NHS cruelty part 2. (lies and more lies)

So what could possibly happen when you are turned down for a wheelchair by the NHS, because of where you live, but you find the perfect chair at a good price, from a reputable company? A lot, believe me. (If you haven’t read part 1 and would like to, click here http://bit.ly/2gfxbNo) Because of the health and safety issues that the NHS cited as the reason to not give me an electric chair, I was really cautious. Before I clicked that buy button, I read all the small print. The only piece that niggled at me was a line that referred to the delivery. It stated that the delivery driver would deliver the package to our front door, but no further. What it didn’t say, was exactly which door qualified as our front door. To us, clearly it is the one that we open to enter our flat, but I worried that it might be possible that the driver would see the door at street level as our front door, rather than just the door to our close. With the chair being second hand, I didn’t want to loose it, as it could be weeks or months before we found another one. It was late on Thursday evening and their call centres were closed, so we took the chance and clicked buy.

That night, it kept going around and around in my head and I couldn’t get it to go away. Adam had agreed that he would call them first thing on Friday and if they wouldn’t bring it up the stairs, well we would work something out. When he called, he spoke to a really nice helpful and friendly person, who said we had nothing to worry about. My chair was to be delivered by TNT and it was already on its way and would arrive on Monday. If we called on Monday morning, they would them be able to give us the tracking number and we could speak to TNT to double check about the stairs, but they could see no problem. So we had a good weekend, counting down the time until I didn’t have to be pushing myself or have Adam pushing me around the house.

Monday arrived and Adam called TNT, then phoned me to confirm yet again, there was no problem with the delivery, and that it would be here in the afternoon. I was at ease, and I have to admit I was actually just that bit excited as well. Monday morning passed as usual. First the district nurse, then Laura arrived, who I think was just about as excited as I was. I really have found a total gem in her, to the point, that I actually wish I could now afford to have her here more often. If possible, I would have her here every weekday and I would extend the time from half an hour to an hour, but it’s just not possible. Anyway, I digress, I will come back to her in the future.

Laura had just been gone for about 20 minutes when the front door opened, it was Adam. At first, I thought that he had just come home for lunch but he explained that he had taken the half day everyone is given off in the run up to Christmas, to do Christmas shopping. He wasn’t going shopping, he was home because he just wanted to be totally sure about the chair being brought up the stairs. I was so pleased to see him as I too, wasn’t totally at ease about the whole thing. We had been chatting for about an hour when the buzzer went, Adam answered it and it was TNT. He opened our storm doors, our front door, and was waiting to hear them coming up the stairs, nothing happened other than the buzzer ringing again. I then heard Adam heading off down the stairs. I thought that he was just going down to help them, but it didn’t play out that way at all.

When he got down to the street door, the driver was standing on the pavement with a huge box, a box that he totally refused to even help him get through the door. He told Adam that there was absolutely no way that he was going to help carry it up all those stairs and turned and left without another word. By pure luck, the flat above us is having some work done and their plumber was also outside getting something out of his van. He overheard the whole thing and offered to help Adam get it into the house. This total stranger helped pick up a box that had to weigh about 15 stone and carried it, along with Adam’s help, all the way to our inner hall. We concluded that he was just as disgusted with the attitude of the delivery driver as we were. Adam told me that he had actually been really quite rude, about the whole thing. If it hadn’t been for this niggle about the whole thing that we both had, I could have so easily found myself sitting up here in the flat, with my new wheelchair abandoned in the street. I’m sure that your guess is as good as mine as to how long it would have remained there. We do live in a good area, but we know from throwing out old TV’s, that anything your not standing beside, well, it vanishes within a couple of hours.

It took Adam about another hour to put the chair together and for us to work out all the little fiddly bits, that the so-called instructions, didn’t really explain. The chair was already fully charged and appeared totally perfect. I’ve been using it now for about five days, and I can find nothing, really wrong with it. Even in this short length of time, I can say with certainty that it is going to change my life. My arms are already far less painful, and my fatigue levels have lowered. This is the answer that I have been looking for, despite rules and rude people, I nearly never got.

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 27/11/2014 – It never ends 

I can’t believe that Thursday is here already, somehow everyday this week seems to have been cluttered and so busy that I haven’t felt as though I have rested at all from waking to eventually sleeping for the night. Yes I have been having……

28 thoughts on “NHS cruelty part 2. (lies and more lies)

  1. Humanity! Bravo to the plumber and Adam! Hooray for you new freedom of aches and pains, of you old chair.
    Shame to NHS still and delivery company.
    Where there’s a will there’s a way!
    Enjoy. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read your NHS saga with despair. I just can’t understand how people can lose so much of their humanity that they can’t extend an arm, even a little finger, to help those who truly need it. Especially when it is their job! I’ve encountered similar cretins in government bodies and they never fail to make you feel like you are sub-human just because you have a disability.

