Skyn to Skyn

11/27/2009 02:01:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 12 Comments

Contraceptives have always been a bit of a sticky issue for me. Being bendy means being much more susceptible to the natural changes in flexibility caused by the female menstrual cycle. Over the years many, many disastrous experiences with various forms of hormonal contraception have left me with no wish to ever try another. An IUD which managed to get itself stuck half in, half out of my cervix a mere 24 hours after being fitted, requiring an unceremonious yanking out in A&E means I'm non too keen to try that option again. Medical opinion on the subject of diaphragms or caps is that due to the weak connective tissue found in Ehlers Danlos Syndrome I don't have the tissue strength to hold one in place properly. What all this really means is that the only realistic option I have for contraception is condoms. It couldn't possibly be that simple though cap it all...I'm too sensitive to latex to use a latex condom.

Until recently there was only one non latex condom readily available, the Durex Avanti. Fortunately for those of us with issues with latex the problem has become much more common, which has led to money and research into the issue. The Avanti did the job it was supposed to, as a safe, reliable condom but it didn't exactly feel great, and the interesting sound effect of 'shagging a crisp packet' never really helped the atmosphere! Durex Avanti's are also incredibly expensive, usually retailing for approximately £7 for 5 condoms. Unlike latex condoms, bags of which are often handed out for free in bars, universities or NHS clinics, if you need non latex condoms the NHS will fund 2 a week, and you'll probably have to travel to a specialist family planning clinic to collect them.

So, just before travelling to see The Best Man I was delighted to spot a new non latex condom in my home town's tiny branch of Boots. Made by Mates and called Skyn I was even happier to see that Skyn are sold in boxes of 12, which were on a buy 2 for £10 deal. That's so many more shags per pound sterling my poor brain can't even work it out!

As we all know, most condoms smell a bit..well, distinctively weird and unmistakably condom like. The first thing you notice about Mates Skyn is that there's no unpleasant smell. They also feel completely different when you handle them. Much more slippery in a comfortable kind of way than a typical latex or latex free condom. The Best Man informs me that Mates Skyn are also a comfortable fit, unlike most condoms which do rather tend to cut off the circulation to sensitive boy bits.

Mates Skyn are made from "Sensoprene which has a completely different structure to normal latex, making it thinner, softer and much more flexible, all with the strength of a latex condom." When using Avanti's I'm used to a background worry that the condom will split, which can be a particular problem in erm, the more petite woman. However, that's not a worry with the Skyn as they just feel more durable and less likely to decide to break open at the slightest hint of pressure. Happily coupled with that increased strength really is increased sensitivity, to the point where you can actually feel the texture and temperature of the other person's skin through the condom. I wouldn't go quite so far as to support the claim by Mates that the condom itself enhances sensation, but it certainly is the closest feeling to wearing nothing I've ever experienced whilst using a condom.

Thanks Mates, you've certainly made me a happy girl!


For all you doubters...

11/27/2009 12:02:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 1 Comments

I am not the only penis breaker!! Woot, woot!


Bog Off Down Under!

11/25/2009 01:19:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 1 Comments

With thanks to fellow bendy, Veronica of Sleepless Nights

This is the only disabled toilet in Hobart city centre. The other toilets for the area are up 20 odd stairs and are generally well maintained. The disabled loo’s however double as the baby change station and leave a lot to be desired. There is room to manoeuvre a wheelchair in and transfer, but the toilet has no seat and frankly the whole thing stunk. I wanted to cover my nose while I snapped photos. It was messy and the mirror hadn’t been cleaned at all. No call button/rope either, so if you fell, you’re stuck until someone finds you.

It's somehow weirdly consoling that incompetence is universal...although not nearly as consoling as discovering you're not the only post coital puker around! Thanks Vonnie Xx



11/24/2009 10:40:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 9 Comments

While I'm lying on the sofa, whimpering pathetically and trying to find some food my stomach doesn't object to, it seems like a good time to update. After all, dry rice crispies are not very exciting even if I have left a Hansel and Gretel style trail of them around the Best Man's apartment.

