Fit for Nothing

Saturday 18/5/13 – fit for nothing

By 1pm the nerve pain is so heightened it takes my everything to force my body out to take Daithí for a walk. On returning home and irrigated my non-functioning bowel and crash on the sofa.

Pain so intensely burning and issuing the right side of my body with repetitive electric shocks I am unable to fall asleep even though my body longs for sleep and my mind is in agreement, desperate to be free of this curs’id pain. I am in such turmoil that I want to rip my right side clean off and purge me of the dreadful pain. I wonder if I had the left side of my brain cut away would it make the pain cease as in the end it is the brain that registers the pain?

I have so much to do with the exhibition only a few weeks away and I need to critique the 6 reports from Hyde Martlet and return my feedback by Sunday night, as I will be at the enterprise training Monday. But no amount of will-power or self motivation can force my body into action. I may just face it – the right side of my body it temporarily paralysed by the nerve pain and each time I try to get up from lying down nothing happens – I am stuck here for what feels like eternity and I don’t know when it will end as it is not that I can pop some painkillers and wait for their action to kick in. No I might as well take smarties as painkillers – at least I would enjoy the taste!

Is it not punishment enough to feel as though you are sitting on live wire being electrically shocked every waking moment, while also contending with a severely disfunctioning gut that every time food enters it goes into a frenzy of spasms that feel as though someone is inside you ringing out your gut like a dish cloth, along with reflux, heartburn and nausea meaning forcing down food when your gut is rebelling and telling you it wants to throw up but knowing you must ignore the severe nausea and gut spasming reaction to food or else you will wither away and die, without being punished further by this government for not being well enough to work by cutting a quarter of your annual tax benefit that you must find from your measly incapacity benefit and Disability Living Allowance, supposedly to fund the extra cost of living with chronic ill-health and impairment when in reality you must give it all to the council towards your care support and this is before the extra cost of having to consume a free-from diet which is significantly more expensive to normal food. For example a 400g of gluten-free bread is on average of £2.99 while you can get a loaf made from wheat that’s twice that size for as little as £1.


Limited Capacity to work questionnaire

A child can lift half a litre of liquid in a carton or even a full one at that, can use a keyboard and mouse, pick up and use a pen or pencil, pick up a pound coin, put something in their coat pocket and raise their arm above their heads does that make them ‘fit for work’ and so should be out seeking a job?

Why ask whether I can lift a carton of liquid? Are they hoping to find me work pouring milk into people’s tea-cups in an office say? They needn’t ask me to make and pour the tea as I would likely pour the water beside the cup as opposed to into it or if I do manage to hit on getting it in the cup, my hand would likely be shaking so much that the boiling water splatters all over me and those in close vicinity! Where are they planning to source such a job?

Where is the pound coin that needs picking up –
Is it on the table, on the floor or on top of a mountain while I am at the foot of the mountain and looking up?

why is it that those on state benefits are being ostracised why our banks are continuing to be in receipt of state welfare? should the heads of our banks be assessed for eligibility for this state welfare their banks receive? As if!

Veiled in Labour skin!

What is Ed Miliband and labour playing at – considering over-hauling the Benefits System so that what you get depends on what you have already contributed to the Public Purse, with those contributing more being paid a higher amount of benefit to those who have contributed less?

The whole remit of the Benefit System is supposed to be to support the most needy, yet here we have a so-called Socialist Party considering awarding more to the rich and less to the poor, who most need it. Is this proposal a mere point scoring exercise rather than standing up for and doing the right thing.

Are those who have been born with disability or longterm ill-health or those left disabled as young adults and are unable to work to be punished by receiving a smaller amount of benefits to those who’ve had ample years and a big salary who’ve paid more in? How is that fair? Haven’t they been unfortunate enough, through circumstances beyond their control to endure a life filled with insurmountable challenges and pain, without being made to struggle even more by being given a lower basic benefit , when there is nothing they can do to change this fact, and their needs and the costs of those extra essential needs are greater to those of non-disabled?

And what of the low paid worker who works long hours doing hard work for little money getting less support from the state to someone who happens to be in a well paid job? often it is low paid sectors that are vital to life! Can you imagine the disease and infection that would flourish if we no longer had the bin-men, workers that clean rubbish off our streets and those that look after our sewers? Yet why are they little appreciated and poorly pay?

Instantly, I had butterflies and felt I was going to throw up!

I didn’t need to even open the envelope. I just knew from the distinctive dirty brown coloured envelope, the splotchy heavily inked print and the off-white paper, the type that somewhat resembled the yellow tinge of aged old paper that it was from the Dept. of Work and Pensions.

Immediately, I my stomach churned, my gut tightened and I felt I was about to throw up. A shiver ran down my spine and my limbs trembled, panicked that this was it, the dreaded time, I have been worrying about ever since the work assessments began and ill people were being deemed fit for work, of being told that I am being taken off incapacity benefit and income support and must be assessed to determine if I am deemed fit for work, deemed fit for work with support or remain in the category deemed too ill to work.

oh Shit!

oh Shit!

how can a one-off assessment suffice to determine the former when my condition varies so much? I can be able to function reasonably one minute but shortly after lying stretched out in agony, temporarily paralysed!

Part of me wants to leave it unopened, throw it in the bin and pretend I never received it. But, at the same time, I knew the dreaded thing was not going to go away, even if I discarded the curs’d envelope. I also fleetingly wondered but what if I’m panicking over nothing and like all the letters from the DWP I had received in past year or two it had nothing to do with the Capacity to Work Assessment. It could be just telling me the amount of money I would receive each week for the coming Tax year, from April.

Unable to feel in control, till I know what is in the letter, I open it by the front door as Mona removes my shoes for me. It is to be sure the curs’d letter I have been dreading. My heart sinks, as I continue to read, all the time feeling ever more panicked. I need to remind myself to take deep, slow breathes, to stave off hyperventilation and a full-blown panic attack.

Typical, I thought, all the dreaded assessments would come at the same time, when I find it almost impossible to cope mentally with one at a time, even. This Tuesday, 12th March 2013, I am to have my ILF and Social Services care review and  I am dreading being told they have down-graded my level of need and so would be getting less support and worst still, what is to happen come March 2015 when ILF is dissolved? And the capacity to work assessment people are to phone within the next two weeks to verify I am truly who I say I am,  before posting out a thesis of a form, I must fill in immediately asking about my disabilities. But how can a conversation down the telephone be proof enough of me being who I say I am?

Oh, how I sometimes wish I could vanish into thin air, leaving absolutely no trace that I ever did exist to begin with, leaving this world and breaking free of all its unfairness, the greedy rich getting ever richer, with no guilt felt that the poor are getting poorer to maintain their privileged life of greed for the selected few including our govrnment!