A Jaded January.

January has for the most part been a write-off.

Still, have to look for the positives.

Good things about January were:

  • We tried hard to save money in January. Both our contents and buildings insurance were up for renewal and we managed to save money there and earn cashback. By documenting our low income in 2017, I managed to get almost £900 written off my student loan. Husband did not start his new and improved job until the end of August 2018, so we may be eligible for a reduction for 2018 as well.
  • When I started feeling more human, I managed to get some reduced bargains and visited Foodprint.
  • The hospital managed to take the blood samples they needed from Husband after giving him some Valium and a bed to lie down on, and rushed it off to the lab. Thank goodness it was analysed in time, this time, as it showed that the ammonia level in his blood is now at an acceptable amount. This means a. no more blood tests for the foreseeable future and b. they will not need to adjust the dose and kind of epilepsy medicine he takes further. He has found the changes and repeat tests quite distressing, so this will hopefully help Husband’s mood.
  • My lovely mother in-law gifted me a lovely leather jacket, a pair of trousers and a nice skirt for work. I do like a good hand-me-down!
    I also managed to get a nice skirt from the charity shop for work.
  • Through the Recycle and Free Facebook group for our neighbourhood, I managed to get two brand new and unused ink cartridges for our printer at home. A mono and colour set for that printer normally costs us £30.
  • I went and had a wash, cut and blow dry from the local college hairdressing salon. As I wanted just a single length cut I could have a level 2 trainee to do it, and it cost me £7.50. Bargain.
  • I managed to use my John Lewis voucher and got my free hot drink and cake before work one Sunday.

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    Lovely carrot and pumpkin cake and a hot chocolate ❤
  • We sold several things on eBay, which all adds to the Vacation/Nice-To-Have Fund.
  • Our kind neighbour gifted us several lovely things as she was having a clearout.
     

Things that could have been improved about January were:

  • Husband and I have both been ill this month. Thank goodness Husband ‘only’ had a cough during the day and a nose like a tap so only had a lite version of what I had. I was off work for ten days, the longest I’ve been off ever from work.
    As a consequence of being off for so long I was put on monitoring by new job for three months. If I am unable to come to work at any point or take annual leave during those three months, it goes to the next stage of the disciplinary process which means a meeting with HR.
    I hope that HR realise that what will happen when you impose those conditions is that if people who are unwell during that time, will be forced to come to work even if they are not well, and thus have a very good chance of passing whatever bugs they have to their other colleagues. Or, heaven forbid, the patients.
    I also discovered upon returning back that all the work I would have done in those ten days had just been left. No shelving, no admin, no nothing. So I spent my first week back panicking as I did all the jobs and admin for that week, on top of everything that had been left for me from the ten days I had left.
    Maybe it’s because I am young and haven’t experienced a lot. Or that I had a sheltered upbringing. Or it could be both I guess?
    But I am used to from home and from past jobs that if someone’s off ill or busy, then you help them. Or at least ask if there is anything you can do to help. I did not expect that everything had just been left for me to do when I returned back. Nor did anyone offer to help me.
  • Mom still is not very well at all. She has not been home since Christmas, but has spent time at the nursing home and been admitted twice due to a high CRP count. I rang her in the week and she is still delirious.
    We have booked our flights to go see her at the end of April (can’t go any sooner due to stupid three month monitoring period).
  • It has been very cold. Don’t want to think of how much money we’ve spent to keep the house and us warm. But can’t let it get too cold for Husband’s sake and to ensure the pipes in the kitchen don’t freeze. It looks like the worst of it is over now, so will try to peg the washing out this week again.
  • Due to me feeling like death, we had three takeouts in the space of ten days….

Here’s to a better next month. We are going away a week in February Just Husband and me so we are looking forward to that.

 

 

 

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A Diverse December.

Have suddenly realised January is almost gone, and I haven’t written my summary of December yet.
In my defence, most of January has been a write-off.

December was a very mixed month.

Good things about December were:

  • Christmas. For better and for worse. I got to spend time with Husband, Husband’s family and my own family. Ate far too much. Have been eating the leftovers well into this month. Thank goodness I had them as I didn’t have the strength to cook much the first two weeks in January.
  • Husband was given a £10 Christmas bonus from the DWP, added to his PIP payment.
  • I won a £100 Paypal gift card from one of my surveying panels. It was promptly added to my Travel/Nice-to-Have Fund.
  • I got some lovely bargains and managed to rescue food from going in the bin at work.
  • Husband finally had his toe operated on. Thank goodness for Mother-In law who could look after him for me while he was recovering from the general anesthetic.
  • Husband’s SAD light came, and he has been using it regularly to help his mood.

