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Proof of having MS!!

Hi there,

I am new to this so bear with me.

I have applied for student finance to do an OU degree but I need a letter from my GP.

Fair enough you might say but I have had MS since 1987 and I am now in a wheelchair etcetera…

What really annoyed me was that I had to make an appointment to see a GP when all my details are at the touch of a button!

I am also being charged a “small fee” of £20.00 as this is out of their remit.

I also have to pick it up to save on postage.

There I feel better but am I the only person who gets fed up these “barriers” that crop up regularly? Small to some people but massive for me!!!

Do you have an MS nurse, if so they can do letters of proof,for your ms,i phoned mine a few weeks ago,and she sent me the letter i needed,free of charge too.

J x

When l needed a letter to say l had MS - My GP wrote it there and then in front me when l went to see her. No charge.

l needed proof so l could get a private prescription from Emed for LDN. My GP could not prescribe it - but she was all in favour of me getting it.

you have a good helpful gp there SJ, mine charges me for any letters,i had to have one for insurance purposes for a cancelled holiday and they charged me £30 !!!

Mine also wrote a letter, in front of me, free of charge when I needed one to start LDN. If it’s not too late maybe ask your M nurse.

Rosina x

This extra effort to do anything often does my head in. I can’t meet friends at a new pub or restaurant until I’ve rung them up first to check on accessibility and toilets. (Luckily my friends are clued in and often do a personal reccy for me) thank goodness for Google street view so I can plan my routes. I always have to catch the bus before the one that I actually need to get anywhere just in case there is another wheelchair already on. The list goes on and on and it is often exhausting.

My mum had a Drs appointment last week - she has early dementia so she can’t go on her own. She can’t go on the bus because it’s too far to walk to the surgery. I can’t go in a taxi because there are no local accessible taxis. So, I put her in a taxi, she has to wait at the surgery until I come on the bus. Repeat for the return journey. How much easier if I could still drive and could jump in a car.

Its no wonder that some people give up and just stay home because it’s easier. My hat off to you for embarking on an OU course. They often say that women have to work twice as hard to be considered equal to men, I would say that a disabled person has to put quadruple effort in just to access equality.

Jane

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Having said that, Jane, I thought the OU in particular bent over backwards to try to help me. So much so, I felt almost embarrassed I was unable to think of anything that might help.

After deliberating carefully whether to even mention it, I had put on the application form that I have MS. I got a call from a very nice man, asking if there was anything they could possibly do to assist me.

I assured him I was “fine at the moment, thank you”, and not visibly disabled, but that due to the nature of MS, that could change quite quickly, and I was unable to predict the sort of help that might be useful in future.

He said: “Well, if anything does change quickly, we can respond quickly, too, so don’t hesitate to let us know.”

The one thing they don’t do, which probably would have been most useful, given the unpredictable nature of MS, is grant extensions to assignments on health grounds - at least, not as far as I could work out. I think this is in contrast to most bricks-and-mortar universities, where they can grant extensions, and even adjust exam marks, due to extenuating circumstances.

In fact, where I did my law degree, it became a bit of a standing joke that one particular student never, ever handed in anything on time, yet somehow was not thrown off the course. I suppose, technically, she may have had MS or something - just as nobody would be able to tell, looking at me. But she certainly gave no outward sign that she was facing the kind of obstacles that would stop anyone ever completing their work on time. It wasn’t just once or twice - it was all the time, with everything. I consider that brought the system into disrepute, and was an injustice to the vast majority of students who did meet deadlines - even if many of has had “pulled an all-nighter” to do it. Anyway, that was many years ago, and things may have changed. But I did find it a bit surprising that the OU apparently had no provision for: “What if I need to submit my work late, because I’ve had a relapse?”

They were very good about practical stuff, though. They asked if I would like ALL the material as audio, because they were aware that sight problems are common with MS. I explained: “No, no, my sight is unaffected, touch wood”, but they did keep asking: “Are you sure?”. As I say, they were so keen to help, I felt quite bad about not being able to think of anything. What should one ask for?

Tina

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