They don’t make it easy. I decided to come off incapacity benefit because mentally I couldn’t bare the thought of the medical. I’ve been lucky, i’ve never had one but the thought of someone questioning me about a condition which some days I doubt I have and others renders me bed bound, a condition which is doubted by so many, totally terrifies me.
So tonight we’re on the emergency credit for the electric and we’re out of gas. The tank on the car is empty and the bills keep coming in and I feel like i’ve got no choice but to find a job. Trouble is where do I stand as a care worker who can’t care for themself?
Clearly my personal experience of benefits, social workers, care agencies and direct payments could be useful. My experience of caring for my grandmother, deaf father and visually impaired husband counts for something but how can I realistically care for someone else when a lot of the time I can’t care for myself.
So the question is do I go back to work and risk making myself sick or do I put up with the humilation of the ATOS medical. I appreciate I have a choice – be too sick to care for my kids and work or be broke and stay at home or worse put up with the atos humiliation. Worse of all if I go back to work will they see me as being too fit for the DLA that pays for the car and childcare that enables me to even consider working?
I’ve applied for some support worker jobs. I know that I can sit on a stool and support someone to make a meal, I know that I can drive them to the cinema and talk them through how to buy a ticket. I know that I can advocate on someones behalf and most importantly I know I can come up with the most incredibly creative solutions to a problem because lets face it, as a disabled parent I do it every single day but will they write me off, lets wait and see.