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Kitkat's KK Blog

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Aussiepom
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Aussiepom on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 18:57

Watch out for him,KK......Watch for the tail and maybe a little purrrrr.

Sorry to hear that,KK.

My thoughts are with you.... Crying or Very sad

AP
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Whiskers on Sun 28 Apr 2013, 20:33

Sorry about Pepsi, KitKat. Can't of been an easy thing to do, but it was the right decision hun. And good to know he was happy and feeling good in his last days, and sleeping peacefully now. HUGS to you KitKat. xx

Karma given. You deserve it.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Tue 30 Apr 2013, 07:49

Yay! Great news (for a change)! My brother's just landed at Heathrow Airport ................ Very Happy
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Thu 02 May 2013, 13:33

Bruv's gone over to Holland for a couple of days to visit my niece .. and my friend Viv's gone with him.
The pair of them went off on the Eurostar this morning. I'm so envious. crybaby
Oh, how I miss the days when I could just hop on a plane, train or boat and take off somewhere.
Back here on Saturday, for a couple of days, and then Jimmy's off over to Ireland to do the rounds of the rest of the family.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Sat 18 May 2013, 00:59

Started the first of 4 sessions of acupuncture on my back this week. This is not the long-awaited promised 8 sessions with the Pain Clinic where they have to apply for funding (which was not approved first time round and they are supposedly re-applying - February I think that was ). No, this time it is through the Physiotherapy department that I have been referred to by my GP. (First time round I couldn't do the recommended exercises because the pain got in the way, and it was recommended I return there after treatment at the Pain Clinic). Well, all I've got from the Pain Clinic is to prescribe even stronger pain-killers (slow release) and a personal TENS machine to use when needed. I have found that the TENS does help to ease the pain somewhat when it gets really bad and it has an immediate effect.

Different physiotherapist this time. I am to have 4 sessions (which is apparently the limit that they are allowed to administer at a time). Seems if someone is in need of more they need to be referred again by GP. Crazy, yes ... even the professionals are frustrated by the extremely "complicated administration system".
I did ask yer man why it is that the Pain Clinic department of another hospital is obliged to apply for funding - (which is invariably refused) and yet this much smaller local hospital can do so at will, albeit restricted to 4 sessions at a time. He started into an answer but with limited time at hand - and his next patient waiting patiently - he just explained that it's an "extremely complicated system".

Anyway, these sessions are meant to focus on strengthening my core muscle strength. He has also referred me for hydrotherapy treatment - at yet another hospital - BUT I am warned there is a very long waiting list for this, so ...... not holding my breath there for too long anyhow. This apparently is due to the recent administration changes also. I am told that ordinarily, once your physio sessions finish you would normally go straight into the hydrotherapy, but that does not seem to be the expected option at this point in time.

After the first session, so far, I don't feel any different whatsoever - well, apart from being tired, ever so tired - but there's nothing to associate that with the acupuncture. I did have a nose-bleed yesterday - which is something I've never had in my life before, and a headache all day. Again, might be associated, might not. If I get the same following the next treatment, then I guess that would confirm some kind of association. We shall see. Apart from that - absolutely NO difference in the level of pain I've been experiencing. None at all, so far. Then again, I suppose it's not the actual pain that this is meant to be concentrating on, but rather strengthening the core muscle; in other words a preparation, a build-up, working towards being able to do the recommended exercises necessary to help towards easement of the pain.

Incidentally, I did read with interest a recent link found on the Skeps forum:

Antibiotics for back pain: hope or hype?

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3122.full?ijkey=FG4RdWnsc8KT6BA&keytype=ref

in relation to a recent research paper that showed "some benefit in long term antibiotic use for some patients with back pain."

“Up to 40% of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a
course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough,”
began a story in the Guardian on 7 May. It continued, “One of the UK’s
most eminent spinal surgeons said the discovery was the greatest he had
witnessed in his professional life, and that its impact on medicine was
worthy of a Nobel prize.”1

Interesting (and worth looking into) - because the reason I had to have a second MRI straight after the first one was - because the first one appeared to show some kind of "infection". The results then eventually showed that it was not an infection as such, but the diagnosis of chronic degenerative disc disease (which incidentally is not a disease, but that is the technical term given for this condition, the condition being a propelled onset of degeneration of the discs - a condition more usually found in older people, though in some cases can happen in teenage years. It hasn't actually been confirmed, but in my case I think perhaps the two lots of cancer treatment, all the scans, ultrasounds, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine bone scans and x-rays etc that I've undergone since 2009 must surely have some sort of contributory factor.


Brother went back to Saudi Arabia early hours of this morning. All distractions out of the way now, I've got all the time in the world now to mope and mourn for my dear little Pepsi cat. I do miss him so very much.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Thu 23 May 2013, 12:30

About to head off now for my second acupuncture session. (There was a beneficial difference during the week (on 3rd day after treatment) - which may or not be associated. Will detail it here later - and I am looking to see if this will be repeated after second session .................

I'm hopeful, if nothing else ........ cat
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Jun 2013, 01:06

More shockers from the Benefits and Work latest newsletter:



More than half a million people are now dependent on food banks because of changes to the benefits system and delays and errors by Jobcentre Plus staff according to a report by Oxfam

Government minister Ed Davy has denied that there is a link, however, claiming that is “completely wrong to suggest that there is some sort of statistical link between the benefit reforms we're making and the provision of food banks”.

Meanwhile disabled people who don’t want to be reliant on food banks are being taught how to scavenge for free food in supermarket skips and dustbins (members only). The workshops are being run in south Wales by members of the Disabled Activists Network Wales (DAN Cymru).

Finally, those awful decisions.

Last week’s Mirror carried the tragic story of Linda Wooton, who had a double heart and lung transplant but was found fit for work just nine days before she died. Linda was on 10 prescription drugs a day, suffering high blood pressure, renal failure and regular blackouts. Nevertheless, after a 20 minute Atos medical, a decision maker found Linda capable of work and stopped her ESA.

Linda, ‘crying her eyes out’ wrote her letter of appeal from her hospital bed, but the DWP upheld their decision. Her husband remains angry that Linda spent her last months in misery and feeling useless because of the ESA assessment system.

And, following the abolition of the discretionary social fund, councils have begun giving vouchers to people who find themselves in desperate need. Which is how a 62 year old woman from the Isle of Wight came to be offered vouchers to buy a tent when she became homeless. Dawn Martin was not considered vulnerable enough to qualify for emergency housing of any kind and so was offered the opportunity to camp instead.

Living in tents, raiding supermarket skips for food and being found fit for work as you lie dying in a hospital bed. It would obviously be “completely wrong to suggest that there is some sort of statistical link between the benefit reforms” imposed by the coalition and stories like these. It’s clearly just coincidence.

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IT WAS MEANT!

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Jun 2013, 19:12



Yes, another 'synchronicity' situation ....

and there's no two ways about it .... IT WAS MEANT! ..........