Things that could have been improved were:

  • Christmas. Mom was very unwell all through Christmas, and we made the decision to have her admitted on the 28th as she kept deteriorating.
    She still is not out of the woods completely. She has not been home since the week before Christmas, but has been at my sister’s house, at the nursing home and been admitted to hospital twice. Too unwell to stay at home by herself.
  • I felt quite unwell in the last week before Christmas. I thought I had shaken it off, but clearly not.

 

The first three weeks in December.

The first three weeks of December just flew by!

A lot of time was spent supporting Husband at home. He had his ingrown toenail out on the 3rd and had a week and three days off as a result.
Clever me ensured the house and laundry was done and food ordered and in the house before he went in for his operation.

The procedure went well and is healing nicely, bar 2 things:
1. So we were sat in the cubicle on the morning of the surgery after Husband had changed into his gown, when a lady (nurse? assistant? admin?magical fairy?) came into the cubicle. I said good morning to her, to which she didn’t respond. She did not look at either of us, but instead looked at Husband’s paperwork and scribbled something on it. And then left, leaving the curtain to the cubicle wide open. 😡 Listen lady, I know time is precious, but please have the courtesy to at least say hello, and your name, and say why you are coming in.
2. Husband asked to be put to sleep with the gas at his pre-operative assessment, due to this pathological fear of needles and injections, rather than using the cannula. When Husband was going to be put under however the anesthetist insisted on that he should have the cannula. Husband protested and said he had asked for the gas only to be told that this was not in the notes and that ‘Husband was making it difficult for everyone.’

I was very thankful that Husband’s parents could sit with him after his operation was done while I worked, as they want people who have had general anesthetic not to be left unattended the first 24 hours after the procedure.

Most of the first week in December was spent working and then returning home after work to check how Husband was.

I still managed to do some Christmas prep.

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I managed to prep some food the first week of December by making the red cabbage for Christmas Eve, and make rice porridge, both to eat and to make rice cream with. A very traditional Norwegian dessert consisting of cold rice porridge mixed with whipped cream and some vanilla sugar. Serve with strawberry jam or sauce.

The first two Wednesdays in December I decided to spend at home with Husband, so managed to decorate the tree as well.
IMG_20181212_144433Our lovely tree. I didn’t put any lights on this year as our lights didn’t work and I didn’t want to traverse a shop to buy some new ones. So I left them in their box out in the front room, while trying to work out where I could send them to be recycled.

The Cat gave me a dreadful fright. Husband was at home with a friend when they heard a crunching sound. They went to the front room and found that the Cat had gotten into the box and chewed two of the glass bulbs from the Christmas lights.
Husband managed to catch her and had a look in her mouth, but couldn’t see any damage or that she’d swallowed any of the glass. They picked up the rest of the pieces, but I kept waking up the following two nights, wondering where she was. The Cat has never been interested in the tree or the lights, so it didn’t even occur to me that she would chew the lights. I could never have forgiven myself if me being careless had caused her to suffer.
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Work also put their Christmas tree up, I especially like these baubles as they remind me of a peacock’s feather.
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I had the most wonderful Christmas present at the beginning of the second week. One of the panels I am a part of doing surveys for drew my number in their monthly draw. I won a £100 PayPal gift card! This was promptly added to our rainy day/Travel somewhere fund.

In-between working I managed to write and send our Christmas cards out.

One afternoon Husband had the dreaded brown envelope through from the DWP through in the post. Feeling my heart beat a bit faster (I swear brown envelope phobia is a thing) I opened it…to find that Husband has been given a £10 Christmas bonus from them. Joy.

I managed to get some freebies on Shopmium.

And some bargains. Of course.

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Saturday the 15th of December I woke up feeling very rubbish.

Oh not again, I thought. I had to fight myself to go to work as I felt so ill, and spent most of the weekend feeling very tired and flat.

I was shelving a book and found this inside one of them:

The last week before Christmas I felt progressively more ill. Finally on the Thursday I caved after much nagging from Husband and called in sick, spending Thursday and Friday in bed. I felt that if I was to have a chance to recover I needed to just rest for a day or two, rather than fighting with myself to go to work.

