Tuesday 12 November 2013

The Mangle (Wringer)

The sun is shining from a beautifully clear azure firmament this fine day. The air is mild and light zephyrs are rustling the desiccating leaves yet to fall from their boughs. It's a perfect autumnal day for getting outside in one's garden and doing some desperately needed tidying, pruning, lopping, etc. in between the more normal rains and blusteriness of this time of year.

[Image description: a dishevelled corner of the writer's garden]

Alas, today I am bed-bound. I cannot even descend the stairs to hobble out to just inspect my garden. All I can do is stare out of my window from my prone position in the bed and watch the occasional fluffy cotton-wool cloud float by and listen to the rustling trees whisper to one another.

Normally, this would be sufficient to lift my spirits; but for some unknown reason today I feel rather down.

Reflecting on why this may be so, I wonder whether it is related to my review and re-assessment last week by social services - my social worker is a lovely lady by the by.

At this time of year I am bed-bound approximately two in every three days. Most of the days I am not bed-bound I am house-bound. I have to turn more to the internet to do my shopping, as I increasingly find it difficult to go out and certainly do not do so on my own now, as my memory difficulties and dyscognition deteriorate. Over the year I average some fourteen-and-a-half hours of (unrefreshing) sleep per day; however at this time of year it can increase to almost twenty-four hours per day. Perhaps I am simply rueing the coming brumal months and my enforced hibernation.

Maybe, I am more upset that my social worker is keeping my assessment as unchanged. Apparently it is fine to only be able to: eat once per day; clean oneself every two to four days; change clothing every two to four days; etc. Thirty minutes Monday through Thursday to prepare a hot meal is considered to be sufficient for my needs. My bedding has not been changed in a month - social services do not cover that kind of thing believe it or not. Lord knows what level of service other folks receive.

I have worked for the State in two different capacities. I have paid tens of thousands in taxes. But now I am disabled and chronically ill, the State does not really want to know. At least that is how it feels…

Castigated, disparaged, ignored, resented - I feel like a burden. Personally, I blame the neo-liberal politicos and their cronies. Occasionally, I wish they would all be afflicted with temporary disability &/or chronic illness, long enough for them to be forced to claim State benefits and let them go through the DWP mangle. Perhaps then they might develop some sympathy, even empathy, for those of us who are less fortunate. Maybe then they would reform the DWP to work for we citizens and not agin us. Perhaps!

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