Friday, 28 December 2012

how much more?

Lately, i have been talking with a lot of people, and i can tell you now, that people really are starting to feel the effects of the Governments Welfare cuts. People are starting to panic about how they will be able to afford to buy essential things, such as food. And i can tell you now, that i am one of these people. The stress of the lack of money has always taken a back foot with me. It has always been topped by the stress of my health problems, no more so than lately, when, after a recent  visit to hospital, a physiotherapist and pain specialist, said that my symptoms of widespread chronic pain, among other symptoms, are identical to Fybromyalgia.

So now i have to cope with widespread chronic pain, as well as localised chronic pain from my lumbar spine disc problem, and my GP wants to talk to me about the possibility of Arthritis too. So this kind of stress is hard to beat, or even match, but now i have severe money worries. I try not to get stressed too much about things that are beyond my control, but sometimes it cannot be helped.

Sometimes you feel like a child at school, being picked on by the class bully, except you are not at school, and the class bullies are the people who are suppose to represent you and keep you safe. I long to see the day when David Cameron and his minions are held to account for their heinous crimes against humanity. I hope, for this country's sake, that the Conservative Government is voted out of power at the next election, and never to be voted back in again!

Something needs to be done though now about this Governments ideas of punishing the poor to satisfy the rich. And speaking of doing something, i urge all of you to sign the WOW petition to force the Government to look again at what they are doing with welfare. They need 100,000 signatures by next December and already have nearly 8000. Please help by signing and spreading the word about this petition. 

As for me, with the prospect of having Fybromyalgia, i have once again, sent off for a DLA claim pack. I will keep claiming, over and over again if i need to. My partner has said she will help me fill in the forms if needed. I will keep claiming, as many times as is needed, before they recognise that my claims are legit and essential to my well-being.

After a discussion with a DWP benefits adviser on why ESA assessments with ATOS (Work Capability Assessments) results are being used to determine whether or not someone should get DLA, the response i got was not wholly what i expected. Yes i got the "some parts of the WCA are relevant to the DLA decision making process" but when i asked "how can a WCA result made 6 months before a DLA application be relevent?" she couldn't really give me an answer! This to me is an admition of guilt that they really are not playing by the book, something most of us already know, but surely, this proves it, even to those who are skeptical?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Car Review

Hi everyone, this is just a short blog today. I am looking for disabled people to review their cars for my car review site. As many of you will be aware, as of next October, DLA will be fully replaced by PIP, and more than 100,000 disabled people will lose their motability cars, and will have to buy their own vehicle. With this in mind, i have started this project, to review as many cars as possible, for people with disabilities, helping them decide which car is best for them.

In the new year, i will be working with Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes, Honda, Seat VW and hopefully Kia too. These companies are being kind enough to allow me to review their vehicles. However, what i am most interested in, is what people with disabilities think of the cars that they have right now. That is where you come in. I am looking for disabled people, to tell me about their cars. It doesn't matter whether it's brand new or old fashioned.

I am looking for information on comfort, accessibility, cost of running and space. You do not need to include pictures or economy stats as i will get them from the manufacturer. Information that i need off you, in addition to that mentioned above, is the year of manufacture, model and engine size.

If you are interested in reviewing your own car, then please email me at and i will answer questions you might have.

As this is a new venture, i have only reviewed a couple of cars to date, but if you would like to base your review on any of these reviews, you are more than welcome to. To view these reviews, please visit Don't be afraid to add a spice of personalisation and humour to the blog.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, and i hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I had my first session of hydrotherapy yesterday, it was, shall I say, different. Although it was quite nice to feel weightless, taking pressure off my spine, the pain was replaced with feeling uncomfortable. That was until the end when they stood me back up in the pool. The pain that hit was near unbearable, and it hit hard!

Today, I have been left walking even slower than before (and that really is saying something), the pain in my hips and leg has increased 10 fold, and everything is just that so much more tiring to do. But I am not a quitter. I will give this a good go, and see if it helps me at all.

I will be going to hydrotherapy every Tuesday for at least 4 weeks. Tuesdays will now be known as Torturous Tuesdays!

I am at the hospital on the 21st for an examination by the pain management team, before my 2 weeks of intense pain management begins in the new year. If this doesn't work, or if there is nothing they can do for me, then surgery is almost certainly on the cards, although I have yet to receive the results from my latest MRI scan on my upper spine. If the scan shows anything, then this will definitely delay things even further, due to more tests that will need to be done.

As for my ESA tribunal, I have still yet to hear of a date, although I am happy that I have received a letter from Welfare Rights, saying that they will be helping me, and quite possibly, representing me at the tribunal. Representation at tribunals increases the success rate from 30% up to 80% (even higher in some cases). I will keep you all updated with news, as soon as I have it.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


My blog post are not usually about politics, i try to stay clear of mine field of MPs, legislations and Government Bills. But i feel i have to write about something that the Government is bringing in. As of Monday, sick and disabled people are going to be FORCED into doing unpaid work for charities, private companies and supermarkets, to name but a few. If the claimant refuses to do this work, then their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefit, could have their benefits stripped by about £70 a week.

The Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) is the governments latest idea to get sick and disabled into the work place, whether they like it or not, or whether they are healthy enough or not. This government does not care about who it hurts or how much damage it does to society and to those most vulnerable. I know that i am no where near well enough to return to the work place. If i was, then i would be working right now.  If i get forced to go to work somewhere, like a charity shop, i guarantee that things are going to get broken, causing me to get sacked on day one.

These companies that take part in the MWA are looking to line their pockets with money paid by the DWP whilst getting free labour. This cannot be allowed to continue. I have been told, unofficially, that Ed Milliband is to busy to help the sick and disabled who are basically being forced into slavery, so it is up to the general public to bring this country to its knees, until Adolf Cameron listens to us, and realises that what he is doing is not only morally wrong, but also violating basic human rights.

When fuel prices get too high, farmers take their tractors to the M25 for "go slows". When automotive workers say they are not getting paid enough, they hit the picket lines and go on strike. So when this country's government constantly hits and demonises the sick and disabled, we stand back and let it happen. Well this has to end, and it has to end now. We need to make the general public aware of the genocide that the Con-Dems are doing to the most vulnerable in society.

I urge people to tell their friends, tell their neighbours, tell everybody they can. People deserve to know about the people who are "running" this country. We need to shout at the top of out voices. We need to bring this country to a stand still. Drastic measures call for drastic actions.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

My First Car!

My first car was a Mk 3 Ford Fiesta, and at the time, i loved it! But looking back at it now, i kinda think that it was the biggest load of horse manure that has ever been created by man. My mum "loaned" me the £600 to buy it, and it stood on the drive for over a week, until the insurance was sorted. I longed for my first drive as much as a 16 year old longs to lose his virginity.

The day of my first drive finally came. Excited was an understatement. It felt like all my birthdays and Christmas' had been rolled into one. I got in, put my belt on, and turned the key for the first time. Listening to 1.1 engine splutter itself into life was like listening to angels playing harps. Engaging reverse, in a very clunky manner, i backed out the drive, and went for a spin.

When you have driving lessons, your instructor says to keep your hands at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions, but this went out the window straight away, and hasn't changed since. I was in love with a tonne of slightly rusty metal and very dodgy wiring. The window was open, the radio was on full, i was probably making an absolute fool of myself, but i didn't care. This was my car, and i felt the whole world should see, and hear, it.

Then on the 23rd of December, as i was driving to work, BANG! A huge plume of black smoke bailed out the back. I thought to myself that that can't be good! I limped it to my local mechanic who happily informed me that i had blown the cylinder head, as, in the 7 months that i had had the car, i had not once put any oil in it. I just figured that the oil light hadn't come on, so it didn't need any. After closer inspection, it turned out the little bulb for the oil light, had blown.

So there i was, 2 days before Christmas, with no car. I was panicking, my car was now my life, a part of my body, my left leg! Without it, was stuck. The world was coming to an end. But then some good news. My mechanic informed me that he can fit me a "new" engine, on Christmas Eve, and it would be a more powerful one. So i had my car upgraded from a 1.1 to a whopping 1.3, which i kept secret from the DVLA! All this power came at a price of just £250.

Looking back now, i remember quite a few funny, and not so funny memories about my first car. Like the time i got pulled over by the police for the very first time, for having little red lights on the windscreen washers, or the time i locked the keys in the ignition, and i spent over 2 hours with a bend coat hanger, trying to unlock the door. In the end i had to pick the boot lock with a pen knife, and make a very undignified entrance. Yes my first car was a rust bucket, it was never fast, never sporty despite my best efforts, but it was my first car, and no matter what your first car was, your will always have fond feelings for it, even if it didn't work.