Saturday the 22nd I felt much better after two days at home. It was the last day of work before Christmas. The university campus was very quiet all day that day.
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All the staff brought some food to share, and there was lots left over from the weekday staff. In addition I also volunteered to clean and sort the work fridge out, to leave it nice and clean in the New Year (and to stop work colleagues throwing the food away). So I came home from work with this:

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All perfectly good food, saved from being thrown away.

Sunday the 23rd was spent with Husband and family, as it was our nephew’s 14th birthday. It’s not the poor soul’s fault he’s born just two days off Christmas Day, so we try hard to make his birthday stand out.

Husband’s SAD light arrived the day before, so he started using it that Sunday. We will have to see how it works out. The manual says he should feel better with 3 to 4 days of use.

All in all it was a good pre-Christmas time. Apart from feeling ill one week, it was quite relaxed. Presents had already been bought or were being bought early, saving me the stress of traversing the heaving town centre. I also had a chance to meet up with my former line manager and head of department, and it was lovely catching up with them both.

 

 

A Nice November.

December is officially upon us, for better or for worse – so how was November?

Nearly-There November was nice for a variety of reasons:

  • We were under budget for the food shop this month. Largely thanks to reduced bargains and Foodprint. And Olio.
  • Despite it being officially winter, I was still able to peg the washing out several days this month, and for it to be nearly dry on my return from work. This is such a help for me, as it means I don’t have to have lots of damp washing hanging around (only slightly damp washing that smells wonderfully of having hung outside).
  • Husband was awarded his Mobility Travel Card. This means he can travel in the community on buses and the tram without having to worry about the cost, I am hoping he will use it to see his family more, to make him feel less lonely.
  • Had a friend visit; we hit the charity shops and ate a lovely lunch at home. Also enjoyed seeing my former manager and having a good chat.
  • I got a £30 giftcard from one of the panels I contribute to. And £15 in vouchers for doing a product test.
  • Managed to get some lovely new towels for very little money, and got £35 cashback on our contents insurance.

Things that could have been improved about November were:

  • Based on Husband’s mood and what he was like last year, I am quite confident Husband has SAD. His mood has become more subdued the darker it has become. Will investigate light therapy and buy him a light therapy lamp. Thank goodness for his PIP as those lamps are not cheap!
  • Had two days off work as feeling blergh.

 

An ambivalent August.

Here we are, already in September – where did August go?

What was good about August was:

  • We had a chance to travel and visit new places. We visited Husband’s sister and husband in Wales, and had a chance to visit Stonebridge City Farm and Newstead Abbey, two places I have never been before. I think the idea of being a tourist in your own town or local area is underestimated!
  • We were under on the grocery budget again and have done quite well this month. Foodprint, Olio and reductions have all played their part. The garden is also coming along well.
  • As we are out of term now, I have spent a lot of time doing stuff around the house which I normally don’t have time for. I am almost done dusting all the blinds and using the brush behind the radiators in the house. Ebay is also going well as I have set myself the goal of relisting everything that was deleted off the site in spring.
  • I got reblogged, plus a blog nomination from the lovely LittleSeaBear! In the process of doing a fuller post about this as we speak.

Things that could have been improved about August were:

  • The effect of Husband’s medicine change for his epilepsy medicines is still being felt by us both, leaving him feeling very tired and flat all the time. A visit to do a blood test he needed to see how his values were to check if his dose needed adjusting went horribly wrong. This has left him feeling frustrated with himself and me feeling trapped, at times. Caring for someone can be a very lonely place.
  • Not really something that can be improved but all the same: We had a letter to say that Husband’s second round at court for the PIP tribunal hearing will be held in the first week of September.

And somewhere in the middle is that the work has started on renovating our bathroom.

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No way back now!

Suddenly realised yesterday that with paying for the bathroom and paying the credit card bill in full, combined with that new job won’t pay me until the end of October, equals a very tight September and October for us.

In fact, it may well be a Skint September.

One of the things on my summer projects list is to clean and go through the kitchen from top to bottom, sorting our shelves out.

This will give me a good idea of what we’ve got in the house so we spend as little as possible. This might be the time to whip out the gift vouchers I have been saving from my surveying as well. I will also endeavour to go to Foodprint once a week to help us out. I went on Saturday and got lots of lovely food for very little money.

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Foodprint coming through for us again. This cost us £3.75.

A visit to Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham.

In a bid to lift us out of the funk we’ve both been in lately, I coaxed Husband to come with me to a local treasure I had yet to visit; Stonebridge City Farm.

