I haven't posted anything for a while because I've been through rather a bad patch with my health, and also various things in my life have been going wrong, or causing me a certain amount of upset. To cap it all, my hubby is now away for nearly a fortnight, so I was really hoping things would settle down a bit because it's much harder dealing with issues on my own!
I am coping far better than I thought with his absence, and like last time he went away, he's arranged a rota of carers to come in and do odd jobs for me in the mornings once I've got myself up - things he usually does for me. It's lovely to see people because normally I don't see many people except my hubby, so it's nice to catch up with their news. Things have settled down and I'm much more relaxed now than I was last week.
Seven weeks ago I applied for my DLA (Disability Living Allowance) to be reinstated. Last time they granted it to me for two years, and initially they turned me down, despite the fact that I'd already had it for one year, and my condition had deteriorated in the meantime. After appealing, it was reinstated, and it ran out recently. I was fully prepared to have to go through the whole rigmarole of appealing once again, especially as there's so much talk about cutting back on benefits to reduce the national debt.
I made sure this time to enlist the support of my doctor, and also my occupational therapist. Both have been very supportive, and I asked my doctor to request that if my application was successful, it would be for an indefinite period, because filling in the form is so stressful and exhausting in itself, particularly for someone with M.E. I also included a covering letter to that effect.
When the dreaded brown envelope arrived this morning I almost didn't dare open it, preparing for the worst. However, it is the best possible result I could have imagined - they have reinstated the benefit at the same level as before, and for an indefinite period! I am still pinching myself, wondering when I'm going to wake up! I can't wait to tell my hubby.
They will check up on me every now and again to make sure my condition hasn't changed, but this won't be the same thing as having to reapply at regular intervals. If they think I have improved, they will reduce the amount or stop it altogether, and it is also my responsibility to inform them of any change, but that's OK.
Over the past few months I've been putting a bit of money aside to buy myself an electronic cutting machine for my papercrafting, and I was very reluctant to go ahead and order this until I was sure the benefit would be reinstated, because I still have to go on paying my home help, and I need to be putting money aside for my new Rolls Royce wheelchair when the time comes. However, now I know my disability needs will be met, I am free to get it, and I ordered it this afternoon! Watch this space for projects using this very important piece of equipment - it's going to make things so much easier, and also increase my productivity rate because you can cut multiple items in minutes, rather than cutting out each one individually by hand, which is also very tiring for me.
After everything that's gone on recently, when I was wondering what else might go wrong, this is a marvellous piece of news for me, and I can relax again. It has been quite stressful, waiting all this time for a decision, and psyching myself up for all the hassle of a possible appeal, and possibly even appearing before a tribunal. (They certainly know how to make you feel like a criminal, don't they, appearing before the bench, having to prove your "innocence"!!!) Anyway, while my circumstances remain the same, that is not going to happen now, so I am mightily relieved.