Wednesday, 8 November 2017

a one way ticket back to the life he once knew

the only Pips I want to hear about now
Last week I had my second PIP assessment. As before they tried to throw me off my guard by sending out an actual human being (or something very close to it) to do this assessment. I know, there's no end to the sneaky tricks they'll play.

Same as last time this involved going through my form, going over my answers and my history with MS.

However with my second application, rather than basing it on my previous successful applications for Disability Living Allowance, I had been able to include a few things which had come into focus over the summer. Namely, the non-stop party that was and continues to be...
  • Adaptations round the house
  • Intermittent self catheterisation
  • Change in medication due to having two relapses on the bounce
  • My experiences of physiotherapy
  • The fact that I am seeing a therapist for anxiety and low mood
Previously we’d been guilty of the old British stiff-upper-lip - not wanting to complain or be any bother. So this time we didn’t undersell things - and anyway, there was more disease activity to go over (particularly worsening mobility), more issues and more symptoms.

Having to talk about my low state of mind was particularly difficult because the person who was in the room alongside me was my dad. He knew that I’d been suffering with my moods anyway, as he’d been with me during my relapse. What was news to him, however, was the fact that I was continuing to have some unhealthy thoughts despite the positive steps I’d taken in therapy.

Anyway, the assessor "seemed" to understand the affect that MS was having on our everyday lives, as well as the difficulty of going over this material all over again.

(Apologies if my tone comes across as overly cynical - one bitten and all that)

I was grateful that the timescale wasn’t quite so drawn out the second time around - three weeks from submission to assessment, rather than the best part of seven months.

I’m also particularly grateful that - whatever the result - this should be the last hurdle I’ll be forced to go through this year. Let’s look at 2017 in a year of crappy headlines!
  • December 2016 - leave work, fill out my first PIP form
  • January - submit PIP form, apply for Job Seekers Allowance
  • February 2017 - get off JSA, apply for Employment Support Allowance
  • March to June - lovely bit of freelance work
  • June - relapse central
  • July - PIP assessment #1
  • August - turned down for PIP
  • September - began Tysabri and started to fill out my second PIP application
  • October - applied for PIP again
  • November - PIP assessment #2
And that doesn’t include Physiotherapy, Therapy, job applications, job interviews, numerous benefit applications, and so on and so on.

So now we wait for the outcome. I will probably write something more n the future about the wider implications of PIP as both a system and a process. But at the moment I'm just glad that this year is almost over.

And that I can do no more with regards to PIP - whatever the result, I'm just glad that I certainly didn't make an audio recording of the assessment. Not that I would be rushing to listen to it again (if I had made a recording, which I certainly DID NOT).

But just in case...


swisslet said...

Keep smiling, champ. What a year you've had and you're still hanging in there, swinging. I'm rooting for you.

stevedomino said...

Cheers buddy!