This post is part of the Car Craft competition

Friday, 9 November 2012

2 days after MRI

2 days on from my latest MRI scan and i am in agony because of it. I can barely move my head, and if i sneeze or cough, i get shooting pains from my shoulder down my right arm, and a very bad stabbing pain in the centre of my chest! This MRI was by far, the worst one i've ever had. I suspected it would be, even before i had it. Due to driving, i could not take any pills before hand, and i suspected it might take slightly longer than previous MRI's, i was wrong! It took MUCH longer.

I was in that tube for over 45 mins, unable to move. The sheer pain that i was in after the 20 minute mark was unbearable, to the point that i was beginning to have the onset of a panic attack. Heavy breathing, pins and needles in hands and feet, and sheer longing to get out! However, i managed to calm myself down, as i did not want to have to do it again.

I am really hoping that that was the last MRI i will ever have to endure. I have had 6 of them in the past 3 and half years, and i do not want to make it 7. I am now dreading the results of this one. On one hand, if they find something, then it will a load off my mind, though it will be something else for them to fix. Then on the other hand, if the don't find anything, then what on Earth is causing all this pain in my upper spine. I will be publishing another update once i have received the results.

A quick note about my ESA tribunal. I have yet to receive a date for the tribunal, though i am at a Welfare Rights meeting on Monday. Hopefully they will be able to represent me. I will be taking my ATOS medical results form with me to show them that they lied on the form. Hopefully this should blow the whole medical out of the water and win me the tribunal, thus enabling me to have what i am wholly entitled to! Again, i will keep you all updated with the results of this once i have them.

As for DLA, well, i am waiting til i get the results of the tribunal and MRI before i put in yet another claim, as my last claim was turned down due to the ESA ATOS medical, despite the criteria for both benefits being somewhat different.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Day at Top Gear Live

On Thursday, we went to Top Gear Live 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham. The drive down seemed to take 70,000 years, and i must admit, that as we drew closer to the NEC, i became a small child again. The excitement of seeing a huge room full of supercars, ones that i have dreamt of catching eyes upon ever since seeing their first pictures in Top Gear magazine. And then of coarse there is actually seeing the Jeremy, Richard and James in person! This to me was going to be heaven.

When we arrived, we picked up our press tickets and were taken through the press corridor to avoid the huge crowds queuing to get in. Between me and those cars stood one silver door. My heart was thumping in my chest (sorry, i don't mean to sound all Fifty Shades of Grey). As the door opened into the brightness and my eyes adjusted, i made out the first super car i would see. The first car i would see at Top Gear Live 2012, the one that would stay with me for a long time. So, Ferrari California? No. Aston Martin DBRS? No. What stood before me was a plain, boring Citroen DS4! Now im not complaining, i think the DS4 is a very good car, but having it as the first car people, especially the press, see when they arrive??

But i digress. We started moving our way to the right, looking at other Citroens,  until we got to the Citroen rally cars. Then the big smile returned to my face when i saw Sebastien Loeb's car.

I must point out at this point that Sebastien Loeb is, to me, one of the greatest rally drivers that have ever lived, second only, perhaps, to the late Colin Mcrae. And although this isnt Sebastiens latest rally car, it is by far, my favourite.

It was then, after seeing the Citroen section, that we realised that the exhibition itself wasn't awfully that big. Infact, we went round every car, taking what seemed like 2 million pictures as we went along, in just over half an hour! And although there were lots of beautiful cars there, they were a bit crampt together. Half of the hall was almost empty. As someone who uses a wheelchair, there is nothing worse than a wall of people coming at you. You just know that someone is going to going away with a broken ankle! So in my view the hall could have been spread out a bit more, to give people more room.

But all of these little niggles where overshadowed by what i really came to see. The indoor show featuring the Top Gear cast and of coarse, The Stig. And although I was a bit confused as to why Tiff Needell Vicki Butler-Henderson were there, the first half was good, with some fantastic drifting by the American Ken Block:

Plus some very bizarre, but very funny, half a car racing. Basically, they get some front wheel drive cars, and chop then in half. Some funny racing ensues:

But the highlight of the day, and quite possibly the funniest thing i have ever seen, came in the second half. A few years ago, Jeremy Clarkson took a Chevy V8 engine, and turned it into a food blender. In the end James had to drink a drink made from raw beef and bricks, with a dash of Tabasco sauce. So now, Jeremy has decided to put that engine into the mobile stage, which he drives on stage. Below is a video of what Jeremy decides to do next:

As we went on Thursday, which was the first day of the event, i have decided not to publish this blog until after the event has finished, so that i do not ruin any surprises for those people who are going. And nothing more so, than the world record attempt of riding a motor cycle around 2 consecutive loops, called a 720. This has never been attempted before, not even in rehearsals! This has been done by Top Gear live in a buggie earlier this year in Durban, South Africa. Below is a video of what happens:

The rest of the second half was made up of Jeremy getting shot in a G-Whiz convertible, the guys playing a new sport of sidecar polo and some people on pogo sticks, jumping over Citroen DS3's. All of these videos are available to watch on YouTube.

After the show, we had another walk around the exhibition, taking some final photos of the day, such as the beautiful Ferrari 458, and the engineering masterpiece that is the Bugatti Veyron.

Even despite the cramptness, and the fact our press tickets couldn't get us into all of the places, such as the paddock, so we can't review those, we left at the end of the day with a smile on our faces, and a lot of very funny memories. I just now cannot wait for the new series of Top Gear to return to our screens in January.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

things are looking up!

Wow, what a week! first, after a lot of phone calls, and ending with a trek to the job center to hand in a medical note that i had already sent to the DWP months ago (luckily i kept it after they returned it to me), i have FINALLY had my payments backdated. FINALLY i have a bit of money on which to live on. It really is worth persisting with these people, do never let them win and never let them beat you down!

I have also had some mail through about my tribunal, so I'm guessing that will be coming around sooner or later. I just hope i can get some representation before it does, and I'm not using the CAB again. Although they did not represent me for my DLA tribunal, the advice they gave me, meant that i lost the tribunal.

On a medical topic, yesterday i went to see my new Orthopedic surgeon. Probably the best surgeon i have seen to date. He was a nice bloke, cracked a joke etc, but also got down to the straight and narrow. After many pokes and prods, and several discussions about different forms of surgery, in the end we both decided to do some further investigating first.

First he will be arranging another MRI, but this time for my upper spine. (something i have been asking for for over a year now). Then, he is going to put me in a 2 week intense pain management course at Salford hospital, where they might put me up in a hotel as its quite a trek from Lancaster!

If the pain management course proves no results, then surgery will most probably be on the cards. And the surgery that will most likely happen is Disc Replacement surgery, where basically they remove the damaged discs from my spine, and replace them with fake ones!. He said that having operations like a Discecomy (complete or partial removal of the disc) would probably result in me being the same or even worse off than before, and having a PLIF - Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, (AKA spinal fusion) would most like result in me being rather pain free, for about a year to 18 months, then, because of instability, the healthier discs above, which are already showing signs of natural degeneration, will quickly worsen, and i will be back to square one.

So basically, there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm still left with the basic fact, that no matter what anyone does, I am going to be in some degree of pain, for the rest of my life, and that to me, is the worse thing of all.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

productive day

Due to several people contacting me about any information i might have regarding Motability cars, i have decided to start a new blog, linked to this one, with the aim of test driving, and reviewing Motability cars for the disabled. as i am physically disabled myself, i feel i am in a good position to give positive feedback about cars which i feel will appropriate to physically disabled people.

Although there are many kinds of physical disabilities, i will aim to address as many criteria as i possibly can.

I have had positive responses so far from Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Citroen of Blackpool, to which i look forward to working with in the near future.

I wish to help those people who are struggling to decide whether a Motability car is right for them, and to help them decide which car would be best suited to their needs.

On a more personal note, i am still undergoing further physio for my upper spine. my physio is very concerned about the nerve pains that i am getting down my arms and into my hands. she suspects at least one more disc has prolapsed. every day i can feel it getting that bit worse.

And with the fight against the DWP, i currently have no further news. i am still awaiting part back payment from May, to which i will be ringing them, again, on monday (if BT openreach decide to get round to installing a phone line for us, which they should have done on Monday!!)

I will keep you all updated about any further developments.

As always, many thanks for reading, and do pass my blog on to others.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Lot To Tell

i apologise for not blogging sooner than this, but we have recently moved to house that is somewhat, in the middle of nowhere! this means for now we have no mobile signal coverage, no TV reception and until October 1st, no broadband, so right now im having to rely on a rather dodgy signal from a BT hotspot.

