Saturday, 4 November 2017

Where have I been?!!!

Nowhere really.  I haven't been getting out much and have a lot of stress health wise.......due mainly to the Department for Work and Pensions. Not much crafting done either. The amount of time spent on the computer is restricted due to back pain and as I have had to spend every day looking for gainful employment, it has eaten up my comp time.  Good news of Monday 6th November I am officially retired!!!!  Whooohoooo!!!!!  No more signing on every 2 weeks for the paltry sum that is Jobseekers Allowance.  As I now qualify for a senior buss pass I will be able to afford to get out more as well...which can only be a good thing.
A short post today but I will be back!!!!   and a lot more frequently than of late.

Take care everyone and thank you for visiting.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

I didn't realize....

...that it's been so long since my last post. Health wise things are not much better. I had my "work assessment capability" interview and no surprises there. No points..again. I didn't even get the six points that my earlier appeal awarded for mobility. Applied for the mandatory consideration and again
was refused. I have an appeal date in a couple of weeks. In the meantime I'm signing on and getting job seekers allowance and being threatened on a regular basis with getting sanctioned,  because they don't think I'm doing enough to find a job.  I have to do a job search every day on the computer and that is part of the problem. Sitting at the computer causes me a lot of back pain....half an hour is about my limit, so I don't get to do other things after the job search
A catch up. I saw a physio....who then referred me to another more specialised one because of my "complex health problem." This one asked at length about my pain and did an examination. The result was that I was probably having a bad flare up of the chronic pain and combined arthritis. She told me that they could nothing more for me that wasn't already being done...i.e. pain management through medication and exercises...and to avoid stress. So here I am with chronic pain due to M.E. and osteoarthritis in my spine and other areas. Signing on every other week for job seekers allowance and hoping I don't get sanctioned. Avoid stress?   I wish!

I have done some crafting but not as much as I would like.
This was for a Crafters Reunited inspiration challenge. The colour green

For my eldest son and DIL wedding anniversary

Another Crafters Reunited challenge....Poppies

 For my youngest son's birthday.....used Craft Artist. Printed out flat and then raised the "Happy"  with foam pads.

 Another Crafters Reunited..things with wings.

Similar to to son's card.This was for niece's partner, and also doubled up for CR Challenge. A tag .
I won the draw with this one and won a £5 voucher to spend with Cutting Edge Crafts. I purchased another set of mini distress ink pads. My collection of colours is slowly growing.

 Finally a card made for this month's challenge. I got to set the theme as I won last month so I chose "Autumn colours" I made it using papers from Making cards magazine. Initially I wasn't keen on this set..wasn't my thing. But now I realise I ought to take another look at some of the others that I have dismissed as "not quite me."

Thank you for visiting.  I hope it won't be so long until I post again.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

No rant this time.....

.......but I'm still struggling health wise. The pain has spread up to my neck.with excruciating pain in my left shoulder joint. I've never had a dislocated shoulder but I can only imagine that the pain is as severe as mine at the moment. I stuck it out for a few days until I couldn't take any more and had to make an appointment with the doctor through the triage system. If I hadn't been able to see a doctor I was ready to get myself to A&E.  Anyway......the doctor I saw (another locum) couldn't have been more helpful and sympathetic. He couldn't give me any more painkillers, I'm taking the strongest dose and amount that I'm prescribed, but he did give me some ibuprofen gel and some simple exercises to do until I see a Physiotherapist. The pain in my shoulder joint is, apparently, caused by the arthritis on my spine which affects the nerves. He told me that it could take a couple of weeks for someone to get in touch to arrange an appointment, then that could be a 6 week wait. The very next day I got a phone call to arrange the appointment. June 4th   at 9 o'clock at the NHS walk-in centre. I thought it would be with the surgery physio, or at one of the two large hospitals. I'd already seen one at the hospital for aids for the arthritis in my hand. The woman apologised for it being so long, but it was difficult to find anyone sooner as the doctor had requested a specialist.  So..where am I at now? For few days everything seemed to calm down and was more manageable.  Hot showers, painkillers and ibuprofen. Nor for long. Pain all the way down my left arm right down into my hand and a burning rash. First thought....reaction to the gel. No. Shingles!!! and it's blooming painful! So here I am in constant pain and feeling very sorry for myself.
 Realised something ironic. The physio I'm seeing is the same one that refused me ESA and decreed I was fit for work last year. Could be interesting. Oh.... and I have my  "non medical medical""  work assessment interview with a medical professional"....... next week. We shall have to see..

