Category Archives: mobility problems

Falling…

I have the headache from hell. It’s been here since Storm Irma hit landfall in Florida a few weeks ago. It’s not going away now though.

I went to London for 3 days – home again after two whole years. Four years since I’d been to where I used to live and the West End, because once I moved to Leyton and was ill, I never could go back. I only went to Stratford (and frankly that was pretty good enough, too – great area!). This was the first time I had been and the first time I’d used a proper wheelchair there… But the biggest shock wasn’t being back in London (that was just normal, like visiting the hometown you grew up in and love). No… The biggest shock was coming back.

When I was there, staying in Angel [Islington], it was far from perfect. But things were easier. I wasn’t as ill. Wasn’t in as much pain. I was stressed to hell and kingdoms come, but I wasn’t as ill.  I was able to get up 1-2 hours earlier than [here] in north Wales, and with far more ease. But since I’ve returned to north Wales, the difference (whatever the difference is) has hit me with a sledghammer and then some. It’s, quite frankly, utterly shocking and horrible.

It’s bad enough this Aspie Girl had to leave her home (London) in the first place. Now, after going back like nothing had happened (except with more pain and a new wheelchair), the difference in… whatever… is striking. And maybe because I’m not used to it now, I can’t cope with it. With whatever it is here [Wales] that does make my condition that little bit worse. I don’t know if it’s a psychological thing affecting the Firbo, or a Fibro thing affecting the Psychologial. But whatever it is, it’s there and it’s real. And shocking. So to be so brutally tasked with trying to “Cope” with it, is boslutely horrible and really hard.

No, I did not expect this at all. If anything I thought I’d get a few days of respite, but not to this extent. Wishing now I’d stayed a damned week instead…

It was lucky I went with my new chair – GTM Mustang, from Cyclone. [Mine’s black and silver and so comofortable]. It made all the difference there. I managed to go around everywhere I wanted with absolute minimum assistance, which was amazing. Thus I question, how is it now, from the time I’ve come back, am I passing out with pain again? Did being back home make me stronger? Is there a radical difference being up north? Is the weather? Is it about living so high up [compared to London]? What is it about being here that makes it go from 9¾ was a maximum pain there, to being a minimum one here?

Even when I was very stressed there (just try taking the train from Euston station when you’re in a wheelchair!), it still didn’t get too bad… well, until I’d been on that damn train about two hours, and it was already 7pm! And yet, all I’ve done since is, well, nothing, because I can barely move.

Is it psychologically-induced? There’s no denying the immense depression and fear I have living here, and not back in London. I’ve never liked it here, and I am horribly resentful and fearful of life here. I feel restricted because I’m forced to be more reliant on others here – you have to drive or be driven here, there’s no public transport available (certainly not adaquate enough for indipendent wheelchair use, like London has). There’s a lot of depression and fear involved to being here. I am just a completely different person there – I’m home, safe, and I know and like how the world works there. Here… Nothing of the kind, and I’m terrified and agoraphobic when here. That can’t help.

It’s always cold and raining, so wet, damp, painful… meaning that it has an immense knock-on effect on my physical well-being, and thusly has a knock-on effect on my psychology. Clearly, the answer is that it’s everything together doing this. It’s a messy, tangled ball of knotted string…

The fact there’s no help or support in any real way, means I’m left floundering. I’ve had to ask to be re-referred to neurology because this is getting worse. Physiotherapy has dumped me (there’s no NHS money for long-term help, and she was a wet blanket and a half anyway…). I’ve been waiting about a year for psychological help, and I’m still waiting, desperately trying to tread water in the meantime. The pain clinic waiting list is a joke – they took 4 months to get back to me, only to tell me that from then (July) they notified me it was going to be yet another 9 months of waiting list to go. And nothing else has been offered, or is available, because I live where I live.