So, I made it to see the Best Man. All the way to Sweden. The journey was relatively uneventful-well, by my standards. I spent almost all of last week resting and trying to get over the whole Oxycontin issue. I'd booked assistance before I left the UK, and it turned up when and where expected. The difference between the British and Scandinavian attitudes to disability is fascinating...even the train had a fully accessible carriage for disabled people, parents with young children and bicycles. The accessible toilet on the train so shocked me I nearly passed out!* It didn't smell and although there was graffitti it was muted. Once I'd arrived I realised what it was that seemed so different about the addition to it being far more multi cultural than the part of the UK I come from, I didn't see any anti social behaviour the whole journey.

Aside from the better facilities there is one overwhelming difference between assistance in the UK and Scandinavia**, attitude. In the UK assistance is usually a bit of a drag. Manchester airport provides excellent disabled toilets and an assistance service to help people get around the airport. The people are perfectly nice but the concept that it's all a bit of a pain to arrange seeps through their very pores. You go where you're told, when and how, for the convenience of those providing the assistance rather than the other way around. So far, what I've seen of Germany and Scandinavia it's the oppposite. People can't do enough to help! Whilst people often offer me help in the UK, this was very different. Those employed to provide assistance have a positive attitude to their roles, probably helped by vastly better equipped and provided facilities than in the UK.

Once I'd realised I was on the wrong train and needed to change, it nearly came to blows so many people were determined to help me out. He'll never see this, but I'd like to tell the kind and patient Iranian gentleman with the prayer beads, who happened to be sat opposite me on the train just how much I appreciated his actions. His face visibly changed when I told him I was British, but he still went out of his way to push me and my case around Malmo station to help me find the correct assistance.

So, the reason I ended up lost in Malmo was because the assistance guy put me on the wrong train at Copenhagen airport. I suspected as much, but thanks to the helpful bi-lingual announcements worked it out before it became a problem and had plenty of time just to get on the train I should've been on initially. Unlike Vodafone UK who insisted they'd enabled my mobile to work in Scandinavia before I left the UK...and who of course hadn't. Which is how I ended up on the wrong train, completely unable to communicate with the Best Man to let him know what was going on. Fortunately once I was on the right train a nice British man lent me his mobile to send a text with arrival times as both the Best Man and Oldest Friend were getting concerned about where I could be.

Despite the week I've just spent doing the better part of nothing and trying to recover...I've tipped back into withdrawl. Hence the rice crispy trail. Again, the Oxycontin is just going straight through me without digesting. Something I would've preferred to know about before vomiting all over the toilet, floor and myself shortly after arriving in the Best Man's apartment. I'm beginning to fear it really is a sex curse. Puking and sex don't go together too well at the best of times, and I really, really don't want it to end up four times in a row!

*though not before getting Bog off photos!
**Germany had a similar attitude to the Scandinavians


The Deal with Disability

11/19/2009 05:25:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 3 Comments

As anyone who reads Benefit Scrounging Scum on a regular basis already knows...I have a bit of a 'thing' about how appearance influences perceptions of disability. I recently discovered a new blog, The Deal with Disability It's author, Eva, is an extremely intelligent, perceptive and articulate young woman who just happens to also be severely disabled.

I'm still a tad puddled so I'll just say I can't recommend
The Deal with Disability enough!


Change of plan

11/17/2009 11:35:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 8 Comments

So what can I say...I'm naive! I went back to my GP this morning to be reviewed and to have my bloods taken. Ben had said he knew I wasn't right as I kept curling up in a ball, whimpering that I wanted to die. Although it was the admission I'd spewed on the bathroom floor and just left it there plus the total lack of my OCD need to clean up the flat and insistence that Bendycat could go fuck herself which really did it. Poor Bendycat, I love her really.

So, the New GP took one look at me and said things weren't working out and she wasn't happy for it to continue. To be fair the nice man in the newsagent had said that 5 minutes before but he's not medically qualified. The fact that I was sitting in the GP's reception hugging a sick bowl and shaking might've had something to do with it too.

