I'm just wondering if anyone can provide advice on the particular circumstances that I find myself in at the moment?
In 2012 I had surgery, following chemotherapy, to remove oesophageal cancer. The first surgery went well to start but, during the night there was a leak, and my stomach and oesophagus was infected. In order to save my life I was advised that it would be necessary to remove all of my stomach, and all of my oesophagus. Three further operations took place which ended with reconstruction using my bowels in November 2013.
The results of this surgery means that anything that I eat transits my system quite quickly, and diarrhoea is a daily event. Having said that, it's something that I have more-or-less got used to (apart from the odour issues, etc) and I've found that taking regular imodium causes more discomfort than the diarrhoea, as what I eat then has no way of getting out of the pipework that I now have. I've developed my diet so that I am now maintaining my weight at around 12 stone (reduced down from 16 stone pre-op), and the important thing is that I'm still alive.
The difficulty is that since losing my job in February this year, where I was in a position where I could arrange my work space to be very close to the toilet, things have gone a bit down-hill. I'm currently on Employment Support Allowance, apparently waiting to hear whether I'm on one particular stream or another. I have tried to find alternative employment; I have over twenty years experience of management accounts, administration and running various offices, but have had no positive responses. I actually applied for a number of positions within local health authorities, and at the hospital where I had the surgery (thought it might be nice to help the people who had helped me), but I was told that I couldn't have an interview because I didn't take the necessary examinations in 1979, despite my experience. Perhaps it's wrong of me to mention my medical issues in my applications, but I personally feel that it's right to do so.
I'm trying to create a 'work from home' business in the field of Family History Research, which has been a long-term hobby of mine. Although, if successful, this might allow me to be financially self-sufficient, while being able to manage my particular needs at home, I have to accept that this venture might not take-off. If this is the case, I need to be able to get money from somewhere.
I was wondering what the experiences of others in a similar position to myself were when it comes to benefits claimed?