Tag Archives: north wales

Please Make The Stupid People Go Away… (The PIP Fiasco Continues…)

It’s come to the point of I’m getting scared of what’s going to happen to me next. How much the people out there who are supposed to help you are not only just going to ignore you, but they’re going to kick you in the nuts when you’re down, too. With Jibgle Bells on their toes.

Two bad things happened today, and I’m wondering how much more shambles there’s going to be in out beloved Health & Social “Care” system before most of this place falls apart because no one can get the help they need to be even vaguely productive. Or even alive.

The DWP are even worse than a joke… It’s almost like they’re in the business of causing as much suffering as possible. Constantly, consistently, and completely.

I have tried and I can’t find anyone else quite like me… and it seems that because I’m quite unique everyone wants to put me down. Even downright lie.

Today I got the PIP assessment outcome. Turns out that they give with one hand and take with the other.

Firstly, I finally got the “Higher Mobility” component – lets get the one single good thing out of the way.

20160701_221010000_iOSSecondly, it turns out they lied outright on some of the “Daily Living” parts, leaving me with the same “Standard Daily Living” Component. I know this because I called the guy who looked at the case and made his decision. He explained what “evidence” he had been given by the person I saw… and it turns out they omitted some things and downright lied on others. They hadn’t listened. Clearly rushed the report. Missed giving them vital evidence and letters. Misheard or misreported what I had told her (how the hell am I supposed to be able to be able to still code and do my own sites etc “competently” or game when I’m like this???!). She even missed giving them verbal communication and somehow “saw” I had “good” dexterity – whatever hands she actually saw, I totally want them instead! 😤😡

In hindsight, she was all “Oh I’ll do this right now for you so it’s all done and with them”… and ergo clearly rushed it and did not do a good enough job at all. Or she was just mean. Either way, I got screwed.

When I called, at least the guy on the other end was willing to put me into the first stage of Appeal (some sort of re-review). He stated he would send me a copy of the main report, and I was to note my responses to them and why they were wrong. I was also to send a copy of the letter from the neurologist regarding the Hemiplegic Migraine diagnosis.

You know why…??

Because that inebriate I saw negated to send the diagnosis letter I gave her or mention it whatsoever. At all. It wasn’t even in the notes. We talked extensively about it.

So I’m hopping harder than a bag of frogs, and as pretty furious as my emotions will allow me to be without going into meltdown.

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Now… You’d think the horrible would stop there. But, oh no. This is my life we’re talking about. Sod and his Law wasn’t done with me yet…

Next, the letter that came with the PIP letter today was from a stock and repair centre for basic mobility. I was wondering why they had sent me what could possibly me the least specific, least helpful letter ever.

I understand from our Approvved Repairer that they have not been successful in contacting you to arrange an appointment to either deliver/collect/repair equipment etc., [sic]

I hall be most greatful if you will contact [them] to agree a mutually convenient deliver date and time.

I had no idea what it was about… Who the hell would? So of course I rang them. And the frogs swallowed a Tigger and they started hopping to the roof.

I had never been contacted by these people before, so what the hell were they talking about? Well, it turns out it was for a wheelchair. Some off-the-peg piece of crap they had probably dug out of the back room. You may be unsurprised to hear that was not the agreement nor what I requested whatsoever.

I had asked the physio (a wet blanket if I ever saw one…) to be referred to ALAC (Artificial Limb & Appliance Service) of Wales (based in Wrexham around here) to be assessed for a proper wheelchair for my long term needs. What do they do instead? They don’t even contact me, sending some nightmare chair to their distribution and delivery centre without even talking to me first… I cannot explain just how bad and unprofessional that is.

Let’s just say if that was a professional private company, they’d have their ass handed to them via the serious complaints system of the corporation. My mother is still a professional nurse in a care home, works with them all the time, and even when I told her, her reaction was… “What?? Why?!” It was three ways from Sunday deplorable. And of course I told the service centre guys to send it the hell back.