(Long story, of course - as they always are)  Laughing Sleep

_____________________________________________


Concerning a long-standing consumer dispute with my electricity and gas supplier, and no satisfactory conclusion foreseen with this matter in the near future, it has now become necessary that I enlist the services of Citizens Advice Bureau to advise and hopefully take over this matter for me.  The matter has been going on now for a year and a half.  I initially thought I would be able to sort it out myself but find myself coming up more and more against an ever-growing brick wall.  My file on this issue is 4 inches thick, and details every long frustrating phone-call, letter and piece of documentation connected with this problem.  Since this issue started - about a year and a half ago, there have been numerous other problems which have taken priority in my life, not least the chronic physical disabilities that have befallen me and having to give up working because of this. Appeals, numerous hospital visits, operations, scans, tests, two recent bereavements (one of my oldest, bestest friends and my cat) and a whole heap of other things, I really can no longer cope with the frustration and stress of trying to deal with these people and getting absolutely nowhere, really just banging my head against this brick wall, so I succumbed to the pressure and the suggestions and recommendations all round to hand over the doings to the CAB and see if they can assist in bringing this matter to a conclusion.


Never been to one of these places before, but I already knew from experience working for solicitors with many of the clients having had dealings with our local CAB, bad reports from every single person who had involvement with them.  Anyway, no choice in the matter now, I set about making an appointment.  No... drop-in service only - given a raffle ticket number when you get there and it's a case of first-come-first-served, so although they opened their doors at 9:30, you were advised to come earlier than that and join the long queue waiting outside on the street.  I went last Wednesday at 10.30 - expecting a long wait, equipped with Kobo and wheelie trolley containing the gigantic file surrounding this matter.  Told straight away there were no numbered tickets left - told to come back Friday morning.  Got there dead on 9.30 on Friday - only to be told same thing, all numbers gone.   Come back Monday - and advised to arrive about 8.30 and join the queue of door-opening-ticket-handing-first-come-first-served waiters outside on the street.  Got there at 8.30, to find a queue of about 30 people had already formed, snaking its way down the street.


Got talking to the girl in the queue behind me (Palestinian, born in Israel but - as with many others, family chucked out of their home by Israeli "settlers" and so lived in Lebanon for a while but when the war worsened in Lebanon their family hotel business was taken over by "the powers that be" as the strategic mountainous position of their home and business was considered a useful base for politically minded purposes. She has not been able to see her family back in Israel for 17 years, a similar story to that of a Palestinian girl I worked with in Libya.)  Anyway, I kind of digress ....  the introduction to our conversation began with this lady telling me the reason why she was standing in this queue, propped up uncomfortably with walking stick in one hand.  Same as me, it was her first time - and same as me (though not the reason why I was there), she was appealing against a refusal for ESA based on an Atos medical report (same as me) where (same as me) she had been given only 6 points, when the minimum for acceptance is 15 points.  The ESA people had suggested she appeal (same as me) that she get medical evidence from her GP and other specialists - which she had done (same as me) and the ESA people had actually suggested to her that she go to the CAB for advice and help on the legalities etc of dealing with her Appeal.

Turns out that she was absolutely fine (pain-wise) before undergoing an exploratory hysteroscopy operation (same as me) at Central Middx Hospital (same as me) performed by Dr Manning (same as me!) and when she came out of that op she had these horrendous pains and has had them ever since and getting worse as time goes on (SAME AS ME!).  That was 3 years ago.  She has now been diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia (not quite same as me, at least I don't think so ...) , and was recently prescribed strong painkillers Tramadol (same as me, initially but mine were recently upped by the Pain Clinic to even stronger slow-release ones, the effect of which lasts for 12 hours, whereas the other ones had to be taken at periods of about 4 hours or so (through the night also).   Talking to her, it seems that as well as the chronic pain that she is now suffering from, it is something that affects her nervous system also, having an adverse affect on her short-term memory and other cognitive features.  Getting worse all the time, and told there is no cure, she unable to hold down a job anymore.  Her children she said are both students but they also work to try and help out in any way they can.  There was no mention of their dad being around, and I didn't ask.  Her daughter had been on at her to apply for ESA (Employment Support Allowance) to see what ways if any she can be helped.

Anyway, we had a great conversation which helped to while away the time standing in this queue (in between dealing with potential queue jumpers - you get these chancers everywhere) and swapped telephone numbers (her phone exactly the same as mine!) as we definitely intend to keep in touch.  I told her about the advisory group for disabled people that I had discovered just recently, in the building where I go for my physiotherapy, run by volunteers who themselves are disabled, and who themselves have come up against all the various problems encountered concerning ESA, DLA etc ...  and are well placed to advise and assist with all the complicated bureaucracy and legalities involved.  We agreed that when we were finished with our respective visits, we would phone and (depending on pain-wise situation) I might take her up there - just 5 minutes drive away to this drop-in advisory place, but we would certainly keep in touch anyway.  

Dead on 9.30 the doors opened and we eventually shuffled through and were given raffle tickets.  My number was 248 and E (my new friend) had number 249.  The receptionist told us that as it was our first time there, we would simply be seen for an assessment, to see first of all if our problem is something that can be dealt with there and if so, to allocate an advisor and make an appointment for another day to speak with that advisor!  I was told that the estimated time for my number to be called would be 11:10 - and E's estimated time was 11:30.

We were then handed forms to fill in and join in the mad scuffle for an empty seat somewhere.  I found 2 chairs, mercifully unoccupied in a hidden-from-view alcove, which obviously at one time used to be a cupboard.  There was a little shelf to one side of this cupboard with a prayer mat on it.

Form filling finished, we were discussing our mutual post-op situation, and how we had both come across the futility of trying to make any sort of complaint or compensation attempt against the surgeon who had carried out the nightmare ops, as notoriously the medical profession will always clam up and cover for each other.  Total cover-up.  Well, almost ....  I made a point from the beginning of my nightmare of noting down in writing wherever possible (eg, any hospital forms I had to fill out afterwards, pre-ops or seeing the various other specialists involved with my case).  I also put in writing, in as many places as I could, my suspicions in connection with that op - and the fact that I felt they knew it also but were covering it up.  I also had the feeling at the time that my Oncologist (after reading in my file my long email to the Neurologist, giving a synopsis of the whole story) that he was personally trying to bring this matter to the fore, but not really getting anywhere with his attempts.

That was the day I was due to see him and was waiting for ages outside his office, and when I eventually did go in he apologised for the delay and said that he had been reading my file, and the email describing everything that had occurred following the op and the reason why I was now being referred to Neurology.  This was early January and the Neurosurgery appointment had been given for late March.  The first thing he said to me on that day was (after reading my email) to apologise for all that I had been going through - and he said that the cancer was the very least of my worries at the moment.  He said that it was imperative that the Neurosurgery appointment be brought forward as a matter of urgency, as I was obviously in so much pain and it was much too long a time to wait.  He was going to do everything in his power to make sure that it got brought forward - but it never was.

Also, at a later date, he recommended that the ovarian cyst should be removed and sent me to Gynaecology
(the nightmare consultant's department).  On the day of that appointment the offending consultant was there because I had seen him on reception looking through files, but when I was called in it was a substitute that I saw - a female who spent most of my appointment time talking on her mobile phone about a promotion to some other department she was getting and had just heard about.  She said it didn't need to be removed, that it was only very small, had been there for 3 years and the size hadn't changed in that time, and had been confirmed that it was benign.  When I said that my Oncologist had suggested it should be removed - she said he's just an oncologist, he doesn't know about Gynaecology!  She also said the exploratory op I had was an investigation of my womb and that it didn't go anywhere near my back - and that the reason I woke up in such pain must have been because of the way I was lying.  They simply discharged me back to my GP.


