It’s been a long while since I wrote my last blog which was way back in December last year. I had no idea at that time that it would be another ten months until I would be able to write another one.
My health has been ‘delicate’ for 18 years due to an array of autoimmune illnesses. During that time I’ve had ups and downs and, occasionally, when I’ve been really lucky, I’ve had a few weeks here and there that have almost been normal. Unfortunately I had shingles last summer and gradually the effect on my immune system took its toll. Every bit of me went downhill, not in a huge rush, but slowly and insidiously, until Christmas last year when I became an energy free zone.
I’m not going to prattle on about the whys and wherefores of living with a chronic illness, that, I am sure, would bore the pants off anyone. Suffice to say, I have the opinion, that whilst I have an illness, the illness does not have me! I am still me, hidden maybe under a tired and weary exterior, but inside I am still a vibrant spirit, and as far as I am concerned, still capable of doing absolutely everything. I just have to get my body to agree!
So, what has been happening in my life in the intervening months? I was fortunate to be cared for by my wonderful husband Simon, who has the amazing knack of looking after me whilst not being at all smothering . He gives me my own space, which I desperately crave, especially when I am housebound for any length of time. He has, when my energy has allowed, taken me out with my electric scooter to beautiful accessible places always with wonderful views. Many times we have sat with a picnic at the top of a hill somewhere overlooking the beautiful English countryside as the sun goes down. Just breathing in the fresh air, watching spring lambs prancing and playing really made me feel alive.
I have wonderful supportive friends who popped over for visits, or if I wasn’t well enough for that, would call and we’d have a chat on the phone. Kay, a very dear friend, usually came over at least once a week and gave me healing which I am sure helped and certainly lifted my spirits. Suzette, another friend, would come and collect the ironing and then bring it back all beautifully pressed a few days later and I’d have the added bonus of more healing when she visited. Through emails, phone calls and good ol’ facebook, I would keep up with everything going on in everyone’s lives so I didn’t feel cut off, which is easy to feel when you are unable to get out and about.
My twin, Tina, has a new carer, Sharon, who strangely enough, is also a very spiritual woman. I have been unable to spend whole days with Tina since being so ill, so it was wonderful that Sharon would bring her over for an afternoon every other week or so. It was lovely to be able to spend time with Tina and a real delight to get to know Sharon too, who I would most probably not have met if I hadn’t been so unwell.
I mustn’t forget to mention Maddie, our gorgeous Tibetan Terrier, who has been my side, and I mean literally, by my side, through these difficult months. She is such a sweetheart and has been my shadow, both during the day and the many long nights when I’ve been unable to sleep. So many times I’ve been incapable of almost anything apart from listening to music and she has happily sat quietly on my lap or beside me. I am sure she must have been so bored, but she possesses such a happy little character that you’d never know it.
Unable to venture out very much at all, my poor little car, Fuzey, has been patiently waiting on the drive, desperate to get her engine revved up again and feel the wind in her hair. I’ve been calling her my cobweb car because she has several of them on her wing mirrors, which doesn’t delight me at all as I’m not super happy with many spiders around me. I’m still not well enough to drive very much but I did have her professionally valeted recently, just in case!
In the UK the government has bought in new legislation to help the country to save money. Part of these new rules is to try and send as many sick and disabled back to work, or at least, along for interviews where they can ‘learn’ to be able to work. A very small proportion of chronically ill people have been placed in the support group, which is the group that accepts it is unlikely you will ever be able to work again. Although none of us would ever wish to be given that label, unfortunately some of us have to accept that our bodies will not recover or repair enough to enable us to work.
In the midst of my ‘downtime’ the dreaded government stamped brown envelope arrived. To add to the incredible frustration of having a body which wouldn’t comply with my demands, I had the hassle of going through with having my incapacity benefits re-assessed. Very few people I know have had their claims upheld and they have all been going through the most dreadful worrying times. On top of trying to muster enough energy to get myself out of bed for a couple of hours a day, I had no option but to complete the endless forms because they have to be returned within a set time. Finally I managed to finalize the forms and post them off before collapsing in a heap for several weeks.
During the spring I managed to get out of the house just three times in three months and one of those outings was to meet my good friend Jane Easlick. We met for lunch at a very lovely pub just two minutes from my home. Jane is a fantastic medium and healer and although she works full-time she always makes time to help and support others through her gifts. I asked her if she could offer me any advice where my incapacity claim was concerned. At the time I had sent in my claim form and was waiting to hear the outcome. She thought for a little while and then said that I may well have to ask them to reconsider my claim and then that I would most probably have to appeal the outcome of that decision. She added that I should send a letter from my doctor with my appeal which would then make all the difference, and, she said, that before my case ever went to the tribunal, she was positive they would over-turn their initial decision.
I was a nervous wreck about the possibility of having to appeal, and hoped Jane was wrong, but sure enough they phoned me just a few weeks later to advise that my claim had been assessed and they had placed me in the group that had to attend interviews. I was stunned as I was barely able to function, never mind attend any kind of official interviews. I explained this to the lady and she told me that I should ask for a re-consideration, which I did. A few weeks later I received a letter stating that they had not changed their decision and I could now appeal. My goodness, even more paperwork followed, and with Jane’s words running through my head, I approached my doctor and asked her for a letter in support of my claim. I sent the letter along with the appeal forms and waited.
Two months later I received another letter from the department advising that they had over-turned their decision and that I was now in the support group. I am always amazed by the accuracy of the information that spirit give, and this was certainly spot on. Well done Jane and your wonderful spirit team!
So now, with the assessment behind me, and several months of hard work resting, I am hopeful that I might be able to start functioning again, even if just for a couple of hours now and again. I am sure some of you might have queried the phrase ‘hard work resting’ and it does appear like a misnomer, but quite truly, it is so difficult to do nothing. Everyone seems to dream of a time in their life when they can rest and relax, but they usually expect to fill their time with something which gives them pleasure. I have had to work hard at doing virtually nothing. The difficulty is that when I feel I have just an ounce of energy it is so tempting to use it. When you’ve been powerless to do anything for months on end it is so tricky to accept that you still have to rest. What I have learnt over the years is that I have to save my energy and try a build up a deposit so that I can gradually increase my activity levels without taking one step forward quickly followed by two steps backward.
So, to begin with, whilst trying to gently ease myself back to my normal levels of activity, I am planning to start writing my blog again. Just once a month to begin with, after all, I mustn’t over do it, but, it’s a plan, and I am so looking forward to writing once more.
Jane Easlick: http://www.thatsthespirit.co