Nothing sounds really good

I find life generally confusing at the best of times, but when the government send you a letter, stating the process of making a claim on their new PIP system, you expect that letter to be accurate. Simply because of what the letter said, Adam had taken the morning off work to make the call on my behalf. He spent yesterday evening online, going through all the information available. On the letter we received, there was a list of questions we were to be asked, personal questions about my health, my physical and my mental abilities.

On the letter we received, there was a list of questions we were to be asked, personal questions about my health, my physical and my mental abilities. Online, he discovered the questions had multi-choice answers, and every answer had points attached. How you answered them, right at this early stage, could determine whether I would continue to receive money from the government to support me, or not. It appeared that black and white and even more scary. So like anyone else would, we sat and went through them, so that we were ready to give detailed answers. When ready, Adam made the call. From what we had read, we thought it would take about half an hour, it took less than 10 minutes.

Honestly, it was simple, they did ask questions, but not one of the ones that were in the letter. I had to give permission for Adam to give the answers for me, but other than that, I said almost nothing. Neither of us are sure why, but Adam said that her whole attitude and tone of voice changed as soon as she had entered my national insurance number. As soon as she had, she said something about claiming the high level of PIP, then went back to checking details they already had. We are guessing that there is something on the system, that more or less, pushed her to the end of the call. Whatever it was, we are straight through to the next round, which are the written forms, they are on their way to us. Now, we think, that the letter must be generic to all claimants, regardless of the level of payment they are on, or, are hoping to claim. Those of us who are already on the higher rates, skip further into the system, but it is a letter that is worded to cause stress to us all. I can’t help feeling the intention is to intimidate and make you not even bother applying.

I have to admit, that the few seconds that I was on the phone with her, I found her really hard to understand, she spoke so quickly that anyone, who has any problem comprehending what is going on, would have been totally lost. I am so glad that Adam was here to deal with the bulk of it, as I wouldn’t have managed at all. It is only because I knew how these systems work, that I was able to pick out enough words, to know what I was saying “yes” to. At the end of the call, I had to say “yes” for the second time, to a string of words that I can only assume, were to say that we were sure that the details we had given were correct and that it was against the law to give fraudulent information. As I said, I assume, as it was a high-speed garble of words. Having worked both as an agent and as a manager of a call center, I would have shot any member of staff who spoke that quickly, and we weren’t dealing with the chronically and possibly mentally ill.

Yesterday, I sat here and I wrote to my mother, not the final letter that I am going to send to her, but a letter which contained everything that I wanted to say, but never did. This writing “thing” is truly amazing. Just putting down all those words and feelings that convention says, you just don’t ever say to anyone, especially not your parents, felt so good. Anger and pain when it is inside you, is one of the most destructive things there is. I honestly thought that I had got rid of it all years ago. I spent several months, thinking through all the people who had hurt me over the years, everything that was said or wasn’t said, every physical action that left it’s scar, and I forgave them all. It was one of those cathartic experiences and I truly thought that my Mother had no hold over me any longer. Then that card arrived, with what I knew was her having a dig at me in the biggest way she could in just a few words, and anger reappeared. I wasn’t angry about our ancient history, I was angry because her word implied, that I was the one ignoring her, that I was the one who had broken the link. When if there is any blame, it belongs at the feet of her precious son and with her. Now, well not this second, but I am going to write another letter, one that says just what is needed, but with more finesse and a clarity that can’t be miss-read in any way.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect to still be as tired as I am today. I had it in my head when I went to bed last night that I was going to wake-up this morning, feeling as I normally do, tired, but not knackered. It is clearly going to take me just that bit longer to recover than I expected. Mind you, having stress thrust upon you when you’re in a state of exhaustion, probably doesn’t bode well for recovery. Tomorrow isn’t going to help much either, as I simply have to make another batch of psyllium pancakes. This time, though, I will be just making the dough. Adam and I talked about it after the last batch and decided that going forward, I will do the easy part, and time it so that the dough will have risen, by the time he comes home from work. I know, pancakes are made from batter, not dough, and don’t normally contain yeast, but these do. Psyllium is odd stuff, it has been a long trial and error process getting it right, but we got there. To me, they look like pancakes, taste like an odd sort of pancake and are, therefore, are pancakes. If you saw one, you would say, “that’s a pancake”, so pancake it is.