My reaction was absolute astounded horror. Actually, that doesn’t even cover it, but it’s the closest the English Language has, I think. I couldn’t even think or move (well, as much as I might be able to anyway). It was a good thing my father was home. He helped calm me, then I spoke to my mam at work so she could give me some decent jargon to throw back at them. But when I was all ready to go, no one even answered the phone. All I got was voicemail. Frickin voicemail. On a Friday early afternoon. Talk about a message of “bugger off and don’t spoil my weekend”…

Thus I sent them a rather lecturing and detailed email. With big words. Well, they asked for it, the buggers.

I’m already struggling with my own current wheelchair (do not ever go to Ableworld Specialist Department – they’re rediculous and pathetic, and I wish I had never, ever chosen them to get my chair though… They do not know what they’re doing 😤 They ruined my chair measurements and centre of gravity, got fittings wrong, and did not give me what I asked of them… And now they’re arguing with me about it!!  😲 ). I did not need all this as well. In this country [Wales] they are not taking disabilities, ASD, or chronic illness seriously at all (except for a few professional individuals). I’m 36 and struggling. I should not be struggling, illness and ASD or not. It’s not right or fair or even logical to stop people reaching their potential because you just get in their way.

… My answer is what I have come to call The Queen of Darkness. With age I realised that this part of my Aspie (as I know it to be now) took over and just barrel-rolled over everything and everyone in her way. Darkness is her home. Bad things are her air. She fixes the wrong and doesn’t take crap from people. She [I] made it clear that “no” was not an option. That walking over her was not an option. That being an idiot wasn’t an option. It’s something that came out of me through necessity to survive my later teen years and 20s. Then… “She” disappeared.

Perhaps because that part of me was no longer needed. However, now it seems that she needs to return. So I guess someone’s going to have to put her Big Girl Panties on and get serious with people and life again. Otherwise I’m never going to get anywhere.

If there’s people out there who can lie and rig the system to the point they can defraud the DWP for years, there is most certainly a way to package the truth to also get what I require to help me live my life. To save my life. To get the same thing, but for real reasons. It’s certainly not right that I struggle so much, and these struggles get pushed under the carpet by the PIP people without another care in the world, as if they – if I – do not matter.

Nope. Not OK. At all.

She’s coming now to kick their asses. Hard.

 


Sunrays Through The Clouds…

PIP Day.

It went pretty well, to be honest… which has shocked me no end. I felt confident going in, the day was lovely, isobars were right up at 1025mb, temperature around 23ºC, I got there early… Everything executed astoundingly well. We got a little lost, because it’s in a weird place by the Menai Bridge, to get to Anglesey, but Google Maps sorted that one out.. 😉

We actually went in right away after we got there. We were early, and it looked like the assesseor was ready to go hom early. So we were able to go on in about 20 minutes sooner, which was great.

The woman I saw was really nice; a real nurse. She was sympathetic to my situation and could see what was going on – and seemed shocked that I didn’t have everything set up already, given this has been going on so long. She was also shocked when I pointed out it had taken six months for PIP to get around to seeing me after seeing my application. All in all, she seemed on “my side”, which was of course a huge difference to the previous idiot I saw, when I first got PIP.

She talked to me, listened to me, took my 14 page “dossier” of every detail I could think of that I’ve recorded and updated as things have become worse. What I didn’t remember, couldn’t say, or couldn’t portray properly, was all in there, so they had all the information they required right there, so they didn’t have to remember everything. Hopefully, it came in useful.

I was amazed it seemed so easy. That she made is so easy – she was lovely, affable, friendly, talkative, and your typical nice nurse, really. I was very lucky to get her, really. She made it easy to talk to her, was familiar with the neurologist who diagnosed me, and seemed very well-versed on my Asperger’s. I’m not used to that!

I hope I will at least receive a fair assessment this time. She seemed to understand the situation, at least. All I want is for their official paperwork to reflect what I have to go through, and not undermine it. She said she would get the report sent out by the end of the day today. There’s a chance I could get a PIP rate that reflects my circumstances, rather than one that undermines it. If they’re as fast as she is, then I will hopefully get the upgraded PIP level sooner, too.

