Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Face to face assessment

Hi everyone, I had to re apply for ESA in July as I had been on it for two years and needed to be re assessed. I filled a form in (well my wife did it), I waited a few weeks and didn't hear anything but my ESA payments continued so I assumed everything was ok. Yesterday I had a letter saying that I needed to attend a face to face assessment, this has made me feel really fed up. My fibro seems to be getting worse, I know it is not supposed to be progressive but it is for me. My fatigue is bad too, even after the B12 injections. When I had the last injection about 3 weeks ago the nurse wasnt sure if they would carry on! I saw the gp this morning to confirm that they would continue, I told him that they must be helping, but not a huge difference. He said that fatigue is best self managed with pacing etc. I said I might try vitamin supplements, he said they wont harm me but have no scientific proof they work. The other problem I discussed with gp was pain in my right heel. He said it is plantar fasciitis, does anyone else have this. He suggested a few exercises for this. But it is just another symptom to live with!

David

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Hi David, have they given you a date for your F2F yet. I just want to wish you luck and i am sure we all understand your frustration. I think most people have to go for these assessments now no matter if your on ESA or PIP ! It's a shame that they can not just talk or write to your doctor for any updated information like they used to. But they don't want to bring the doctors in to it now unless they really have to.

Mo

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Thanks for the reply. I have to go for this on 2nd November. I filled in a form in July and they told me they asked my GP for a report and have only just got it back. I hope this is just a formality. Glad you understand.

David

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If it was me i would check with my GP if they have asked for a report just to make sure. They told me they had spoken to my GP on the phone and my doc told them she could not give out any information due to patient confidentiality.

My GP told me no one had called her and they would have had to send paper work any way. ??

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hope you keep us in formed ive a form to do myself got help filling it out but not comfortable with way done!

With Asperger's you like things done right! but with my stroke i can't concentrate for long and get confused if doing things or forget!

those two together cause hell as in the end get aggitated.

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My F2F was a disaster . The report said I need no help and it came back to me only 6 days after the assessment so I don't think they contacted anyone about my condition . I have asked for them to look at it again .

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Hi, don't give up with the assessment. My last one was turned down, then I ended up taking them to court and I won. I intend to do the same again if it comes to it.

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Thanks for your support , does it cost money to take them to court ?

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No it doesn't cost you anything, but it must cost the DWP. They don't expect to be taken to court, nearly all cases win when a judge gets involved. The judge I had was really good, he is independent so he is fair. Just asks a lot of questions. My wife came with me to help with the questions. There was a doctor there too he is independent too, the four of us just sat round a table in a small room. Hope this helps.

David

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Great help . Thank you so much :)

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I too have severe pain in my right heel. I was told it was tendinitis. It's not on the back though, more to the right of my achilles.

Physio and heat/cold makes mine worse.

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Jurph I have used magnesium spray on my sore foot (arch and heel) and also soaked in salt water- then applied voltarol gel at night

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I'll give it a try. Thanks!

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Good luck David. I know it's a pain, but you will be fine a very good luck to you. And yes I to get plantar fasciitis. It's very painful. Take care.

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Thank you Blue52

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Hi David- I tore my arch in the hyro pool a couple of weeks ago and my younger sister has P.F its kept her off work 5 weeks now, she had cortisone into both heels, she is seeing podiatry, Occ health have told her not to alter shoe height, buy some insoles for P.F with heel drop wells and arch support (bought some off e bay) I personally have found crocs I used to wear in theatres are supporting my needs, I did also spray some magnesium oil onto the arch-it has helped, pain relief wise I always have tramadol with paracetamol and my sister has found they are helping her too. it will get better in time but seek advise.

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Hi vitamins will help .they can go up and down.paceing is a key tool if you can Stick it it does help it's a big tool on all on all courses .you will be fed up with face to face assessment.they are meant to try reduce them for long for long term chronic I'll.. if you struggle 3o yards with pain that should get you in support group .

mind they watch you walking at assessment

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I have plantar fasciitis in both feet, it’s so painful. I was advised to wear plantar fasciitis foot sock supports and orthotic arch supports. I also bought a cold/hot foot, body roller and freeze it and use it twice daily using it on the floor and rolling it on the soles of my feet, Combining all treatments things have got a lot better, not sure how long it will take to go tho. I also have problems with my knees and have started physio, the physiotherapist has told me that my hamstrings and calves are stiff and this will cause the plantar fasciitis. So I start deep tissue massage this Monday to help all the issues HOPEFULLY!!

