Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Well I spent over an hour going through an assessment with the Occupational Therapist today. Among the millions - well it felt like it - of questions I had to answer I had a few exercise for my hands (which the therapist seems to be concentrating on) including spending around 15 to 20 minutes going through the hot/cold water basin exercises for my hands.

Results of the machine used to squeeze to measure hand strength I scored very low with both of my hands. The therapist showed me the chart showing what my number count should be for my hands and I have less than 10% of the strength I should have.

So I was given exercises to do twice a day in hot/cold water alternatively as well as three exercise to do in sets of 10 during the day at least four times daily.

The therapist is faxing an urgent - urgent for our social work/therapy departments anyway - order to have their OT to visit me again at home to see alternatives for the current overhead shower I can no longer use even with help. As well as look into placing arm rails on both sides of the staircase within my house and also to see if something can be given to me to aid me getting in/out of bed which I have a lot of trouble with having to depend on my bed's metal bar on the headrest to propel me into/out of my bed and to help me sit up etc.

I will be getting my next appointment in around 4 weeks sent out within the next few days.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Panic Stations

Well we've just spent the last 20 minutes hunting down my letter with the correct time, department and therapist for tomorrow. As this is my first Occupational Therapy appointment I really need it to make sure I get to the right area at the right time tomorrow at the hospital.

Finally after that brief panic I figured my Father had moved the letter and not told us, needless to say he had forgotten all about moving it let alone where he had moved it to, I just took a chance figuring as it was sitting under my Kindle on my bedside cabinet since it arrived that he might have moved it to where he has habit of moving my Kindle when he mucking around with the stuff on my cabinet.

I must admit not to being looking forward to my OT appointment, mainly for two reasons:

  1. I'm suffering from a cold and the freezing temp - snow expected by this weekend - isn't helping. So I'm feeling more listless, stiff, exhaustion than normal.
  2. This appointment being the first can last up to an hour like my first PT appointment just prior to Xmas and also it's at the main hospital which results in a long long long walk in from the main entrance compared to when I attend my PT. Even though the room my PT uses at the clinic is quite a distance from the reception it's nothing compared to the distance I have to transverse when attending the main hospital for appointments.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Shh ... trying to sleep here

Well, I'm exhausted and it's not even 7pm. Nothing unusual for me normally but at have just cause today.

After getting up slightly earlier because I knew I would have to take my second round of medication prior to doing the nursery run because I wouldn't be back home in time for when I usually took them.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

More Good News

After my 'good' day yesterday with news on my health/situation I received a letter from the hospital. Initially I thought that my specialist appointment at the Rheumatology Clinic had been delayed/changed but no, it's finally my appointment with the Occupational Therapist. It hasn't been forgotten, and definitely a load off my mind. I was going to bring it up on Monday when I have my next Physiotherapy appointment to see if he (therapist) could help me chase up the OT appointment for me as I was beginning to worry I had been forgotten.

Only bad news is that it's on a Tuesday at 11.30am, good time frame for me, but unfortunately Tuesdays and Thursdays are the two days I help out my parents with looking after my youngest nephew and take him into nursery at lunchtime. Also Tuesdays tend to me when I have to pick up all three boys from schools because both my brother and his wife often have after school meetings to attend.

I'll phone Monday morning to see if I can get the same time frame but on Monday, Wednesday or Fridays.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Appeal Update

Well I got a letter from the benefits people at the Department for Works and Pensions. Short and sweet again but good news this time.

We have looked again at our decision.

You made an appeal against a decision about being placed in the Work Related Activity Group. We have looked again at the facts and evidence used to make our decision. As a result we have changed that decision.

What happens now.

Your appeals will not be sent to an independent tribunal as the decision has been changed in your favour. 

The latest letter was dated the 6th of January, so after waiting around 3 months total since I received the first results of my assessment in early October.

So for once good news for me. After the DWP decision maker decided in December that he/she would stand by their initial decision of placing me in the WRAG, it's been reversed by the higher level DWP before being passed along for the independent appeal. I know I got a letter less than a month ago from this benefits department who would review my original evidence provided with the ESA form as well as the points I raised on the letter I submitted in October after initially being put in the WRAG. With only my appeal letter and evidence given in my initial assessment claim I am being placed into the SG (Support Group) as I asked to be looked at for eligibility in my appeal letter in October stating why I thought I qualified for it, the DM in December stated I didn't provide enough evidence in my appeal letter and intial form for this and it was being passed onto the appeal process. Re-assessment by the DWP/Appeal section at DWP have decided that the evidence is enough to warrant my claim on SG.

So, for the moment I can breathe easier and concentrate on the therapy I am currently undergoing.