So whats new?? well, i have recently managed to extract half of the money out of the DWP that they owe me. i am going to have to ring them next week as they stated on the phone that they have not received my GP notes that cover the July-October period, which is rather strange as i sent it with the note that covers the May-July period! am i surprised by this? hardly.

I am, though, somewhat confused as to what they are doing, as they have sent loads of letters to me in the last week, back dated throughout the last 6 months, like the one i received only 3 days ago, saying that my GP that ends on July 16th, is about to expire!! taxpayers money well spent there! so i will be calling them probably monday, when we have our phone line installed, to see where those duh-brains at the DWP are up to with my claim, as another recent later states that my claim is going to be reopened!

As for my health, well, there have been further developments there. i am currently undergoing further physiotherapy on my upper spine. my physio thinks that at least one more disc, possibly two, have degenerated, as i am getting more and more pains from my shoulder blades up to the base of my skull, and down my arms.

On another health related matter, but not about my spine, my GP kindly informs me that ear drum has decided to rupture, and now i am pretty much deaf now in my left ear! as if i don't have enough on my plate!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


On August 9th i received some of of my medical noted back from the Department for Work and Pensions, only to find a Royal Mail rubber stamp on each individual one. at the time i didnt really pay much attention to them and just assumed that something innocent had happened, as the Royal Mail couldn't possibly be breaching basic codes of confidentiality right? WRONG! below is a link to an article by the Independent newspaper, i advise everyone to read it. this would explain why so much mail sent to the DWP goes missing!

I am outraged that the Royal Mail has been allowed to get away with this, but i do know that they cannot allowed to do it any more! i have written a strong letter on complaint to the Royal Mail and i suggest if you have ever had sensitive mail opened by them, to write to them too!

As for my ESA case, i was told only after i phone the DWP, that they had not changed their decision during a reconsideration, and will be going to tribunal. i am still waiting for appeal payment that i should have been getting since the beginning of May!

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Reply From ATOS!

After i sent an official complaint to the customer services department at ATOS, i have finally received a reply from them, after "only" a month of waiting for it. their response has not surprised me, with their lack of compassion, and also not admitting that they made a mistake!

Below are photographs i have taken of the response letter. please feel free to read the letter, while i consider whether or not it is even worth seeking legal advice against them.

Even though complaining to ATOS might seem trivial and a waste of time, i personally wish that as many people as possible in similar situations to me, would complain. i wish nothing more than to see the back of ATOS and their worthless Work Capability Assessments, and seeing as though the government is not listening, im planning on hounding ATOS! making life as difficult for them as possible until they get fed up and decide that fighting with us is pointless, and ultimately, LEAVE!!

I would like to take this time to thank all of you for your support, whether it be retweeting my blog to others, or simply reading this, it is very much appreciated, and please feel free to follow my blog. i know that these times can be very hard, and know that you have my support too. we need to stick together to show these discriminatory idiots that we will not be treated like garbage any more!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

DLA decision

after sending my second Disability Living Allowance application off only 2 weeks ago, this morning i received my decision letter. despite being in a wheelchair, in constant pain, and my ability to look after myself constantly diminishing, the "good folks" at the DWP have decided not to give me either the mobility or care component of the benefit.

according to the letter, the only point of reference that they used to make their decision, was my form and the ATOS medical assessment that was performed on me for Employment and Support Allowance!

i am furious that the DWP did not even consult my GP for updates on my physical condition. and i am also told that the criteria for DLA is very different to the criteria for ESA. i am therefore lodging a formal complaint against the DWP as well as applying for a reconsideration using medical evidence and not an illicit assessment performed for a completely different benefit.

if you, or anyone you know who has had a similar situation with the DWP, i urge you to question them, as what they are doing is not right, and must be stopped. they will try anything to stop you getting benefits, even if they know you should be getting them.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

spreading the word

after send my details and brief description of how i was treated by ATOS in my Work Capability Assessment to the Independent newspapere, they have been in touch, and are interested in publishing my story. i hope to use this opportunity to spread the word to people who are not affected by the ATOS and their dreaded WCA!

in hopes of spreading the word, i aim to make people see how the current government is hell bent of causing severe harm to the sock and disabled, just to save themselves a few quid!

in the current times we live in, i cannot believe such behaviour is allowed to pass, and pass unnoticed by the majority of the country. ignorance does, in this case, seem to be bliss.

the government are eager to save money, and i can understand this predicament, however, they are going about in all the wrong ways. i am no expert on financial politics, nor do i claim to be, however from personal experience, i can easily say that attacking the pockets of those must vulnerable in our society, is professionally and morally wrong.

on another note, i have sent yet another email to the customer services department at ATOS, after they have failed to contact me back, despite their assurances that their manager would be in touch personally. i am not holding my breath that my complaint to them will come to anything, but i just want them to know that i will not let this lie. once i get the bit between my teeth, i do not easily let go!

Monday, 6 August 2012

another MRI

i have just got back from yet another MRI scan, this time in Salfords Hope Hospital. i hate having MRI scans. im not claustrophobic, its trying to lay perfectly still on quite a hard bench for 20 minutes is not only very difficult but extremely painful. i just hope it was worth it, i hope that something comes out of it.

i was speaking to a nice man in the waiting room, who has a similar situation to me. he's had 2 spinal surgeries already, but his consultant i confidant that he will end up in a wheelchair. this does not bode well for me, as i already need to use a wheelchair.

he tell me that he gets DLA and ESA, but is having trouble with his coming up WCA, as well as previous ones. i filled him in on whats really going on behind the scenes of the government. the look of shock on his face was priceless. at least he now knows what to expect in the future with his ESA and DLA/PIP assessments.

the service i had at Hope hospital was miles better than that of Royal Preston hospital. the staff were really nice and chatty and would help with anything i needed, which is what i come to expect from a good hospital these days. friendly staff make hospitals that bit more bearable.

so now im trying to recover on the couch. ive taken all my meds, including diazepam, despite it not being the day im suppose to have them, but i don't have a choice. i just hope i can sleep tonight....

Thursday, 26 July 2012

you cannot be serious...

after ringing the DWP to find out if i need a doctors note for my appeal, they inform me that they have not received my appeal and that my account has been closed! this comes only several days after i rang them to make sure that they had received it. this is now the second successive appeal that the DWP have conveniently lost. luckily for me, i sent it recorded delivery.

they were very shocked when i stated that i had sent it recorded and can prove it was delivered. so now im waiting for a phone call from a different department to sort this out. im also waiting for a call regarding the complaint i made against ATOS for the way my WCA (Work Capability Assessment) was handled and the fact that the assessor clearly lied about what was said and done in the examination.

on another note, i received a letter from the office of David Cameron today, regarding my situation of ATOS and leaving disabled people with no money. you can see this below.

as you can see his office was very quick to pass the buck on this subject. in fact i very much doubt the Prime Minister even saw my letter. and this was suppose to be a "peoples government". they're a joke, they really are. and i think the company who supplies 10 Downing Street with their paper thinks the same too, as you can see from the water mark in the letter that was sent to me below.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

trying new meds

after consulting my GP about how Tramadol isn't having the same effect that it used to do, she recommended i tried maximum strength Codeine for a while. the problem with drugs like Tramadol is that you can build up a tolerance to them, so after a while they don't really work. so now im mixing Codeine with Tramadol, and after only a couple of doses, im already feeling an effect from them.

so i will be using Codeine and paracetamol until i start to build a tolerance to them, then its back on the Tramadol again.

as for my ESA situation, my appeal has been received, and i rang up and they said my payment would be backdated, i just need to ring them back and find out if i need a doctors note back dated to my last payment.

i have still yet to fill in my new DLA form. not looking forward to filling that in, it seems never ending. but needs must, so i will be doing that at some point this week, and get that sent off.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

is there hope?

after being in contact with a spinal surgeon on twitter, he tells me that i could benefit from a PLIF operation, or a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. this operation is comprised of the surgeon removing parts of the damaged disc, and inserting a small titanium cage filled with ground up bone from the hip and facet joint. then , using screws and rods, clamp the vertebrae in place, preventing further damage. the bone in the titanium cage is encouraged to grow, therefore fusing the vertebrae with natural bone.

this news is a sign of hope for me, and i am currently awaiting a referral to Salford hospital to see if they can do this procedure.

as for my money situation, i have sent off another appeal form for ESA as they conveniently lost my other one, but this time i have sent it recorded, so they cant say they didnt receive it. so i shall be calling them on monday, asking them to back date my appeal payments.