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What Is ESA

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Employment Support Allowance. For those who are unfit to work. But you can work 16 hours. You can still work full time and be on Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

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O right ok Iv had face to face for pip I couldent work with the pain I stoped 12 months ago after struggling fo 12 Years with fibro Thanks

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Re plantar fasciitis - go see a chiropodist/ osteopath for some meaningful treatment. I treat people for this and get good results consistently, so no you don’t have to put up with it 😊

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Hi David mind mention paceing onAssessment you stop tp rest due to pain and to reduce rest pain .remind yourself .cant walk up to 50 metres repeatedly or due to pain discomfort puts you in support group . 100yard 9 points and 6 points from rest questions puts you in work group gl

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hi I have planter faciitis left foot worse than right sharp pain up your heel First thing in the morning you can hear my heal making a noise as i walk .very painfull

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I get thst in both my heels. Some nights i wake up in agony with it. Its caused by vit b deficiency as far as i know. I take supplements too. I also have fibri n cfs. Take care

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Hi David - I've suffered really badly with plantar fasciitis. For me none of the more conservative methods of treatment worked but I think that's because it was originally caused by inflammation from my RA. Definitely worth trying the exercises though, and some people find having a shoe with more arch support helps (typically trainers but you can get special insoles for other shoes). Rest is often advised if it gets worse - the only way to do that is use crutches or stay in bed for six months (the last bit is only sort of a joke - I was on crutches with plantar fasciitis at the time I broke both my ankles last year. When I was finally walking again it had gone, though I suspect may come back if and when I could walk further.

Anyway, only thing that worked for me except the prolonged bed rest was a steroid injection. It isn't pleasant though, and docs will probably only consider if other things don't work. But do keep going back if it's not getting better - it can be really debilitating. Last tip - freezing a small bottle of water and rolling that under your foot can help ease pain.

Good luck with ESA.

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Thanks for the reply and the suggestions.

Take care

David

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Hi @Golfer15 my husband lost he's Esa a few years ago and it went to a tribunal and won,he was put in the support group the same happened to him where he received it for 2 years then he had a form to fill in a form for reassessment which we did and he had to go for a f2f assessment earlier this year,we went and to be honest it was fine,he was hardly asked any questions on the form just how he was generally etc,it lasted about 1/2 hour and we left,he had a letter about 4 weeks after saying he would remain in the support group,didn't give a time scale,such relief 🙂hope all goes well for you.

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Thanks for letting me know. That is exactly the same as me. I hope the f2f is just s formality. My medical situation has not improved at all.

David

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That was the same as my husband we were absolutely dreading the assessment but when we got there they said it was just a formality and nowhere near bad as what we had normally experienced.

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Can I ask do you have CFS or ME as well as the fibromyalgia. I have both and saw your posts on the ME forum from a few years ago. The terrible fatigue is a symptom of both isn't it so very confusing.

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Hi, I haven't been diagnosed with CFS/ME but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2015. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me before my diagnosis, I still think I might have CFS as i suffer with fatigue really badly, I know fibro and CFS are closely linked. I could have both but I dont know how to get a diagnosis for CFS. My gp seems a bit fed up with me. I saw him last week to ensure the B12 injections carry on as there was some confusion with the nurse who gives the injections. Do you have advice for fatigue.

Take care of yourself

David

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I find fatigue is the worst thing. I take b12 and vitamin d and magnesium but still have it. I try to do stuff and just end up sitting down which other people don't seem to understand. I was diagnosed by a neurologist and then just left to get on with it. Fibromyalgia was thrown into the mix when I was in so much pain. Who diagnosed you? I find it isn't getting much better I just have to deal with it along with the other symptoms but it does make you socially isolated. People get fed up inviting you and then they stop asking. I used to say I would never watch daytime television but guess what! I do. By the way my GP actually told me I can't be cured whether it's CFS or fibromyalgia so stop looking for answers. Nice!

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A rheumatologist diagnosed the fibro but the gp referred me. I also take B12 injections but nothing else for fatigue. I might try magnesium as Ive heard it is good. I need to go to a health shop to get some vitamin supplements. I have little energy so I dont get much done each day. My wife gives me a few things to do which I can do sitting down, she is good but doesnt totally understand. She said why dont I make a cake or some chutney, I used to make chutney but I havent the energy or interest to do that anymore.

David

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Yes I understand about not wanting to do anything. I used to go out walking for hours and now the end of the road kills me. I used to cook but now am relying on quick and easy meals.i see you are going for the ESA assessment well that stresses you out doesn't it. I got kicked off it after 18 months and they said I was fit for work which I wasn't but I couldn't face going to a tribunal so I had to take redundancy because I tried a phased return but just ended up making myself worse. I miss the interaction with people the most. Have the b12 injections made you feel any different. I just had a blood test but the GP said it wasn't low enough for injections so I went and bought supplements. Some days I think I feel a bit better but as soon as I go and do a bit I go downhill again. The whole illness thing has you on an emotional rollercoaster doesn't it. My son keeps telling me if I really wanted to get better I could. Feel like falling out with him big time but that would get me nowhere

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