Missed my Yoga fix……….

………………..little things can really throw your day and routine. I know this can be said about anything and anyone, rain at the bus stop on the way to work or the bus being full so you have to catch the next one. I understand the inconveniences, I think when you live with chronic pain or a mental health issue like so many other things in life this is amplified.

You see the getting wet, the bus something you soon forget as you carry on with your day and don’t give it a second thought. Missing yoga though is a massive thing, it is the one thing a week I do just for me nobody else, I escape the prison walls of the bungalow usually because Jeremy very kindly travels 20 miles out of his way to pick me up. It is not just about the yoga as much of it I cannot do from my wheelchair, it is being in a room full of spoonies who although we have a variety of different diagnoses truly can empathise with you and the effort it takes to get out. My wife goes out to work each day and although this isn’t a social event she has the associated socialising work brings. You see different people you can talk to, you catch up about what you did at the weekend you may even grab a quick lunch together. Throughout the day you see a variety of people and have several conversations. Now there is no doubt some horrific stuff my wife has to deal with and work with being a social worker and it is a very pressurised job where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t so I do not mean to demean that or any other working person in anyway.

I loved working and my ill health retirement has really fucked with my head, I have lost all this social interaction in the last year and a half, my colleagues will as of tomorrow cease to be my colleagues as I formally retired due to ill health tomorrow. I have been dreading this day and have tried writing an email to send out to them to say thank you and goodbye but I just haven’t been able to find the words. I think it is the fear in me of what next. I become another statistic out of work. So getting back on track the yoga has become my one piece of social interaction. There is no requirement for me to talk about my pain we all know we are suffering and that will not change – this is a good thing though as it means we just talk and laugh normally. we speak about our families, about any successes we have had, if we have discovered any new cheats that make life easier, share slow cooker recipes, make things you name it and it is talked about. With me and Jeremy in the room you can guarantee there is some sort of innuendo banding around but it is Barbara who will always shock us the most 🙂 . Much as I love my famiends and I completely understand why they do this, but they all worry about me, if I am at there’s they want to make sure I am well looked after, if we are out there is always a Seachy sitter and I love them all dearly for caring, I wouldn’t however mind if they were to be slightly less worried about me. The pain will always be there, things will always be difficult and I will always appreciate everything they do for me, I just don’t want to talk about the pain all the time. I have the blog for this and to get things off my chest. After Yoga we then go to the cafe and put the world to right having a really good laugh whilst we do so!

Missing Yoga put me in a bad mood, missing it for my third financial assessment in a week just made me frustrated. I had to log on to my internet banking and show a complete stranger our joint bank balances. We then went through all our expenditure liabilities showing each DD. She said being disabled I was allowed £15 a week discretionary funding for my disability spending, a total of £780 a year. Anything above this I have to put forward a case of the spending. This amount doesn’t cover my hydrotherapy tub costs let alone my monthly medications, increased water and electric costs, the £1200 on my mobility scooter all of which we have already funded. We spoke about my pension and the fact that based on that income alone I am eligible for some funded support to help me do the things around the house I cannot do – my own PA if you like who can help with the washing, cooking meals, getting me out and about on my mobility scooter the things to get my independence and help relieve some of the pressure on my family. However if I was to take a lump sum from my pension the expectation is that I have to use that money purely for things for my disability. If I don’t I will be liable for paying for the PA at a cost of £15.63 per hour. So the money I have been paying since I was 19, long before my accident in private pensions that I transferred in to my current pension, the taxes I have paid, that my wife continues to pay and that I will also have deducted from my pension have basically paid for someone else to get all the care package funding and Disabled Facilities Grant that I cannot access.

If I take a lump sum I basically have to ask permission to spend it from the Norfolk County Council. They will then decide if it is a good use of the money to help with my disability. So my wet room YES – my wife’s new car that we put off buying to buy the mobility scooter, pay a lump sum up front to be able to get a motability car big enough for that to fit in and the hot tub NO. Wheelchair Access YES, New Boiler NO. Even though we have been spending our savings whilst I have been off work so many things have been put off! Having found all this out instead of being at yoga did not help my mood at all. It also made me question what we should do with regards to my pension, having already spent hours stressing over the decision already! It sits uneasily with me that I have got to seek approvalon what my pension is spent on…………….

Seeing this my wife decided we should go for a walk to get some fresh air, I am really pleased she was here as without this distraction I would have wound myself up in knots and a bad day would have got worse.

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