i shall be filling a new DLA form this week, starting the process from scratch, and with no "help" from the CAB. i will also be using a different GP to fill in their part, a GP who actually knows what they are talking about, and not just making things up!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

feeling old

it my 28th birthday tomorrow, but i feel like im 82! i finally managed to get my GP to prescribe me the Diazepam i need to control my muscle spasms, this took me digging out a letter from a private pain specialist saying that Diazepam is a good drug for me to be on, and dropping a hint that im starting to sue medical professional who are not helping me. he explained that the reason GPs don't like giving out Diazepam is because people have abused them in the past, this maybe true, but i know the main reason is because the government does not pay GP surgeries when they prescribe such drugs as Diazepam. the only condition they gave me is that they will have to put me on a 6 to 12 month observation, which im happy with.

so, my birthday, what to do? what can i do? probably not a great deal. this is the worst i have been on a birthday, so my day will probably be the same as any other day. we might go for a carvery meal on wednesday in the lakes, my favourite carvery in the world, bloody beautiful.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

sleepless again

im writing this at 2am as i just cannot sleep, again. this is because of the amount of pain i have been in today, which my usual medication hasn't even touched it. and also down to sheer stress of both pain any money worries with fighting ATOS and the DWP.

this evening i have sent the CEO of ATOS a very formal and detailed email, explaining my situation, asking for assistance and saying if they don't help, i will be forced to seek legal council.

i feel both angry and upset with the way i have been treated by the government, so much so, that i have also recently sent another formal email to David Cameron. im not expecting a great deal to come out of this, but it is worth a go, and gives him a chance to prove himself to me, even though i will not be voting Conservatives at the next general election.

i will be having physio therapy on my upper spine, with suspicions that at least one more disc has decided to play up, causing alot of pain in between my shoulder blades, in my shoulders and down my arms. this new situation, along with money problems, is making me stressed beyond belief, hence the lack of sleeping.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

tribunal hell

well i had my Disability Living Allowance tribunal this morning, and after going, and getting my nerves shaken to hell, they started asking questions. questions i answered well and honestly, but at the end of all this, i was turned down for DLA!

i am in a wheelchair, but they were going off the time of first appeal back in February. even back then i was using a crutch and walking very difficulty and painfully, but i guess in their eyes, not really being able to walk isn't classed as being disabled.

ive been screwed over by pretty much everyone recently, so why should today be any different?

so now i have requested a new claim pack to start the process off all over again!  if they turn me down this time, with me now being in a wheelchair and in severe pain, then i don't know what else i can do to get it.

the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Social Services have said that i was entitled to the higher rate mobility and low rate care, but when it comes to making a decision, i guess they don't agree with that. unfortunately no one from with the CAB or Social Services were available to represent me at the tribunal because i ticked the box on the form that i am available for cancellation hearings, big mistake! if you want someone to represent you at a tribunal, do not tick this box!!

so now my life of no money carries on until i hear something, which i believe to be criminally wrong to leave someone in the condition that i am in, and if it carries on, i will have to think about seeking legal help.

Friday, 15 June 2012

busy month

i have a busy month ahead this june. this coming monday i have an appointment with social services who are helping me with my DLA tribunal which is being held on the 27th of june. then on the 28th if june i am back at the CAB for what i can only assume to be help with my ESA appeal.

it feels good that there are people out there who are willing to help me in my fight against the DWP and ATOS,  though with the CAB, i use the term "help" lightly. in their opinion, i should get high mobility and medium to high care, when the result came through, i got nothing. so now using social services to help me with this one.

i am hoping with everything i have to hope with, that i get the result that i want, the result that i need. currently i have ZERO money coming in, and this makes me feel worthless, like a waste of space, a waste of resources. it kills me that i have to rely on benefits after years of constant work, work that i loved doing, and now im on the couch, day in, day out, trying everything i can to get myself out of the pain im in. but it doesnt help when i have to prove to the doctors that some of the medication i need, is what i need. Diazepam to them is an expensive drug, and under the government GP points system, they dont get paid for giving people drugs such as Diazepam, this leads me to believe that GPs only have money in mind, and not patient safety and wellbeing.

Monday, 4 June 2012

is it spreading?

after having neck pain for the last week, i went to the doctor a few days ago, and he suspects that at least one disc in my cervical spine might have gone the same way as 2 of my lumbar discs. it hurts when i move my head, making a grinding noise and causing me extreme headaches. plus the annoying but severe pains i get in my arms when i sneeze. he has booked me in with a physiotherapist in a couple of weeks to see if that will settle it down, although going off previous physio experiences, im not too optimistic.

so vicky has gone on a girls week away in wales, and she is having fun, which is good. so im having a week of rest, i feel like i have done too much lately, so a week off would be beneficial. i need to try and calm down, relax and not get stressed. my stomach has been hurting quite a bit over the last few days and i have barely eaten anything. i have had to stop taking my ulcer pills to try and eat but this has not changed anything, apart from giving me stomach pains.

it just seems lately i am losing count of the things that are going wrong, im amazed im not a quivering wreck sat in a corner, rocking back and forth!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

a rather bad day

lately i have not been very well, even though i have tried to be active, i feel it is taking its toll on me. last week i got up off the couch, only to hear and feel a loud snap noise from my neck. the pain that followed was unbearable. NHS direct wanted me to go to hospital, but i refused. i went to my GP the following day and he said that it was probably a snapped tendon in my neck. however, i have now noticed that when i sneeze, i get very painful shooting pains down both arms. vicky has done some research about this, and it appears to be a problem with a disc in my cervical spine. so today i am layed up on the couch, popping pills as often as i can to try and take some of the pain away.

i was told 3 years ago that there was a chance that my problem could spread to other areas of my spine. this is after all, similar, if not a part, of arthritis, and arthritis can spread rather easily. so now i need to go back to my useless GP and ask him to take a look and possibly send me for an x-ray on my upper spine.

lately i feel like i have so much weight on my shoulders. i can no longer take the pills i was put on to control my panic attacks, as it made me so ill. it was probably a combination of the pills, the recent bout of the Nora virus, and the anxiety that caused me to experience severe stomach pains and vomit blood.

however i have recently received my new wheelchair, and it is alot more comfortable than my last one, and slightly lighter making it easier to get out of the car. but lately i feel embarrassed to be seen in public in a wheelchair. in booths yesterday, we bumped into someone vicky new, and she said that she didnt know i had to use a chair now, and wished me well, which was nice of her. but i felt so small, almost like i was on display. i guess i am just not used to it. i feel like i stand out in a crown. but what gets me so very angry, is arrogant people in supermarkets who simply will not give me any room to manoeuvre, thats if they even acknowledge that i am there. i got hit with a trolley by an old man, who didnt even apologise. just because im in a chair, doesnt mean i am invisible!  

Friday, 18 May 2012

as if i didnt have enough to cope with!

recently i have been placed on a new drug, one to help me stabilize my anxiety levels and prevent me having anymore hyperventilation attacks. this drug is called Trazodone. after just 3 days in this new pill, i noticed yesterday that things were definitely not right. i had the headache to end all headaches. i was constantly dizzy and nauseous. but all of this was overshadowed by the what felt like my stomach being ripped out.

soon after this, the diarrhoea kicked (i apologise if you are just sitting down to dinner, if so, come back later and carry on reading). i then started to live on the toilet, i couldnt bare going up and down the stairs, over and over again. and just when i thought it couldnt get any worse, i started to feel sick, and i mean really sick!

after lying in bed for a couple of hours, knowing that i didnt stand any chance of getting to sleep, i decided id rather watch a bit of crappy night time telly, than stare at the bedroom ceiling. so on the way down, i took another journey to the bathroom. after doing the usual, i could feel myself wrenching. so i quickly took the position. then it came. it began as just a bit of bile, but this soon changed. when i saw what was coming out of me, i was in shock, i couldnt believe my eyes... blood!!

so i decided to get a bucket and get on the couch. during the night there was several toilet trips, but threw up a further 3 times in the bucket, all of them containing blood. i tried relaxing on the couch, wishing i could fall asleep. i worked out that i didnt have more than 30 minutes sleep.

this morning i called my local GP's office, who talked to me on the phone, and told me it sounds like a whole in my stomach wall had formed, hence where the blood was coming from. he surprisingly turned up at our door a couple of hours later to examine me. he prescribed me meds that people with stomach ulcers would take. vicky however, had done some homework, and it turns out that Tramadol and Trazodone do not like being taken with eachother, although no GP had told me that before giving it me. i quizzed the GP about this, and he confirmed that vicky was right. yet another let down by the NHS! needles to say i have taken myself off the Trazodone, and i am planning on going cold turkey, no pills for at least the next 24 hours. i need to let my stomach heal itself, before i go shoving pain meds down my throat.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

something new

as a person who suffers from a rather serious spinal problem, i am always looking out for new ways to try to relieve pain. then i heard through word-of-mouth of a new company who aims to help people with lumbar spinal problems by adjusting someone's  posture.  postureplast have kindly sent me a sample of their product for me to try. basically, its a large X shape plaster with a plastic strip inside. the aim is to make people adjust their posture into the 'safe zone'.