… Yeh, OK, probably not, but you never know…!

 


Waiting For The Axe To Fall…

So… today is the last day before my PIP re-assessment. Needless to say I’m terrified and freaked out.

They’re not nice people, and their job is to try and find ways of undermining your suffering to make sure they don’t have to give you money to live on.

Thus, I am not looking forward to it. Funny that.

Today has already been a nightmare without even factoring in that hovering over my head like a black cloud on Eyore. The isobars have been on the floor again (1007mb) and I could barely move my fingers, let alone myself. It was a big struggle, and although I am glad I got some things done, I am not pleased that I did it. It was really difficult, painful and completely draining.

img_0886It wasn’t even anything big… Well, it was to me, given the weather (torrential rain and chilly), but in and of itself it wasn’t big. I was barely able to get out of bed, or downstairs to my chair, or function. So doing this did feel like a huge mountain to climb.

I was in constant panic attacks and major anxiety (and I still am – my mother, a nurse, came up with a clever way of helping me by emulating the paper-bag trick but using my inhaler – taking it without actually using the pump… it works!). Eventually, I managed to get myself together enough to go out to the new Waitrose in Chester, so I could get some good food to get more nutrition and look after myself better. The place was great and I got some lovely things, including fruit to go in my new Purition protein smoothies. Now I’ll at least have an entire week of nothing but good, wholesome and nutritious food, with my new mountain of fruit and veggies from there.

Unfortunately, it was also extraordinarily exhausting to do this, and by the time I got home I couldn’t even function: I could barely transfer from the car to the chair, I fell when I went to the bathroom, and I had multiple panic attacks. I have no doubt I will not be going to sleep at a reasonable (as in before 6am…) hour – although I can’t imagine what I am going to be doing with myself now. I’d like to think it would be playing games, but I can’t see it somehow…

On the up side, I finally got the Mass Effect Andromeda Loot Crate that I pre-ordered back in March… And it was well worth the wait!

  •  A Gorgeous Pathfinder hoodie
  • 2 lovely plastic children’s(esque) cereal bowls emblazed with the Mass Effect Andromeda Cereal logo around it (especially for geeks!)
  • 2 gorgeaous, heavy (real) whiskey glasses embossed with the logo of the Nexus’ club, Vortex
  • An adorable model of the Nomad
  • An Andromeda Initiative Medalian Coin (huge and heavy!)
  • A Pathfinder Patch
  • Pins of Tempest and Andromeda Initiative
  • A [short] Dark Horse graphic novel: Mass Effect Discovery #1
  • A Normandy Datapad-shaped card with all the details of the Crate on it

I was amazed by it – it was really so nerdy! Worth the wait and the price. I’ve no doubt I will be hiding that hoodie as soon as winter comes! 😋🤓😎

And now… Well, I just wait. Wait to go and face the guillotine that is Capita, PIP [Mis-] Representatives.

Oh, Lordy, I so do not want to go!

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Never Rains But It Storms…

On 14th February 2017 I received a text message to state that a PIP update form I sent them two weeks before had been received. Today, on an already-terrible Summer Solstice day, I received a letter package from them – over four months later – to go and see them next month.

I’m scared about this. I’m barely managing as it is, and this is terrifying. You hear on the news of these so-called Health “Professionals” being downright terrible and respectful, even abusive, about their “clients”. About them meeting targets by writing off the sick and the vulnerable. About how they force you to go to tribunals to get what you deserve. What little that is, anyway. It’s not like PIP is a liveable amount, not when even simple things you need are so expensive (clearly no one at PIP has ever been to Ableworld or had to personally finance things the NHS either refuse or never get around to). They’ve even written off a friend, taking everything away, despite her having all the evidence and more required to prove how ill she is.