Whatever you call them, even sitting on my perching stool in the kitchen cooking them is more than just tiring. I don’t normally ask Adam to do anything in the evenings, other than sort out my meds. Normally, he just comes home and sits with me watching the TV until 9 pm. Then he has a frantic half hour, filling the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier, emptying the bins and having his shower, then back to the TV. If Teressa and John hadn’t been here this week, we would have made them then, but Adam wanted to clean the house, I didn’t object, but the result is, I don’t have enough pancakes to last to next weekend, so tomorrow it is.

I don’t normally ask Adam to do anything in the evenings, other than sort out my meds. Normally, he just comes home and sits with me watching the TV until 9 pm. Then he has a frantic half hour, filling the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier, emptying the bins and having his shower, then back to the TV. If Teressa and John hadn’t been here this week, we would have made them then, but Adam wanted to clean the house, I didn’t object, but the result is, I don’t have enough pancakes to last to next weekend, so tomorrow it is.

It really does feel like a long time since we just had a day. You know one of those things that starts and ends and all you can say is, “nothing happened”. Right now, “nothing” sounds rather good.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 18/02/2014 – Burning nerves

There never seems to be a reason, something that you can pin a change to, but I know in the last days or maybe even weeks, that although my pain levels are steady the other symptoms, sensations have…..

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Nothing sounds really good

  1. “Nothing” certainly has its appeal! It sounds pretty darn good to me. I’ll have to add it to my to-do list ;).

    I’ve seen a couple of people voice how demoralizing the PIP application is, and I agree that the verbage is likely used as a way to deter people from completing the process. Sad, really.

    I hope you both get a break soon.

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  2. I am interested in the fact that you wrote to your mother. When I first became ill I went to a hypnotherapist. She asked me write a letter to someone who had been an obstruction in my life. I wrote to my mother saying everything I’d felt and put up with since childhood. I sealed if, took it with me to the next session and we burned it in her fireplace. It was the best feeling ever because since then I have been able to deal with all the jibes and digs by just ignoring her or telling her straight that I don’t like what she says or does. I can understand that your situation is probably a bit more complex than mine but the writing ‘thing’ to me is invaluable.

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    • I think by writing the three letters, the one I couldn’t send, because well it said things I never would to anyone, the second the letter I think she might be expecting, allowed me to write the letter that I sent. I got rid of both sides and wrote what was important, rather than a mishmash of anger.

      Writing is a powerful tool, even if we don’t send those letters, that process of transferring what is in our heads, to the page in front of us, is cathartic. The step you took of burning it, gave it even more power, as fire destroys. The symbolism, in burning that letter, allowed you to move on. Take strength from knowing you can do that and if you need it, for any relationship, do it again. 😀

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      • I have actually done it a second time burning relics of a very destructive relationship in my life. I had also written a letter to this person which also went up in flames. I did this with the help of my best friend who had been through terrible things in her life and had been writing and burning for years! It is both cathartic and empowering at the same.

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  3. WHEN I READ THIS POST,(I’M CATCHING UP ON THE ONES I MISSED)),I HAD TO READ IT AGAIN..IN CANADA,WE HAVE O.D.S.P. I’M NOW BEING “REVIEWED,TO SEE IF I’M STILL DISABLED”.SO FOR THE NEXT 6 WEEKS, I WILL BE STRESSED, TO THE LIMIT.YOU WORK FOR 40+ YEARS, JUST SO SOMEONE HALF MY AGE, DECIDES IF I’M ENTITLED TO THE MINI CHECK THEY GIVE YOU.I FEEL SO BAD FOR YOU, PAMELA.YOU DON’T NEED THE EXTRA STRESS. YOU WILL BE IN MORE PAIN.STRESS CAN KILL. GOOD LUCK, THINKING GOOD THINGS FOR YOU.

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    • ‘to see if you’re still disabled’??!! What, do they think you’ve suddenly stopped being disabled? What utter nonsense! I’m coming back to live in the UK soon having been 9 years in France so no doubt the PIP process will descend on me too. Good luck Pamela

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      • It will and be ready for it. So far we have just gone through the phone interview. Next are the forms, followed by a so called medical, carried out, by a none medical person. Then they tell you if you are going to receive your payment or not. They will also decide how long that payment will last. It could be as little as 2 years or as long as 10. Then you start all over again. It’s a total nightmare. I know of one man, who had terminal cancer, who was told he would receive no payment, but would be assisted back into work. He died a week later.Right now, we are all waiting with our fingers crossed. Good luck to you too. (((Hugs)))

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