Although I'd not had any Oxycontin I was having to take Oramorph, co-codamol and some dihydrocodeine Ben found in his bag. New GP explained it's pointless trying to do this as although I can cope with the withdrawal symptoms I clearly can't cope with the pain. I deferred to her far more sensible opinion. I was in no fit state to have blood drawn so that can safely wait until after my visit to The Best Man.

So, the new plan is that I'm to go back on the Oxycontin, 40mg three times a day. Leave it for 5 days or so then gradually taper down the Oxycontin over a period of time. I feel both disappointed and relieved. The withdrawal symptoms are a bit like a nasty flu, the proper kind where you can barely get out of bed. However, they are not too difficult to tolerate because I knew they would end within days. The pain is something else altogether. I'm still not sure how much of the unbearable pain was withdrawal and how much EDS, but it'll probably be easier to get that picture when I taper things off more slowly. I suspect it's more the EDS as once I'd been dosed up with the codeine/oramorph combo and it had had a couple of hours to start to work properly I felt much better, well enough to have something to eat and keep it down.

Although it's been horrible, I'm glad my body has had that break from the Oxycontin and hopeful that slowly reducing the dose will be easier to manage. Mostly what I kept thinking whilst shaking, sweating and rattling was how much strength it really takes for addicts to get themselves off heroin. It was easy for me not to take the tablets because I don't have any of the psychological components of addiction, but even I was fantasising about a nice general anaesthetic and only having to wake up once it was all over. Certainly addiction is a massive problem for society as a whole and particularly the welfare state but until we address the reasons people become addicts and stop blaming addicts themselves nothing will change.


The first 24 hours...

11/17/2009 08:15:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 5 Comments

Oh god I want to die! Actually I don't, I just want the pain to stop dammit! So far things are going better than I'd anticipated. Ben stayed on the sofa last night so that there was someone here if I needed help or just someone to witter at while I was rattling. He'd stocked up on Immodium as I'd expected to have horrific diarrhea plus brought fizzy drinks and ice lollies.

So, yesterday afternoon/evening I had alot of shakes, sweats and shivers. I took my last dose of Oxycontin at 6am Nov 16th so it's been 26 hours now, and of course no guarantee that last dose was even digested. I suspect not properly as the withdrawl symptoms were much more severe yesterday afternoon/evening than throughout the night.

By midnight ish I'd had a couple of doses of diazepam (correctly spaced out), doses of basic co-codamol (for the overseas amongst you that's 8mg of codeine with 500mg of paracetamol) and doses of Oramorph. Plus a shit load of skunk.

I still hurt. Alot. I couldn't tell last night, and still can't really if the extreme muscular type pain I'm experiencing is because of the EDS or part of the withdrawl. That's one of the reasons I want to not take Oxycontin at the moment, it means I can't really tell whether the drug is causing the pain or the EDS. Whatever it is I can't function like this and will be begging new GP for some alternative pain relief. I feel like only someone rubbing their fists, very firmly into my back would reduce the pain. Sadly there are no suitable fists in range.

Probably the most significant problem has been the thirst. I'm not sure if it's just from the sweating, or something more specific but constant thirst has been a feature of this. I keep finding myself sort of smacking my tongue repeatedly, in a similar fashion to a baby suckling. All a bit odd! Usually I can't stand fizzy drinks, I only want them when I feel sick, but now I can't get enough sweet liquids. Proper food was out of the question last night but I got into the sugar about midnight.

I did get a reasonable amount of rest between about 2am and 7am. Whilst not proper sleep I was able to doze reasonably comfortably for a while. Pain woke me up and since then I've been ridiculously thirsty, thrown up...not just on the bathroom floor and had some relatively very mild diarrhea.