Crafting has been difficult but I've made 3 cards. Had to keep them fairly simple.

A card for April inspiration challenge for Crafters re-united. The theme was spring.  Daffies say it for me.
Used a digi image and coloured with my one set of Spectrum Noir pens...... (Was a subscription gift from Making Cards. Do I need some more?..silly question.) ..and my small set of ergo soft pencils. Do I need the spectrum noir pencils with lots and lots of colours?....

This card for my friend Anne. It's her birthday today. Hope she got it in time.

This one for my neice. Her birthday is tomorrow. Posted the same time with Anne's so I hope it arrived.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Struggling.....and a rant.

Still struggling with my health. The painkillers the doc prescribed are helping a little, but I have to pace myself very carefully .As soon as I feel the pain in my lower back I have to slow down or even stop before the pain travels to my shoulders and's frustrating to say the least. Having had to learn to pace myself over the years for the fatigue (not always successfully), I now have to add excruciating back pain into the mix. It hasn't helped that the doctor I saw for a renewal of a medical certificate made me very angry and upset. Since I re-applied for ESA I have to provide medical certificates (sick notes). The doctors have been providing me with one every 3 problem until last week. At our local surgery, if you are needing a sick note there is one doctor assigned to to dealing with them every morning between 11 and 12. I had never seen this particular doctor before...I think she was a locum. Anyway, she asked me what I had come for.......duh..,sick note!  Then she asked what was wrong with me;  while looking at the computer screen with my medical history laid out in front of her. She hummed and hawed a bit then asked what "this post viral thing was all about" So I told her.    Asked me how long ago it started.  Told her. Then she informed me that the other doctors had put 3 medical conditions on my sick notes..PVFS, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. OK, knew that anyway. Then......she wasn't happy signing my certificate for  flu  that started 10 years ago. She finally decided on osteoporosis.....and only for 8 weeks. Can you believe that!!!!  Suffice to say I hope I never have to meet her again. My son says I should complain, and I tend to agree but will it do any good? I doubt it. Rant over.

I have managed to do a little bit of card making by keeping it fairly simple. Sitting for too long doesn't help. So here are the ones I've managed.

A quick card made for Crafters re-united inspirational challenge........a thank you card. I was the lucky one to win the draw so I had £5 to spend at Cutting Edge Crafts..yay! I bought a pack of the mini Tim Holtz inkpads.

This one for one of my teenage grandkids. Playing with paper and Serif.

Birthday card for youngest's girlfriend.  Pink Petticoat stamp and painted with mica powders.

A christening card asked for by my friend Anne. The inspiration came from a card I saw on pinterest.

For my Great- nephew Lucca...using Making Cards papers

This one was for the CR_U February challenge which I set the theme for,,,,, being the previous month winner.
"A card for someone you love and must have a heart somewhere". I played with my quilling papers.
As money is very tight at the moment I have determined not to spend any money on crafts unless it's
absolutely essential eg. adhesive and cardstock. My Making Cards subscription is paid for by my kids.Their Christmas pressie to me.

For my Great- Niece, using things in my stash.

Another one for the CR-U challenge. "Something new". My brother is moving house very soon so this was ideal for me to get ahead. Again using Making Cards topper, paper and an embossing folder.

Another Making Cards make following the sample in the magazine. For my sister- in- law. A touch of glitter that the camera hasn't picked up.

Thank you for visiting.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I'm still here..

