freddiefraggles: (ncis - abby two thumbs)
[personal profile] freddiefraggles
Couple of things to cover today. Firstly, there's been a marked increase in my infection rate in the last month. I'm not at all surprised about this, my body is obviously getting to the point where it just wants the metal bits out of it. That's what infections are, really, a hair or speck of dust getting into a pin site, aggravating it and causing my body to rise up against the perils of metal. Or something.

In July I had to take two courses of flucloxacillin, almost back to back. That's pretty unusual for me (thankfully) but it was a flare-up in the same pin which is slightly worrying. I even called Mary about it for some advice, she said that if the same one flares before my next clinic appointment then Mr Calder will seriously look to remove it as soon as possible, even on the clinic day itself. Luckily it hasn't flared as it was the big heel pin and I don't think he would have wanted to remove that one by itself.

I don't like getting infections but it's definitely getting easier to spot the warning signs much earlier now. I had a swab test done last week by the GP to check I was on the right antibiotics in case the double-infection was because of the wrong pills and it's come back as 'no action' so that's good!


Second thing is that I applied for Employment Support Allowance back in April. I don't qualify for Disability Living Allowance because my condition is not permanent (this also means my mum doesn't qualify for Carers Allowance, sadly). After a couple of calls and a long form, I was in receipt of benefit from June. Quite simple, compared to the horror stories I have heard from others about how difficult it can be. Then another form arrived, a 'medical' one, which I also had to fill in. So I did and off it went. A couple of weeks later I had a letter requiring a new fit note as the one my GP had written to sign me off work until 21 January 2012 was apparently about to run out on 29 July 2011. Stupidly I hadn't taken a photocopy of the first note before it was sent off so I toddled into the GP surgery to get another one. I saw a different GP from my usual one but she is just as great as he is (even though he was on holiday) and pointed out that in my notes that the fit note was for the date I thought it was. So she wrote me a new fit note for the exact same date. I took a photocopy and sent it off.

The next thing was a call (well, three actually, I had gone up to Manchester to visit friends for four days) requiring me to make an appointment with ATOS, the company that provides medical services for DWP. ATOS have a terrible reputation for being unethical and are well known for actively refusing the majority of claimants because they will receive more money from the government for doing so. Let me tell you, it was not without serious trepidation that I approached this 'medical' appointment. I have had five major surgeries in the last ten years, been under anaesthetic for around 20 hours for these operations and in hospital consequently for roughly a month in total, but an hour and a half before this medical I was more nervous than I had ever been at the same point prior to an operation.

So, yesterday, I had the medical. Yes, on a Sunday. The building adjoins the JobCentre but is a working GP surgery. It was only after the appointment that I realised why it was on a Sunday - the chap I saw must have NHS or private patients during the week and do this other as extra at the weekend. Either that or it's a great way of getting overtime hours at double pay for the receptionists. Anyway, Mum took me along and we fudged our way through with this sympathetic doctor (and I am pretty certain he was a doctor) who was apologetic for some of the inane questions he was required to ask by the software on the computer, including if I had a mobile phone, if I could text and who I talk to on the phone. That was the most odd question, he showed me the screen with it on - there were about 15-20 tick boxes for him to select according to what I said. Anyway, it took about 35-40 minutes and then we went home again. I was very relieved! I just hope that I come through it unscathed and without having to go to a tribunal.

Clinic is on Wednesday, the last six weeks have gone by sort of quickly but not, if that makes sense. Time passes at such a funny rate.


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Miss Freddie

June 2013

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