Now, I had a check-up appointment with my Oncology Consultant last -Tuesday, following my last mammagram check-up.  My regular Oncologist was away, and there was a different specialist standing in for him.  As far as the breast cancer is concerned, he said everything is ok there and this was confirmed - BUT he said my own oncologist had left a note to my file that I should be re-referred to Gynaecology for exploratory reasons.

This guy had himself had a good read through my file and noted the many contradictive reports throughout.

On finding that I was still experiencing some bleeding and that it was more notable on the occasions that the back pain was really bad, he called in the Macmillan nurse.  (I have found from experience that this is
always a bad sign).  The Macmillan Nurse is always called in to attend an appointment where they know, for instance, that the patient is going to be told a bad news result.  I have actually seen this in action ... in a hospital waiting room, two weeks after surgery, waiting to be told the results of my lumpectomy (second time round - I wasn't aware of this first time round).  3 different doors, 3 different consultants.  Seems everyone there on that occasion was there for the same reason - to get the results of their cancer op or treatment.  Had a good while to wait even though I had an appointment and so sat there observing the comings and goings of my surroundings.  

I recognised the Macmillan Nurse who had been in attendance when I was given my first bad news 5 years previous.  She had been called in for that reason, although I hadn't been aware of it at the time.  

I noticed that every now and then she would stand for a while waiting outside the door of one of the consulting rooms (there were 3).  She would go and stand there for a time after the patient and their accompanying family/support had gone in.  Then after a time she would enter.  When the patients came back out from their consultation she would be with them, they mostly in tears or at least looking worried,
anxious or distraught.

Of course I didn't know she was waiting outside when I was in there.  (and thank goodness my brother was with me that time).  When she came in to the office I had already been told the bad news by that time.  
That was back in 2009.  A lot has happened since then.

Anyway, back to the present ... or at least back to my appointment last Tuesday...  Back in 2009 I had declined the chemotherapy medication (Tamoxifen), which had been recommended that I take for 5 years and then change to a different one ...  The consultant, on reading this in my file, turned to the nurse and said "Thank goodness she is not taking Tamoxifen".  The nurse (different one to any I have seen before) seemed surprised to hear that I was not on Tamoxifen - and she agreed with him that as it turns out it was very good news that I had decided NOT to have the chemo tablets.  If I have understood it correctly, it seems the bleeding and other current problem might have been put down to the tablets (side effects?) or whatever ... and then whatever the real reason for it (yet to be discovered) might have been cloaked over ... who knows(?) ... at least it appears my decision to decline that kind of chemo at that time was the right one.  (I of course knew this in my own mind from the beginning, didn't quite know why I knew it, but just did).  Well, I'm not sure what happens next but it seems likely that I might have to prepare for further exploratory ops like the nightmare one that started all of this.  Really, really, REALLY not looking forward to that atall atall.

Meanwhile, back to the cupboard ... while we were sitting there chatting about our mutual nightmare surgery and consequences, M's phone rang.  It was the ESA people.  I got up and went outside the door while she talked on the phone and when she came back out some time later she had a big smile on her face.  Said that the phonecall had been a sort of interview as such and that they told her she was going to be accepted for ESA after all, that she would be put in the 'limited' - work-related group for a year, after which time she would have to have another medical assessment - and that she now had no need to appeal.  She was very happy and kept repeating that I had brought her luck!  She also no longer had need of the raffle ticket or to wait till 11.30 to be seen there, so gave it to me to hand back to the receptionist.  As I went back in a woman was just being told that there were no more tickets and she had to come back Friday, early in the morning and join the queue (they don't open on Thursdays).  They called her back and gave her the returned ticket.  She was very happy too.

After all that, I eventually got seen about quarter to 12, but just for an "assessment" to see what area the problem was - (only one problem allowed to be addressed, just like in the GP's) and to allocate me to an appropriate advisor, and an appointment made for this Friday at 11.30.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 13:24

A doctor who worked for the private company which assesses people for
disability benefits says its methods are "unfair".

Greg Wood, a former Royal Navy doctor, resigned from Atos earlier this month,
after working as an assessor for two-and-a-half years.

He told the BBC the system was "skewed against the claimant".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22561006

Good for him (the doc who resigned), but the horrible fact is ... that it's STILL going on ... (and I can say that with 100% surety from my own personal experience of it).

I have every confidence that [in the end, eventually, in the long run .....] justice will be seen to be done (in my case) ... but at what price. Delays, waiting times, mistakes, assessments, docs, forms, obstacles, reports, bureaucracy, scans, tests, hospitals, pain, heartache, despair .......
Almost 2 years on ... and ..... ?????
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Fri 21 Jun 2013, 13:43

Well, there was both good and bad that came out of yesterday's ultrasound & consultant visit at the Gynaecology Department of Central Middlesex Hospital.

First, it is normally quite a walk from the car-park to the hospital entrance, and then once inside another long walk to where the area that I usually have to get to. I recently discovered that there are 4 disabled parking bays right outside another part of the hospital - and that entrance goes direct into the area that I usually visit. (Oh, the times pre-Blue Badge, I would look longingly at those spaces on my frequent visits to this part of the hospital). So, now with Blue Badge ready and waiting, I always check those spaces first (would be so handy to just nip in from right outside) - but they are always full, never ever seen a space in there, so I continue on to the main car-park. There are about 6 disabled bays quite near the main entrance door - sometimes lucky to nip in a space there, more often not, so have to go yet again further where there are a few more Blue Badge spaces in the main carpark but as I said a fair old walk from them.

Yesterday it was touch and go as to whether my friend would be able to attend hospital with me (as she normally does, bless her ) as she had not been feeling too good following an incident when taking down curtains at her home and cleaning the windows, so I was on me own at this stage.
Was not looking forward to this Ultrasound thingy cos even tho the procedure doesn't take long it mean lying on my back for that time and of course I then have to get up from that position which - to put it mildly - is a painful ordeal and a half. (for some reason smilies not working for me today here) .... The results of the scan would be sent straight away to the consultant. After the examination, I had to go to a different dept (just down the corridor from X-ray where I was) to see the consultant to discuss the results. Took it very slowly ... each step I took or even tiny little movement after this scan ordeal was exaggerated and painful, so long rest leaning against the wall after every 2nd step or so. I could see the waiting area of where I had to go - just across from me, but seemed like 100 miles away! A very nice man passing (who turned out to be a hospital porter) asked me if I was okay and if I needed any help. I explained that I would be okay in a minute, and he said would you like to sit down for a bit and rest - pointing to the chairs in the waiting room. I said to him that's actually where I'm heading anyway, so he offered me his arm while I made the rest of the way to the Reception there. Told me that when I finish with my appointment to mention to the reception to call Francis (him) the porter who would come with a wheelchair to take me to my car. Said in future to ask on main reception soon as you come in for a chair, they always available. If you're on your own a porter will push the chair; if you have a carer with you they can do it.
It certainly took from the further hassle and stress when I arrived at my waiting place to find that there were massive delays that morning (the usual - shortage of staff etc ... ) and that people with 9.30 appointments were still waiting to be seen! (My appointment was for 11:20).
Meantime, I found msg on my phone from my friend saying she was on her way - and she arrived not long after. She came into the consultant appointment with me - where my scan results turned out to be fine and nothing whatsoever to worry about there (cancer wise). Phew! As we were leaving, she mentioned to the consultant then about her worry about the residual effect after her incident and he suggested would be a good idea to go to A&E while here to get checked out.
As I had my chair waiting for me and my friendly porter to do the doings there, I said I thought that would be a good idea. I would get myself a coffee in meantime and read or something while she went in there.
When I arrived at the car (with Francis pushing the chair) I found a parking ticket slapped on the windscreen!! Turns out that altho I was parked in a space right in front of the Blue Badge parking sign - the space I was in was NOT a Blue Badge space (no wheelchair markings on it) - and I only then noticed the arrow pointing to the right of there on the sign. £60 (bastards) parking ticket fine!! (halved if you pay that within next 14 days - which of course I will).

