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Sunday, 20 March 2016

PIP 2 & 3

I'll tackle two today, as one of them doesn't really apply to me.

The second section in the day-to-day living part is about eating.

Eating question - PIP form
I have no problem at all remembering when to eat. I love eating! If, you can't eat independently though, here are the points you could get.

Taking nutrition.
a. Can take nutrition unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs –
(i) to use an aid or appliance to  be able to take nutrition; or
(ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or
(iii) assistance to be able to cut up food.  2 points.
c. Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition.  2 points.
d. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition.  4 points.
e. Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition.  6 points.
f. Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so.  10 points.

The third section is about managing treatments. This is where I scored the highest points. It's about medication and physiotherapy.

Treatments question - PIP form

I take medication, though nowhere near as many as some people but I do a lot of physio. In the morning, when I am quite alert and have some energy, I manage my physio okay. In the evening though, I usually need reminding to do both and I often can't remember whether I've taken medication or not. I'm so physically and mentally exhausted by evening that I often just fall asleep if left to sit on the sofa for more than 5 minutes.

Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition. 
a. Either –
(i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or 
(ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided.  0 points.
b. Needs either –
(i) to use an aid or appliance to  be able to manage medication; or 
(ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication or monitor 
a health condition.  1 point.
c. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week.  2 points.
d. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week.  4 points.
e. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week.  6 points.
f. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week.  8 points.

I get 4 points because Neil has to help me with physio and my physio takes between 3.5 and 7 hours per week. I think they have assessed this section correctly. In terms of incurring extra costs for living as a disabled person, it worked backwards for me. I used to be a teacher and absolutely loved it. When I returned to teaching, post-injury though, I just couldn't manage the demanding hours alongside my physio. It was too much! So although I enjoy my new job, I have lost a huge amount of my salary because I've had to stop teaching.

Physio stuff
The pic above is my collection of physio stuff. Most days, I don't use all of it. The mat and band are the most used items. I used the weights to start building some upper body and arm strength when I started using a wheelchair. Now, I tend not to need that as the regular propelling keeps my strength up. It's my back and legs that I have to really work on. My lower back easily gets stuck, as though the bottom two vertebrae have stuck together. This feels a bit odd and when they come unstuck again, I get a ping, like being twanged with elastic.

My left leg is particularly weak and alternates between vitually no sensation and painful sensations that don't even exist. I often start screaming in the evening, that I've got a pin in my leg/foot or that something is crawling on my leg. Then there's the cramps - don't get me started on that! It's like my leg goes into labour!

Physio does help with all these symptoms and it keeps me mobile so that I can work during the day. It is painful though, doing some exercises and stretches, so I tend to put it off. Fortunately, Neil seems to get his evening entertainment out of nagging me and eventually I do it - even if only to shut him up.

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