Monday, 21 September 2009

Good news - of a kind

I am feeling huge relief today. I received the results of my application for renewal of my disability benefits, for which I had the recent medical.

Last time I was awarded high rate mobility and high rate care (the top awards) for a period of two years. This has been the norm for the past ten years. This time I received the same award - for an indefinite period of time.

I was shaking so much I could hardly show Richard the letter - no more renewal forms (30 pages of tricky questions), and no more worry!

When the euphoria wore off a bit, I saw the other side of this. Indefinite means they don't expect me to improve substantially from where I am now. As I have lost weight, I have noticed a difference in my ability to breathe, and to walk - but although they feel like big differences to me, in the overall picture of my health, they are fairly insignificant. I've been ill so long now that I have lost my yardstick of what being well feels like, and sometimes a good day feels like more of a step forward than it really is.

Certainly the expression of shock on the doctor's face, when he came in to do the medical, should have said volumes to me. His first words were, after all, 'Well, I really don't know why they've sent me out to you - you're clearly very unwell.'

See, inside my head, I still feel like me. I'm so used to making accommodations for the things I can no longer do that I kid myself I feel no different from when I was working, studying, swimming, singing and acting, back before I got ill. Then I get a reminder like this - and it hits a little hard.

I don't believe in giving in, and I won't let this get me down. But maybe I should take a little more care to make sure that I don't get any worse.

6 comments:

Gil S said...

Hi Heather,

I hope you won't let this get you down and that the removal of this particular uncertainty and worry may improve your health in ways you can measure.

For what it's worth what you write makes it clear to me that you are very much still you!

In friendship
Gil

Mary Anne said...

It must feel like a double-edged sword, Heather, and I can understand your mixed reactions, but 'still feeling like you inside' is a good thing and I hope you never lose that feeling.

Cloth and Clay said...

Oh, do take whatever care you need, Heather. It's been great to see the improvement in your stamina through your online posts and emails and long may that continue!
Jane xx

Jan Lyn said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks for sharing your feelings so transparently. We find a new norm and at times feel that surprise or shock I think. I especially notice it when I become ill with a regular virus/cold and do not notice it as feeling so ill normally. Takes me a while to catch on.
You are infinately loved by God and definately still you to him and us. You are way more than your illness, a beautiful and inspiring person.
So thanks for being YOU.

In Friendship and Love,
Jan Lyn

Anonymous said...

Heather, I see improvements from time to time.
I can remember when you had to stop talking sometimes to get your breath.
Admittedly that was before Richard turned the oxygen level up, but just the same I live in every expectation of seeing much more comfortable and mobile than at present.
Love,
Vicki

Laurie Kruczek said...

I have you in my heart and in my prayers, Heather. You are a remarkable woman! Sometimes good news is masked like this, but you see it as plain and as real as needed, and you move on. Your "still life" keeps moving on, Heather. That is a glorious godly gift!

Peace and love in the Light,

Laurie