My friend arrived not long afterwards. Her results absolutely fine also (apart from blood pressure slightly high). Sooooo, as I said: Good and Bad. The good definitely outweighs the bad on this occasion anyway.
The day before this appointment my ESA Appeal papers arrived in the post. Another big bundle of of papers, another form to fill in, another wait for Tribunal Hearing date.... As with the DLA Appeal, the tribunal will be heard in the same Court, and they say the same thing in the standard letter about the thousands of cases waiting to be heard and to expect it to be about 7 to 9 weeks at least before my case gets to be heard.
Ho-hum ... more letters to compose, "evidence" to collate, etc etc etc ... and so it continues ........
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Sun 30 Jun 2013, 21:31

I have been following this story on another forum from the beginning:
My wife's breast cancer ordeal

and really pleased to see the latest happy entries.  I have no doubt whatsoever that Johnnie's regular writing down and recording the whole ordeal from day to day has helped enormously to take away some of the stress involved.  He does record that it is not very easy for him to share his feelings in all of this with friends and family (especially with his wife), and I imagine that is because they are all so closely involved and indeed have their own personal anxieties to cope with.  Now that the worst of the whole ordeal seems to be over, all the past bottling up of all his fears and emotions are now beginning to surface, I think it's a good idea that he is now talking about getting some professional counseling for himself.  Talking it over with someone who is separate from the whole issue should be of some benefit to him now.  It is often forgotten that the people around the patient (family, friends etc) are actually in need of support perhaps a whole lot more than the sufferer themselves, as all the care, attention and treatment is directed on the patient.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Mon 01 Jul 2013, 13:21

Well, my acupuncture treatment has now finished and needless to say, it hasn't made skiddlededoo difference to the pain whatsoever, though as initially advised, the purpose of the sessions was not to rid of the pain (although acupuncture has been known to do that in some cases) but moreso the intention was to concentrate on building up my core muscle strength.  I have definitely noticed a small difference there which can indeed be related to each session - in that now I am at least able to feel the muscles in my abdomen area where before I could not even do that, so making it a bit easier now to attempt various exercises needed to tone up.  The only way I can describe this is that the day after each session I was noticeably able to pull in my stomach and do certain breathing exercises which I wasn't able to do before - believe me, I had tried!  It's as though the acupuncture treatment had directly worked on unblocking some sort of blockage there.  The pain was actually consistently worse on those occasions, but movement was made easier, so I guess it's a benefit of some sort - and good preparation for the next step, which will be hydrotherapy treatment in a warm water pool at Northwick Park Hospital.  The physiotherapist has referred me on for this treatment, but has warned me that there is a very long waiting list for this, so I await hearing from them.  The waiting game again .........

Meanwhile, following my interview with Adult Services back at the beginning of May, it seems highly likely that I will be getting the recommended walk-in shower fitted at my home.  The recommendation report has gone through to the relevant department (as I have checked) but I am told the usual waiting period for this is something like 6 to 8 months.  I need to wait to hear from them - when they will arrange a date to come here and do a further needs assessment in my home in that regard.  So, more waiting there too.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Wed 17 Jul 2013, 13:59

Girlie get-together with some friends in the garden this afternoon. 

Salad and wine purr    and ice-cream and Irish Coffees for later.  toast
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Acupuncture

Post by Kitkat on Thu 18 Jul 2013, 23:47

Interesting ...

 

From this link here (new website Chronically Skeptical)

http://www.chronicallyskeptical.org/content.php?20-Acupuncture-for-Pain-no-better-than-a-Sham&s=391e6e578683159b962babdd1fa2c8dd

In a new article in the journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia, skeptics David Colquoun and Steven Novella take on the available evidence in favour of acupuncture for pain relief, and find it wanting...

Tallies with my own recent findings (as far as pain relief is concerned):

'Acupuncture is Theatrical Placebo'

Curiously, given that its alleged principles are as bizarre as those on any other sort of prescientific medicine, acupuncture seemed to gain somewhat more plausibility than other forms of alternative medicine. As a result, more research has been done on acupuncture than on just about any other fringe practice.

The outcome of this research, we propose, is that the benefits of acupuncture are likely nonexistent, or at best are too small and too transient to be of any clinical significance. It seems that acupuncture is little or no more than a theatrical placebo. The evidence for this conclusion will now be discussed.

Continue reading at the journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia


However, based on the few sessions that I did have (5 in all), I did find it beneficial as far as some physical functionality was concerned.  This effect was noticeable immediately (as in the 24 hours following each session) and consistent with each session.  I can only explain this efficacy as having worked successfully towards unblocking some kind of blockage ... thus making it easier for me to work towards doing some gentle exercises which were simply impossible before the sessions.  I continue to do those gentle exercises now.  The acupuncture was the kick-start that was needed ... and I can definitely say that it is not the placebo effect in my case.
I was referred to physiotherapy to concentrate on working on my core muscle strength - and I do feel that is precisely what the acupuncture sessions have done.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 09:12

I spose it was inevitable ... had to happen one day (with having to lie on my left side right at the edge of the mattress - being doing that for over a year now) ....

I am in absolute agony sitting here.  Got TENS machine on and waiting for painkillers and anti-inflammatories to kick in.  This morning I fell out of bed.  I must have gone head first because I had been dreaming and in the dream I started to fall and it was head first.  Luckily I have the walking stick within reach - hanging right next to the bed from one of the handles of the dressing table.  It helped, but even with that I couldn't get up for a while.  Landed on my right side which is the worst side, that's why I lie on my left side.  On top of that, got a cramp in my left leg.  Just after I woke up there was thunder, quite loud cracks.  Probably what woke me in the first place; probably the fright of it made me jump obgob  and that's why I ended up on the floor.  crybaby 
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Fostering a cat?

Post by Kitkat on Sat 03 Aug 2013, 11:50

Read in the local paper, the cats rescue home, not far from where I live, are looking for temporary foster carers to foster a cat(s), kitten(s) or a cat and her kittens for 2-3 months.  Although the Home can care for up to 150 cats at any one time they have had to close their doors temporarily to any more intakes fro members of the public.  They are overwhelmed with the amount of unwanted litters and cats dumped on them daily and desperately need to get some of the cats into foster homes to free up space.  (They also have some dogs there).

All costs and care equipment for the cats, such as food and bedding, will be covered by the Home.

There is a photo with the article, with the caption 'Darcy and her kittens need a new home'.
Darcy looks just like Pepsi.

