Friday, 16 December 2011

Lists, Forms and Bones

Now, as I was saying about my lists. I do like to get a job done and cross it off my list. It makes you feel like you have achieved something when that happens, I, well you must be odd then.

Anyway, after I had spoken to Janet, the Parliamentary associate person last week or whenever it was. She said to me that it was ‘case closed’ as our claim had been sorted and for me to expect a letter of apology and some compensation which she would sort out.
Soopadoopa, I thought, I can cross that off my list and move on, sit back and wait for my letter while I crack on with the next stage of claims, like mortgage interest payments and free school meals. I can forget about the whole letter saga and to be honest, if the manager had spoken to me and sorted this on the occasions that I had asked for her to call, then I doubt that this would have got as far as it has. But she didn’t and I hope she has had a bollocking for it.
So anyway, A call came later in the day after Ady’s tooth saga, and it was from ‘Jean’. She works in Iain Duncan Smiths office no less.
It turns out that my MP Greg Clark (brilliant, helpful man) not only had written to the benefits office to ask what on earth was going on, but he had also written to Iain Duncan Smith to make him aware of what is going on and sent him a link to this blog, which ‘Jean’ has read!
At this point, I would like to make a suggestion for Iain while he is overhauling the benefits system. Having been through this whole sorry mess, I really do think that people diagnosed with cancer and unable to work should be given immediate ESA payments while the benefit is being worked out. It would reduce what is an extremely worrying and stressful situation with the diagnosis itself, let alone the financial side.  The doctors sick note clearly says if the person has cancer so it shouldn’t be too difficult to work out surely?
I never ever want to go through what we have been through since August, ever again. Nor would I want anyone else to go through the same thing.

Anyway, back to ‘Jean’. She was lovely and told me that my complaint was as high level as you can get....Lordy!, I only wanted what we were entitled to!
She is now in touch with ‘Janet’ and is ...well I’m not terribly sure really, because I thought ‘Janet’ was on the case and dealing with it, but anyway, ‘Jean’ is going to tell ‘Janet’ to send me an envelope so I can send my telephone bill in so they can see how much the calls have been and I need to let her know about missing out on free school lunches (which I forgot to mention), and then they are going to send it to people in Glasgow.......Oh well, what happens, happens, and what doesn’t, doesn’t, but for now, we are going to enjoy Christmas and forget about it all!
If I have the energy and I haven’t heard anything by the end of January, then I might call, but we will see.
So what I thought was crossed off my list, isn’t now and so I have had to make a new list and add an old job back to frustrating!

I was told that the lady I had spoken to in the mortgage department was going to deal with my mortgage personally.
I rang the benefits office the other day and asked for a call back from her, and I gave her name. A man called me back and said that there was nothing to say that she would be dealing with our claim.
Both ‘Janet’ and ‘Jean’ told me that I would have someone deal with it personally, but hey!
It would help if I actually read the instructions on the front of the forms before filling them out because then I wouldn’t do it all wrong and have to ring up and ask for more!
But they are done now and in the post to the bank to do their bit, and then I suspect I will get a letter back from the benefits department asking me what I bought with this and how I paid for that twenty years ago *sigh*’s going to go on for months....I can feel it in my water.

People who know us personally, have been telling us to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for yonks. So a couple of weeks ago, I set to it. Blimey noras, it’s like filling out parts to a War and Peace novel!
The whole form is very off putting actually, but thank fully, a welfare rights advisor from Macmillan was very helpful and set me on the right tracks.
Filling out the form was quite an eye opener, and a sad one at that.
Ady was embarrassed and defensive about some of the questions when he had to admit to the things he struggles with and the things he can’t do.
It was a big realisation about how much I help him and Ady was very down and feeling quite angry when we had finished.

Any small reservations I had about claiming DLA at the beginning of the form, were diminished by the time we had finished and I certainly do think we are entitled to something, but who knows....

I think that is it for now. The girls are off school until the new year so we are now going to relax and enjoy Christmas.

Oh hang on, I haven’t said about the bones man!
Well, we went to see him at the beginning of December. He is a man of few words but pleasant enough.
Ady often complains about his shoulder. Well, he says in passing “Cor my shoulder hurts” and then just carries on with whatever.
I have never really taken much notice because he doesn’t complain like I would so I always think it isn’t that bad.
For the first time, while filling out the DLA form, he told me that actually, it is really painful all the time and always has been, especially in the mornings. I think Ady is a very stoical person cos I would be shouting from the roof tops!

I told him that he must tell the bones man about it because it is obviously arthritis and he should know.
The problem with Ady is, that the bones man does ask about his pain, and Ady will say “Well, I spose my shoulder hurts a bit” and he will leave it at that. The bones man thinks it doesn’t hurt that much or he would be making more of a fuss about it, but Ady doesn’t!

So this time, I made Ady tell him that his shoulder REALLY hurts....”Dont use the word ‘bit’ but use the word ‘really,’ “I said
So Ady told him and the bones man said on a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it hurt....Ady said a 7.
A bloody seven for goodness the bloody hell can a pain of 7 hurt a bit?
So I have realised that I need to listen and take more notice when he complains of ‘a bit of pain’ because actually, that means he is in agony.

The bones man gave him a steroid injection to ease things up a bit for a few weeks, but of course steroid injections does your sugar levels no favours at all if you are a can’t have it all I spose!

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