I am approaching the third week of having this bloody cold! I have been in the annoying cough stage twice, and today I woke up to being sneezy and snotty for the third time. GO AWAY, COLD. I am hopefully getting my flu jab soon so I don’t get any sicker. Flu can be fatal for people with some of the conditions I have, so, I really don’t want to get it. I’ve requested an appointment at my surgery but I had a missed phone call from them after making it. My answerphone message does point out that my hearing aids don’t work with the phone, so people need to write to me in some form, but I dunno if they’ll do it and move my appointment. Hopefully I’ll get my jab soon either way.
So. I have some news. Firstly, our annual Halloween Extravaganza is next weekend! Very excite! Secondly, we are moving to Andover soon.
As I probably mentioned when I started this blog, we hoped to spend 5 or so years in this lovely house, but that just isn’t viable with Will’s commuting costs. I will elaborate on why we’ve decided to go now, in a bit.
Above are some of the things we need to accrue money for. Hopefully, moving to Andover, where Will’s workplace is located, and therefore removing £240 approx. of train fare every month, will allow us to accrue such money. It’ll be slow, but it should happen.
I just noticed I wrote “weid cupboard” instead of “weird cupboard” ughhhhhh.
After almost a year in this house, we still haven’t gotten together a disposable £400 to get a second-hand stairlift with. So I am still butt-shuffling upstairs at night and butchering my hip tissue.
So, why have we decided to go now?
The long-and-short of it is, Canine Partners have declined my application after an almost 4-year-long wait.
Those are the pictures I took of the letter (they’re square because I took them on my phone originally). As you can imagine, I have a few things to say about it.
You may remember that the OT visited in July, some of my grievances are covered in that post. At the time I thought she meant well, but it’s now obvious that she didn’t and even Will said she “had a bad air about her” so it’s not just me.
So, my complaints in order:
She took fucking months to send my report back, she told me she’d do it before going on holiday, then she decided not to, which was obviously a deliberate decision to fuck with my application.
“The property is not fully wheelchair accessible.” No, because we had to take the first house we could because so many places said no to having a wheelchair user. Most houses are built to have little changes in elevation throughout the indoors, for whatever incredibly frustrating reason. I realise that the usual Canine Partners applicant is a 40 – 60-year-old married woman who owns a house, and can therefore make whatever architectural changes that CP demand. But I’m a late-twenties renter who can’t do that. Canine Partners, ironically, don’t seem to understand that disability is not binary; is it not all or nothing. CP do have applicants that are not even wheelchair users, people who use walking sticks or who simply can’t bend. But apparently, you have to be one or the other. The fact that I use a wheelchair most of the time, and use a walking stick to manage the parts of my house that a wheelchair can’t go in, is simply not allowed. I have to either have my butt in the chair at all times, OR use a stick at all times, to get a dog.
I don’t think I struggle that much in the hall at all, the corner is tight, but even the OT agreed that I’d just give a dog the “go behind” command. And the dog would also help with opening and closing the door!!
The OT practically fucking admonished me for not saying I found the concrete steps easy, she was like “just get a handrail lol,” but then she told Canine Partners they were too hard for me and I can’t have a dog. What a huge cunt.
I emailed Louise about the “dangerous manor” I use my wheelchair in; apparently, the OT reported that cars are always swerving to avoid me because I just willy-nilly go in the road! And even though she encouraged me to try different kerbs that didn’t work for me and I had to reverse up them, this also counted against me in the report.
I queried the distance of the Common from my house, too, with a screenshot from Google maps. We are two roads away and it takes about 10 minutes on “foot.” The woman disputed the time with me, but, regardless, this is apparently too far away for an exercise field to be if you want to receive a Canine Partners dog.
Talking about my condition, fatigue level, and the fact I can’t go out alone, like that; all those things are WHY I applied for an Assistance Dog?! Do you normally give dogs to people who can be independent, but just don’t feel like it??
Will can only take Freya to work once I’ve got a new dog, otherwise I’d be left on my own, and could end up dead! This has been explained to CP before, but I have once again been penalised for needing a dog to accompany me.
They say that if my circumstances change, I can apply again. I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I would have to live ON a dog exercise field.
Also, when I first applied, I needed to have 3 specialists for them to write to. At the time, I was seeing 3, but after a while, you get discharged because there’s nothing else they can do for you. Now I only see 1 specialist, so I wouldn’t even get through the application.
It looks like getting a puppy and going through my own damn charity is now the only way to get an Assistance Dog and actually do anything with my life (I can’t use Freya again).
Which sucks, because a decent puppy will set me back about £500 – £800, if not more. Maybe £1,000 if it’s from good working lines. And nobody will take it as seriously as they would if it had come from CP. I will still have a constant fight to go anywhere or do anything.
The only reason we were staying in this house, was in case they were about to match me to a dog and send me on a training course, and we didn’t want to reset it all again by needing an OT to come to a 3rd house. But now we have no reason to wait.
I’m nervous about moving, even though it’s something we have to do. I’ve never been to Andover in my life. The first time my wheels touch it, will be when I’m moving into a house. Which is kind of diving in at the deep end, moving into a place the very first time you set foot there. We won’t know anybody, or have any local places to go.
Hosting Halloween is the highlight of my year but I worry people won’t come for it any more. Theoretically it’s only a 30 – 45 minute drive in someone’s car, or a £12 trip on the train, people could come up on Friday nights and stay ’til Sunday mornings. I just worry they won’t. I don’t want to jinx anything about individual houses.
Can’t remember if I mentioned that our first volunteer shirt arrived, though. It should be with our homechecker about now.
And here is a roast that Will made recently. He worked very hard on it, but unfortunately I instapuked while eating it, into the lounge bin. Then I realised, this happened last time we had a roast too.
So maybe I just have some weird issue with roast lamb? I dunno. My mum’s conclusion is that Will is of course poisoning me.
I would get this coat with stars on it, but it’s the price of a house deposit, so I probably will not.
That’s basically the bulk of my news.
PS: It’s a shame that ramping a house it so frustrating. Hopefully the council in Andover will be more helpful.
An example of how easy it is to ramp a front door, even if the ramp has to go sideways. The whole structure is removable if people move out.
Threshold ramps for heights that aren’t so steep, used indoors between rooms more often than not. Believe it or not, these little hunks of rubber can set you back about £500!
A ramp in a back garden could be like this, the handrail requirements wouldn’t be so strict if it wasn’t at the front of the house. Why can’t all houses just be built with this?