I'm going down there later on - just to have a look round.   cat
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Sat 17 Aug 2013, 16:37

I've decided it's best to put the fostering on hold for a while. I'm thinking I might find it a little bit stressful and difficult when it comes to having to say goodbye to a cat or kittens that I have become attached to, having to give them back when a new permanent home has been found for them etc. I don't think my emotional stability has quite healed yet after recent traumatic events - and that's all aside from the ongoing chronic pain problems and all the issues surrounding that. I had initially thought perhaps it would be a good idea to introduce a "distraction" - and what better distraction cat , but no, not quite ready yet.

Also, with the recent pre-diabetes diagnosis, means a lot of extra priorities to be sorted out now (not to mention more medication stuffs to fend off for as long as I can manage, by trying to sort things in as natural a way as possible). An added thing now - is this permanent unnatural kind of tiredness - real dogged weariness - that seems to have taken control of me of late. It's definitely not normal - where I find myself literally nodding off several times a day, and jumping back into reality with a jerk.
On looking back to my first cancer diagnosis, until I discovered the "lump", I had absolutely no recognisable signs whatsoever that anything may have been wrong - apart from this constant excessive tiredness. The same can be said for the second diagnosis also.
It may well be just a build-up of side effects to all the medicine and stuff, but there's always that little worry now - even with just a headache etc ... the sort of thing which before cancer diagnosis you wouldn't have thought twice about ... it's just a headache ... etc ... After diagnosis (and this goes for everyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) you can't help but wonder ... is it perhaps the Big C come back - maybe as a secondary cancer somewhere else? pale  Even moreso, with my family's history (my mother was constantly in and out of hospital undergoing every test, scan, prod and probe you could think possible). When her cancer was eventually discovered it was deemed so aggressive and moving so fast that they could say with positivity that she would be lucky to last for a further 3 months. (She actually stayed with us for half of that time ... with high helpings of morphine to ease the pain).
So, even though she had had all of these tests and scans etc, they did not discover the cancer until it was too late --- because it was hidden behind the pancreas.

It's hard to explain these 'little worries' to someone who has not been through all that cancer diagnosis and treatment entails - one reason why I miss my 'Survivor Group' meetings at the Maggie's Centre. Because we had ALL been through it in one form or another, we each could identify with others in the Group - and more importantly, TALK about it and discuss with others who understood just what you were experiencing. In fact, just thinking about it now ... I might head down there next week and sit in on one of the relaxation meditation sessions. These are held regularly there, and quite apart from the Group meetings there. I do count myself very lucky to be able to avail of these wonderful resources, as I realise it's not something that's readily accessible to everyone - depending on where you live. So, I should really make the most of what is on offer. Quit talking - start doing! Normally I'd be the first to offer that kind of advice to others, but severely lacking in motivation at present.

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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Sat 17 Aug 2013, 17:11

On a much happier note ... bruv arrives tomorrow. Not sure how long he'll be around this time, as he has actually finished his employment in Saudi Arabia now (decided not to renew his contract). In Holland at the moment where his eldest daughter now lives - and tomorrow it's destination London.
My Shepherds Bush cuz and myself will be meeting him at the Pad (Paddington Station) where he'll come into London on the 'Plane Train' from Heathrow. We will park the car at Little Venice (my now favourite and regular Meeting Place) and stroll the short distance along the towpath which takes us right into the Pad itself. Perhaps enjoy a coffee or something to eat at the Waterside Café barge before heading home in the car, or something a little stronger in the nearby Bridge Theatre pub (so-called because this pretty little pub is perched at the end of the little road bridge that crosses the canal - and also doubles up as a little theatre upstairs). Many of the acts that are now gracing the streets and theatres of Edinburgh at the renowned Edinburgh Festival, can actually be caught previewing in this tiny little theatre above a pretty pub in the heart of Little Venice).

I'm very much looking forward to seeing my brother tomorrow, who I'm sure will have some stories to tell even of his 4 days spent in Holland before arriving here. Soon as he arrived at Amsterdam he met up with an American who told him about an international jam session being held the next day in some Dutch countryside village on the German border. Just up Jimmy's street :thumb: , so off he trotted next day with his guitar, trusty tin whistle and recently acquired mouth organ. Oh, what I'd give to be to take part in such a session (just so very much up my street and all ... back in the days ...) Ah well ... have to make do these days with listening to the stories of others. violin2 
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Happy Birthday, Mammy!

Post by Kitkat on Fri 06 Sep 2013, 00:38

Yesterday was my mother's birthday (4th September).   We all called her Mammy ... still do.
She took her leave from us 27 years ago ... Yes!  27 years.  A long time ... and yet somehow it doesn't really seem all that long ago that she was pottering around in the kitchen, first thing in the morning, singing away ... 'Oh what a beautiful morning ....', or the strains of Danny Boy wafting in from the garden, while she gathered a selection of her lovingly tended flowers - to bring in to the house, cheering up every room with their colour and scent.

It doesn't seem such a long time ago, because in truth she is still around us, keeping an eye on what goes on with all the family.  She has popped in frequently over the years, and never misses a family gathering, special occasion or session.  The memories - and the reminders are all around, many of them very cleverly engineered by Mammy herself.  Every now and then she will send a little sign, a little reminder, to let us know she's still around, watching over us all.  She's here amongst us joining in the happy times, and when times are bad, worrying or sad ... she always manages to find a way to let us know she's around.

It was actually Mammy that reminded me that it was her birthday.  Yes, I was aware that it was coming around even up till a few days ago, but yesterday I was actually reminded in a very special way.  I didn't realise straight away .....

Just before my brother, Jimmy, left for Ireland, my cousin handed him a letter to read, a letter that Mammy had sent to his mam, our Aunty Nora, written in December 1979.  Mam always wrote lovely long, newsy letters and at Christmas time you would always find one of these inside your Christmas card.  It must have been hard for her penning all those letters to go with the Christmas cards, as she suffered greatly with the arthritis in her hands.  If you held her up about that, she would say the writing was good exercise and actually helps the arthritis, same with the knitting ... she did more knitting during her latter years when the arthritis was really bad, then any other time in her life; stuffed toys, socks and jumpers to spread around everyone in the family.

Anyway ... Jimmy gave me the letter to read.  Reading that letter felt as though she was sitting there chatting away as she always did.  All her letters were like that, she wrote just as she would be speaking to you.  It was such a lovely experience for my brother to be reading  our Mam's words ... emotional, but it meant a lot.  This reminded me that I also had a number of her letters put away in a box and I went to fish them out for my brother to read also.   It's been about 20 years since that box and its contents has seen the light of day.   I opened up the first letter I came to, to have a read myself.  This was actually quite late on the night before Jimmy was due to travel to Ireland.  We had to get up really early to set off to Euston in the morning and he still had packing to do, so he left them to read all together when he gets back, and would have time to sit and relax and really enjoy and take them all in.  I asked him to leave them with me, as I would like to have a read also.  That was last Friday.

I left them there ... until yesterday.  I have just recently been told that my Vitamin D level is extremely low (32 - when it should actually be in the hundreds).  Radiotherapy & chemo treatment apparently depletes the levels of Vit D in your system, and for this reason when cancer treatment is finished, the patients are normally given Vitamin D supplements appropriate to the level of their individual needs.  

