Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The exorcist strikes!

I was sat quite happily watching TV on Thursday night when the queasy feelings started, at first I tried to ignore them and concentrate on my program but by 10pm I'd had enough and decided to go to bed and try and sleep it off.
By 10.30 my head was down the toilet as I contemplated the contents of my stomach.

Stef came home at around 11.30ish and soon had me set up in bed with a bucket, a glass of water and a looroll - the bucket was emptied twice and he hasn't stopped commenting since on the radioactive shade of green my stomach lining comes up as.. I was not a healthy bunny.
My temperature must have been off the charts - but I wasn't sweating. I was unable to stop retching even after there was nothing left to produce - it wasn't fun, at a couple of points in the night he asked me to go to the hospital but I knew it'd stop eventually - and I couldn't face the journey there or the wait in A&E once we got there.

Anyhow, by some godforsaken hour of the morning on Friday I finally managed to fall into a fevered doze and hold down a full glass of water.
Sadly when I woke up it was with blocked sinuses, a throat that felt like it'd been scrubbed with a wire brush and just that general all purpose 'man I feel crap' sensation of having the flu.

Since Friday I've alternated between waking and sleeping - light sensitivity and headaches have been the least of my problems, I've practically none stop sneezed (3 rolls of loo paper I've used!) and I swear at some point I must've hacked up a lung.

what's more upsetting is how far back it's knocked me physically - it's pretty much exactly how I felt when I was first off work with 'an unidentifiable malaise' before they diagnosed me with cfs. In the course of 4 days I've gone through the first 3 months of my illness again - and it sucked!

I'm obviously starting to feel better today, I've managed to eat something other than watermelon without feeling even slightly nauseous (touch wood) I can talk coherently and it's not taking me three hours to conjure up a paragraph of writing - you don't know how frustrating that was - especially yesterday when I was venting my frustrations at the governments latest financial set back for me.

I was roused out of bed by the doorbell (or so I thought, just ear the infection ringing again) but when I saw the letter from the dwp I assumed it was informing me I need to re-do my claim soon.
If only!
Imagine my shock as I opened the letter to see the words:
ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF £650.79 THAT MISS VJ STRINGER STILL HAS TO PAY

After the first initial panic cry I sat and thought 'hang on, this could be one of those phone scams..' so I booted up the net and checked out the phone no. Nope, no joke - therefore it had to be a mistake because I have no debts other than my overdraft, I'm very careful to ensure everything is paid up on time and in full - where I'm aware a debt is owed at any rate!

I rang up the 0845 number on the letter and sat in thequeuingg system for about 30 minutes before I got through to a lovely lass called.. um.. Jeanette orJacquelinee - sadly my memory is pants and I neglected to write that down..Oopss..
Anyhow, she managed to tell me (after a little checking back) that the reason they are taking a third of my benefits off me each fortnight is to pay back overpayments over the last 10 years.
That's right TEN years.

From 9/9/1996 - 18/5/1997 they say I owe £575.83
From 18/9/2000 - 9/10/2000 they claim I owe £129.96

Now, Not only do those two sums not add up to the total amount the letter said I owe But how am I supposed to check this is even right? Lets face it, only an idiot would trust the governments record keeping - added to the above example; the time they suspended my benefits until I could prove where the amount from a cheque I deposited into my account came from - it was from them, back dated from their last record keeping error!

To get back to my point though - how on earth could I prove this is a debt I do not owe? For one thing, as far as memory serves, I've never had income support, which what they say the second amount is for - never mind between those dates!
Sadly I've only got my cv as proof of the job I had at the time, I'm not one of those really organised people who keep payslips forever.
I can't even afford to get my statement copies from the bank - even If I could - I don't have the concentration to go through all those transactions looking for some kind of proof they're wrong.
Basically I'm screwed.

I was just about keeping my head above water before - now.. Well, best case scenario is that I only have to pay if for a month or 2 until she can get this form to mapparentlytly the lass I spoke to has to get my file sent to them before they can request a form sent out to me, so it'll be at least 4 weeks before I can even think about receivinging it) once I have this form I'm to ring them and go through all my expenditure and hopefully they'll stop taking a third of my income.
Until then.. Well lets just say I'm glad Stef won't let me starve!

I'm going to have to stop buying in the supplements though - I can't drop my mobile because I'd renewed the contract before this letter came so I'm tied into that for another year.. Basically there's nothing else I can cut out - I was subsisting on the bare minimum anyhow, now my overdraft is the only lifeline I have - and that was already being stretched more than I liked, now I'll get to see the limit with no hope of paying it back *sniff* Me no like this!

I'm going to the doctors on Tuesday ( it was the earliest they could fit me in) so I'll see if he has any suggestions regarding my supplement loss but I can see another rapid loss of all the improvement I made this year - and there's nothing I can do about it!
It makes me so mad..

But what can you do eh?!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MMmmm cinnamon bagels..

The nausea has gone!

*grin*

This makes me a happy bunny - can you tell? Ok, the beds still uncomfortable - but it's old, the aches are still there - but it's cold and therefore to be expected. The ear infection is still very much in evidence - feck it.
I'm mobile again.

I went into town yesterday to meet up with my gran for a drink and a chat (she's nuts, they say laughter is the best medicine right? In that case I demand my gran as a nurse) it's the first time in weeks I've ventured out alone on public transport, ok so I crashed as soon as I got back but it was worth it.

