A rollercoaster month

My fourth month as an amputee and if the other month was the worst so far, last month was a total rollercoaster. Emotionally it was tough, very tough and in just one day I went from being on top of the world to flat on the floor, it would be nice if that’s going to be the toughest month, in that respect, behind me. The way I see things now is no matter how bad something is as long as you learn something from it then it’s not as bad as it first seemed. I have learnt quite a bit over the last month through all the ups and downs, especially about the NHS and Government policies and procedures. It definitely pays to know your subject, do some research, get photocopies of documents, make phone calls and put a good case together. It is also useful to think of all the things people will come at you with and to have answers ready. You need to be proactive but at the same time go through a process and be patient, no matter how frustrating, while waiting for replies. Most of all stick by your guns and don’t give up until every feasible avenue has been totally exhausted.

So of the three main battles I had how did we get on? The first and most stressful was the car. I eventually got my driving license back, straight to the dealers to find out I didn’t have enough DLA (Disability Living Allowance) time running for the Motability Scheme. On the phone to both the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) and Motability and it was a no go. Devastated was an understatement and I had no idea how I would have managed if I had to wait until next February before I could get a car. A letter to the DWP and a long nail biting wait came up trumps with my end date extended till 2014. I was back to the dealers and I pick up my car next Tuesday, result.

Probably the most frustrating and challenging was the Wet Room and Kitchen. From the very first moment of meeting the OT (Occupational Therapy) Assistant it was an uphill battle. I researched Government legislation for the DFG (Disabled Facilities Grant), phoned Fenland District Council to get their side of things and put steps in place to progress and take the fight to them if I needed too. I think this all paid off because as I started dropping bits of information the OT came on board and now both jobs have been given the go ahead. It is still a long drawn out process that could take 12 months or more but to get the confirmation was the biggest and most important step, result.

Last, but by no means least, is my prosthesis. Lynne sorted my socket problem in the groin area but the length was then an issue. She lengthened the leg and then I was bruising across the top and front of the leg. The decision was made to recast a different shaped socket but then I couldn’t get that on at all. We have resolved this problem but that has just created the groin problem again as I am going too far into the socket now. This is on-going but will eventually be resolved, it is just more trial, error and painstaking than any other problem I am faced with. Because I know we will get there in the end I am least bothered about the socket situation. It hasn’t always been like that though as I have been really frustrated and chomping at the bit to get on with it. Now I know it is just incredibly difficult when it comes to the prosthesis, I have to have patience and work hard when I can wear it and let Lynne do the best she can from her side.

To be honest I think it is all coming together and there is not much more help or things I need to be able to get on with life now. I do want to take this opportunity (even most will never see it) to thank all the health care professionals who have got me to this point, they have all been excellent. I think the next month is going to be a very interesting one, in a good way that is.

 

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