I hope you’re all enjoying the more tolerant weather we’re having now - thank god eh?
I saw my MS nurse yesterday and she advised that the symptoms I have been experiencing recently point towards a relapse (I was dx’d initally in June 2012 with a confirmed dx of RRMS in December 2012). Thankfully (if I can say that) my balance hasn’t been affected (yet) so I’m still able to work although my vision is a bit blurred for most of the day, however the chronic fatigue, depression and pain in my right elbow (definitely not tennis elbow - a physio confirmed this) have been evident and gradually getting worse for a few weeks now. I’m now on Gabapentin 3 times a day to try and alleviate the pain in my elbow and Co-Dydramol for lower back and hip pain, along with Amantadine 2 times and day for the fatigue and Sertraline for the depression. Not what I need at the moment, particularly as tomorrow is a day I’m dreading.
This is because I have my DLA Appeal hearing and to say I’m scared and nervous is an understatement. It’s taken over a year to get to this and thankfully I have a very good friend of mine coming with me but it’s not helping my nerves. When the assessor came in February 2013 he wrote in his report that basically there was no mental or physical disability to be concerned about and my mobility and care element does not warrant DLA - something that was not discussed during his visit even with a mental health nurse being present!!!
It sounds stupid and I don’t know how else to explain it but I have a fear the panel will look at me and say “she doesn’t need DLA, she can still walk, albeit with assistance from her friend, she’s fairly coherent, well presented etc etc etc”. I admit I have good days and bad days - the bad days happen weekly and are when the chronic fatigue is at it’s worse, sometimes feeling like I’ve been knocked out by a heavyweight boxer’s right hook and to top it off he’s decided to sit on me to stop me from moving!!! I’m can be bedbound for a couple of days and unable to get up without any help. The last couple of weeks have been extremely bad however with my depression rearing it’s ugly head in addition to the other current symptoms.
So what’s my issue? I’m just after some advice really. Has anyone else felt like this in general and in particular when facing a stressful event the next day? How should I appear during the hearing - I’m thinking I should be completely honest and explain, when asked, that I have good and bad days etc but I don’t want the panel to think I’m just wasting their time and trying to get a benefit I’m not entitled to. How thorough should I answer their questions? Has anyone got any tips as well - all will be gratefully received.
I don’t use any walking aids (although I probably should on occasion) and therefore don’t feel I should take out the walking stick just for this appeal - I’d feel like a fraud (if that makes any sense).
Hope someone can put my mind at rest. I’m fully aware that they are clamping down on claimants and in particular MS sufferers seem to be an easy target as MS is a chronic neurological disease and can appear to those unaware that the person is actually suffering.
I hope I’ve not offended anyone as that certainly wasn’t my intention but I’m nervous and just after some reassurance that I’m not the only person with RRMS who has felt like this the night before their appeal hearing