwork for the ESA Support Group - and can see nothing that would make them change their decision.

So apparently meeting one of their own noted descriptors for the SG isn't good enough to allow you to actually be placed into said group?! Sounds about right for this whole process which is supposed to be fair and give help to those who actually need it.

No time limit, no information on how meeting one of their holier descriptors wasn't enough evidence to get moved into the SG, nothing except my appeal would now move onto the next stage and I would get more information on the appeals process later. Again no time frame or anything.

I had hoped that if I didn't meet the descriptor I would be informed how I didn't regardless of my proof that I do meet said descriptor.

So my happy relaxed period is now over again. I had hoped that I could now enjoy at least the coming festive season without the pressure and depression that this whole process has brought onto me but alas that is not to be. Every time I feel I can relax a bit and concentrate of myself and my health when I overcome some hurtle thrown in my path something happens to scupper it. Last time it was the less than 24 hours that came between my lodging my appeal and my WFI interview date/time arriving. This time I got a whole week where I didn't suffer nightmares, depression and nerves before I now get this appeal hurdle - my biggest hurdle yet - thrown in my path wrecking any inner peace I've achieved in the past few days.

Monday, 14 November 2011


Well D-Day - as in the day I've been dreading - is upon me.

Tomorrow first thing is my first WFI with my personal advisor who I only know by her first name supplied in my letter from the Job Center Plus.

I didn't manage to get my hair washed today as my mum's back was too painful and stiff to bend over.

If my hair looks too greasy I will resort to my emergency can of dry shampoo so I don't go out with greasy or dead and dull hair.

I sincerely hope that the advisor I've been given doesn't turn out to be one of those Stalin wannabes that I've heard about who ignore all evidence of illness or disability and steamroller you (and in some cases threaten or intimidate) those they are supposed to be simply providing options for their possible future possibilities into any scheme like workfare regardless of their medical and health at the time.

In some ways I just want this over and in others I don't want it to ever come around.

Quite frankly I'm a complete nervous wreck at the moment and expecting the worse starting by being forced to sit listening to a total stranger dictate my future while sitting in a uncomfortable plastic chair for an hour.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


My mother who is attending this stupid WFI with me first thing Monday morning is insisting on washing my hair tomorrow so I can be 'all neat and tidy' for my appointment.

I'm not so fussy to be honest. My hair is clean and non greasy and doesn't need it in my opinion and as I pointed out to her the more effort and dressy I attend as could backfire badly on my claim as I can't do this for myself, let alone on a daily basis as mentioned on my claim forms and turning up like I'm attending a job interview would be misleading on my actual circumstances.

But she's insisting that's better than showing up scruffy - which I assume she's saying my normal appearance is - will make my advisor think I'm too lazy to dress as I should when attending appointments.

Can't win, can I?

As I am relying on her to accompany me as a witness as well as support I have no chance of changing her mind. I will get my hair washed regardless of my physical condition tomorrow but I am intent on dressing only in my usual comfy clothes as regardless of the terminology my mum uses this isn't a interview that I see necessary to dress up for.

Especially if I can be expected to sitting in an uncomfortable chair for an extended period. Something I am unable to do in the most comfortable of chairs let alone those found in JCP offices.

Well I've moaned enough about my appointment on Monday for today, one last thing to mention before ending my posting for today. I got an appointment through for the physiotherapist today, no sign of any for the occupational therapist yet. Rather stupid to send a physio one through before I'm fully assessed which was supposed to be this month in a dual appointment with both therapists together where a therapy course would begin to take shape before I started the actual therapy courses.

But then this first physio isn't till December the 22nd so there is plenty of time for my dual assessment appointment to be sent through before my first physio date arrives.

Friday, 11 November 2011

WFI Day Approaching

Well it's now Thursday 10th and another day closer to my first WFI (Work Focused Interview) at our local JCP (Job Centre Plus) which is this coming Monday (the 14th) at 9.45 am.

As well as struggling from the nearest disabled parking spot and the early time I'm not looking forward to this meeting at all. The form and initial phone call I received at the start of re assessment to move me over to ESA it was made clear I was unable to begin functioning before 11 at the earliest due to my diseases as well as my medications and they give me an interview over an hour earlier.

Also I can't manage to walk more than a dozen steps without stopping due to pain, fatigue or in most cases both. The nearest disabled parking is quite a distance for me although the shopping centre the JCP is housed in has a car park with disabled parking the hourly charge is too much for me on my limited income especially as this interview can take up to an hour plus the time it would take me to travel to and from my car could take be at least an hour combined for me to walk said distance.

Once I make it to the entry to the JCP I pray frantically that the lift is working OK and there isn't too long a queue to use it as it only holds 3 or 4 adults at a time and I can't walk up the 5 or 6 flights of stairs to the actual office.

Once I wait my turn I can look forward to up to 60 minutes sitting, or in my case moving painfully about in a chair when I am unable to sit for more than ten minutes at any given time in my own luxury padded leather chair at home.

The only light at the end of my tunnel is my cousin attends interviews with his advisor regularly and says although his letters mention an hour he is generally finished in about half an hour each time.

My assessment with my hospital therapists haven't come through yet but my check up with my specialist has for May 10th.

So I'll only be able to tell me advisor Marion about what the therapists said at the hospital last week, mentioning my injection and other concerns that my specialist and therapists had when attending.

Still no response to my appeal which I put in exactly two weeks ago yet but not so surprising given the backlog on appeals lodged so far. Another person who appealed on a board I belong to put in his almost two months ago and has also heard nothing back yet either.

I'm ready to call it a night now and try to get some sleep with try being the objective word here.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Nippy November

Well it's November already, how this year has just flown in.

I am still experiencing a lot of shoulder pain (and elsewhere) and am finding using my keyboard/mouse very painful and slow.

Usually I touch type and don't actually look at my keys now typing on one hand only has me looking at the keys to find each one I need, nearly impossible to do as several of my keys are faded and show no letters to make sure I'm using the right one. Making me too slow in creating any posts, not to mention very painful when I do attempt.

You will also note misspelling and wrong letters ... so on not making sense in my previous posts. This is because I am struggling through and posting only to find errors later when I reread them. If it's not glaringly obvious and readers can still understand what I'm trying to say I haven't bothered editing the post ... so sorry for that everyone.

I have finally remembered that I have a budget tablet sitting next to my keyboard, in front of my hard drive tower, which would be easier to type on as the small built in keyboard in my case is best used one handed. Also using my one fairly decent arm/hand/shoulder I can type out more concise and understandable posts. I tested this theory tonight while waiting in my car for my eldest nephew to return from his guitar lesson and found while typing posts this way is slower than I am used to, I tend to create more concise well thought out posts which have little or no editing needed to 'fix' them for posting.

Also the on screen keyboard I'm using suggests words as you type and for long words that I repeat it makes the process of typing out posts a lot easier and a bit quicker.

So hopefully I will be posting more about my views on all thing I consider pertinent as a disabled woman who happens to blog. I'm currently working on a post on being a disabled blogger and how I see the internet - and blogs/forums for disabled and ill person - as a positive thing for people who can find themselves cut off from the outside world by their disability.