Hydrotherapy – Heaven or Hell? Part Four ~ week Four starting 22/02/2017
Okay, there wasn’t a hydrotherapy session this week due to pool-cleaning but I have still recorded my pain and fatigue levels for the week.
I am going to be bluntly honest and tell you all that I have been insanely distracted by the DWP and my PIP benefit claim and I explain it, a little, in detail below about how hectic it has been for me, and, my hubby-carer. (If you’re not from the UK I have tried to write it so that everyone can understand our insane benefit system) 😉
This means that I have been focussing more on my #mentalheath issues rather than my physical ones! 😮
I explain the rollercoaster of emotional turmoil below
So in brief >>>
The process of benefit claims here in the UK for the disabled is a very long-winded, stressful, demeaning & depressing time. The mere fact it just happened to coincide with my treatment beginning was uncanny at best, but more accurately… blooming typical!
My PIP claim >>>
You can be awarded standard or enhanced rate for Mobility component to help with costs towards your mobility and also Social-Care component to help with the costs of hiring outside help, because of your disabilities.
I was only awarded standard rate for the mobility component and I required enhanced to qualify for Motability Services for the lease of a special, ‘custom-built’, power chair. I was also awarded the Social Care Component at standard rate requiring only one point, but I didn’t wish to push my luck so prioritised, and, chose to fight to get the decision changed via requesting a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’.
The process of requesting a mandatory reconsideration involves writing a letter basically begging for your award to be upgraded. A claimant has to prove why they should have their award upgraded, in writing, and send in to the DWP within one month of receiving their award letter. We have can have our assessment reports as reference, and also the decision makers report which comes with the award letter.
Only having 4 weeks to request a mandatory reconsideration I have had to ‘pool’ my efforts to research, construct and type my letter of request. (excuse the Pun 😛 ).
I can only do so much at a time so I’m afraid all other work of mine was put on hold.
It took two weeks to complete my letter and send off so it got there before the deadline. It was sent via recorded delivery to make sure they got it and we had proof of posting etc.
Plus! In amongst all this I also had my power chair taken away because the lease was up and I no longer qualified for Motability Services. It was then, surprisingly, returned because Motability extended the lease for a four weeks longer until my DLA finished and PIP began, which was very exhausting mentally!
I mean come on! I had even selected the chairs I wished to test drive for my next lease.
Time was spent agonizing over whether I’d lose the mobility rate altogether, because we are warned that it may happen, and feeling my independence slipping away while I waited to hear whether they’d overturn their decision, or, not and whether I was going to have to appeal. Appealing can take months on reduced benefit so is a very stressful situation. I only needed 2 points, but as everyone is aware it is not easy to get even just 2 blooming points!
A letter arrived on Sat 25th Feb confirming they were overturning their decision and awarding me the enhanced rate for PIP Mobility component. Honestly! still in shock but incredibly pleased with the result, my fortunate outcome is a rare occurence.
Now, I can get back on track with my self-improvement plans, and focus on my treatments better knowing that I don’t have the claim to deal with anymore…
…for a few years anyways 😉 week starting 22/02/2017
Slide show: Graphs and charts mapping pain & fatigue levels throughout the week starting from 22/02/2017 – 28/02/2017
How am I doing so far? Without performing proper scientific analysis!
- Is my balance improving – Not yet!
- Do I feel my spinal strength improving – Not yet!
- Do I still have weakness down my left side, specifically my arm and leg? – Yes
- Have I seen a reduction in pain levels – Slightly, but no idea why!
- Have I seen a change in my pain levels? – Yes, because there are different pains in differing areas from the weeks before.
- Have I seen a reduction in fatigue levels – No
- Has the bursitis in my hip returned since finishing the short-term prescription of ‘Arcoxia’ Anti-Inflammatory medication – Yes
- Do I think the return of the bursitis is because of the hydrotherapy, or because of the medication change? – Maybe a bit of both
- How do I physically feel from there not being a hydrotherapy session this week? Surprisingly, not too bad but I imagine that I will find the next session difficult, and it might feel as if I’m starting from the beginning again.
- Has my skin been affected by going into the hydro pool? – No, but I have discovered by process of elimination that I am allergic to the fabric in the lining of my swimming gear, I have an allergy to latex. I have had to cancel my next session due to having an open wound as a result of the allergic reaction 😦
How is my current Mental / Emotional health at the end of the week?
Looking in comparison to what my thoughts were, that I shared with you in hydrotherapy heaven or hell part 3, my emotional thoughts haven’t changed. There hasn’t been any improvement as yet, but also no nose-dives either that I think is a good sign that I have got my mental/emotional health under some kind of balanced control and my coping strategies are working 😉
This is from hydrotherapy heaven or hell part 3:
Current negative thoughts
- Is it worth it for me to pursue this treatment?
- Am I flogging a dead horse, is it too late to recover from the level of de-conditioning I’ve actually gone through?
- I’m concerned that I may never regain my balance and co-ordination, and truly do think that I have muscle wastage in my left leg that I can’t change.
Current positive thoughts
- I can do this because I want to improve my mobility so badly, and have done for years!
- I picture myself standing, even with my sticks, and not wobbling and/or falling over!
- If I don’t try I’ll never find out if this treatment can actually help me to improve my quality of life.
- There is something massive for me to gain if this treatment works.
As mentioned previously, I have discovered by the process of elimination that I am allergic to the fabric in the lining of my swimming gear, I have an allergy to latex.
I have had to call on Tuesday 28/02/2017 to cancel my next session tomorrow, week starting 01/03/2017, due to having an open wound as a result of the allergic reaction to my swimming gear, which will be discussed in Part 5.
I will still record my pain and fatigue levels like I did for this week, and look, positively, forward to getting back into the pool the following week. If my wound has healed.
I don’t know what kind of impact this break in treatment will have on any progress that I may have made. I do fear that by the time I get back into the pool I will be back to the start again, and all this is very reminiscent of my previous attempts to pursue this treatment!
Many thanks for taking the time to read and I hope that you can join me for Part Five.
Wishing you all wellness and less pain
Remember… #bepositive Xx 🙂
Please click these links to learn about hydrotherapy exercises as they explain the differing aspects to hydrotherapy treatment.