The sweats are really starting up again now, although I think these are more caused by pain and lack of calories. At no point have I been frightened for my physical or mental health though I have been a bit puddled at times. It's funny...the Oxycontin tablets I should have taken at 2pm yesterday are sitting on my bedside table, there is more oxycontin in the drawer and wardrobe. But, at no point have I wanted to take it. I was considering taking 10mg last night when rest was eluding me but decided it would only make things more difficult in the long run.

Now I'm giving myself stern talkings to about it only being a couple of hours until I can get some more appropriate pain relief. I am well overdue a dose of Oramorph but fear it'll just make me vomit again at this time of day, so that probably won't prove a practical longer term option.

However, overall, so far so good. No major problems or complications but my heart goes out to those trying to do this with a psychological addiction in addition to a physical dependancy. It may be very naive of me, but I'm hoping the worst is over.


The plan...

11/16/2009 05:41:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 9 Comments

I saw New GP, told her she could tell me I was insane at any point and we agreed upon a plan of action. Unfortunately the blood tests I had done last week were unusable because the samples were insufficient. Sensibly the local GP's get blood tests back on the same day now...but only if there's a result. It transpires it takes days for the hospital to notify the GP if the samples were insufficient.

Tomorrow morning I go back and New GP will draw blood herself to make sure it's done properly. I've not heard back about the rheumatology referral yet so that is something New GP will sort next week if it isn't through.

The plan is to stop taking the Oxycontin altogether. I should stress this was not the GP's idea. I've been thinking about doing this for some time. I have Oramorph to take should the pain be unmanageable, and diazepam should the physical effects of withdrawl be too miserable. I need to be careful because I really don't want to switch one dependancy for another. If I really, really can't cope going through withdrawl by just stopping, then I have lower dosages of oxycontin to taper down with. That would have been the most sensible and my preferred option but as I think I've only had one or two doses of Oxycontin be digested in the last 3 or 4 days it's probably going to be easier just to stop. It also suits my personality better.Having practically chain smoked for more than half my adult life, I chose to give up smoking by using a bit of nicotine gum which I stopped after about 10 days.

I plan to try and write down how this experience feels over the next few days so to have a contemporanous record. It'll probably all end up squiggle though. There are people nearby I can call upon at any time to come and sit with me if things get too difficult.

I'm expecting things to be a bit, alot, completely shit for the next few days. I wrote a list for Ben to take to the shops for me earlier, only some of which made any sense as I'd written nonsense words down. I think that's bound to happen again...but then pretty much all I write is nonsense so maybe it's just a sensible career progression.


Shake, rattle and roll

11/16/2009 01:20:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 7 Comments

Whilst it should probably be obvious, it usually takes someone else to point out to me that I'm having a tougher time than usual. Actually it usually takes several efforts from different someones until I register things are just a little bit shit. It's nearly the end of the year, so it makes sense I'm just waking up to the fact that this year has been unusually difficult, even by my standards.

I need to be sick. Really sick. The kind where you vomit and vomit until there is no more left and start feeling better for it. Unfortunately I've got the constantly nauseous with occasional side order of vomit variety of feeling sick. I've rationalised this in a hundred different ways, some of which make logical sense and some of which are simply the kind of bullshit my mind comes up with on a daily basis to convince myself I am in fact "not sick". At least I can admit it's all just bullshit...eventually!

So having run through the usual list of puking can be normal for me, of course you feel shit you're overdoing things, the potential link between my having sex and spewing in front of the poor bloke*, plus various other nonsensical reasons to spew I finally twigged on to the real reason.

Opiate withdrawl and consequent lack of pain relief. I should've perhaps been a little quicker on the uptake when new GP increased my pain meds. The thing is that long term pain becomes a part of your life to such extent it ends up impossible to tell what is normal. Whilst I generally register than I'm in more pain than usual I have learnt to seperate out the feelings of pain from the rest of me...possibly too successfully. I simply can't imagine how it feels not to be in pain all the time. In fact thinking about it blows my mind so much I have to stop.

