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Everything is an uphill battle

I’m feeling totally overwhelmed at the moment, and depression is engulfing me again.

Yesterday marked 3 weeks since our PIP assessment, which we were led to believe that, because it was adding a new health condition and not a new claim, we would get the results within 3 weeks.

We got a letter from PIP, and opened it feeling sick with nerves…and it was this!!

Like…no!! Don’t say ‘we have your information’ when you’re supposed to be saying ‘we have your result’!!!

So my partner went to call the number to ask how long, and the automated script whilst you’re on hold has been updated to say you should wait at least FOUR WEEKS for your result now…like for fuck sake!! This is do taxing on my mental health, I just want it over with 😩

One of the most disgusting thing about benefits is how hard they make the process for disabled people. The people who need the most help!

This entire process has been a nightmare, and alongside it there’s been the Universal Credit process which has been going on for 10 months, & is just as bad!! I just want to know if we’re going to get the money we deserve. I want to know we’ll get money so we can not just ‘scrape by’, but LIVE. So we don’t have to worry. I want to know we won’t have to rely on a foodbank again, that we won’t lose our house, that I can get my disabled bus pass!

I’ve jumped through every hoop & it’s been so mentally AND physically taxing…so the fact we have to wait longer than they first said brought me to tears. UC has no end in sight, but PIP should’ve been over.

Anyway. That was yesterday.

Today everything feels like a very intense uphill battle. I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, even though there are no ‘scary’ plans today, no need to feel that way. I want to cry thinking that the instant I leave the house I’ll start having numerous seizures…what is my life?! What is the point?? Why am I continuing to live when my life is just being in a gloomy house?

Finley, our puppy, comes home at the end of this month. I need him so badly. Just gotta hold on.

Yesterday we went for a short walk around the forest at the end of our road. I didn’t wear my goggles, because if I do I miss out on the beauty of nature, I miss out on partaking in one of my favourite hobbies, photography!

I should be wearing my goggles anytime I’m outdoors, really. But I hate them so much that I really only wear them when I’m around lights (shops, restaurants, hospitals, buses, trains, town etc) or if I’m having a really bad day.

When I’m out in nature, I want to *feel* it, experience it…and you can’t do that wearing goggles that turn the world incredibly dark, steam up, and remove the beauty 😅 Seriously, when I wear my goggles the world is muted to one dark-blue colour, there is no beauty.

If they stopped all my seizures outdoors I’d probably wear them all the time, because then it would be worth it. But if I’m gonna have seizures anyway I’d rather enjoy the beauty, thanks!

I’m so tired of not being able to do anything, not being able to go anywhere. Of having dozens of seizures everyday, just from being indoors and going on ONE WALK a day! I miss going places and doing things, not just walks…I miss days out, shops, visiting exciting places. I don’t remember the last time I was in a shop, even a small one, it was weeks ago.

I miss living.

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Stupid comments are stupid!

I suffer from extremely photosensitive seizures.

This means any change in lighting is a trigger (eg leaving our gloomy house and going into daylight), TVs are a trigger, florescent lighting is a trigger etc etc.

So I have to wear goggles, and they reduce the amount of seizures I have outside of home by about 30%, more if I’m somewhere extremely bright.

Those are welders goggles, and these are ski goggles. I use both depending on the type of lighting I’m battling or how bad of a day I’m having.

You would not believe how much attention I receive, simply because I am wearing goggles 🙄😞

I mean, they’re not that big a deal, right? Wrong, according to the rest of the world 😫

Reactions vary from the mild – staring as I walk past, often staring with mouth agape (no honestly, this happens ALL THE TIME!).

To the ridiculous and rude – from laughter and cries of “what the fuck” and “nice goggles!”, to the comments I hate much more. These come from people who see their comments as innocent, or funny – certainly harmless.

BUT THEY’RE NOT 😑

These comments are usually along the lines of…

  • Forecast snow today are we?
  • Going deep sea diving?!
  • Oh wow, is that the latest fashion accessory?
  • Why are you wearing those? Oh they’re for seizures? Do they work? Do you wear them at home? Can I try them on?
  • Hey, look, a bank robber!

To anybody reading this thinking ‘well I don’t think any of those comments are that bad!’…it will be hard to get you to understand how they make me feel.

The thing is, when you’re already aware you’re attracting attention, and you’re already battling the difficulties of a disability, these comments are almost more than I can bear!!

They remind me I’m different, that people can’t see past that, that people are laughing at me. That I’m being watched ALL THE TIME because of goggles I have no choice but to wear…I’m constantly thinking ‘can I risk not wearing my goggles here? Am I bad enough I *have* to wear them?’

These comments force me to interact with people, and to disclose my disability. People are fucking rude!!

But more than that I shouldn’t have to deal with these comments!!!

