"because, at your own speed, you can safely manage your toilet needs, use a bath OR shower, get up and down stairs.........using suitable aids and don't need help from someone for about an hour a day....you are not at risk of falling and can take reasonable precautions to prevent any dangers...substantial danger, to you or to others.....you are not entitled to any rate of care"
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Am I Benefit Scrounging Scum? Part 2 There Are No Rainbows
By Eclectic_Jax First posted here
I'm sat on the big brown sofa with a cup of tea in the cat & fish cup. The sun is streaming through the window, casting rainbows all over the walls as it passes through the crystals hanging from the curtain pole. The dog is sunbathing/sleeping in her bed and the only audible sounds are the gulls and the roar of the ferry as it passes by.
That's a lie actually. That was the state of play when I started writing this post first thing this morning. It's now dark outside, the cream curtains are drawn and there are no rainbows on the walls anymore. The only sound apart from my fingers on the keyboard is the occasional sniff as the tears take over my normally strong self. I've had a few hours where I've had a word with myself, but then a blog post by a friend set me off again. The floodgates have been well and truly opened by a text message, from someone I care a lot for, being "nice" to me. These were the catalyst for this outpouring of salty nastiness.
The original reason for this "wibble" was a letter I received this morning telling me that because I have somewhat adapted to my situation and can walk with the aid of morphine, the brace & crutches, I'm not entitled to any extra benefits. The phrase used was "using suitable aids, although your walking is limited, you are not unable or virtually unable to walk". Then came the rest of the reasons:
Now, I have a raised toilet seat because otherwise, my kneecap tends to pop out of place or the knee will lock. To have a shower, I have a seat to sit on. This replaced me going into the shower with the crutches! Getting up and down stairs is generally done on my arse as, as previously stated, I've already fallen down the stairs and damaged my shoulder once and I don't want to risk harming myself any further. I don't have any help during the day because I'm too proud, not because I don't need it. As for the falling - I think the chunks of flesh that are missing from my head and the shoulder injury will put pay to that statement. What is "substantial damage" anyway? If not at risk of falls, I would not have been assessed and granted a system that recognises if I have fallen and calls either a nominated person or a local warden if I speak to them on the phone but can't get up unaided or, if I don't respond at all in a certain time frame, 999.
Now I can appeal this decision apparently - as long as none of the changes that have happened, happened after I got the letter today. If that had been the case, I'd have to go through the whole process again from scratch! It's taken from 14th June for them to get to this point! Thankfully, they have based their decision on information dated 13/09/2011. Since then, I have had my test results back and as covered in a previous blog post, I've signed a consent form for more surgery in the next week or 2 and a further major surgery after that. I'm hoping that this will make them see that I do need help. I've done myself no favours really by adapting and being proud. The problem now is that I can see my strength and determination waning. I've cried for hours today and that isn't like me. I'm a strong and positive person, but the prospect of losing my leg is pushing me to the limit. Not because I think it will be the end of the world, because it won't be, but more because I'm scared of having to cope on my own. If I'm struggling now, what the hell am I going to do when I come out of hospital to a 2nd floor flat, 28 stairs and doors that cannot accommodate a wheelchair?
I've paid into the system for over 20 years, I'm not asking for anything I don't need. All I'm asking for is a little bit of help until I get back to my job and for someone to bring the rainbows back...