It’s run by volunteers and free to enter (though the encourage donations, £1 per child and £2 per adult), and they run workshops and take bookings for groups to visit. They sell their own eggs and organic produce and also produce their own honey. Naturally I came away with a lovely courgette and a bunch of fresh leeks!

If you want, you can buy animal feed at 50p a bag to feed the larger animals with, and they also have a petting barn where you can hold guinea pigs, rabbits and rats.

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Proof that even in an urban place, you can grow your own.

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The children’s climbing frames were donated to the farm, the goats love them!

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It’s strange to realize that you are in fact in the city centre when you wander around there. I also felt very inspired after seeing all the things they grow there and it has spurred me on to try harder next year.

Husband enjoyed sitting on a quiet bench eating an ice cream, and wandering around looking at the animals. I think we will go again but ensure that we go early in the day, as late in the afternoon it was quite busy.

 

 

Current mood: Feeling trapped.

I’ve got this feeling today of feeling trapped I can’t seem to shake.

Yesterday we went to the hospital as Husband needed to have a series of bloods doing to determine how he is doing with his change of medication for his epilepsy. The consultant is concerned that the dose of Epilim he is on is making his ammonia levels in his blood unacceptably high, so has lowered the dose of Epilim he takes. To bridge the gap to avoid a seizure she has started him on a new epilepsy medicine called Levitiracetam.

She did warn us that two of the side effects of this could be low mood and feeling tired, both of which Husband has been experiencing. She also said we would have to go in for bloods to see if his ammonia levels were coming down, and she also wanted to investigate if Husband had an under-active thyroid.

We arrived on time at 3pm and let the receptionist know we were there, and she asked us to take a seat and wait to be called. So we did. Husband was calm enough as he had a game on his phone to distract him.

Husband was getting progressively more agitated (hates injections and needles) so at 3.40pm I went to the desk again to ask if they were aware we were still waiting.

As it turns out, they had not let them know we were there. So they ushered us in and asked us to wait while they got everything together. They seemed surprised we were there and asked us what we had come for (!!!). When we said, they then stated that they had to get a specialist to come take the samples due to the nature of the ammonia levels sample they wanted.

The specialist arrived at 4.20pm. By this point Husband was not communicating or making eye contact as he was too wound up and distressed. They tried four time to take the sample but Husband just couldn’t calm down sufficiently for it to be done.

I could tell that he was becoming too distressed so I proposed to do it another day and rebook the appointment, and so we left at 5pm, not having been able to take the bloods they needed.

Since then Husband’s mood has been very low. He has been beating himself up about it, calling himself a coward and saying I would be better off if he didn’t exist or if we had never met. He slept quite poorly so he is back in bed now resting.

I was hoping to go out with him today, even just for a walk as I think it would help his mood, but I don’t think this will happen now. I have been asking Saturday, Sunday and then suggested today, but don’t think it will happen today either.

Trying my really hardest not to be resentful and upset, but can’t help but feel trapped at the moment as I don’t want to go out leaving Husband here on his own when he is feeling so rubbish. Feeling cooped up. Want to go out even for a walk, but can’t.

I am trying to take my mind off things by doing stuff around the house and being productive. I’ve still got dozens of eBay listings to photograph as we are clearing out some books so might get stuck in with that.

We are also having our bathroom renovated, the gent is coming to do the measurements this week and next week they will make a start.

And we do have a date for the PIP tribunal hearing now.

So have to try to focus on the positives.

…………

Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 7.

We have a second tribunal date.

After our first tribunal hearing had to be adjourned due to Husband’s distress (plus the big difference between the DWP report and our PIP application), I initially just wanted the ground to swallow me up.

I just was so tired, and feeling so worn out and flat.

I was also quite resentful of the fact that we even had to go through this process at all/

PIP is there to help people with disabilities live a more independent life and to offset the cost of things and services they may need to do this. In theory.

But I have long since come to realize my mistake in initially assuming that a. that the DWP and Capita were there to help us and b. that they genuinely wanted to help us.

Applying for PIP for Husband, being turned down twice and having to now go to tribunal a second time has brought out feelings in me I didn’t even know I possessed. And I’m not even the claimant!

Anyway, I digress.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

When we came back home after visiting Husband’s sister in Wales, we had received two letters.

The first was the medical report the court asked for, to get a more complete picture. To make it fair on us, we get a copy as well for our records. It asked us to bring it with us to the tribunal when we go.

It was quite a thick document as it contained all the medical information on record about Husband from when we started the process of having him diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2014.