It's been so long since I posted.  Those of you who follow me will know that I was waiting for an appeal date for my claim for ESA. Well I got my date and I duly attended. The two medical professionals were very nice..but all they wanted to know about was my mobility. Nothing about the Post viral fatigue, the osteoporosis or the osteoarthritis. The bad news is that I didn't appeal (no surprise there)..but the good news..they awarded me 6 points for mobility where as before I got none. 15 points are needed to be awarded the full ESA. I applied again straight away as it was more than 6 months from my original application. So again I am waiting for an assessment date while getting the minimum ESA amount which is equal to Jobseekers allowance. Meanwhile another health problem has arisen which took   5 weeks!!   of trying to get a doctors appointment to get any treatment for.
The problem?  My back. It starts with lower back pain and works it's way up to my shoulder blades and at it's very worse into my neck with shooting head pains. It's agonising and debilitating. The doctor has said that it's either osteoarthritis or it could be the result of osteoporosis affecting my spine. He has taken me off the co-dydromel and put me on co-codomel at a three times higher strength. It is helping a little, but only if I rest other words do nowt. Washing pots, loading the washer, peeling potatoes etc. sets it off. Sons do help out a lot but I don't like the idea of  having to rely on them for all the household jobs. They have their own lives to lead.
Crafting wise I haven't done a lot. I'm doing it in small bits...frustrating!
Anyway here are some pics of some that I have managed over the last 6 months I apologise for the quality of the photos.  Quite a few are using Hunkydory papers and also papers from Making Cards magazine. Brilliant when your mojo deserts you, as it has done quite frequently of late.

Thank you for visiting and I will try not to leave it so long between permitting.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I'm still around

 Long time no see.  It's been a shaky road since I last posted. To cut a long story short I am no longer on JSA (Job Seekers Allowance). After seeing a disability adviser and being told that it would be very difficult for me to find employment and be better off financially....the job centre made concessions to my conditions. Not much but a start. I also attended a  mandatory "group session opportunity" to apply for work experience. Well I applied for 2 and waited.Ii was contacted by the job centre and told that my applications had been rejected on the grounds that the businesses concerned were not willing to "employ someone with health issues and could only work limited hours".  Employ?  They were getting free labour!!  I also had to start a mandatory computer course for 2 full days. I told them that would be extremely difficult for me to do, so they made it 3 hours once a week for 6 weeks. The aim of the course? to write a CV...huh?  Anyway, a couple of weeks into that and really struggling with the other appointments at the job centre and having to log in every day onto the computer for job searches, being threatened with sanctions for not applying for job, I received a call from the job centre. Would I like to apply for ESA (Employment Support Allowance) at the appeal rate.  YES I WOULD.  So now I am on ESA at the same rate as JSA and not having to sign on and stress my self out. Money is still tight.....I lost £30 a week when they stopped my Incapacity benefit...but at least my blood pressure is staying down and my GP is happier with that. Managed to sort out the mess with Housing and council tax benefit that always happens when your circumstances change. And even electricity supplier is reducing my monthly payments by £18!!
During all this my mojo disappeared so not done any crafting which has been frustrating. I have been doing the garden...but as it's been so hot I've been going out there for an hour in the evening when it's been a little cooler.  I'm going to try and make some crafting time this week....just get stuff out and play a bit...see what turns out. I have my Making Cards magazines so they should give me some inspiration, and I could just follow the samples they show using the papers that come with it.
Hopefully things can only get better .

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Things are getting worse....