I had a nightmare of coming off the road on a corner of a steep mountain road and falling down hundreds of feet into a deep canyon. I turned around in my car seat, squeezed my eyes shut, and said goodbye as we fell and fell and fell. Just in the moment before hitting the bottom, I came round. Before then though, I didn’t realise I was dreaming… I really thought I was going to die. From disbelief in the first instance, I turned and accepted my fate. It was so horribly surreal to face death like that… and perhaps miraculous to find out it was just a dream.

It’s how I feel in life – it was a very Jungyan dream. I feel like I’ve gone off the edge of a cliff, and I’m just falling and falling… but there doesn’t seem to be any way to be woken up from this nightmare that I’m living in. And I just keep feeling like I’m falling the whole time, because there doesn’t seem to be any kind of end or stability in sight at all. I’m closing in on the 4th anniversary of the start of this [next month]… and I’m just not even close to getting this sorted out. I don’t even have psychological support. I’m just on a useless waiting list, and it’s not like those call centres where the phone queue tells you where your place is… They just make you wait in Limbo until you finally get that letter to say it’s “your turn”.

I don’t like being back. I wish I didn’t have to live somewhere that’s not interested in being good to me, and in fact, only makes things worse. There’s no long-term support of any kind, and I have no emotional support from the professionals. I’m a lost Aspie, falling and floundering… And I still can’t understand why they can’t help me to level out and fly…

 

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Continuing Saga of Un-AbleWorld…

Sometimes I just don’t have any words… We go to people, to professionals, trust these people… and then just how do they end up doing not only absolutely nothing to help you, they actually victimise you instead?

So, you – the person who is ill, disabled, in pain, vulnerable – need all these professionals to help you: Doctors, nurses, specialists, clinicians, physiotherapists, Ocupational Therapists, private healthcare providers, welfare department… And then so many of them just do nothing but let you down over and over again.

There’s DWP. PIP. NHS. Social Care. Specialists. Ableworld.

They’re all terrible.

And who would have thought that the people you paid for assiststance is the one that is victimisiting you the most?

First, the Ableworld Specialist Rep came out and did a rubbish job, only found out when they sent me the bill, with only a small amount of details. The details were incorrect and I was billed for things I didn’t want or need – she had made the decision of what I wanted for a lot of things for me without even asking. If she did ask, it was only for basic aesthetic things, and I still can’t get over the fact she billed me for £450 carbon wheels by only asking if I liked black wheels. No mention of the price.

I had to drag her back a second time to fix things. She still got things wrong. I told her several times the measurements for the seats were wrong and she bullied me into accepting it. The wheels were too far back, legs too far forward. I didn’t even get to see what the measuments she was writing down were. I never saw the prescription, only received an email stating the basic things that were paid for. Nothing more.

It wasn’t suitable and it’s given me serious ongoing, possibly permenant pain. Funnily enough, the sales-centric Rep cared not for my pain and basically ignored me.

I tried calling. I tried everything sensible to get something done about it to change it. It was hurting me, making my conditions worse. It was creating extensive paraesthesia and numbness in both hands, and causing problems with my knees, where the seat was pressing right into the backs of my knees and calves because it was too long. My back wasn’t properly supported, my feet were not under my knees and forward, and the wheels were too far back to be of any use, especially with backwheeling and getting myself up curb-sides. I needed it fixed before the problems were permenant. For some reason, they really weren’t interested in helping fix the problem they had created.

So… I lodged a complaint to get something done. Instead, though, I ended up with a really stroppy email from the Managing Director refusing all further assistance, insisting instead on forcing a refund on me, and then charging me to rent back the chair for £50 per week until I could get a replacement. This was given to me on Thursday afternoon, and expected this to go ahead on Monday.

Of all the goddamn gall!! 😲😳😤

So now I’m looking at what I can do. But what can I do…?

They’re trying to tie my hands and seem to want to cause as much pain and torment as possible. I’ve become more ill from all this – and I thought dealing with PIP was bad enough… except I paid these people a heck of a lot of money to help me and they screwed me six ways from Sunday. I’m distraught. Disgusted. Horrified. Stunned. Quite frankly, I feel sickened and ill from it. And the stress levels is really making things worse, too.