    Though – I’m so happy you’ve got a chair and it’s helping your fatigue levels already!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Music to my ears! Such a great ending to a much stressful and drawn out saga which just shouldn’t have happened, hope NHS reads this and hangs their heads in shame. Thrilled for you Pamela and Adam will be such an aid desperately needed. Xx🌷

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    • The annoying thing is that with a little joined up thinking, none of this would have happened. If both the NHS and the business just learned that getting the small things right, changes everything in the experience of the end user, us. None of us need the stress that they cause us 😦

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  4. Oh, so very pleased that Adam’s ESP was working, and that the neighbor’s plumber was so kind. This is excellent news, and I’m glad you have more freedom of movement back in your life.

    Now, having bought the chair yourself, do you have the option to challenge the NHS for their rejection, as well as deduct this cost from your taxes? Or, are you stuck eating the cost?

    I hope you have the tax over-ride option, as you have proven that you really did need that chair. Congrats on being so persistent. So pleased for you.

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    • We are totally stuck eating the cost with no way of challenging it that wouldn’t be even more stressful than it all has been already. I now even have a letter from the hospital saying that I totally met the medical criteria but it is simply the fact of where I live, that means they can’t help me. If I had the strength to fight, I probably could take it to a lawyer, but who can afford that? 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad to read that after all that work and frustration that there was a happy ending for you. Very nice to see that when our bureaucracies fail us that at least sometimes we can rely on the kindness of strangers. It’s great to hear you are feeling better.

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  6. Yeah. I hear you re the stresses and drama of organising delivery, etc. not withstanding my deliveries don’t usually involve a wheelchair(Yaay, You!)however skipping to the most important part? We love a good tradie! They are truely the best! And you generally reward them with a coffee and a thank you. And they are on their way.

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    • It’s just good to know that there are still people out there with hearts that are willing to just offer a hand. I sometimes wonder what would happen to this world if they all vanished, as so much is dependant on them these days. ☺

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  7. I’m not a violent person but I truly felt like punching that delivery guy. Perhaps, Adam could ring the company and complain. I’ve also experienced those who go out of their way to help and others who all but punch you in the face. Thank you for reading about my experience at Sydney Olympic Park. I am starting to think about attending large evens in wheelchairs in future, even though in many ways it’s over the top.
    Thought you might be interested in a more positive outing I had in a wheelchair at the Sydney Opera House: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/a-wheely-good-night-at-the-sydney-opera-house/
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are a few places where access is wonderful, and I found some that there was no access, but staff actually lifted me, chair and all, into the building. Mind you, it wasn’t an electric one. All my outings are now long past memory, ten years on, I may now only read about being outside, but I see little to tell me that in this past decade, that either people or the places have changed. Unfortunately, it seems that progress has passed the disabled world by 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Paralympics have made quite a few inroads here, especially since the Sydney 2000 games. They give some people living with disabilities something to aim for. One of the young men I know with Muscular Dystrophy represented Australia in Bocce at Rio. He is very immobile but loves sport and says Bocce allows him to express that side of who he is.
        I’d never thought about somebody being seriously disabled and sporty much because I’ve never been sporty (possibly due to the lack of coordination from the hydrocephalus). However, this year I experienced something of a seismic shift after watching some of the teenagers dance where my daughter dances and had a few dreams where I was dancing. Actually, I’d become one of these girls in my dreams. I spoke to my daughter’s teacher about how I felt I was a dancer on the inside and not long after, I found out they were putting on an adult ballet class. To be honest, I expected to be sitting down much of the time and simply hoped to be able to do a ballet hand by the end of the 6 weeks. However, I quite surprised myself and was almost keeping up with the class. Much of the class were dance Mums about my age but we also had a dance Dad and a local bloke who danced in his shorts and black work socks. I bought myself a pair of pink satin ballet slippers and sewed on the ribbons. I felt like I was 5 years old again and I was so proud of those shoes. I’ve subsequently ordered myself a pink romantic tutu. I want to be a photo of me in this get up in a wheelchair outside the Sydney Opera House. I have a weird sense of humour which I generally write off as “creative”.
        I have a close friend with fairly advanced MND and she had a dream that she was in a physie competition the other day and woke up in her hospital bed at home pretty much fully paralysed and on breathing equipment. She seemed philosophical about it but for me, it would’ve been a rude shock.
        xx Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi! It’s always nice to meet another MSer.

    That’s horrible. If you can’t, or won’t do the kind of lifting your job requires, then you need to find a different line of work! I’m so glad the plumber overheard and helped.

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