Disclaimer

BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Clearance

My mum and Dad both died in 2012. They left a 3-bedroom semi, full to the brim with belongings. I spent much of 2013 clearing the place out, and finally sold up in 2014. The big stuff, the furniture, beds, wardrobes etc., I put into storage where it has remained ever since.

We went up to the storage facility on Monday to sort out, once and for all, the stuff that was valuable to us. There wasn't a great deal of monetary value in it, both my parents came from very humble backgrounds, and the "valuables" amounted to just 1/4 of all that had been in storage. Even some of that was taking some of my mum's furniture, with a view to like-for-like replacement of some of our stuff.

Anyway, the storage people put me in touch with a house clearance company, who've looked inside the units containing the items I'm letting go of. And they said they'd give me £200 for the lot. I know my mum had some stuff they'll never be able to sell, I know that the £200 takes account of the costs they'll incur, but for a couple who lived until roughly 70 each, it's sad that their worldly goods come down to this.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Thoughts about jobs

I've been thinking about this for a while, so finally I thought I'd put something down.

I had an interview about a month ago, it made me reflect on the issues facing disabled people.

I mean, often when we go to interviews, we're nervous about what it will contain, what will be asked etc. I wasn't so much in this case - I have many years experience in the field of software development, although (a) most recently it was at a far ore senior level than I was being recruited for, (b) my experience was in different technologies than what they were looking for, although there was some crossover, and (c) I'd been out of the industry for five years. I'd like to think that (c) isn't a factor but I'm bound not to be as sharp as when I was immersed in IT every day.

But it made me think, the issues were not the interview itself, but just getting ready and dressed up, getting up the flight of stairs to the interview room, signing in and out at their reception. And so on. It's kind of weird that everything is back to front now - doing the job would have been easy enough but the issues are all the peripheral things!

Self-regulation

It's funny, I tested myself when I got up this morning, at around 7:30. 9.8, about average. I made myself a cup of tea but didn't have any breakfast yet. Because my sugar wasn't overly high, I didn't take my insulin just yet.

One thing happened after another, and before I knew it, it was 10:30am. Out of interest, I tested myself again. 9.2. I'd had nothing in between apart from that cup of tea, and there's very little carb in that.

I mean, I'm wary of reading too much into decimal places, but possibly this gives an indication of how well (i.e. badly) I'm able to regulate my own sugar level.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Dry Mouth

I had a strange incident on Monday. We went to arrange to get my mum's stuff out of storage, and all the while I had a really dry mouth. To the point where my voice didn't sound right (i.e. not how it usually sounds). Now, I usually take this as a telltale sign that my sugar is high, but I couldn't particularly think of anything I'd eaten which would make it so.

Sure enough, when we got home, the dryness had eased somewhat and I tested my sugar - which was down at 8. For me, that's low. Indeed, my morning sugars have been around 7 ever since.

So I must remember that whilst high sugar levels can be a cause of dry mouth (before the stroke I drank far more fluids, when I assume my sugar was that much higher), there are other things that can cause it. I need to try and find out what.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

PIP

It has been so long, I'd just assumed my PIP had been sorted and would continue as before. But I got a letter yesterday from the DWP saying they would no longer grant the mobility part of the benefit. I still get the main chunk but the mobility part is about 20%.

I hear of lots of appeals against PIP decisions, and I read that there is something like a 70% success rate. So the moral is that the DWP often get things wrong.

I've been busy these last couple of days, but will need to look at this tomorrow and maybe Thursday. First things first, their scoring system is out there in the public domain, so I can quite easily run through their assessment questions and see, foremost, whether I have any grounds to appeal. I suppose, after that, (assuming I do have grounds to appeal) I'll need to contact someone to help me through the process.

All grief I can do without.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Blue Badges

Therewas a news story a few days ago. It wasn't mega-news but enough to make the BBC's web site.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-46115444?fbclid=IwAR36mirBhNbmnu9hV-SqHsiN6w75TajYHBzFixEIRKTTuF1BVul1XmgC6rg

The story is basically a woman, who has a small son who's disabled, got a rude note on her windscreen for using a blue-badge parking space. Apparently, she was displaying a perfectly-valid permit in the vehicle.

I've seen this from both sides. Often, people don't appear to be disabled, and I think people must just assume because of that, that they aren't disabled. Some of my stroke buddies, say, have problems with their eyes - of course we don't see this when we see them. It highlights how looks can be deceptive.

On the other hand, we sometimes go to the supermarket at lunchtime, and I will see a white van parked in a disabled bay, the van has no badge on display and the driver invariably turns up 5 minutes later, sandwich in hand. So I do think abuse takes place.

For me, the badge is the key. I got mine by virtue of having PIP, so I already jumped through the necessary hoops to get that, although it was granted by the local authority not by the DWP. I think my permit lasts until 2019, although I still (today) receive PIP (I had an assessment a few months ago), so there's no reason to think that the renewal won't be straightforward. The badge lives in the glove box of the car, so, in theory, it is always with us.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Readvertising

It is an interesting conundrum. I see the same job, for the same salary, posted again and again. I can see, if you're a poster, that you might assume that someone, who might be perfect for the role, might not have seen the job that time around, so it might be worth advertising the same job again.

But I'm seeing jobs that are just being re-advertised for months on end, at the same salary. If someone were looking for that job, don't you think they'd have seen the ad by now?

It leads me to an interesting question - at what point do you, as a recruiter, throw your hands up in surrender and accept that there whilst there might be nobody sufficiently skilled to do the job, there might also be something wrong with the job which stops people from applying. It might be the job description itself, the conditions, or the salary. But surely it can't be particularly fruitful to just re-advertise the job again and again?