I’ve been trying all evening and night to devise a plan of action. What to do about things, about the best way to handle this. I have ideas… but whether they’ll pan out is a whole different thing. I’m trying to work out what to do about all of this… and no option so far is looking too great. It’s more of a make the best of it situation (I believe that means to take what is available and see what positives may come… I think).

Tomorrow, I have to get the rest of the data I need to do what I need to do about this, and then get back to the numpty who’s done this to me with whatever I have to say to him.

We are the vulnerable. The ill. The Disabled. They’re supposed to be there to look after us. To guide us. To help us. Not screw us over and abandon us.

But that’s what they do. Because they’re all people who don’t know what it’s like.

So now I’m off to see people who actually do. 

 


Silent Suffering, All Alone…

Does the grief ever really go away? The one you feel from all that you’ve lost?

The shame, the humiliation, the degradation, the demeaning secret truth of the life you have to… exist with… it just never seems to become “OK”.

To lose so many of the general functions you were used to your body doing for you, that you took for granted… does that ever really become something that’s really “OK”? You lose so much… I’ve lost so much… It’s not OK. Not even close.

It’s hard to know that the people around you just do not understand what you have to deal with… whilst at the same time so relived about that too. But then… they do and say things without understanding the impact on you, or the extent you have to push yourself to meet their expectations, or their level. What I mean is that they just think “popping out” is just something you can just do. Just like that. Or walking just anywhere they want is just fine, etc. When you live with a chronic illness, when you’re living in a wheelchair, when you sometimes can barely breathe because it hurts so much or your just too exhausted to manage it, it’s not that simple. Not even close. Getting out of bed is nothing to them, but to you, that’s every spoon you have and then some. Then they expect you to do even more.

I run on zero spoons. I do as much as I can on it, from going out for the day, to trying to do something normal like reading or reading, to attempting to make some food (which also requires at least one other person, too), but when they’re then a little tired from it they want “a little lie down”… as if they’ve done so much more than you have, expecting you then to do things for them… that really grates on me, and they do it because, quite frankly, you’re so damn used to it and they’re not. You live with the mind-killing exhaustion of chronic fatigue, so you therefore must be more used to it and are OK… Right? I’m not sure what this logic is, but it’s rather mean – and frankly, either ignorant or naive.

It’s not nice when just getting out of bed was utterly exhausting, then spending your day in your wheels, and your (frankly) grown-up Huggies, having no say over when you go or how, and just about able to stop yourself crying from pain or exhaustion or paraesthesia symptoms, or all the above.

It’s horrid when everybody leaves you behind for their “normal” lives, and look on with distain when you turn up in their lives… You’re supposed to deal with it, but Heaven forbid they do for a day or a few hours. What’s worse, is they make their jusgments without knowing the true extent or details… and they really don’t want to, either. What’s worse than the reality of seeing you is acknowledging the true reality of what you have to deal with. And they don’t want to know that… you know, in case it upsets them. Poor, poor them.

It’s hard so see everyone else in your life get on with being “OK” and you struggle to simply go to the bathroom. As your very basic functions, ones that you don’t even remember living without before, fail terribly and leave you stranded back in those days once again… How can you even look them in the eye with your head held high? Siting in grown-up Huggies pull-ups, or giant-tabbed Pampers, knowing they might not even do the job properly, how in hell are you supposed to have any self-esteem left?

I can barely feel anything from the chest, the lower rib cage, down (including not being able to feel the diaphragm), and thus I’ve been left with less and less control over things – first the legs, then a little bit of the pelvic floor, to having no concept of most of my abdomen, or lower abdomen, and my pelvic floor is barely even a memory anymore. Today, a really bad thing happened in this area and it was extraordinarily humiliating, and overwhelmingly shocking – to be faced with the reality of how far my body has slipped from my own grasp has left me reeling and unable to comprehend where I am (figuratively) in my own self, my life, my entire existence.