Recently my back pain seems to be getting worse, and on top of that I now have a 'new' and different type of pain introduced - in the back of my left knee.  The strong painkillers that I take do not seem to have any kind of effect whatsoever on this new pain.  I had to see a special dietician, related to the pre-diabetes,and I happened to mention it to her (she could see I was in a lot of discomfort ).  She told me that one hundred per-cent the vitamin D deficiency was directly linked to my pain experience. Said it was imperative that I get my daily supplements started up again (ran out in March) and meantime take advantage of the natural Vitamin D we are lucky to be enjoying in this nice sunny weather.

That was Monday.

On Wednesday I kept being reminded of it, like a niggling nagging at the back of my head.  I eventually decided to set aside a half an hour out in the garden before the sun disappeared for the day.  So I grabbed a mug of tea and the box containing Mammy's letters to have a nice relaxing read out there in the sun.

In no particular order, I picked out the first one I came to and began to read.  Amongst all the news and the gossip and the memories, she was mentioning therein about her birthday which had just passed - her 70th.

It was only on reading all of this that I realised -  I was actually reading that letter on her birthday!  (4th September).   So, I then looked at the date that the letter was written.  16th September - the anniversary of her passing!   Exactly two years  later - to the day.   A subtle hint or what!!

I should add here - that in that letter, I found specific reference to a particular problem I was experiencing and worrying about at the time.  In other words, Mammy actually gave me the answer to my worrying question in that letter!

Couldn't bring myself to look at any of the other letters yesterday, yet - and didn't feel the need, or the 'pull' anyway.

Perhaps, when I have another problem that needs sorting out or I need some advice on some particular thing - and [importantly] I feel the 'pull' .... I will get that bunch of letters out again, go sit in the garden - and read the one that has the greatest 'pull'.
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Work and Benefits Newsletter September 2013

Post by Kitkat on Wed 18 Sep 2013, 00:41

Link:  The September Newsletter from Work and Benefits.

Makes for some pretty hairy reading.
(Just a wee insight into what I'm up against at the moment, along with thousands of others - many of whom are in a far worse off situation than me.)
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Wed 25 Sep 2013, 23:13

Found this Blog here: http://dwpexamination.wordpress.com/tribunal-victory/

It rang lots of bells when compared to the Atos examination that I had - back in February this year, where I was awarded 6 points (15 needed) and told that I am fit for work and not eligible for ESA.  
I too have appealed and still await the Appeal date.

Tribunal Victory

dwpexamination forum now available at    http://www.dwpexamination.org

Hello again readers, here it is as promised. A report on my alleged “examination”, my appeal and consequent Tribunal. I apologise for the delay but my health has not been good of late and I have had other priorities to deal with.

As I sat waiting to be seen, a man came out of a darkened room to my right and in front of me, I didn’t know at the time he was my examining Doctor. I could not see clearly into the darkened room, there didn’t appear to be any windows, if there were they were blacked out. I imagined this was the observation room from where your entrance to the building could be watched as could the waiting room. CCTV is a great tool for gathering evidence….He walked past me, went to his room, waited a few minutes, came to the door then called my name…..

The “Healthcare professional” followed me into his office obviously observing me from the word go. He introduced himself, asked me to take a seat and said he was going to ask me questions relating to the information I had provided on my ib50 form. Choosing to ignore the glaringly obvious reason for my claim, his ‘examination’ began with questions relating to several other minor ailments I had listed. I later realised that these were the easiest to dismiss thus proving I was a liar (In his eyes anyway).

Apart from establishing I had, had major surgery within the last 6 months, no further interest was shown in its consequences, and no actual physical examination around this surgery took place. He then asked where arthritic pain was, which joints it affected, but did not investigate sciatica. He eventually asked if arthritis was getting worse. I said it had, and was not improving at all.

Next he carried out the briefest examination of my ankle (this consisted of prodding my lower shin with his index finger) More attention was paid to the movement of joints in wrist, back, arms, neck and head. He then asked me to bend my knees outward and lower myself (rather like a ballet move) which I told him I could not do and as a “Doctor” the reasons should have been glaringly obvious. I was also asked to climb (up 2 narrow steps) onto a bed and raise my legs as far as I could, I asked Dr to help me rise, but had to get up myself. The alleged “Healthcare professional” ignored my request for help and made no effort to help me rise? He then took my blood pressure and felt my pulse, (he couldn’t have taken its rhythm as he did not hold long enough).

I showed him my appointment letters for my operations and visits to specialists; however he seemed totally disinterested and said he could not ask to see them even though the letter I received asked me to bring them with me?

He asked me what I would do if “they” offered me a job now. I said it would be physically impossible at present as I am still recovering from my operation and other issues, however, I made it plain to him I had no intentions of remaining on benefits and hoped to return to work as soon as possible, which may take time given my present condition. He asked if I preferred full or part time work, I said full time but the likelihood would be part time to begin with. I also said I had an advisor at Jobcentre plus who is working with me to find suitable work.

He asked me if I watched T.V., Not much I replied, How about Radio, Almost never, Newspapers, No, books , got one for xmas, haven’t read it. Do you go to the pub, club, Pictures, theatre or restaurant rarely was my reply. He asked if I did any gardening (I thought this was a stupid question for an allegedly educated man), no, do I have any hobbies, apart from the internet, no. He seemed surprised and sceptical at my replies and gave me the impression he did not believe me! He also asked who was with me. I found this an odd question but courteously replied “a friend”.

During the examination the alleged “Doctor” asked both closed questions and (as I later established) rather “fluid” questions in a manner which was clearly designed to confuse the claimant, and which sometimes demanded a contradictory response to previous questions. I found this very disconcerting and frustrating.

Do you drive?

What kind of car do you have?

Who do you do your shopping with?

Who does the cooking at home?

How did you get here?

How long did your journey take?

On completion of the so called examination the Doctor asked if I had anything to add, I said my piece, which was firmly ignored and he ended the examination by focusing on his computer screen and dismissing me like a naughty child. I persisted and asked if we could go through his responses and make sure there were no inconsistencies. He immediately looked uncomfortable, cleared his throat and mumbled he did not have time and a copy of his report would be sent to the decision maker. I left, knowing he had done everything he could to stop my claim.

I requested a copy of the report and appealed within the month.

The appeal

When I received the report I could not believe my eyes, it was laced with assumptions, lies and other glaring inconsistencies which bordered on the ridiculous. I went through the report with a fine toothed comb over the following week or so. I knew I would make a mess of appealing if I tried to do it in one go so I deliberately took my time.

Day one:  First I copied it then I looked at all of the entries the alleged “Doctor” had made. I marked those I considered to be untrue first, then those that were assumptions, then those that were down right lies. I stopped there too angry to go on

Day two: I wrote the opening statement of my appeal and commented on the untruths first by asking how the “Doctor” had arrived at his prognosis, without testing my physical ability. A good example was his lie I could climb stairs without problems.

Day three: Next I dealt with the assumptions, entries he had made on a whim. A good example was the answer saying I used a mobile phone to make arrangements and text friends.

Day four: Next I dealt with the lies. A good example was that I could walk 400 yards without problems, despite the fact I was using a stick and I made it clear it was substantially less during the “examination”.

