Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Do It Yourself

In recent days there has been an avalanche of forms to fill in and information to gather together onto bits of paper - and all remind me that my handwriting which I used to take great pride (before a fall etc) in, is not what it was; cannot hold a pen for long, so I transfer answers to forms onto documents prepared on laptop, but that causes pain until my

Whinge whinge, that sentence was too long.

Cut to the chase - I cannot blog or email without pain and I need to reserve laptop time to essential form filling. So I have not done much social laptopping. Laptop socialising ? Thanks blogging friends for comments and visits. I am way behind in reading yours and regret posts I have missed.


Motability are brilliant - in eight months time my current vehicle lease ends so huge forms to fill in, but this time their forms allow me to research and find the Wheelchair Adapted Vehicle to suit my disability needs and the requirements of my wheelchair. So I have been doing it myself - and having fun fun fun choosing my next WAV. I am thinking VW Caddy Life (imagine a Golf with sleek van on back) with cd player, tinted glass, auto tailgate lift but manual wheelchair tie down. I can dream, but some of it will become reality. The designs have improved since my last vehicle five years ago, so I am hoping I don't have to rely on a noisy rattling mechanical auto tie down on the vehicle floor. And Brotherwood's well thought out, or rather; well-engineered, converted lowered floor and wonderful tiny shiny smart ramp are a dream to use.

Social Services said some weeks ago "we will find you somewhere to live" when they move me out for the building works for disabled facilities adaptations. That has now translated into sending me forms to apply to the District Council housing list for temporary accommodation and to apply for housing benefit to pay the rent. I have been down that road before on behalf of someone dear to me and it was a nightmare, costly in time, energy, patience and disputed money. So I have written to SocS and said if I was well enough to deal with all that on my own I would be well enough to go out and earn a living and not need their help. I can only protest and hope they take back the responsibility. That I cannot do myself.

In discussing extensions and adaptations for disabled facilities, the powers that be have said they will not provide heating. That is daft I said, you cannot build on rooms and not heat them. Stale mate for eighteen months. Then I researched the Warm Front scheme and was visited by an assessor last week. Cut to the chase he said, after five minutes considering my needs; no gas in the village, expensive inefficient ineffective electric night storage heaters - you can have a grant for oil fired central heating. Combi condensing boiler. A Tech Surveyor will contact you. Just decide where you want the radiators to go. Jaw dropped in amazement. I am so used to having to argue and prove and evidence my needs I was stunned at his quick assessment.

Reality sunk in some hours after he left: a combi boiler means ripping out the hot water system off my little old AGA, which is crazy. And how am I going to protect my dear little AGA from the assessments of Social Services who would be much happier if I had a basic electric oven and hob. Those that have never had an AGA just don't understand the companionship of it, and those that have had AGAs but don't have them now are just plain jealous ! And the WF grant does not provide to remove the exisiting pipes or exisitng NSHs, or make good the bits of wall/skirting boards they inhabited. I cannot DIY that, nor afford to pay someone skilled to do it.

Do it yourself research has resulted together with lots of expensive phone chats with heating engineers. I have yet to sort that one out in order to have sufficient information to deal with the WF tech surveyor when he visits to assess. I am thinking keep the AGA to heat the hot water, just add radiators for heating because, I discovered on the internet, a combi boiler heats water straight off the mains and mains water pressure has to be increased - which is why I cannot flush the loo when I visit my bump (who has a combi boiler) - we did not know this is why - high water pressure = whoosing noise flushing the loo which risks triggering a Meniere's brain shut down episode. Life is complex.

The cheese planning skull surgery is planned for next Tuesday. I am writing lists of lists for me, my bump, my home helps, my PAs, lists of Lupus effects, lists of Meniere's effects, lists of drug effects, all on the laptop to take into hospital with me, so if anyone asks me anything, I don't have to get my cogdysfunck'd brain in gear, I can just scroll and click. Well, that is the theory. Doubtless it will all be out of my hands. Hopefully I will be drugged and not give a damn. And the regional Neurological central at Southampton hospital is so far away I don't expect hugs from friends visiting. All being well I should be home by Thursday.

I thought of putting in a link here to DIY trepanning, but the googled list brought up something quite gory, so I am sparing you that.

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Blogger The Goldfish said...

Hot tip: Type your form answers up on the computer, print them off in appropriately sized fonts and prit-stick them to the forms in the appropriate places. If the answers don't fit, just make sure that it is clear which information belongs to which question and clip the answers to your form.

Apart from the convenience to you, this does demonstrate a genuine level of difficulty that you have. Having help from another person is another option.

With stuff like DLA, if you make a real hash of it, stick the pages of the forms together and especially if you manage to spill blood in the process, then the adjudicating officers will take one look and say, "Okay; this lady obviously needs all the help she can get."

Motability, another issue - they might think you unsafe to drive, so best try to keep things tidy. ;-)

Sorry that you're still in this low, Sally. Hope it lifts soon.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 13:10:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 09:55:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

If typing causes the pain, there is a wonderful programme available called "Via Voice". All you have to do is to put on a headset with microphone and talk, the computer will then type what is being said by you. It is a bit of work in the beginning, because one has to run through several exercises to make the system get used to your voice. Once that is done it will keep learning and will make less up to no mistakes after a short while. It is available for several languages, but it works best with English, American English that is. I am absolutely unable to pronounce anything like American English, but it accepted my British English with a German accent much better than the German version ever accepted my German. So you shouldn't have any problems, I guess. It works perfectly with all email programmes and WORD (and several other programmes I do not have), I haven't yet tried it out on Blogger, but it would always be possible to copy a text from WORD and than paste it into blogger. Maybe it is worth trying.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 09:55:00 BST  
Blogger spotted elephant said...

I do hope you feel less pain soon. And I'll be sending good thoughts for your surgery, so that you have a fast recovery.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 18:25:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Goldfish, you make it sound much more fun than it was when I did it all for DLA - wish I'd thought of the blood ! But I did get some things right - it was awarded for life ! And that is the flaw in DLA applications - you have to get the terminology right, including the words that their system awards points too. I made three applications to DLA - all with the same level of ill health and disabiity, but the third included phrases recommended by the CAB advisor, and it worked. Anyone reading this - DLA is a minefield -get professional help.
Motability gave me a good going over before the allowed me the government grant for the first WAV five years ago; this application time I just have to repeat as before and identify which WAV I think fits the bill. But they still need a new form, so it all has to be prepared again.
Thank you for sympathetic and empathetic comments - the low is circumstances working against me, which will take time to resolve.

B.Mone - I perhaps have not explained sufficiently, and thank you for detailed information; I have a friend who has used them all since they were first 'invented' - but my fingers are the most active bit of me - must be due to decades of fast typing - its the laptop not the keyboard, that is causing the problems. Laptop on my lap ! All attempts to find a comfortable pain-free, way until there is space for wheelchair access to a desk, have not worked. So now, this is being done last thing before an early night - and painkillers.

Spotted Elephant - thank you ! but hold onto the good thoughts - see latest post.

Friday, 6 October 2006 at 22:12:00 BST  

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