It was a bunch of entries with jargon and numbers (probably would make more sense for someone within the system) detailing each appointment and enquiry that has been made regarding Husband’s health. None of the information within surprised me greatly, bar a scanned copy of the document from the insurance company asking for information about Husband’s health when he applied to get life insurance when we bought the house.

One thing that I noticed which I find oddly reassuring is that it says on the majority of the notes put in about Husband’s appointments, that he was accompanied, either by one of his parents or myself.

I hope this highlights to the panel at tribunal that Husband does need support with getting about and going places. Especially going to places he is unfamiliar with, as he otherwise won’t go as it’s too anxiety inducing (take THAT, Capita staff who decided to award Husband 0 points for mobility!).

The second letter we had states that we have another court date for a tribunal hearing. We are going back in on the 7th of September.

It seems they have taken on board what our representative has said, as they said they would contact the court and ask that we would be seen first, to lessen Husband’s stress. According to the letter, we will be first in that day.

Here’s to hoping they will continue to listen to us, when we go a second time.

You can read about our experience of applying for PIP for Husband below:

Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 6.

……..

Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 5.

Our PIP anniversary (Our experience of applying for PIP: Part ?)

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 3.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 2.

Applying for PIP: Our experience – part 1.

A jumbled July.

July has come and gone and we are now in August. How did we do?

Good things about July were:

  • I had a chance to go home and see my family at the beginning of the month, which was lovely. I visited my mother and siblings, and met up with several people from school, and met my best friend twice. Sister and her husband also sent me home with a lot of lovely food which has helped us a lot.
  • Work has finished for the year which has meant Husband and I have been able to spend more time together as I’ve been home more. The weather has been hot and sunny which I love (and Husband hates). We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary this month with a takeaway.
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  • We were once again under on our grocery budget, even with a £60 online food shop at the start of the month with Sainsbury’s (so naturally I ordered six bags of cat litter, the less I have to carry home the better!). Foodprint has helped a lot on the budget, and I started using Olio. I also went and foraged near our home and found lots of blackberries.
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    Still got some reduced bargains.
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    Foodprint has really helped us live healthily this month.

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    The bread and pastries came through the Olio app which is an app where people share surplus food for free. If I have time to carry on using it I might do a post about it.

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    Went foraging last week and found these lovely blackberries. There is more left, just needs to ripen first.
  • Another things that went on behind the scenes is that I have got a new job! I will work at the medical library at the local hospital in the week. This replaces the library job I have at the further education college (my weekday job). I predict that the work will be more academic (finding journal articles for consultants etc.) and the likelihood of being called names by our users is significantly reduced. I am waiting for HR to agree to a start date and then I will hand in my notice. Another perk is that this job is within walking distance to the house. This is important.

Things that could have been improved about July were:

  • We went to Husband’s tribunal hearing for PIP after over a year of waiting for it to be resolved. However due to Husband’s distress and the discrepancy between the DWP report about him and what we put on the form, the court decided to adjourn to access Husband’s medical records to get a more complete picture. They have 30 days from the day of the tribunal hearing to do this and then they will call us back in. So we are still waiting.
  • Husband has had to have a change in the dose and kind of epilepsy medicine he takes, as the one he was on made the ammonia levels in his blood unacceptably high. This change has left him feeling very tired and out of sorts, and so he has spent a lot of time resting and going to bed early as feeling tired brings on myoclonic jerks.
  • Having time off has meant eating a lot of good food and not moving around as much as I usually do, so have gained weight. Hopefully this will shift when I start my new job as I can walk to and from work, combined with bringing healthy lunches to work again. At my former job we have a standing desk and I will miss that sorely as, let’s face it, a lot of people, me included, sit far too much during our day.

I wonder what August will bring?

Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 6.

So.

Last week we had what was supposed to be our tribunal hearing for Husband’s PIP claim.

We had a letter through the post, giving us a time and date to come to the court for the tribunal. It also asked us to send through anything else that could be used as evidence so the court had it at least 7 days before the tribunal. They also asked us to bring the appeal papers we had been sent (the huge wad including the DWP report about Husband) to the tribunal. Further back it explained how we could claim expenses if we needed to for transport and food and drink but none of that was relevant to our claim.

I duly went and got copies of two of Husband’s letters from his epilepsy consultant, and one letter from his therapist and one from his employment support worker supporting his claim, and sent them to the court using recorded delivery.

A few days later I had a reply from them confirming they had received our paperwork.