i have had mine on several hours, and all day, i can honestly say, i have been sitting correctly, with less pain, and when i alter my posture out of habit, the strut inside is there to remind me to re-adjust myself. it is comfortable to walk with, i have even been driving with it on today. and after having it on for just a few hours, i can already feel an improvement with the level of pain i am in.

for the first few minutes, it felt rather strange having something attached to my back, but after about an hour, i almost forgot it was there, up until i didn't sit correctly that is.

as someone who suffers from chronic pain in the lower back area, i can easily recommend postureplast to others in my situation, assuring that it is safe for all people to use. my only recommendation, is if you have a rather hairy lower back, i would consider trimming first, as the movement and pulling of the plaster can pull hairs, just like any other plaster!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

is it gone yet??

as time goes on, the more and more i want this pain to go. it is really starting to ruin my life. i never asked for it, i never expected it, and now i have it, i want it gone as soon as humanly possible.  so now the aim is, once i get a bit of money together, i will beg any surgeon in the land (or outside of the land) to fix me. i dont care who does it, i dont care what language they speak or whether they got their medical licence from a kinder egg, i want them to fix me.

i want to be able to provide for vicky and her son. i want to go back out there and get a job. i want us to get a nice house with a garden for nath (and maybe more) to play in and enjoy. am i wrong for wanting this? is it really too much to ask for?? those people out there who have no money worries, no health worries, no worries in general, i envy you, i really do!

As for now, i feel as though i must go through this alone. I feel abandoned by all of those who were meant to support me, and the few that actually wanted to. This has quite simply ruined my life, something people just don't seem to realize.

Friday, 11 May 2012

finding the sweet spot

yesterday i tried something new. i tried closing the gaps in between the times i take my tramadol and pregabalin.  taking them at 3 hour intervals starting 12 noon. then at 6pm, i took a diazepam. at about 8pm, the pain started to subside, and i was feeling only slightly groggy. this is the closest i have been to being pain free for years! i will continue to stick to this timetable, unfortunately, to achieve optimum efficiency, i have to take the diazepam every 3 days, that means 2 day of agony in between the sweet spot i can enjoy every third evening.

this might be considered dangerous, taking tramadol so close together, but right now i dont really have much of a choice. i need to find a way to lessen my pain, even if its just for a few hours. it gives me a little hope and something to look forward to.

i feel like im losing my mind lately. the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't seem to be getting any closer, and i am trying to keep it together, but lately, i find even the smallest of tasks frustrating, and the slightest of things that i dont like, i find myself snapping at. this is not me, this is not who i am. i miss being the old me, i just hope the old me isnt lost for good.   

Monday, 7 May 2012

how bad can this get?

trying to be more active lately is taking its toll on my body. i am writing this, laying on the couch in agony. i feel like my spine need to click, like something is trapped. this is making all my muscles go into spasm. the pain down my legs is now worse than ever, and my legs have begun moving of their own accord.

vicky wants me to call a doctor, but i refused. i am sick of seeing doctors and medical professionals lately, and tired of being poked and prodded.

i am still waiting for a copy of my previous MRI and reports to come through the post. once i have these i will be contacting a hospital in Cyprus to see what they think, as i have heard good stories about them. i am growing less willing to let the NHS fix me. i will let them run all the tests they want to, just means more material to send to Cyprus.

as for my fight against ATOS, i am still waiting for a date about my DLA tribunal, and have still decided to give up with the ESA. there are only so many battles you can fight at one time. i am still waiting to hear back from Eric Ollerenshaw, my local MP, who said he was going to look into the matter of all my DWP disputes. i shall be sending him more correspondences soon if i have yet to hear from him, but again, i am not holding my breath!

for all those willing to join the fight against ATOS, whether you have had a bad experience personally, or just horrified about how they are treating this counties disabled people, then please join the facebook page

Saturday, 5 May 2012

same ol same ol

its another day of being couch bound. vicky is up in Edinburgh for a few hours with a builder looking at her mums house. i am trying to take everything i can to keep myself relaxed and "pain free", but that never happens anyway.

i went to the GP yesterday. told her what had been happening, did a quick exam on me to rule out any signs of infection from the Myelogram on monday, luckily, that seems all clear which is good as i really couldn't be doing with that at the moment.

this GP, a woman, the first female GP i've seen in a long time, talked alot of sense. she said that right now there is no stronger pain killers she can give me until the results of the EMG and Myelogram get sent to the neurosurgeon. she also showed me a letter from my neurosurgeon stating that there is likely to be nerve irritation or compression, even though he said to me he thought it would be unlikely. if its not nerves, then my legs have grown a separate brain all of their own!

the GP also said that Myelograms are usually done before surgery, which has given me a bit of hope. i don't want surgery, i don't like surgery, but if it fixes me, then i welcome it. i should hopefully be receiving a letter through the post in the next week or so with an appointment to see my neurosurgeon. this will be one the most important appointments in life, i just hope its the news i really need to hear. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

when will it end?

after having my Myelogram on monday, the pains i have been experiencing since have not let up, they haven't even been getting any better. if this carries on i shall have to go to my GP. i have read that Myelograms can cause serious problems, problems that i simply cannot deal with right now. some of them are quite frightening, such as spinal meningitis. but im not going to get ahead of myself with this one. as hard as it is, im going to think positively.

i am currently split into 2 worlds. one is a fight with the NHS to get myself fixed and healthy (which to me, is priority), and the other joining a fight with other disabled people to fight against the government, the DWP, and ATOS against stripping innocent disabled people from their benefits and income, forcing them either into work, or into poverty.

i will not be voting for any party in the upcoming local elections, as all the parties seem to be as bad as the other, it would be like trying to pick the lesser of many evils. it seems all politicians want to punish the ill and reward scroungers who live their lives on job seekers allowance, not bothering to work and bleeding the country dry and preventing those who need the benefits to live. i thought it was just ATOS that needed to go, but now i realise the problem goes much deeper and higher up. they say shit flows down hill, well in this case, it flows back up, right to the top!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

fighting for what's right

after looking around to see if there are any people in similar position to me when it comes to the Department for Work and Penions (DWP), i was surprised to discover many others who have had their benefits taken away and been declared fit for work by ATOS, the company hired by the government to assess and perform medical examinations on benefit claimants.

something i have learned lately is that the government has to ATOS to 'tighten the belt' when it comes to conditions needed for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). reports say that the government are stripping 92% of people on ESA, and 25% on DLA, regardless of their medical conitions.

that i why i have joined in with fellow campaigners against ATOS, here is their link @AtosStories and also with the @WelfareUnion on twitter. i hope that with joining these great campaign organisations, we can make a real difference and convince the government that not only what they are doing is morally wrong, but stripping disabled people from their income, and forcing them into work that they simply cannot do, is borderline bullying and disablism. i have set up an open facebook page for people who have been wronged by ATOS to come and share their stories and support the fight for what is right!  

Monday, 30 April 2012

poked and prodded

i had a test this morning called an Myelogram. basically this test entails numbing the skin at the bottom of my back. then using a fluoroscope, the insert a small needle attached to a tube. the needle gets placed into the spinal canal. the dye is pumped through the tube into the spinal fluid. this is a very uncomfortable experience.

your legs start to go very heavy. you start getting very bad nerve pain in your back, buttocks and legs. its entertaining though to watch it all happen on a 70 inch plasma screen! the side effects i was told that could happen are; nerve pains, severe headaches and bleeding. 2 out of 3 of these i have. i haven't seen and blood as of yet. the headaches are rather bad, though don't seem to be getting any worse. the nerve pains are alot worse than what i usually experience. so for today at least, i am couch bound and full to the brim with painkillers. so im writing this feeling very high, which is a challenge in itself! i just hope all of this is worth it, i cant take much more poking and prodding.

i should be hearing back from my consultant neurologist in the next week or two, so hopefully he will see something that other useless doctors have failed to notice.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

a little zapped

after yesterdays EMG test, my leg has been left a little worse for wear. walking is even harder today. i am  hoping that this is just a side effect and will go off in due coarse. but this post is mainly about ATOS healthcare and the vicious stories i have heard about them. i too know what it feels like to be at the wrath of this private company, hired by the government, to do "medical examinations" on benefit claimants. the truth of the matter is that 93% of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants, and 25% of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants will lose their benefits over the next year due to new legislations brought in by the government. which will push many ill and disabled people closer to the bread line, and even into poverty.