I made my claim online for JSA (jobseekers allowance) online and got a phone call within half an hour giving me an appointment. 2.30 the following Monday...and was told to arrive ten minutes earlier. No problem. The morning of my appointment I received a phone call telling me that as the person who I was supposed to be seeing was off sick, so my appointment would be delayed by ten minutes. I got there at the allotted time only to be kept waiting for.. 45 Minutes!! I wasn't happy.The interview took 1 hour and I didn't get back home until getting on for half past 5....with an armful of paperwork.
The conditions for receiving JSA are very specific, and although I told the adviser that I couldn't reasonably meet them I had to sign the agreement or I would be refused.  I could still be sanctioned if, at my next appointment, they think that I have not "reasonably done enough" to find work. One of the most important conditions is that you have to find work with at least 40 hours a week. There is no way that I can be expected to work these sort of hours. I have M.E. A medical condition which has, as it's main symptom, severe fatigue, amongst others. The adviser has requested an appointment with a disability adviser ASAP..but when that will happen is any ones guess. In the meantime I face losing any benefit. All I can do in the meantime is hope for the best. And it doesn't end there .Because my circumstances have changed, my claim for housing and council tax benefit has been suspended and could take 6 to 8 weeks until it's sorted. That means it will be a repeat of last years fiasco with the housing association threatening eviction for non payment of full rent, and the council taking me to court for non payment of full council tax. Can't win really.  On top of all that I went up to the doctors surgery with a repeat prescription request, only to realise that there are 2 bank holidays and I wont be able to get my prescription until Tuesday...DOH!!!!    Will be without some of my medication over the weekend.....and..yes there is more..I have been asked to make a GP appointment for a prescription review, so I duly waited in the queue to told that there are no appointments for the next 2 weeks. OK..not urgent ....what about after that?  "We don't make patient appointments that far ahead"   Gobsmacked....good job I'm not really ill then isn't it!                     Rant over.

 A couple of cards I've made.  Crafting helps keep me sane......I think.

The first is a Hunkydory card for my sister-in-law.  Matted with some black card and I think it worked.   Linda Chapman's (Create and Craft) influence here.

This one I made for the Crafters re-united monthly inspirations.  Any occasion, any size, but no main image. Just embossing and/or die cuts and any embellishments. My photography makes it look a bit paler than it is in reality

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Spoke too soon...

Just when I thought things were getting back on an even keel after the last year.  How wrong was I? Last month I had to attend a Work Capability assessment....not a medical.  Well the powers that be have decided in their ultimate wisdom that I do not have" limited capability for work,"  and that my Employment and Support Allowance...formerly incapacity benefit will end on the 8th of March.  So now I have to claim jobseekers allowance..... if I meet the criteria... while a "mandatory reconsideration" is made and then an appeal.  To be able to claim ESA you have to achieve 15 points, the same as when attending a medical for the former incapacity benefit......but I have scored..NIL points!  The health care specialist decided that I can "sit or stand ..or a combination of a workstation and using a stick, crutches or propelled wheelchair for one hour."   Watch this space.

Now onto a few cards I've made.

Blue and yellow for eldest son.

One for grandson. Love this Woodware Owl stamp.

 A Hunkydory handbag for youngest's girlfriend.

Building blocks for great-nephew.

Pretty in pink...for great-niece.

Another son..another birthday 

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Things getting back to normal...

...I hope. Last year was a bit of a disaster for me. Financial problems with the council taking 8 to 10 weeks to sort out a claim for housing and council tax benefits. This started when youngest son found work. Any changes to your circumstances means that any claim you currently have is suspended. Meaning that during this time I was liable for full rent and council tax. Well this caused a lot of problems with the housing landlords constantly phoning and visiting, demanding full payment and threatening eviction. I could have understood their insistence if I hadn't been paying anything but as it was I was paying over the odds which left us very short. No wonder my doctor got a bit worried when my blood pressure went sky high.  Finally got things sorted when I spoke to another member of their "management team". So much for them saying" they are always there to help"...NOT!!!  Suffice to say Christmas was a quiet one all round for us.
During all this I had no computer and it made me feel very  isolated. I'm getting out much less now due to the pain and fatigue caused by the ME and arthritis.  Not been able to get out in the garden either ..and it really does need some work before spring.
I have managed some crafting but not a lot. Got to get a wriggle on though as I have a few family birthdays coming up. Any way here a few pictures of some of my work.....not many 'cos I forgot to take pics.
First off....a card for granddaughters birthday. It wasn't as bright as it looks in the rubbish photography.

Next a few Christmas cards

And finally  a card for grandson.

Well that's all for now. May I take this belated opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.