I’m hurting inside, but again, there’s no one there who really understands what’s going on… and once again I am alone. How do you even explain? It’s horrifying to you, so what does it evoke in other people? If you’re ashamed, what will they think? You can only imagine they would be horrified. Like you are.

I do not know how to deal with feelings. I don’t like feelings. They’re messy, unquantifiable, horrible, uncomfortable, and usually I can’t even cry (which I don’t like anyway because it makes your face soggy). Right now, I have a lot, and I don’t know what to do with them, how to process them, how to manage to get the hell rid of them, to be honest. I think there’s guilt, maybe shame… There’s definitely sad. Loss. Grief. Reeling and shock. But they all get so very overwhelming, and then I get very confused and upset.

In the last few days, maybe a week or so now (I lose track of the days), my hands have started playing up, and started not working properly. The paraesthesia in them is astounding and so painful. I can’t move them they’re so numb (imagine someone tied your wrists so tight it cut off the blood flow and you have them tied up like that all day). They can spasm so badly they curl up on themselves so tightly, they leave deep nail marks in your palms. They can never open out properly, they’re in a permentant “claw”. It prevents me from being able to do even the simplest thing, and also can prevent me from playing games, or even following a conversation because the sensation (or pain) is so bad there is no more room in my brain for anything else. It makes writing [typing] so hard sometimes that if I manage at all, every word has a spelling mistake at best and is gibberish at worst. It’s emotionally painful to endure, to be honest.

I feel like I’ve been left to rot by the system. Everyone has been less than useless. I’ve just been left to my own devices, and I’m floundering in trying to help myself. The diagnosticians throw me to general services (pain clinic, psych, physio, etc) and discharge me to make their targets look good. Those other services have nothing to  offer except inefficiency and long waiting lists you stay on just to see how inefficinent they are. It’s certainly not to be helped by them.

I’m lost, broken and alone, still trying to find something of myself in all this, wondering if I can ever rise to get the better of it, so I am what is driving me, not this.

 


Reflex Runaway…

Coped with today by running away to Liverpool for the day.

How else does anyone cope with what happened?? I was in a tizz, all over the place, unable to cope, or even process, what just happened when that guy called to tell me the appointment had been cancelled and rescheduled… So my mother took me to Liverpool.

It’s a comfort zone for me – the closest I can get to feeling like I’m “home” without actually going all the way to London… I’m a City Mouse, and speciafically a London Mouse. I am lost without it. going to Liverpool is the closest I can get to it, and because its almost as familiar and comforting to me as London is, and has been a place of great comfort since I was a youngster, it was a sensible place to abscond to today.

img_0877This was the first time I had been out on a rather long excursion with my new chariot. She’s called Firefly, by the way… After the ship on the show of the same name. It did not start off well , but when we did finally manage to make it to the L1, it went Ok – until we had to leave, of course…

Liverpool city centre and the L1 is pretty wheelchair/ mobility friendly, and it was so easy to wheel around there in my new chair. I mainly went to Superdrug (I desperately need to dye my hair and needed hair dye…!), where I got some great lipstick shades from Maybeline, and to Lush to get my favourite healing foundation, Jackie Oates, and the most amazing shower gel, It’s Raining Men.

After a few minutes of looking at phones for my mother at Carphone Warhouse, we then head back to the L1 to meet with my sister. She’s not feeling too clever, at around five months pregnant and it’s maybe 20ºc outside… So she’s feeling the weight and size of the little Kitten inside her, bless her. We end up going to Pizza Express and eating there. I had gluten free vegan pizza (including artichokes, asparagus, red onion, and vegan cheese – it was so nice!) and a small glass of wine to help with the buzzing in my hands.

The weather was glorious, it was nice there, my sister was there, I was eating food in a restaurant that wasn’t going to half-kill me, and finally something good was happening on this day…!

Now all of that was a nice time. Then it all went weird again when we went back to the car and my mother attempted to pay. The machines wouldn’t work, and it took ages to get it sorted.  By this time it was 19:43 on my phone, and the place closed at 8:00pm.

