Friday 5 April 2013

Sick Note and New Meds

Hi everyone,

Just keeping you all updated :)

So last time I talked about my meeting at Citizens Advice Bureau to see what sort of benefits I should be applying for. As much as I'd love to get better quick and work soon, it's not really possible, especially if my symptoms keep flaring up!

My doctor had told me to do as much as I can and not limit myself, as ESA would be very difficult to get nowadays. I did try to do more; such as a bit of hoovering and helping my partner unpack some of his clothes. What that resulted in was a real flare up of pain; especially in my back. I was in tears yesterday, it was so painful.

I printed off the ESA form the other day. It says to call your jobcentre and get them to post you the form, but you can print it off the gov website now. My printer didn't know what hit it haha! I think it was about 56 pages long? I'm surprised my cartridges managed to survive lol. Ok so that's done and I'd filled it in as much as I could over the past couple of days. The part asking about medical certificates confused me because it talked about needing a certificate from the 8th day of your illness? Well if I took that literally then I probably hadn't even seen a doctor about it after 8 days back in 2010. It took a while for me to give up and go to the docs as I'd never been ill for so long before. Anyway, I digress. I decided to get a sick note from the docs at my next appointment now I've had this Fibromyalgia diagnosis.

I was actually really worried that it'd be difficult to get a sick note as my doc had told me not to limit myself. I know how I feel physically though and I'm definitely not ready for work just yet. I can't say when I will be ready either, I guess it'll just be when I'm on treatments that work and am seeing the correct specialist. My referral seems to have flown out the window though! I did ring my old doctor's secretary the other week and he'd 'forgotten' to do the referral. Still nothing from this TRAQS place so I'll try again next week and if there's still nothing then I'll just leave it. According to fellow fibro sufferers, I talk to occasionally, I should be referred to a neurologist or rheumatologist because of the types of pains I have. Docs I've spoken to have said that Fibromyalgia doesn't call for a particular specialist though. I don't have the energy to argue. As long as I get the right treatment I'll be happy!

I'm rambling again. Ok! So I had my doctors appointment earlier today and I (sort of) prepared what I needed to say to her. Basically, reminding her of last appointment and what she advised, telling her I took her advice and relapsed, explain why I feel I'm not ready for work yet, ask if she could do me a sick note, say about Amitriptyline not working for me and mention about not hearing anything from referral.

Luckily I remembered all that and explained. Now remembering about her saying (at last appointment) that I should do as much as I can and not limit myself, I thought she might say no to doing me a sick note! In hindsight, I think this is me being extremely cynical (a learnt trait). But no! There was absolutely no problem getting it and she even asked me how long for. I'd heard somewhere that a month sick note was acceptable for ESA. I hope I didn't get that wrong. She also has changed my meds to Pregablin and will look to prescribe me strong painkillers if needs be. I don't want to be too doped up on meds so I didn't ask for them as well. Will just see how I go on these. Also, she will look to refer me if my referral still doesn't come through (I don't hold out much hope tbh!)

So, altogether a pretty good day! I've filled in my ESA, included my P45 (looking at the date on this, I'm now technically "long term unemployed" blah) and sick note and posted it off. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed about this and probably be careful with political twitter rants. You can never be too careful these days!

I'm sort of erring on the side of cynicism (again) though. Unless I have limbs dropping off, I'm likely to be rejected so will have to prepare myself to appeal. The good things are that I now have Citizens Advice and my doctor on my side and they all know that I've applied for ESA etc.

Ooh also, another thing! My lovely mother called Orange for me yesterday to see what we could do about my contract. At the moment, each time my phone bill comes I get nervous about having enough in the bank. With VAT it's around £28 per month and I barely use any of my allowance. I think I get about 300 or 500 mins, unlimited text, email and 500mb internet. I only use about 100 mins (if that!), about 300ish texts and about 20mb data. I read my emails on my phone but I don't send emails. The laptop is much easier to use for that.

For the past few months I've been using my overdraft to pay for phone bill and ask parents/partner for money in very exceptional circumstances (I hate owing people money) but my overdraft is fast running out so I absolutely need to have some sort of regular income. Well mum phoned and I ended up discussing options. As of next month I'll have been on this contract a year so can downgrade my tariff. The next one downs about £20 a month, not brill but a lot better and probably pretty fair for what I'd get. The woman on the phone was lovely too, very flexible with options. The £20ish tariff includes about 100 mins, 500 texts, some internet (which is perfect for me)

So yep! I think that's me up to date for now. Will keep you posted about what goes on next :)

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