i have created a Facebook page, campaign against Atos open for anyone to join or just to vent their frustration at ATOS, and hopefully our voices will be heard. if we get enough people on board, more people will notice. their have been many people protesting about ATOS before, but their voices have not been widely heard, as before ATOS screwed me over, i had never heard of ATOS, nor problems with them. its time that everyone knew about this.

the government basis is a "peoples government", which means we have a say! if more people speak out, then changes will surely follow. i implore you to join this Facebook group, and my friends over on Twitter, atosstories to help with this cause, and end this miscarriage of justice, and stop the government punishing people for mistakes the MP's and the banks have made.  many thanks.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

afternoon of torture

i have just got back from a neurophysiological appointment at the royal preston hospital feeling a bit worse for wear! i had an EMG test (or an Electromyography test), which is basically electrocuting me and sticking needles in my leg muscles. parts of the test were so painful i started laughing, never done that before.

trying to get in the car, my leg felt a bit odd. kind of like a cramp in my ham string. getting out of the car again at home, it was even worse. now i guess im just going to have to keep it up the rest of the evening and hope it disappears by morning

the results of the test will now get sent of to my "so called" neurosurgeon for analysis and give me the results in due coarse.

meanwhile i await a letter through the post from walton neurological centre in liverpool, to which i referred to back in 2009. they told me that the mri's they looked at clearly showed the problem, along with the nerve problems, and that it would have to be fixed in the future. i have asked for this reports, along with the mri scan, so i can shove it down my neurosurgeon throat for ever doubting what i was trying to explain to him. this might sound a little harsh but someone has to bring these people down off their high pedestals.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

breathing issues

for the second time now, i have collapsed to the floor in pain that i have never experienced before. all of my muscles in my back seize and go into spasm. my legs shoot with sciatic pain. the pain is so overwhelming that my stomach turns and i feel like i want to vomit. then my breathing starts.

my breaths get faster and faster to try and cope with the pain. after a few seconds of this, i realise that i am going into, what feels like shock. i start getting the worse pins and needles i have ever felt. these started in my fingers on both hands, and toes on both feet. after a few more seconds, which felt like an hour, these pins and needles started to spread up my arms and legs until i could barely move and lost the use of my left arm for over an hour. i realised that i had to control my breathing if i was going to get out of this. so i pin pointed a spot on the ceiling and stared at it. noticing my breathing, trying to slow it down, until the point came were i was barely breathing at all. just the very slightest of air going in, enough to keep my concious. after a short while on the floor, vicky helped me back on to the couch were i stayed for the rest of the evening, trying to exercise my left arm back into life

the next day i went to the doctors. the doctor explained in great detail, that i went into hypo ventilation, and when i start to panic because of the pain, my breathing increases, which in turn makes me fell even worse. its a vicious cycle that i have to stop before it starts. so now, i write this while being in alot of pain and trying to control my breathing. i do not want another repeat of that night ever again.

Friday, 13 April 2012

friday 13th from hell

well the government has now decided to to steal what scrap of dignity i had left. after a medical examination was "performed" on my last month, the examiner, a health worker from ATOS, passed her report on to another member who has made a decision that not only will they stop my ESA benefit with immediate effect, but has said i had no limitations for working! now im no expert on disabilities, and i don't pretend to be one, but when someone has to use a wheelchair just to leave the house, is in constant chronic pain, and is on so much pain medication that just leaving the house is a chore because of the side effects, then i would class all that as "limitations". after spending a good hour on hold waiting to speak to someone at the DWP today, i gave up. im guessing the lines where so busy because many other people had been well and truly shafted by ATOS and the government. 

take a look at this link, it includes a brief interview description between Dame Anne Begg; a disabled Labour MP, and Lisa Coleman; ATOS's general manager for its DWP contracts.

and then there is this link from the Citizens Advice Bureau page from march 2010, which has found many people who shouldn't be working because of their illness or disability, being found "fit for work" by ATOS" 

so now, the government has taken away my ONLY source of income, and has forced me to search for work, when i know i cannot physically work, but what choice do i have?! i can put in appeal, which i will be doing, but im not holding my breath about that. but its good to know the people out there who are able to work and just plainly choose not too as they can't get off the lazy backsides, are nicely supported by the government.

so, ladies and gentlemen, please stand and raise your glasses to ATOS and the Conservative party. its nice to know that with them around and making decisions, the country is well and truly screwed, and my proverbial coffin has now got way too many nails in it.  

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

restless days, sleepless nights

the days are starting to all roll into one, with sleeping becoming ever more difficult. some nights i dread coming to bed, just because i know there is a good chance im going to spend the next few hours staring at the ceiling wishing i could drop off to sleep. even the meds im on these days don't seem to be helping me in that department any more, and its pointless going back to my GP as there isn't really anything else he can prescribe except sleeping pills and i don't want them!

anyway, i have an appointment on the 24th of this month at the hospital for tests on my nerves and muscles in my legs and arms. i don't really understand why this is necessary as my symptoms are easily explained if the 'genius' of surgeon bothered to look at previous tests and examinations, but i guess that is just too difficult. i am also waiting to hear about another test that they want to do on me, which i think involved injecting a dye into my spinal column to illuminate the nerves and see where the problem is. so a fun few months ahead!!

until then i will carry on struggling. the amount of pain i am in on a daily basis seems to be increasing, which is getting me a bit down. it sometimes feels like im suffocating, or trapped in a very small bubble which is constantly shrinking. its very unpleasant to feels trapped in ones own body, wishing you could get out just for a short while to get a bit of relief, which might sound daft to a lot of people, but until you are put in a similar situation, you will probably never know how that feels!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

thanks Torries

well i had a nice phone call this morning, from the Department for Work and Pensions informing me that my only means of income currently, my ESA, is to be stopped come April 30th, this is because of a new legislation passed through parliament. so now they are sending me a new claim form for a different ESA. if i don't get this, then i will have no income, AT ALL! this along side the DLA being refused, has left me up a very sticky brown creek without a paddle.

i don't vote, never have probably never will, but i have always thought the Conservatives were the lesser or many evils, and have known the Labour have been the source of nothing but problems, but while trying to clean up labours mess, the torries have well and truly arse raped me, AGAIN!

how does the government expect someone who can't work, to live?? i have written to my MP last week about this situation, but as expected, i have heard nothing in return. if anyone wants to know what its like to feel inadequate? come see me!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

the day after the day before!

well, i've had 24 hours to think and reflect about all the wise words of wisdom that was said to me yesterday at the hospital, and all i can say in response, is that the specialist i saw, although recommended by trusted professional, really has no clue about medicine. i mean, do these people get their medical licences out of a kinder egg? i was told that he does not think that surgery is the answer, and my symptoms don't match what i have been  told. he then went on to say, and i really liked this bit, that there was no way of knowing what would happen in the next 5 to 10 years!! i told him that there was no way i was staying like this for 5 more years, the only reason i have been able to tolerate this, and i use that term loosely,  for the last 3 years, was because i haven't been this bad for the last 3 years. 

vicky told me afterwards that my fist was clenching just after he dropped this bombshell on me, which would relate to me thinking that i would like nothing more that to see him violently fall off his chair. he was one of the snottiest, big headed, and i must say, rude people, i have ever had the misfortune to encounter. it kinda makes me propose this question to the world; is there a decent medical professional who thinks solely about his patient, and not on statistics or their giant ego. i am really coming to the end of tether with doctors.

anyway, he has booked me in for a couple of nerve related tests, so i will let him run his stupid tests, and then go and find a real doctor who knows what a scalpel is, and knows how to pass basic english!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

worse now...

well today im feeling alot worse than i usually am. my sciatic pains are more intense and it feels like someone is stabbing me with a very sharp butchers knife, and twisting it around my spine. but thats not all. my left leg is weak and has been for some time, but im feeling very strange sensations in my right leg, along with increasing sciatic pains. even getting off the couch is a struggle in itself today.

im trying my best to put any pains to one side as vicky is under the weather with an infection, and i want to be there to look after her, and i am trying my best, but it is very hard work just to do easy things like making a cup of tea. but i will carry on, i must carry on. i need to get her better, her health is alot more important than mine is.

i really do wish, and hope, that the neurosurgeon can do something to help me. tuesday cannot come round quick enough....