Day five: I spent about an hour double and treble checking my work. I had listed around 20 entries I was challenging. Satisfied I had done the best I could I gave a friend of mine a look and he pointed out two other items, which I added to the appeal.

Several months later, I received my tribunal date. Having taken advice from UKBIX I contacted the Local Authority who arranged a meeting with a representative. The first time we met we discussed my case in detail and assessed its merits and from that gauged our chances of success. It was 60/40 in my favour. This was mainly due to inconsistencies in his report to the Decision maker, his gross misdiagnosis of my condition and fitness level, his obvious assumptions and glaring lies.

A second meeting was arranged for the day before the tribunal, by this time I had my anger at the alleged “Doctor” under control and had accepted the idea that the Tribunal members were genuinely independent of the DWP and ATOS and were there to listen to the evidence I gave and make a decision based upon the facts before them. Make no mistake, these people are not easily fooled and will recognise those who are trying to defraud the system. Equally, if you are a credible witness, answer their questions clearly and precisely and are honest the chances are they will find in your favour.

It is important to remember that the Tribunal, in my case consisting of 2 members (3 is not unusual), one a Doctor the other a Judge and that they are not the enemy. With that in mind you can rest assured that your case will be heard fairly and amicably. The judge will defer to the Doctor and may occasionally ask you a question.

After introductions the hearing will began. The Tribunal established a time period upon which I had to focus when answering my questions. I was asked about how I felt then and that was compared to how I felt now. I assumed that this was to establish weather my condition was the same, worse or better. In my case I was a lot better than at the time of the examination and said so. The questions were asked very clearly and precisely. The Doctor and Judge listened carefully to my answers and after around five, maybe six questions the Judge asked for a break to make their decision. I left the room with my representative, we were called back in after about five minutes and informed that the Tribunal had overturned the “Doctors” decision and had awarded me well over 40 points. This was a massive victory and represented a ten fold increase in the number of points the “Healthcare Professional” had given me on the day of my examination.

Remember, the Tribunal is independent of the body against which you are appealing or have a grievance with. They are very astute people who will recognise you have been wrongly diagnosed and restore your benefits if they see fit. Equally if you are swinging the lead, the will notice this too and will react accordingly. Be patient, take any evidence you can with you and above all, get help. Do not go alone, do not go in with all guns blazing, simply be yourself. It is important to come across as a credible witness and to tell the truth.

My benefits were restored within 2 weeks and I have had no problems since, although I expect they will have me in again. Only this time I’ll be even more prepared……

The above was written by my co-editor Michael Moore, and they did have him in, for his DLA tribunal, he phoned me that afternoon, he was shocked and was almost incoherent, the tribunal refused his appeal for DLA.

A couple of months later, Michael… the author of the above words died from the stress induced heart attack these people had caused.

They killed him just as if they had took a steak knife and stuck it into his heart themselves.

Rest in peace Mick.

Joe.
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Atos Assessment and Appeal Tribunal

Post by Kitkat on Wed 25 Sep 2013, 23:16

Some replies to the above Blog.  (There are so far 498 comments in all. All comments can be read in the link given in previous post).

Glad to hear you won your appeal! I am seeking advice from Welfare Rights, and hope mine goes as well as yours. I have much the same complaints against ATOS procedures & criteria as you’ve posted on here.

Comment by Mike — October 26, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

hi there nice to hear you won your appeal,i have mine in a few days time and i am doing it myself though cab have prepared my submissions and stuff which i am gratefull for.the amount of half truths and misreporting of my statements by the hcp and subsequently by the md and the reworked md’s report is astounding ,i am taking extensive notes etc to have my say and hopefully put it right with the truth of my statements,i have the full backing of my doctor,and i have been preparing my self for the appeal with the help of my brother who helps look after me . would you have any advice for me as regards the chance to make a statement telling the tribunal about the md and hcp misreporting of my statements?

Comment by larry — October 26, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

All I can say is be confident, remember the Tribunal are completely independant of the DWP and if you come across as a credible witness with a genuine appeal it can only help your situation. I was asked to focus on the time around my medical, and how I was then when answering my questions. I chose not to comment upon the alleged Doctors performance as I am not medically qualified to do so, however, I did say he grossly underestimated the effects of my disability at that time. Dont be angry, dont slag anyone off simply present the facts. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Comment by dwpexamination — October 27, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

hi there again ,well i had my tribunal today and sadly for me it ended in dissapointment. although after what seem like interrogation style questions ,and plenty of them by the doctor on the tribunal,i was adjudged to have come up short again to exactly the same amount of points which was 13 (i know unlucky for some in this case me !).the questions he asked me were mainly centred on me and the difficulty the doctor had personally in believing i could have a lower lumbar and leg problem for 4 years and it wasn’t improving and my gp had not taken a great deal of action until just recently to get me consultant expert help ,the doctor on the tribunal seemed to hold that against me personally and he said as much he said he had a problem with it also when i told him i couldnt get out a great deal at all he didint seem to believe anyone would live like that without constantly getting on at their gp ! i told him i thought the medical matters and the problem solving of my condition was the concern of my gp and i followed his advice on treatment,i said i couldn’t keep storming into my gp’s surgery every week stating the obvious ,i was half expecting him to say i was guilty of not changing my doctor. any how i think i mentioned that the hcp in the original medical had badly reported my condition in regards qualifying answers statements made by my self and she did not report correctly on my difficulty performing some of the tests , the chairman duly noted this. the reworked medical by a second md had pushed my points score down to 3 from an original 13 by the hcp,this was reinstated to 13 by this tribunal and they did not seem to explain adequately why they were giving me those points back ? they did in fact award me 16 points in total but they said two sets of points or descriptors overlapped and they could only take into account one of those descriptors hence the 13 point total and the disallowance of said benefit.so it would seem the md was wrong to demand the hcp look at her findings again and hammer my score into the ground but they(the tribunal)were not prepared to go the full way and award me more then she originally did! i dont think the line of questioning by the dr on the tribunal was fair or impartial i think he had allready made up his mind before hearing my account of things ,but its a case of i’ve been living on 51 poUnd a week for the last 7 months now ,and allthough i have an upcoming neurologists consultancy soon (for which i guess they could have adjourned)i cant go on with that income and its ironic now the cooler weather is in i can

Comment by larry — October 29, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

continued,
stand straight or feel my fingers , in an ironic final twist even though i was it would seem in the room for a good while having a load of questions fired at me by the doctor,it transpired that the wait to get the decision took mere minutes. i was out of the room waiting for about five mins total and they had me back in he informed me that i was getting more points but sadly for me not enough ,i could appeal blah blah blah ! they got the decision typed so quick they totted score up in my favor, found for me,ie allowed appeal and when i was in the room looking at it i was puzzled ,the clerk came out of the room and had a hastily amended one for me in ink ,explaining it was a mistake but it all left a rather sour taste in my mouth to say the least,the speed it was done was all rather suss! any how as i’m going to type i’m deciding if i should contact my cab and see if there is anything i can do seeing as i am the same, my back and leg are the same, and they cant just change to keep some penny pinching benefits agency happy . all your help or advice of fellow forum readers is appreciated !