I have been using Oxycontin to treat my pain for most of the past decade. Apart from never having had the full 12 hours coverage and so taking it three times a day instead of two it's been incredibly successful and vastly improved my quality of life. It's a medication I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to other people who suffer from extreme chronic pain. From a patient perspective Oxycontin works effectively to reduce pain sensations without major side effects, unlike say Oramorph which seems to attack the pain by making the user feel so 'smacked out' they don't really care about being in pain.

Over the years I've used Oxycontin it has been normal for me to occasionally go through periods where, for whatever reason, my body doesn't digest the tablets and they simply pass straight through me. Typically I'd notice a few days of increased pain/difficulty, wander around in a daze not knowing why, then realise when the tablets start to appear in the toilet bowl. Undigested Oxycontin floats and is often left behind after flushing the toilet so it's easy to tell when it's going straight through!

I'd sort of noticed this had been happening alot more frequently the past six months or so and been toying with the potentiallycompletely insane idea of stopping it altogether and going medication free** for some time. I've previously been on far greater doses of controlled drugs and so have some, limited experience of withdrawl. I was at one stage prescribed 260mg of Oxycontin per day alongside 50mcg of Fentanyl, patch to be changed every 48 hours instead of every 72. No-one really understands the reasons, but for many people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome medications simply don't work as they do in non bendy people. EDS'ers tend to fall into 2 main groups; those who are extremely sensitive to any kind of medication and become sedated from milder forms of pain relief such as paracetamol, and those who seem to have the ability to consume enough opiates to render a large elephant unconscious for a year. I fall firmly into the second category, and even on the full amount of Oxycontin, Fentanyl and Topiramate was able to function enough to drive.

Although I could function, all that medication caused it's own problems so I eventually decided to come off the Fentanyl and use a reduced dose of Oxycontin, then a year or so later remove the Topiramate altogether. It was some time ago, and is probably fortunate I don't remember a great deal about the entire experience. What I do remember is that the safest, easiest option was decided to be removing a fentanyl patch early one morning, going 'cold turkey' throughout the day and then switching to an initially increased dose of Oxycontin 12 hours later. For that 12 hour period however I couldn't take any additional medication. I have blurred memories of feeling much as I do now, sweaty, shivery and shaky seemingly without end. However, because I was physically dependant on the medication but not addicted it was far easier for me to just feel like absolute death for a day than it would be for an addict.

Thinking back the instances of Oxycontin not digesting have been becoming more and more frequent through the past 12 months. It's now reached a point where the medication is not working/not being digested far more frequently than it is. This may account for many of the difficulties I've been having these past few months...I'm probably going into withdrawal for a few days at a time before the tablets digest for the odd dose or two and mean I just start to withdraw again a few days later. The ultimate result being I feel like death warmed up most of the time.

So, in an hour I'm off to see New GP again. I'm hoping to go to see The Best Man next week, which involves flying so I desperately want to be feeling better. At the moment my, very probably suicidal plan, is to just not even bother swallowing the Oxycontin and see how quickly it comes out of my system, or how miserable it makes me...whichever comes first. I'm hoping a few days of a cannabis/diazepam cocktail will be enough to cover the worst withdrawl and pain symtoms until my system is fully clear of the Oxycontin and I can make an assessment of how things are then.

So, either the GP will talk me out of this, or I'll be having a spectacularly miserable 3 days. Whichever, wish me luck won't you?

*Yes, again. Already. And, let's face it, however nice the man is about it, vomit is a bit of a turn off! "Hello darling I need to spew" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Hello darling like my new lingerie!"
**apart from the dope. Are you listening Mr Johnson? Some of us really, really need you to sort out the position on medical marijuana!


"Mind your language"

11/06/2009 06:48:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 1 Comments

"When did people with disabilities cease to matter in the battle against bigotry?" Ian Birrell , The Independant


Pathways to confusion

11/04/2009 04:50:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 8 Comments

On Monday I attended the local job centre for my Pathways to Work interview. Pathways interviews are held in jobcentres with a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA), the idea is to offer support tailored to the individual's particular health condition and concerns with the eventual aim of moving the person into work and away from benefits.