Thursday, 15 March 2012

being screwed over!!

after my third attempt at getting DLA, recommended by my GP, my consultant, and the CAB, i have been declined yet again. this after i have learned that someone who gets a bit sad and anxious every now and again, got it straight away! i am so angry. it is called DISABILITY living allowance. what part of being "sad" is disabling. do these people not realise that seeing my mobility decrease day after day is upsetting?? there needs to be a serious shake up in the system. if needs be i will drag the DSS through every court in the land, until they realise that i am disabled, something that everyone around me can clearly see.

the same goes for the people who dish out disabled "blue badges". i have one of these, and i have it for a very good reason, but the people i often see hogging the disabled spaces, are people who can walk perfectly fine, maybe these people are a bit "sad" aswell, aww, diddums. i don't care who if anyone gets annoyed at me for saying this, as i am even more annoyed than they could possibly be. i understand that there are genuine people with genuine mental health issues who do need help with aspects of their lived, and i respect that, but people who blatantly take advantage of the system just to get an extra buck, which makes it harder for people who actually need the help, like me, need a serious kick up the backside! i have put in an appeal, but i do not hold my breath about it, as this wonderful government that we have is so set on cut backs because they messed everything up, they don't care who's lives they destroy. it would be better if there were a pack of donkeys running the country, at least when they get voted in, everyone knows that they are an "ass" from the start, and not learn it when it is too late.

anyway, im seeing the neurosurgeon in the next few days, so i shall write a new post when i know whats going on, again, im not holding my breath!!

Monday, 20 February 2012

victory over the GP's

after losing a battle for the past few weeks to have Diazepam continually supplied to me, after they stopped my prescription, i went to see a different doctor, but took some paperwork from a professor of pain management at the BMI lancaster hospital, who said that i am on good medication such as Diazepam, the GP had no choice but to back down! this gave me a certain feel of satisfaction, not just that i got the pills i need, and should have supplied to me without question, but i also got what i actually wanted without a GP sticking their galactic noses in!

unfortunately, i have discovered something rather worrying about one of the doctors at my GP practice, LIES! i applies for DLA under the instruction of my adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau, so the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) sent out a form for my GP and the professor at the BMI to fill in. the professor gave a full and detailed explanation of what my condition is and any previous treatment i have received, unlike my GP who plainly stated that there was nothing wrong with me. it looked clearly to me, that he hadn't even bothered to look at my file as certain information was left out. he said that the MRI scans have shown "no structure" to my symtoms, even though the MRI results are freely available on his computer, just a click away. i am getting so very angry with all medical services, as they clearly have no clue what they doing. a blind monkey with a pin could do a better job.

we should be in a day and age where there in no such thing as "doctors opinions". the advancement of medical science should be able to clearly state what is wrong with the patient and what needs to be done to fix him/her. thats it. none of this faffing around with having many many scans, then waiting for 6 months for a follow up, then being told i will need more scans and injection that i don't need! are there any doctors and surgeons out there who know what they are doing, if so, please feel free to contact me so i can give you a congratulatory medal for DOING YOUR JOB!

Friday, 17 February 2012

good day

well we have friends around this evening, playing games, having a few drinks and basically having a laugh. im having a good day generally, apart my trip to, yes, again, ASDA! this time to get some spare keys cut, an couldn't be bothered getting a wheelchair, so walked with my crutch as it wasn't far from the door. unfortunately, this damn near killed me. it seems now, that every day, i am able to walk less and less, and this is kinda frightening. i don't want to sound like i droll on and on about my problems, but this is a blog about my problems, and i use it to get it all of my chest.this helps me, as i can see things in context. and it helps to get it out of my mind so im not thinking about it as much.

the day of my appointment with the neurosurgeon grows ever closer, and me and my partner are still doing our homework on possible operations and procedures that could be done and which ones would be best. i know that this is a form of building up hopes, but this sort of thinking has to be done, as i don't want to be surprised when the time comes. i will probably need the time to mull over which procedure is best for me and my condition.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Day to Day

well, today has been very hard, and i haven't done that much to be honest. got up around 9am, went to ASDA, came home and had dinner. albeit now, when i go to places like ASDA, i have to use a wheelchair, and that scares me, as i haven't been out much on my feet, and if i can't get round a smooth floored supermarket, how am i going to manage when out on the rough pavements? so, it seems the time has come to get myself a wheelchair. i knew this day would come, i just didn't think it would be this soon. i have dreaded this day from the very moment i thought about it. but all i know is that i cannot carry on the way i am, i need some king of mobility help, and if a wheelchair makes my life 1% easier, then so be it.

i am crossing all my finger and toes, and praying to every god that people believe in, that this is only temporary, and that i will soon be back on my feet, though i don't raise my hopes too much, as i don't want them dashed if nothing comes of it. luckily, our car is an automatic, which means i am still able to drive. if the day comes where i cannot drive, i would go stir crazy as i love driving, even with the amount of idiots that their are on our streets these day, but that's another topic for another blog. hmm, a blog about idiot drivers, sounds like a plan....

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

the facts of my problem

the image above is the original MRI scan taken 3 years ago, things are a lot worse now than they were then. but even 3 years ago, an orthopaedic surgeon said that this was not right and i would need surgery in the near future. im no doctor or spinal expert, but just looking at this picture, even i can see that something is wrong. i will probably be having another MRI in the coming months and will try and get a picture of it to compare how things have progressed.

any spinal surgeon reading this blog and looking at this image, will see that i have "central protrusion of discs L4/L5 and L5/S1 with possible nerve damage (hence the sciatica and weakness in my left leg).

after doing extensive research into spinal problems such as mine, i have seen that when spinal discs empty themselves, or "rupture" of the fluid contained within them (nucleus pulposus). emptying the fluid into the spinal column, therefore, causing severe pain in the legs, feet or arms. pain in the legs is called by fluid on or around the sciatic nerve, commonly known as "sciatica".

sciatica can have several symptoms, such as burning or radiating pain through the buttocks and hips; severe shooting pain down the legs; burning pain in the feet or toes; weakness, tingly sensations or pins and needles in legs or feet. extreme cases have been know to cause partial paralysis. in my case, i have radiating pain in my buttocks and hip; severe shooting pains, often down my left leg, but occasionally down my right; occasional burning sensations in my feet; and severe weakness of my left leg, causing me to use a crutch, and quite often, a wheelchair.

there are many surgical options that are available for this scenario, these of which i will consult with my neurosurgeon in my forthcoming appointment, that is if he decides that surgery is the best way to go, but at this stage, i dont see any other option. if he says "no surgery", then i will be willing to pay privately and get it done as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

valentines day

Well, as valentines day draws to a close, i hope everyone had an amazing day. i have enjoyed my first valentines day with my beautiful, amazing girlfriend. i cant thank her enough for the help and love she gives me, but i do feel constantly guilty. i feel guilty because i cannot help her as much as i want to. it hurts me to see her running around after me. plus the day has been filled with fear, fear about the upcoming neurosurgery appointment. things go round and round in my head. "what if they can't fix me?" "what operation will they want to do?" "what if it goes wrong and i end up even worse?". currently my head is a mess with thoughts. but tonight is all about my partner, and all my troubles and woes are going to take a back seat, at least just for tonight.

i hope you all have had a brilliant day, and will have a fantastic and romantic evening with your loved ones.

Monday, 13 February 2012

GP's and drug costs

As i said in my previous post, money and what finances the GP practices receive are all based on what pills the doctors prescribe to their patients. an today i had it confirmed by one the better GP's that are in my local surgery. he told me that there was nothing i could say that would get Diazepam prescribed to me again. he started going on about money and costs of the drug. now this might just be me, but when someone goes to a doctor with an ailment, they want to know that they can get everything they need to get themselves on the road to recovery, or at least ease any pain they might be in. but it turns out that this simply is not the case. even though we pay national insurance at huge amounts these days, the NHS and GP practices, will not pay for drugs that many people need. in a way he felt sorry for me and wished me luck for an appointment with a neuro surgeon i have in march. at least he is a competent doctor, my actual GP told me last week to rub ibuprofen gel on the affected area and go for a massage....

now im no expert in this, but for someone who has central protrusion of two spinal discs, nerve damage and severe sciatica, putting pressure on the spine is not the best idea. i've even been told by one massager a couple of years ago that they would not touch me!  i wonder if some of these GP's get their medical licences out of a kinder egg! i think from now on i will only use GP's to repeat my prescriptions, well, the ones they can "afford" to give me anyway.

GP's any good??

