I had a very positive morning today. I had an appointment with my occupational therapist at our small local hospital - she had to postpone last week's appointment because she was off sick with a very bad back. She still didn't seem well enough to be working, in my opinion - the poor lady could not get comfortable in any position, and said that not only had she got low back pain, but sciatica too - can I ask those of you reading this who believe in Jesus to pray for her, please? She is such a lovely lady, so caring, so practical and so friendly, and she has helped me such a lot since I've been ill.
She is referring me to Wheelchair Services with a view to getting a new wheelchair (Rolls Royce Mark II). It's a bit complicated because I need a power chair, but prefer a manual one with a power add-on, and as it is most unlikely that they will have a wheelchair that I want, and which will be suitable for the conversion, I shall probably use the voucher scheme, whereby they give you a voucher to the value of the wheelchair they would have prescribed for you, which you can then add to the cost of one purchased privately.
She is writing them a letter in addition to completing the normal form prescribing a wheelchair, setting out the options. She took some measurements and we had a chat about what I want and need.
We also talked about how I am, and how I am not as well as I was. She said that since it's a while since I've been seen at the hospital, she would like to set up a reassessment for me, with herself, the physiotherapist and possibly a nurse, to discuss how I am managing, and whether there is anything else they can provide for me, to make life easier. It's a wonderful team, and I so appreciate what they have done for me already. Before the meeting is set up, I am to think about how I manage to do things (or not) and what I need help with - it's hard to think of these things when you're asked on the spot!
I told her that I had just reapplied for DLA, and if I am turned down (which is likely because they seem to be turning down everybody at the moment, in the hope that they won't bother to appeal, so saving money for the state, grrrr) she said she would support my appeal. I shall tell them that I have been referred to Wheelchair Services. If they still turn me down after that, I shall begin to wonder whether this state benefit is wrongly named - "Disability" Living Allowance? If the professionals have prescribed a wheelchair for someone it is surely because they are "disabled"!!!
So everything is moving forwards now, and I feel very encouraged and supported.