Sometimes it’s not about them making me feel sad, it’s just about…well, people should learn to mind their damn business! I should be able to go out and not have to worry about comments or questions! Just as (most) people wouldn’t think it okay to say to a wheelchair user “too lazy to walk?!”, making a ‘funny’ comment about my goggles isn’t okay either! I don’t owe you an explanation, and you can keep your bullshit humour to yourself…I’m sure I’ve heard your ‘joke’ dozens of times before anyway 🙄

I HATE having to go out in my goggles, but *especially* to busy places, such as restaurants or towns. I see people staring and sniggering dozens of times, and get at least a few arsehole comments for every hour I’m out…it makes me hideously aware that I’m different and look ‘stupid’ 🙄

So next time you see someone different, and feel like making a humorous comment about it…just don’t. There’s really no need.

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A quote

Every few weeks I am overwhelmed with how small and dark my life has become, because of seizures. I feel suffocated by all I have lost and all that I can no longer do. I spend a day crying and mourning for the life I once had. 

Today is one of those days. This is life with a disability. This is life with huge limitations. I’m not ashamed.

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A good day

I actually had a good day today, although I’m paying for meeting up with relatives for 4 hours – very exhausted and seizey now!

Once we got home my bf called the company conducting my assessment for PIP, and the woman on the phone was just lovely and so helpful.

Firstly we asked if there was a way to move my assessment from the city 50 minutes away (where they gave us the appt) to the city 15 minutes away. Being out the house for longer triggers an increase in seizures; being on transport for any amount of time triggers an increase in seizures…so I couldn’t do that.

Anyway, they moved my assessment across really easily…which begs the question of why they were sending us further away in the first place?!

Next we had to ask about allowances in the assessment room. This would either be a room with no windows and dimmed lighting or a room with covered windows and dimmed lighting – failing that, a desk I can sit under andhide hide from the light 😂

The woman put that on file and their appointments team should be calling us in the next few days to talk about what they can do.

Finally we needed to ask about recording the assessment. The fact I have seizures means my memory is hugely affected, and I can’t remember things like I used to. An assessment is stressful, and not remembering what was said would be terrifying for me…however PIP sent us a booklet of rules, and one was that if you want to record the assessment you have to let them know in advance and use a recording device that provides two hard copies (CD or cassette) BY THE END OF THE ASSESSMENT.

So. We don’t have anything that could do this, and we can’t afford to buy a recording device. The woman’s going to ask if we can use a phone to record, and if not then my bf will be writing everything said by hand…meaning the assessment will last twice as long, but what can we do? 😅

Exhausted. Yawn.

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OMG, I have an appt!!!

4 days ago we had the telephone appt with my GP.

It lasted less than 4 minutes & basically consisted of her being confused and asking my partner if “things had got worse” (she couldn’t understand why I’d been sent to A&E or why she’d been told I needed an expedited neurology appt. When she saw me in person a few months back she said I couldn’t be having seizures as I wasn’t ‘dropping to the floor’, and during a video of me having a seizure that we showed her she said “Well what am I supposed to be looking at here? It just looks like you’re watching television” 😑)

Anyway, because we’d provided evidence from the hospital that they wanted her to try speed up my appt, she said she’d phone the hospital and try.

Lo and behold, today I got a letter through the door and early next month I have an appt with a neurologist 😃

I actually can’t believe it!! I’m so nervous about it though haha.

Does anybody have any advice for phoning the hospital to ask if they can provide a room with dimmer lighting for me…? If I have to sit in a room with fluorescent lighting I’ll end up having back to back seizures, and be unable to talk, think, feel sick, confused etc…any advice appreciated!

My happy face 😉

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But you don’t look sick / disabled

This was me earlier this evening after a fairly small seizure. 

I’d come around a few minutes before, covered in drool, and I was totally out of it. Epilepsy ISN’T ‘just seizures’…all my seizures have a recovery time, from a few minutes to a few hours, and they often leave me exhausted.

This is why I get pissed when old people tut at me or comment for sitting in the priority seating of a bus – I have an INVISIBLE disability, judge not!!

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A really bad day for seizures…

Bleh.

My partner phoned our GP surgery today, because A&E informed us in the complaint that they would electronically send my GP a message telling her to expedite my neurology appt. We hadn’t heard anything, so he called to ask what was happening.

First the receptionist refused to talk to my partner about it, even though TWICE we’ve taken in a signed form stating he can speak on my behalf, and I was actively seizing at the time so couldn’t even speak!!!

Anyway, when we finally got around that she said that there was no message on the system from the ED, and so of course my GP hadn’t tried to speed up my wait for the neurologist…*sigh* ffs, come on 😡

She totally didn’t believe what we were telling her about the ED saying they’d sent a letter, despite my partner saying “I’ve literally got the letter right in front of me!” She kept asking for the date, what it was for, who it was from etc *rolls eyes*

Finally she said we could have a telephone appt with my bloody awful GP tomorrow, ugh…my partner can do all the talking for that, I want nothing to do with her 😥

Also I had my longest seizure ever recorded today, in the midst of a cluster.