The night before our tribunal date, I went upstairs and got all our paperwork out. Beforehand I had bought a large ring binder and a big pack of punched pockets, and I sat and meticulously put every page of our claim and anything I had photocopied out in there in chronological order to make it organised and easy to find.

I also found out something smart-casual to wear, and our passports in case we had to identify ourselves while at the court. I had never done this before and was not quite sure what to expect.

The day of the tribunal hearing, I got up early and got myself ready and made us something to eat, letting Husband sleep as long as I could. We set off in good time and got there in advance to meet Husband’s mother and the lady who is representing us from the advice service.

At the court, we had to go through a metal detector and we had our bags x-rayed. My bag was pulled aside as the security guard had spotted liquids in there, which turned out to be my nose spray. I had been told we were not permitted to bring drinks in so I didn’t. Our representative had to leave her bottle of perfume at the desk and reclaim it once she left.

Once inside, it was as hot inside as outside which was really affecting Husband and making him feel ill. There was a small cafe so we went to get a drink and sat down outside in the foyer, waiting for Husband’s mother and the representative to come.

There was a notice board where the cases being heard that day were listed and I found ours quickly enough. Two cases were being heard before us that morning.

Husband’s mother and our representative arrived and we went up to the court room to wait outside. We were told that the second case was being heard then and that they were quite behind on schedule.

At this point the reality of what was happening really hit home for Husband. Combined with it being too hot for him, he started becoming increasingly distressed. The way he does this is by withdrawing into himself, and not speaking and making eye contact. He went and sat himself somewhere quiet to try and calm down, while I sat down and was told what to expect by Husband’s mother and our representative.

She explained who the people in the room would be and that we must not jump in or interrupt, as the panel would be interested in hearing what Husband had to say and his side of the story. The panel would give us a chance to say anything we felt was lacking by asking ff if we had anything to add,  so we were told to take notes.

She did say however that she felt we have a strong case because of the discrepancy between what we have said and written, and what it says in the DWP report about Husband.

By the time it was finally our turn to go in, we were 40 minutes late. Husband was at this point very distressed, not making eye contact most of the time and barely speaking.

It was a smallish room, with a big table and three chairs on either side. There was a desk in the corner where the clerk sat. She brought water and cups into the room as you are not permitted to bring your own food or drink into the court room.

Presiding was a judge, a GP on her left and a lay person on the right. Interestingly there was no representative from the DWP present.

The person representing us asked the judges to pay particular attention to several points in our claim where the discrepancies were quite big.

Before we even got into the claim, the panel wanted the GP to ask Husband some questions and specified that they wanted to hear the answers from him, and that we would get a chance to add anything we felt was appropriate once he had answered.

The GP asked Husband about his part time job and how he gets to work, and if he goes anywhere else in the community. She was patient and spoke to him in a friendly way but at this point I could tell Husband was visibly shaking and so he spoke very little, making no eye contact at all. He did manage to say that he doesn’t go anywhere else when asked if he would go anywhere else apart from work or the local shops.

This went on for about ten minutes before the panel said they wanted a break to confer and sent us out.

We waited outside the court room, when the clerk called me and Husband’s representative back in. The panel informed us that they felt that because of the way Husband presented and due to the discrepancy between our claim and the report from the DWP, they wanted to access his medical records to get a fuller picture. Therefore the court would adjourn for the day. Our representative pointed to the detailed report from the psychiatrist who diagnosed Husband with Asperger’s Syndrome and asked if this would not be sufficient, but no, this was not enough in their view.

The court now has 30 days to get the medical records to view and we will then be called in again to continue with the hearing.

We queried this with the representative after we had left the court premises; she was quite surprised as she had never experience this happening before, but did explain to us that there would be a new panel reviewing the case and everything within it. She also explained that although we had to consider if returning would cause Husband to become distressed again and if that was worth it, she had to make us aware that the success rate for PIP tribunal hearings is higher when the claimant is present. Her prediction was also that we would be seen quite promptly once the medical records had been obtained. In addition to this to lessen Husband’s anxiety she would request that we would be the first hearing of the day, not the last, in case the previous two overran. This will hopefully save us waiting around, making Husband anxious.

Husband has thought it over and although he does not like the thought, he is nevertheless prepared to go back and attend the second tribunal hearing.

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TL;DR: We’re still waiting.

If you want to read my previous posts about our quest for Husband’s PIP claim, you can do so here:

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Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 5.

Our PIP anniversary (Our experience of applying for PIP: Part ?)

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 3.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 2.

Applying for PIP: Our experience – part 1.