The interview was booked prior to my having the flu, so I didn't think I needed a home visit. I could definitely have done with the day in bed, let alone the home visit, particularly after spending the previous night without central heating. As I'd got muddled up and thought I was going to an Employment and Support Allowance assessment type interview it didn't occur to me to phone and cancel.

Unsurprisingly parking was tricky, though thanks to the blue badge I could park on the double yellows. I was fairly confident that the 'accessible' entrance system would be just as inaccessible as it was two years ago when I went to see the jobs broker. Sadly my confidence was well placed. The intercom is still sited approximately 5feet up the wall, and
the token doorbell at a height a wheelchair user would probably have to strain to reach. On arrival you need to push the intercom, wait for someone to answer...and then just wait. And wait. And wait. For the, ahem, age challenged security guard to walk all the way down from the main job centre. Not an easy task if you struggle to stand up. Obviously there isn't anywhere to sit while you wait!

I was already pushed past my limits when I arrived, waiting to get in and going up pretty much finished me off. I was an attractive, grey coloured, shaking wreck when I arrived. I'm really not sure how I avoided hitting the floor face first. I just headed for the nearest seat to reception and focused on that. The staff were extremely kind, and one lady approached me immediately to see if I was ok, bringing me a tissue and some water.

I've previously met my DEA (Hi S!) who is lovely. Unlike every experience I've had with job brokers, the DEA's know their jobs well, understand the benefits system and crucially the kind of support people with health conditions need to move into work, and have the ability to recognise those who are capable of it. I have no idea why job brokers were introduced as they are incredibly expensive and doing the job the DEA's were already doing, except the DEA's did the job far better and more cost effectively.

It's evident I'm not fit for work so we didn't bother discussing what I'd need to make it possible. This DEA is good, but I reckon a cure for EDS is beyond her remit. What we did discuss was something called 'permitted work'. Broadly speaking, 'permitted work' is for people with health limiting conditions who would like to try a certain type of work to see if it's possible for them, without ending up having their benefits sanctioned. The rules state a maximum of 16 hours 'permitted work' a week, and that the work must be relevant to moving into work whilst not contravening the individual's entitlement to an incapacity benefit. So, for someone with learning difficulties it might be appropriate to try a bricklaying course as 'permitted work' but for inappropriate for someone with a back problem. The individual can earn up to £93.00 a week whilst on 'permitted work', although that may have an impact on entitlement to other benefits such as housing or council tax benefit. The 'permitted work' may be continued for a period of 52 weeks, which can be started or stopped if needed. Once the 52 weeks is up the person either has to move into paid employment or if they are unfit to they will remain on benefit but no longer be allowed to do 'permitted work'

It's all a bit convoluted as anything to do with the benefits system is, but basically it's one of the better ideas to help support people into work as it allows for a gradual process. It seemed like a great idea for me to legitimately be able to try to earn some money from writing.'re only allowed to do 'permitted work' if you are in receipt of Incapacity Benefit. I'm in receipt of Income Support which means I'm not eligible, despite meeting all the same criteria for incapacity. It's incredibly frustrating.

Just not anywhere near as frustrating as seeing tax money spent on duplicating existing services with poorer quality, more expensive services and demonising benefits recipients so no-one cares enough to notice


Care and Continuity

11/03/2009 04:25:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 7 Comments

When I saw the new GP last week she wanted me to have some blood tests done, as well as putting in an urgent referral to the rheumatologists. I need to be re-referred because although I know the name of the consultant I saw the last couple of times, he was a locum and none of us knew if he was still working at the local hospital. Also, the rules about waiting times only apply to new referrrals, not returning patients.

So today I went back to the surgery to have my bloods taken. Yesterday was a tough day and I was already shattered. I didn't think I looked too awful though, until I made it into the surgery and the practice nurse saw me making my way to reception with the help of the wall. Useful things walls.