Comment by larry — October 29, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

Re Larry’s experience,
I am sorry to say that I had almost exactly the same experience at my Tribunal yesterday. I got the impression as soon as I walked into the room and saw the expression on the doctor’s face, that there was no chance of a positive outcome. The doctor proceeded to hector me, asking the same questions over and over in an attempt to trip me up, until I simply said ‘I’ve already answered that’ over and over. I was also severely criticised for being very dissatisfied with my ‘medical’ assessment and sending in a complaint about it. I actually worked in the specialty I am now a victim of, for 6 yrs, and know how I should have been examined!
He concentrated solely on my upper body function – I have severe lower back problems after two operations left me a scarred spinal cord and facet joint syndrome – and just laboured the issue until the legal representative called a halt to it.
He then moved on to my deafness, but because I can apparently hear well, despite being deaf in my left ear – I have learned to lip read and told him so – totally ignored of course – he dismissed this. He glossed over my arthritis as quickly as possible and then we finally moved to my back.
My husband repeatedly tried to back up my statements and was virtually told to shut up, although he didn’t, thank god.
Even after informing them that two Senior Consultants had supported an application by my Occupational Health Department for me to be medical retired – which has been approved, and even though the wording used in both their reports was that I had ‘Limited Capacity for Work’- the thing I thought I was being assessed for, this evidence was totally dismissed as not being within their designated descriptors.

They informed me that in their opinion I have some fitness for work, even though I cannot ever be sure on a day to day basis that I will even manage to get downstairs due to my back pain, and that I can now apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance. I was completely shocked by this suggestion, and asked them to tell me what employer, who knows anything about risk assessment, would be prepared to employ me, in view of the instability of my condition and the fact that I cannot sit for more than 1/2 in an office chair without experiencing loss of function and increasingly severe pain? The answer? A shrug.

I am so frustrated at a system that can treat people with genuinely life shattering conditions so callously. It’s not as if I haven’t paid tax and NI all my working life, I have, and cared for others whilst doing it. I abhor benefit cheats, and never thought I would be for one second, regarded as a possible cheat myself. Quite an eye opener, isn’t it?

Comment by Lynne — March 16, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

Yes, unfortunately you seem to have been the victim of a “bad” hearing. These happen from time to time and the only reason I can think of is that the “Doctor” may have once been employed by ATOS and is still applying thier standards. Check with the BMA and make sure he is registered in the first place, secondly try to find out what the next step is as it appears at first glance that your case may not have been given fair consideration. We can only change this situation by challenging it, we should do so at every opportunity and take it to the highest possible point we can in the justice system. One thing to bear in mind, it is stressful and unless you have the stamina for a long drawn out battle, forget it and walk away or you may do yourself more harm than good. Personally I have come to the conclusion that this is all a game, I treat it as such and now actulally enjoy the process of challenging thier decisions. I know people might find this a bit odd, but if they say no when I feel I am legally entitled to benefits, if I can contribute the process of bringing this organisation down and I can make them work for thier illegal victory (if they win that is) I am a happy chap. Good luck and thanks for a very frank and accurate discription of your experience, I hope you report these people to the local fire authority, the HSE and take action under the Disabiltiy Discrimination Act.

Comment by dwpexamination — March 17, 2010 @ 8:15 am

HI ALL…Was reading the above,and a very similar thing happened to me,I lost my IB appeal last year,the doctor on the panel was totally biased,and felt she had made up her mind,before I even went in,I noted her name and looked up the net,and guess what,she works in a private hospital,and runs a private clinic,I had absolutley no chance…so the conclusion is,if the doctor on the tribunal panel, is involved in private health,there is a clear conflict of interest,and should not be allowed to continue,for the sake of fairness all round…….DAVID.

Comment by David — March 21, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

Excellent news, you won your appeal!

Claiming for what’s rightfully yours ought not to be as stressful as the Dicks for Work and Pensions put you through.

I’ve felt like giving in many times, but then I snap out of my depression, become so fired up with rage… and that’s when I demand my rights. Politely, of course.

I have 5 prolapsed discs in my lower spine, worn facet joints, 2 prolapsed discs in my neck, sciatica in my right leg, nerve damage and cramps. Crohn’s disease. Severe anaemia… I faint a lot. A blood disorder > Beta Thalassaemia… breathless, anaemic, tired – very tired. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Depression. Insomnia. Deaf in one ear. Partial loss of sight in both eyes, cataracts (both eyes) and not operable because of my anaemia and steriod medication I need for Crohn’s.
There’s others, but too silly to mention.

Now, what do you think the medical examiner asked me? LOL!
Can I walk unaided and for how long/far?
What are my hobbies?
Why I’m depressed? ETC.

I crashed a car, badly… in the 80′s and though most of the damage was internal, I never had a proper examination – Italy, see? 20 years along the line… had an MRI scan and the results shocked me! I’d been suffering in silence and working as a self employed fashion designer. Raised two kids alone. Did my best. Then I got sick. Really sick. Vomiting, collapsing, losing weight… my GP referred me for tests (colonoscopy ! and gastroscopy… and I had stomach tumours! Got the all clear after self treating naturally > Hemp Oil, but went on to develop Crohn’s… just like that! Although the enterologist beleives I’d had Crohn’s from childhood – skinny, see?

Moral of the story: Only YOU know your body/illness/how it affects you. Not some ATOSser medical examiner. So insist, resist, persist and you’ll have the right outcome.

*I swear I’ll go insane(er) if I lose my appeal! LOL!

Comment by Franka — June 16, 2010 @ 11:15 am

NB:  All of this was before the government changes came into place, making things even more restrictive - which is just at the time that I came into it.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Thu 07 Nov 2013, 13:15

Haven't written in here for a while - not that nothing's been happening, just that life's been a bit hectic of late. Must definitely set aside some time to catch up this week.
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Thu 21 Nov 2013, 15:41

... thousands of cases waiting to be heard and to expect it to be about 7 to 9 weeks at least before my case gets to be heard.
Re the ESA Tribunal, I posted the above on 21st June.  

Still waiting for a hearing date.  toetap
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Re: Kitkat's KK Blog

Post by Kitkat on Fri 22 Nov 2013, 22:45

They must've heard me! Got the hearing date notification today, at long last. 14th January.
Not too much longer to wait now.
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Chicken and flouzies

Post by Kitkat on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 23:59

lololol 

My niece and her significant other were visiting over from Holland for a few days.
The pair of them love to cook and I am always very happy to let them loose in the kitchen to experiment on new and different recipes.  The day before they went back they rustled up a yummy menu of Chinese ginger chicken with all sorts of gourmet surprises inside, served up with an equally adventurous rice combination - all of which took just half an hour.  YUMMY!  Only thing ... all I had in the house in the way of beverages to accompany our meal was a number of small tins of tonic water (usually used as mixers to go with vodka, but totally out of vodka).  The only alcohol I could find in the place was a large bottle of Ouzo.  After some thought, we decided it might be an idea to see how the two went together - and found to our delight that Ouzo mixed with tonic water was a very pleasant drink and went down very nicely with our chicken.  We decided to call this newly invented concoction "flouzy".  The name just seemed to fit (especially after a few of them!).

We have a family forum where the niece's Dutch boyfriend has his own thread of recipes which he adds to regularly - and having enjoyed the dish so much, I made a special request that he let us have the recipe on the forum when they got back home, so that everyone could give it a try.

He put up the recipe - and added at the bottom

Eat it with floozies as we did yesterday

surprised  obgob  sidestep

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