Finally PIP assessment happened yesterday - waiting since July 2013
Having turned down their kind offer of a possible 10 hour day out for an assessment in Portsmouth a few months ago, I attended mine yesterday about 10 miles from home. Up at six, left home at 7 to catch 7.30 bus. Having Googled the Atos temporary office at Portslade maritime basin, over one mile walk from the nearest bus stop - did arrive on time.
Having read their guideline notes - I gathered all recent reports from Nuero Specialist, Urologist, MS Nurse, G.P. Dermotology (added to MS I have had four nasties removed from head, left boob and two on my back since making my claim) I did a one page summary of my decline during the past year, having had to give up all therapy, yoga and pilates due to lack of funds, moving, loosing my beloved other half etc.
Then a list of all medications.
He bruptly told me he didn’t want to see any of them - he wanted me to tell him without referring to my summary notes.
The gentleman was seated facing his computer screen, and asked me to sit in a chair about 10 feet from his right, away from the table. I moved the chair in, and was told that I should move back as he wasn’t wearing his correct spectacles and could see me if I was too close. I complied, bur pointed out that as I am 80% deaf, he need to face me when speaking. Great start.
Then he asked me how much change I would get in a shop if I bought an item costing 75p and gave them £1.00. Then he asked me to count backward from 100 in increments of 7, did so in less than a minute and pointed out that I was physically ill, not mentally. I was becoming agitated with his manner so told him I was a Prof. of Pure Maths and a Chartered Accountant and other than occasional problems with short term memory loss, (at my age, we all suffer with that at times) it was not my mind but my body that needed help.
He asked about problems dressing, preparing food but was not interested that I cannot open the big wheelie bins and throw rubbish away, or that I cannot put a fitted sheet on my matress with only one weak hand - and due to severe incontinence, I often need to change the bottom sheet daily.
I told him that in order to arrive at the appointment bright eyed and bushy tailed, I had needed to spend two very lazy days prior to the appointment to pace myself for the meeting. Not interested in that either,
I think I have misunderstood the purpose of P.I.P, I believed it to be a descretionary grant to help disabled to continue to run the most normal life possible in order to manage their health, fitness and home life.
He informed my after an almost two hour question and answer session, that he will prepare his report and present it to DWP and I should receive notification in about 10 weeks.
I feel cheated, totally frustrated, and just don’t know what more I can do. I eat very healthily, I walk (with my stick) at least 2-3 miles most days. I do exercises at home, (not the same, less motivation and unsocial & secluded), however since being forced to stop my normal routine Physio & classes, I have lost 5 kilos, my left arm and leg are just flabby skin, can’t even find a muscle to massage. The toe spasms have increased 1000 fold, had to triple my baclofen, and G.P. has also put me on a course of 2 Diazapan for a coupleof weeks.
Not all bad news though, funding has been approved for my Botox and they tell me should happen within a few weeks.
Best wishes to one and all - Mary