It’s a terrifying prospect having to meet them again. The last time was several years ago, when I lived in London, about a year after I  became ill. It was one of the most stressful times, and my best friend was my amazing rock and I will be forever grateful to her for all her help around it. We travelled to some place I’d never heard of quite far out of London, and had to pay (a horrific amount, about £90) for a cab both there and back. I had to go in my first god-awful wheelchair, which was so uncomfortable, and we were forced to wait for hours to be seen.

I was so ill when I went in to see the person – some guy who was an uninterested and arrogant sod, who also took no interest in the fact I was there in a wheelchair and clearly traumatised. I shouldn’t have gone in there alone, but I did… and it was only to my detriment. He basically lied about a bunch of crap, played everything down, and then the outcome was I barely scraped enough to cover basic Standard Daily Living. I saw red, got help to make an appeal, and my friend and I eventually went to a tribunal. They awarded me Standard Mobility as well, without question. It’s was so horrifically stressful to go there, but at least this time I saw three older, highly intelligent women who had reached the top of their professions. To them, it seemed it was a no-brainer.

So… I’m not looking forward to seeing some other inebriate again.

Arguably, I can at least say that it seems like they read my dossier that I sent with my update form. I rather expected they wouldn’t. It was rather the tome… But in the 4 months hence, things have become even worse, to the point – as we all know – where I’m imprisoned in my own home until I (eventually) received the special chair that was ordered. You know, the one that’s not going to try and kill me. I even had to push back their original date (3rd July) for another, where – hopefully – said chair will have finally arrived (with the new date being on 12th July). So… in three weeks’ time then, give or take. That better be long enough, because if I have to go in the other one, I’ll probably just die and it won’t matter what the hell they think then.

Once again the paperwork has to be dragged out (another tome of reading!) for them to photocopy (Lols… their time and dime, and karmic punishment, quite frankly, for not realising it’s the 21st Century and everything’s digital) and hopefully read at least some of. I’ll throw in pretty much everything for good measure – I always do, you never know what rubbish they’re going to be looking at whenever these things turn up. At least then they can’t complain. Or say you didn’t tell them, finding a nice, tidy loophole to wriggle right out of. It’s bad enough that my chronic conditions are weird and no one understands them. Hopefully, these whackadoodles will, and will see that I unfortunately cannot manage their general expectations of someone who qualifies for “Standard” anything on this.

I honestly don’t care about the money. Yes, given how ridiculous prices are compared what you don’t have to spare, money can be rather handy. However, I prefer the recognition. Where they stand there, nod, and acknowledge I go through this, that I must live and struggle in this way possibly forever. That’s what I really want.

It’s wasn’t as if today wasn’t bad enough, before all this, having not slept all night due to paraesthesia and hyperactivity due to my confinement (again… Haven’t slept properly in probably a week) and suffering “Isobar Flue”, thanks to them dropping down to 1011mb and bringing huge storms along with them to suffer with. The storms are on their way as I write. I hope they’re not bad enough to be named… I certainly do not require such turbulence now… nor am I now in any position to cope with it.

I’m so upset now, I’ve got through at least 5 gluten-dairy-free chocolate chip cookies. At least there’s no ice cream…

 

 


Practical ASD Assistance In Wales

There is not a lot of ASD assistance in Wales. The usual people haven’t really come through, particularly in North Wales. Having moved here from London, I’ve been astounded to find there is actually nothing here. And I mean nothing.

Zero. Zilch. Null.

Whilst there is stuff in the South, although predominantly only around the Cardiff and Swansea area (as if the rest of the entire country doesn’t exist), the rest of us are generally ignored. There is no help out there… unless you’re under 18, then perhaps there’s at least a little. For adult? Nada.

In compensation, there is a website, for ASD Info Wales. This has a few things that can be of practical self-help, and it does have a good amount of documentation for people with and without ASD to assist with life and interactions.

The ASD Planner – found at ASD Info Wales – is a good example. It’s an app for Android or iOS which is an easy and useful “tool” to use to help deal with situations that may arise… rather like a cheat-sheet for things.

 I’ve found it useful, so I thought I would share it.  🙂