I'm back to being able to use the pc for more than 10-20 minutes at a go, this makes me very happy, perhaps now I can get on with writing those articles for the mefreeforall site - not to mention the stuff I still need to do for my info site. I want to sort out some new css layouts and there's still the stuff under construction to see to.. oh yes I'm a busy girl - in my mind..

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Atchoo..

I've been to see the doc today, clutched in my frozen paw as I left was a prescription for a new inhaler. Joy..

He's a top bloke my doc though, he never makes you feel like a waste of space - he actually makes eye contact with you and listens sympathetically to everything you say - no nonsense about him at all, just friendly professionalism.
*sigh* I do wish there were more around of his ilk!

ANyhow, it seems I do now have inflammation in my ears and he reckons I definitely have a dust allergy, I've been referred to an ENT specialist (ear, nose and throat) at hope hospital (and we all know how much I love going in there..) normally I'd have laughed when he said it's likely to be a 6-8 week wait, lets face it, most things will have cleared up by then but I've already had this for over a month and it's just getting worse and exacerbating the cfs crap with it.

I guess I'll just keep being manky and crap and take it as easy as I can, I'm pissed off though - I'm getting ulcers again, shows how run down I am - I hate mouth ulcers!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Asthma: the return.. Dan dan daaaahhhh...

Yup, I've been dizzy and sick and generally unwell and tired - I've been putting it down to this ear infection but tonight I realised i was actually having an asthma attack - it's been so long since I last had one I'd forgotten the signs, now I realise I've been struggling with it for the last 4 days at least.

Thankfully I found an inhaler that's still in date (and 2 that are over a year out of date) though my most recent one seems to have vanished into the ether, not good.

Once again I'm blaming my latest trouble on the guy downstairs. Not only does he disturb my sleep but he must smoke upwards of 60 a day, surely he does - why else would it seep so insidiously into our flat? All we can smell is cigarette smoke, it's getting into everything - and it must be bad if my boyfriend is complaining about it too, he does not have the strongest sense of smell in the world (well, not compared to me at any rate)

The asthma making a reappearance is a blow though, it's something that used to trouble me a lot as a kid - but then my mum smoked like a chimney - as did all my aunts and my brother, I never did, I like to think of that as an intelligent decision on my part. The thing is as soon as I left home and had control over my environment, the asthma tailed off, the only reason I have an in date inhaler is because when I first came down with cfs they gave me some painkillers whose side affects were asthma so I also got a load of medication for that (gotta love it, pills upon pills upon puffers) unfortunately the one inhaler I've found actually ran out of date 4 days ago, here's hoping I find my newest one soon. I'm sure this'll be alright for now but I'd rather not risk using it for too long if I can help it.
Meh, I'm seeing my doc on Tuesday, I'll get him to check out my ears and do the puffer test to see if I need a new inhaler (I'm hoping not since I'll have to pay for the prescription as there's still no word on my HC1 application)

I really hope we find somewhere suitable to move soon.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

At the sound of the beep..

My ear infection seems to have mutated from an annoying 'water in ear' sensation to a slight case of tinnitus, and it hurts.
i get an occasional twinge (that feels like someone stabbing needlethin icicles through my ear drum) that lasts from an instant to several seconds at a time. I think I need to go back to the docs about it.
I'm also back to the really sucky low energy levels and acheyness, the bed feels more uncomfortable than ever - I wake up feeling as though I've slept on rocky ground not a mattress, and I'm just so tired it's making me narky and miserable when I'm not just crashed out on the bed or sofa looking like I've forgotten how to smile.
Bless 'im though - my mannums is putting up with it, he gave me a massage and ran me a bath this morning, I've just spent the last three hours soaking in it, not much of a relief sadly but at least when I'm in the bath I can shut up the little voice nagging at the back of my head saying I should be doing something.

I'm worried about money - again.
I know my current incapacity claim runs out on January 7th, I can't help wondering what I'll do if they refuse a new claim. I'm still at the same level of fitness I've been for the past 8 months or so - well, if you discount my current mini-lapse.
But that's the thing, I'm not getting any better - I've finally hit the proverbial glass ceiling, I'm well enough to bimble about (current crappyness aside) but I'm just under the threshold of being fit for work - even part time stuff feels beyond me at present.
Stef keeps telling me not to worry about it but I can't help it.
I know beating myself up about things is bad, but I can't stop.

I worry about how his folks view me, I worry that he will get sick of covering me for things - I now owe him a fair bit of money - something I never wanted to do. I just can't let those sort of things slide, maybe I'm too proud, money has always been a big deal for me - I hate owing people and I have to be seen to be paying my own way.. Something it's getting increasingly difficult to do.

I'm also sick of living here, It's saying something when even Stef's fecked off with the cigarette smell emanating up from downstairs, with my ridiculous sense of smell it's no wonder I'm cranky and nauseas a lot lately. That's aside from the stress created by the downstairs neighbour.
I just can't wait for this year to be over and us to be out of here living somewhere quiet, out of the way and peaceful - maybe then I can let myself relax a little, if I'm not surrounded by people and I'm somewhere that feels like it's a holiday, maybe I can quit putting so much pressure on myself.