Then when we got out we ended up going to wrong way, and eventually went back home via Speke (and John Lennon airport, where I saw no planes! 😲🙄) and Runcorn. On the journey, mam selected a way home I wasn’t comfortable with, so I got very aggitated, because of the state I was in, and I couldn’t stop being tizzy about the PIP appointment. It was now once again hanging over my head at a time it was supposed to have been over with and aggravating just about everything.

By the time I got home, I was in quite an aggitated state. After a couple of big panic attacks, and readjusting to being home, I decided to do my dance DVD to burn the anxiety of. Smile and Sway is a pretty fun DVD and it’s good for burning off steam whilst enjoying some good dancing, and interesting, fun moves. I felt better after doing this, and that was when I finally managed to get upstairs in a better mood, ready for tomorrow.

img_0879The physio is coming tomorrow (again). Apparently, they’re supposed to have some kind of “plan”… I don’t know what kind, or what I’ll be expected to do. Hopefully, I’ll also have a shower, so on Friday I can dye my hair (whilst watching the Wimbledon Men’s Finals as it’s brewing….!) – but we’ll have to see. What I do hope is there’s going to be something I can do to my legs, which just can’t move on their own, so they’re missing out on so much – it’s not like they can yoga and dance like the could do. And they miss it.

Hopefully, I’ll be up for it and be able to make the most of whatever she says I should to.

So, overall, it turned out pretty OK in the end… But it certainly wasn’t an easy one – and I’m so glad it’s over with now!


Aching & Breaking

The weather is getting to me again… My hands are tingling with pins and needles, mixed with tiny but very powerful and painful electric shocks. My fingertips are especially painful, as is a small space at the bottom of my right thumb joint.

Of course, that’s not all it is, but right now it’s marginally the most painful and uncomfortable to endure. Otherwise there’s various neuropathic issues, from ice-cold feet to deep electic-lightening and achy-like deep buzzing around various places like my neck and hips and shoulders. Even my eyelashes and hair feel like they’ve been plugged in to an unrestricted electrical current.

img_0896The thing is that I’m trying to watch the damn tennis, and it’s making it really difficult! I have my 42-inch screen split between 2 matches via my PC – one with Murray, the other with Nadal. And I’m playing with my iPad (or I was, before trying to write this, anyway…). Trying to do all that whilst, well… everything… hurts, is hard. So I’m annoyed…! It’s Wimbledon, for crying out loud!

This is supposed to be the summer… I’m wondering if someone forgot to email the weather here in North Wales… The temperature has gone down, the isobars are back on the floor again (about 1011mb straight down from being in the 1020s), and once again I get to be controlled by the weather – but I’m trying really hard not to be!

To make matters worse, this morning I had to get a mountain of paperwork together for a new PIP (re)assessment – I told them I was worse, so five months later they finally want to check that’s actually true… I have two plastic wallets filled to the brim (if they had brims, which they don’t) with letters, paperwork, and a personal statment that’s 14 pages long detailing everything – so they can’t say I didn’t tell them.  And I’m still wondering if I’ve got everything I need, and whether they want all the old stuff as well.

I think I’ve just put literally everything and then some in there, so hopefully everything they want is in there. But at least that’s out of my hair now. It’s on Wednesday (it’s Monday today), at 3:40pm – and I checked, the isobars are up so I’m not going to be completely dead by the time I get there.

There’s a fair chance I’ll manage at least some full sentences whilst I’m speaking with the annoying fruitloop that will be undoubtedly in charge of my fate with these people. But that will be after quite a long journey to get there… because they just love to send you places you haven’t got a hope in hell of getting to, just so they can get you out of their hair on a rubbish technicality…

Oh, and to follow this joyous occasion that will probably leave me wanting to chew my own head off, I then have to see the physio on Thursday, the next day.

Then on Saturday I long jaunt to see my lovely sister in Southport… I’ll enjoy it whilst I’m there but I’ll probably not appreciate the long journey! I hope that will at least end my week on a nicer note!

Oh the fun that awaits me this week…!

 

 

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