For the last 3 years i have been on Diazepam to help control my muscle spasms in my back, that was until 2 weeks ago when i put in a repeat prescription for them. it was denied! i picked up the prescription slip only to see Diazepam crossed out with a squiggly line. So i made an appointment with my GP, who, ive learned, is one of the owners of the practise. he said i shouldn't be on Diazepam, i told him what i need it for, but he wasn't going to shift. instead, he prescribed Citalopram which is an antidepressant, and a rubbish one at that. I have been prescribed antidepressants in the past to eliminate depression, and was soon taken off it again. 2 weeks after being prescribed Citalopram, i saw another doctor, who swiftly told me to stop taking them and that i dont need them, he, again, prescribed me Diazepam. It turns out that, and i want to make you all aware of this, that GP's get their money from something called the QOF (The Quality and Outcomes Framework). This points system means the GP practice gets paid from the way they treat you. I have learned that the more patients get prescribed drugs such as Diazepam, the LESS money the practice gets, and the more patients get prescribed drugs such as antidepressants, the MORE money the practice receives. so now i have a doctors appointment with a doctor who is not an owner and doesn't have much responsibility with the practices income. I for one find the fact that GP's are more concerned with getting lots of money, rather than treating patients correctly, to be disgraceful. If you are on drugs such as antidepressants, and you are questioning yourself whether you need to be on them, see a GP who is not an owner of your practice, and ask them. I am not depressed, i am in pain. I do not need mood stabilizers! I know that Diazepam is a form of Valium, and this is the ingredient that i need to control my muscles. Here is a brief description from website about valium and Diazepam:

Valium (diazepam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.

Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders,alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. Valium is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.

So for a doctor to refuse Diazepam to someone in my condition is not only wrong, but unethical!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

DLA Cockup!!

After seeing a consultant at lancaster CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) who told me that i should be claiming disability living allowance, i she helped me fill in a claim form, which took a while, there was alot to write about. so, finally, the form was ready to be posted, this was before christmas, and only this week, i received a letter telling me that i had a medical appointment on the friday just gone. so, with help from my girlfriend, i struggled all the way up the steep slope to the medical examination room, i was knackered and hurting alot. these days it is so  hard to walk more than a few steps. so, i arrived at the door, to be greeted by a piece of scrappy paper blue tacked to the door saying that all appointments for today are cancelled and further appointment will be sent out in the post. i was so angry, i had come all that way, which to me, feels like 20 miles, for no reason. i rang them up an nearly shouted at them down the phone. they apologized profusely. i asked for a home appointment as i wasn't willing to make that journey again. i was told that a doctor would have to write to them to request a home visit, so i am at the doctors on monday to request this.

getting fixed?

my story begins 7 years ago, when i worked at a salad production factory, working with HGVs, fixing and loading them. one day, a wagon came in complaining of a gas leak, this wagon was full of tomatoes, so these ha to be shifted before any maintenance could begin. as i was moving a pallet (which weighed in excess of 2 tonnes), it started to tilt. me being the fool, i went to catch it, and felt a pop in my back! (for the record, i did successfully prevent the pallet from toppling).

so, my NHS adventure began that day in early june 2004. i got taken to hospital, where a "genius" doctor pronounced me as having slipped a disc in my spine. (i could have told him that). anyway, he had to do an XRAY to make sure. i was off work for a month, letting the pain subside. nothing really happened after that apart from the occasional twinge in my back.

the next year, a very similar accident occurred, again, i was taken to hospital, this time no XRAY, but still, they said slipped disc and to rest. off work again for another month.

in 2009, while working at a EMI nursing home, i bent down to pick an empty bin liner off the floor, i couldnt stand back up. i went to the hospital straight away, the immediately booked me in for an MRI scan. the scan showed that i have DDD (Disc Degeneration Disease). DDD often occurs in older people as an ageing process, most of the time no pain is felt, however, when it is caused by injury, it can become quite serious.

i was under Mr Ampat, a orthopaedic surgeon at southport and formby general hospital. as i was also starting to get strange pain in my legs, he referred me to the walton neurological centre in liverpool, for further testing.

after the tests had been completed, i was seen by a registrar, who said that the discs where causing irritation to the nerves that come out of the spinal cord. he said it will need surgery in the future, i asked will my symptoms become worse, he answered with a simple "yes". my heart sank as i new this was going to affect me for some time, and could start to ruin my life. i was off sick from my work, a job i loved. after about 6 months, my boss alan called me in, and said that they would have to let me go on grounds of incapacity. a tear came to my eye at this point. alan felt so sorry for me and said he wished there was something he could do to help, but he had done all he could. things at this point now where really starting to get to me.

so, as the days ans weeks rolled on, i found myself in ever more pain, increasing all the time, several bouts on near depression, to which the doctors wanted to put me on antidepressants, of which i said no, except one antidepressant, Amitriptyline, only because it was proven to help with nerve pain, didnt really feel much relief from that, but at that point in time i was willing to try anything.

A few months later, i went to see my GP for a regular check up, and he told me about a trial drug the NHS has been testing on patients with nerve problems, its called Pregabalin, or Lyrica. i found this drug to be much more helpful than the Amitriptyline, so i came off that and started taking Lyrica at small doses to begin with, after a week i increase the dosage up to 600mg a day, the effect where noticeable. i am still on this drug to this day. that, mixed with the Tramadol, causes me to feel quite "high", but does relieve the pain somewhat.

my story became quite the same for a while after that, i carried on taking the necessary drugs everyday, and tried my best to live life the best way i could. Then, after i moved up to lancaster with my partner, i started seeing a new GP and he wanted to send me to Chorley hospital for another MRI scan and to see the resident orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, so after organising a lift down to Chorley from a friend, this was because i cannot lie still for 20 mins, its impossible, so i had to drug myself up, i successfully completed the MRI and an appointment was made for me  to come back for a follow up and results at a later date. 

I felt optimistic, i hoped that things were finally going to get sorted, and hopefully, this orthopaedic surgeon would be able to fix me. that was until the appointment day. i arrived on time for my appointment, sat in the waiting room until my name was called. i followed a woman into a consultation room, i thought at that time she was the surgeons receptionist and the surgeon would be along shortly. instead, she introduced herself as his physiotherapist. i was a bit puzzled at this time, but maybe he was busy and she was just going to give me the results to which he had decided. instead, it turns out that the surgeon had not looked at the MRI scan at all, instead, she decided to give me her results. this is what she said. "there appears to be a very slight misshaping of a disc, but there is nothing wrong with you". at this point i got angry and upset. i knew they did the MRI wrong when they put my legs up on a high foam cushion, i asked her, "if there is nothing wrong with me, how to you explain the symptoms that i am getting, and the fact that i have been diagnosed with DDD by 2 GP's, an Orthopaedic surgeon, and a neurosurgeon". she couldnt answer this, and looked at me with what could only be described as a look of hatred. (i guess these people don't like to be proved wrong). all she said after that is maybe there is a problem further up my spine, of maybe in my head, oh joy! does she really know what she is talking about?? im guessing not! anyway, the receptionist made me a follow up appointment and said she would ring lancaster hospital to arrange for an MRI scan, to save me having to journey all the way to Chorley. well the letter came through for the follow up, but nothing about the actual scan. i left it a bit, thought maybe lancaster was busy, so decided to give them time. the follow up was coming up fast, so i rang chorley, only to be told its not their job to ring for MRI scan appointments. i was livid!! i rang lancaster to see if there was an appointment, but there wasnt enough time. 

Right now, i had given up on the NHS, id worked all my life, and paid alot of money into national insurance to be treated like a number. i was fed up. but my girlfriend kept me going, she has been my rock through this. now i was determined to get myself fixed and get back to work, so i went back to my GP, demanding that something be done. so he referred me to a private hospital in lancaster for an epidural injection. the professor i saw there spoke the most sense to me that anyone else had in the past. he told me exactly what was wrong and exactly what was needed to fix it, surgery. unfortunately, he said no neurosurgeon would touch me until everything else had been tried first. so he made an appointment for an epidural 3 days later (i wish i could afford to go private, i would have been fixed by now). 

so the day came for my epidural, i was a bit nervous, id never had one before. i got taken into a treatment room, was told to turn onto my left. the sensation of the injection was very strange, and slightly painful. but i was discharged a few hours later and was told to rest for 24 hours and come back for a follow up. the chances of pain relief were marginal, and indeed, nothing really came of it. so i was booked in for another one. this one didn't quite go to plan, he must have hit a nerve, even though he didn't admit it. i had never felt pain like that before in my life. it felt like my leg was literally on fire. this went off after a while, and again, i was discharged and came back for a follow up. again nothing really came of the injection. that was the end of what he could do for me as he was a private professor and couldn't refer me on, but did give me the name of a neurosurgeon who he recommended. so my GP referred me on to this surgeon at the royal preston hospital. the appointment is in march.