As I said earlier I had my Atos Medical today, to decide if I can continue getting ESA.
I thought I'd blog in case anyone is going for the 1st time. And also any comments on how you think I did more than welcome. It's one of those things you come away from and think 'I wish I'd .........
Firstly took near an hour on 2 buses to get there. My son came with me (1st tip, they always ask how you got there and if you were with anyone, NEVER go alone, as I was told this gets points off the score.
I have been suffering with anxiety and depression for near 2 years (I also have panic attacks) which caused me to stop working (hence the ESA) also in my last form I had told them I had just had positive blood test for RA inflamation.
First the questions, I tried to be as honest as possible but was also aware to be careful. Questions included:
When I last worked and why I had to give up......I worked for Evans, had a panic attack and ran out after fighting off the manager!
What time do I go to bed.........any time between 6 & 9
Do I watch TV and for how long......approx 1 hour, uncomfortable sitting, no concentration
Do I use computor..........I can for a few minutes at a time, but hurts my wrists
Have I any hobbies.....hands too painful, no interest at moment
Who does my housework, cooking and bill paying.........my poor son
Who I live with......same son
Do I go shopping, answer the door/telephone etc.....go shopping if taken by son, don't like the telephone, live in a flat so don't answer the door to anyone.
How I feel from day to day etc......tired, sad, generally miserable
Then the physical side:
Moving my head from side to side.....I managed that, slowly
Hands above head.......managed to get them to my head but not above
Hands behind my head...........didn't quite manage that
Arms outwards.........managed but explained about pain (like pulled muscles across my chest)
Hands up behind my back.......not far (I had already said I have to put my bra on backwards!)
Then standing up and touching my toes..........no chance!
Getting onto bed........bit of a struggle
Lifting legs............1 leg not too bad, few inches, but other which has been very painful lately, no chance
Then it was things like pushing against her with my hands and feet.....I shook and didn't have much strength.
Grasping her fingers..........hardly able to grip at all
and touching forefinger to thumb, which I said was painful but managed although when she pulled her finger through to 'break the link' I had no resistence.
That's about all I can remember at moment. Sorry if I've gone on a bit too long. Came out shaking and crying and totally exhusted
The thing I regret most is at the end she asked if I wanted to add anything, I said no but wish I'd mentioned more of the pain as I have muscle pain as well as joint pain, and I wish I had said more about the fatigue and tiredness and how bad it really can get. Also I told her I have hospital appt. next week but she didn't ask for my appt. letter, I wish I'd given to her.
Well that's it, she seemed nice enough but who knows. I hope they noticed my son being worried when I came out and having to help me with my coat etc.
Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I want to work eventually, I want my life back, but just can't cope at moment.
Thanks for 'listening'
Love and best wishes to all, Suzanne xxx