It’s fair to say that this past month has been a bit of a write-off. A few things forced me to take a break from blogging for a little while, and prevented me from going out and about the majority of the time. So I apologise for not posting recently, but I just haven’t been in the mindset for it.
I’m getting back into things now though, so I’ll be resuming my regular Favourites posts shortly, along with other posts that I want to publish. The next Favourites post will cover both July and August together, as there’s very little to mention for the latter month.
But this mini update wouldn’t really belong in a Favourites post. As much I like to be positive and share all the good things that I get up to, nobody’s life is perfect, and these past few weeks haven’t been easy. So in this post and video I wanted to quickly let you know what’s been happening, to help bridge the gap in my regular posts, and to put things into context going forward. Specifically, there are 3 things that have had a big impact lately.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
I sent off my claim form and supporting evidence at the end of July, including a very detailed dissertation about how my disability affects me, answering each of their questions in turn. The process of writing that was also disrupted by the fact that my iMac computer died after about 6 years of loyal service, so I ended up buying a new one (which I’ll mention in my next Favourites post). Fortunately we have a laptop as well, so I was able to write up my PIP answers on that instead.
And then in the first week of September I had my face-to-face assessment, where I was able to speak at great length about the impact of my visual impairment, again with a lot of detail to make myself absolutely clear. How much they truly understood and noted down won’t be known until I can get the assessment report. But I’m satisfied that I did the best I could.
So now I just need to wait for the decision. Given their track record, I won’t be at all surprised if my claim is refused. But I will gladly take it all the way to appeal if necessary, as I have access to solid support and evidence to back me up, I’ve got nothing to lose if they’re stopping my benefits anyway, and I’m very happy to talk about myself in detail to more people. Let’s face it, I ramble on enough about myself in my blog posts and videos as it is, and in the few public talks I’ve done. So I’m used to it!
But in any case, once it’s all over, I’ll produce a blog post and video about my PIP claim experience, so I can look back over it with the benefit of hindsight and relief, and pass on advice to others. It’s not a nice subject, but it’s one that needs to be discussed, because it’s not a fair or pleasant process for those going through it. So all awareness is important.
I was also unable to walk much during August after a severe reaction to an insert bite on my foot, which has taken a long time to heal. I’ve never had anything like that before, so it was very concerning. After being prescribed 2 different types of antibiotics, taking antihistamines, applying antibiotic cream and having blood tests that thankfully showed I didn’t have Lyme Disease, it’s finally started clearing up and the skin is now repairing itself. So I’ve been able to get out of the house without any problems lately.
In a completely unrelated coincidence, I also managed to get an infection in my finger after scratching it on something. But thankfully that’s clearing up of its own accord. So my body’s been having a bit of a battle these past few weeks!
Finally, Claire and I have brought our relationship to an end, a year after it began. We’ve had an amazing time together, resulting in many wonderful memories that we’ll always cherish, and it’s given me a big boost in my self-confidence. So I don’t regret a single moment of it. But after a sensible discussion we made the mutual decision that it was best to call it a day. And we’ve parted on very good terms. We’re still great friends, we’re still keeping in touch, and we’ll still meet up sometimes as culture buddies. So all is good between us.
And that’s it. Just a little life update to keep you in the loop. I’m finally getting back to normal and feeling like my old self again after all of that, and I’m looking forward to having a fresh start now. It’ll be good to go out and about again, exploring and socialising, and getting back into blogging again too. So normal service is being resumed. And I hope you’ve all had a good summer, even if mine’s been a bit strange!