My practice nurse knows me, so she knows just by looking at me if I'm struggling. She got me sat down then went off to sort out booking me in at reception and finding the phlebotomist. Nurse took me through and hung around while I had my blood drawn, which was useful as it turned out we needed an extra pair of hands to elevate my arm afterwards. Thankfully it was a pair of hands well aware that if they weren't careful they'd have to put back a dislocated shoulder as the phlebotomist looked ready to flee by that point!

Nurse decided she wanted to see me herself, and so found me the 'comfy chair' to sit in whilst she saw a patient with an appointment and had a word with the GP. The GP wanted my temperature and blood pressure taken, so we did that. Both of which were 'textbook' normal. Despite the fact I was grey, shaking and alternating between dripping with sweat and shivering. Eventually Nurse decided the only sensible thing to write in my notes was...'ill'.

Nurse helped me back to the 'comfy chair' having decided I needed to see the GP anyway. A 'just doesn't look right' from an experienced nurse should never be underestimated. I did not have an appointment booked with either the nurse or the GP, but time was found. Again, these are the kind of daily happenstances which keep primary care functioning at such a high standard in the UK. Sadly they are also the kind of happenstances which cannot be measured and quantified by bean counters in the Department of Health, so there they are deemed not to happen or even be needed amongst the clamours for attention from the middle class worried well.

I like the New GP. I know she's at a bit of a loss in this situation but she's dealing with it remarkably well, and vitally isn't pretending she knows all about EDS when she actually knows next to nothing. New GP had wanted to check for a few things, general inflammation levels, rheumatoid factor just in case, kidney function and to test for streptoccocus as I've recently had a throat infection. My personal feeling is that, despite problems with precise diagnosis, the recent flu I had was more than likely swine flu and this is the after effects on a vulnerable EDS body. Nurse was telling me about a relative of hers who had swine flu, seemed fully recovered other than a slight cough, then was taken ill while on holiday and is currently in an overseas Intensive Care bed. Hopefully the young patient in question will be better very soon.

New GP wanted to alter my pain medication as chronic pain can cause the kind of symptoms I'm experiencing. I'm a little wary of this as I feel more than anything my body needs rest at the moment, and additional pain relief may mean I just push myself harder. We settled on adding in an extra 10mg of Oxycontin to my regular doses to see if that damps things down a bit. Hopefully it won't be so much I can declare myself immediately healed....until ending up in A&E.

I've got a very special weekend planned in the near future so until then I'm on strict, rest and recuperate orders!


Gas, gas, gas!

11/01/2009 04:59:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 8 Comments

It seems to have been one of those days. Well, one of those weekends actually. It's all a bit of a blur. The Voltarol is definitely a contributing factor, but then so is the pain. Along with the most traditional of reasons to become slightly confused and distracted. No, not dope, that's only traditional for me, but admittedly that's a factor too. You'd worry if it weren't.

So, um, yeah. I'm a bit puddled today. Which might be why it took me a while to notice that although the heating was on, the radiators were getting colder. Towering intellect that I am. I decided it had to be the washing machine stealing the heat from the boiler. Coincidences lead to that kind of non scientific stupid thought process.

Even I managed to figure out the pilot light had blown out on the boiler. I suspect my methods of deduction wouldn't be approved of by Transco. Not that I know what their methods are. I'm currently wondering if I need to turn off the actual gas supply and if so how. I've turned off the timer clock for the boiler so it won't turn on anymore. I don't think. My grasp of the physical world and laws of science being tenuous at best. I did at least manage to ask a neighbour to come and attempt to light the pilot light. He scratched his head a bit, mumbled about being a builder and decided best left.

Fortunately I've learnt to keep a stash of one pound coins in for the electric meter. Without gas central heating I'll have to rely on the fan heaters my landlord sent round, and they eat electricity faster than anything else.

It's my Pathways To Work interview at the job centre tomorrow. Between the inflammed joints, marshmallow tablets and lack of heating it could prove an interesting experience. The irony is I'm not worried about it because I'm so borked they can't possibly find me fit for work! Now, who's willing to bet the access situation is still the same as back in 2007?