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Coming up for air

Posted Mar 04 2011 12:00am
It's all been a bit erratic and difficult to handle recently, which I think is reflected in the difficulties folk have had accessing my blog. I felt very exposed suddenly and needed to make it private in case word got back to certain people that I was thinking about seeking justice. However, there were technical problems with commenting and I found blogging into the silence rather pointless. I felt cut off which contributed to my general sense of uncertainty and insecurity. It's all been a bit of a nightmare but, fingers crossed, I think I may be beginning to stabilise. I'll go on blogging but be careful what I say.

The benefits saga continues and this has been a significant factor in my feeling things were getting out of control. I've been refused two out-of-work benefits on the grounds I am fit to work and have been on half income for five months now. There is a serious flaw in the assessment process which even the man who designed it acknowledges. They would say, for example, the fact I can write this blog is proof of my fitness to work.  The flawed test is having the effect of denying thousands of vulnerable and disabled people their entitlement. The appeals backlog has grown from two months to nine months in the space of a few weeks as most people who are refused ask for their decision to go to tribunal. I've written to my MP and received a supportive phone call from his secretary who will add my voice to the many and take the issue to parliament. He has also offered to intervene specifically on my behalf. I've asked him to hold off for the moment. I think, rather perversely, I want to see whether the Department of Work and Pensions will turn me down in the face of all the evidence I provide.

I'm having a bit of time out at my daughter's. Her OH was admitted to hospital at the weekend with a very nasty case of gastroenteritis. He'd got very dehydrated and was extremely poorly. I've come to visit so I can keep an eye on him while she's at work but it also gives me a chance to chill, watch their amazing TV and catch up with some crochet. I'm particularly enjoying the guinea pigs that live in their sitting room. 

The train journey down took it out of me a bit, but was a good benchmark. I did the same journey last year before I went back on the HRT. Then I had a load of muscle weakness which meant I walked with a stick and found it much more difficult to negotiate the station stairs and changing trains. This time, no stick and much less panic about making the next train. I still got the post-exertional malaise and muscle pain from carrying bags, but I was so chuffed with the difference from last year. 
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