Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fooking Forms

I haven’t written lately because I found myself stuck to the ceiling since we opened the letter from the oncology department.
Ady, however, slipped into a pit of doom and gloom and the girls took the whole thing on board and just carried on as normal.
We have now picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down and we are ready, as a family for the next battle!

When I was on the phone to the uro nurse about the onco appointment, I asked her why we had to wait 5 weeks to see the surgeon. She said “Oh well, that will be because we knew that Ady’s urethra had a leak and he needed it in for another week”. I told Ady that she had said this, and he replied that she was talking bollocks (his words) because we got the appointment for the surgeon on 26th September and he had the cystogram on 29th. So unless they have a crystal ball, they would have had no idea whether he had a leaky tube or not!
A few years ago, my stepmother (who talks constantly without coming up for air) was doing her usual talky bit and my dad was sitting there silently (he was a man of few words). Anyway, she was going on and on about something she felt needed saying and then my dad looked up from his newspaper and said “People who talk nonstop all day every day talk shit, and that’s a fact”. The room went silent for a moment and he went back to reading his paper. It bloody cracked me up !
The conversations Ady and I have with the uro nurse remind me of that time in my dad’s sitting room.

Saturday came, and so did the postman with a couple of letters. I have never much liked brown enveloped letters, and funnily, these days, I am beginning to hate them and get palpitations when I see the postman walking down the road with them in his hand for us.

The first letter was from Atos. These are the people, who when you claim ESA, need to check to see if you really ARE ill and can’t work. Bless them, they had included a 20 page form for me to fill out. They can make you see a doctor if they want or don’t believe you and he will assess if you are fit for work.
The form asked questions like, how far can you walk? The length of one double decker bus or two? And can you sit for more than an hour?..can you pick up a pencil?...that sort of stuff. I filled it out straight away, and I got to the question where they ask you to give dates of all your hospital appointments over the last three months and the next three months. Well, the flipping box was only about 2 inches big, so I wrote in it that there was not enough room. I then found and photocopied 19, yes, that’s not a mistake, nineteen, appointments that we have been to over the last 3 months and are going to over the next 3 months. So even if they deem him fit for work, which they had better bloody well not, they will probably think to themselves, the poor bugger doesn’t have time to work with all those appointments!
I got them all and folded them nicely and shoved them in the envelope...I made it fit and sellotaped it down. They will have to pay the extra postage if it is too thick to fit in the royal mail slotty thing. I am pissed off with all these bloody forms...I will be off work myself soon with writers cramp and RSI !

The next letter was from the benefits office. Although I had sent them our accounts which have been submitted to the tax office for the year April 2010 to March 2011, they now want an itemised breakdown of all my sole income and expenses for my business side of things....Oh dear bloody God alive! *sigh*
I don’t think that as long as I live, I will understand the relevance, between my income 18 months ago and what is happening now. I can only assume that they thought that that is the only thing I would be able to provide.
I spent the rest of the weekend being really pissed off about it, and pissed off that I will have to spend the day sitting at my computer, trying to work out how to do excel formulas and how to set it all out and ploughing through bloody spreadsheets with all our joint stuff in.
In the end, I decided that it would be much better to give them the last six months accounts of my sole earnings and expenses, which would give a much better picture of what is happening now, and I would give them either an estimate of the next six months or a set in six months time.

On Monday, I put on some nice clothes and my posh voice, and tottered off to the council offices...well, I don’t want them thinking I am a benefit scrounging chav do I !
I had filled out the form for council tax benefit. I sat with a nice lady who went through all my stuff I had brought. I had pretty much brought all they wanted, minus a couple of bank statements and Ady’s signature on the form so I was pretty pleased with myself....until the lady produced a self employed earnings form for me to take home and fill in. She also wanted a set of accounts for the last 12 months....Jeeeesus bloody noras. I smiled sweetly and took the form home.

I cancelled my work today, so that I could concentrate on getting some sort of closure on all these forms...once that is done, perhaps I might be able to concentrate on the real matter of my husband’s cancer and my children’s well being and keeping our family together and strong.

We are very lucky to have a friend call Gill, who is an accountant. I am crap with excel spreadsheets and formulas, and the very thought of having to produce a set of accounts, all properly worked out, has filled me with dread and anxiety.
Gill said that if we needed help with anything, then to just ask. So I did.
I had done all the income and expenses, but I hadn’t added them up or done the business percentage, or put them in any sort of order.
Gill happily agreed to help me out, so I emailed the document thing to her and rang to check she had got it. While we were on the phone chatting, she had done the whole lot, all added up, percentages done, with nice borders and everything, emailed it back, all ready to print....bitch. Don’t you just hate people like that!!
That would have taken me at least two days of bad moods, hair pulling and feet stomping, and it took her ten minutes! Thank you so much Gill, you have helped no end !!!
So, I have a set of accounts that have been sent off to the benefits people this afternoon, and the Atos form has been sent the other day, so now all I need to do is go back to the council tax people with the other set of accounts and the form they gave me (I am not sure why I have to fill the form out because all the info they are asking for is in the accounts, but hey, what’s another form between friends!) and then I think...I am done with forms......
Until of course when we apply for DLA (Disability Living Allowance), however, I think I will be asking Macmillan to help me with that one because I am worried I won’t be able to stop myself taking the piss when writing the answers because I have heard that that form is about 745275727572 pages long with repetitive questions.....hmmm, someone sensible will need to fill that one out!


  1. Jeez you do deserve a medal for not loosing the plot and having a go at the form providers

  2. Hope you included the expense of using an accountant ;0)