Tuesday, December 30, 2008

While I'm away.....

You may find these posts interesting:

And a scally in a hoodie........


Efficiency and progress is ours once more


Disabled Rights Delay


Clairwil's Benefit Reform

UK 'must ratify' disability pact










I'll update with links if and when I have the chance.

Movin' on up

Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin......












I've found a flat! A ground floor flat that I can afford. In a great location, with a great view. Well, not from the flat itself, but this is the view from standing in the middle of the road just outside the flat. Looks a bit wet and grim in the photo with the tide out, but it'll be fantastic for death walking. I shall probably invent a new death walking experience as it's hip breaking weather a bit windy all year round. Mary Poppins eat your heart out!


The flat was the only property I've seen advertised with a rent which housing benefit or Local Housing Allowance as it will be when I move will cover. Outside of London and the kind of insane rents paid by local authorities reported with glee by the Daily Mail,
the situation for those reliant upon HB or LHA is much the same as it's always been, ie mostly significant rent shortfalls. So it's an enormous relief to find a flat which is on the ground floor, affordable and doesn't object to kitty#2. I do have some significant concerns, the electricity is on a coin meter for one. Total and utter nightmare even if it is set at the same Kwh rate as the electricity suppliers charge. There is also no bath, just a shower which may be a problem. All jokes aside my biggest concern is that so close to the beach the wind is very strong and I may well not be able to get in or out of the flat for periods of time. It's all very exciting though!

The next few weeks are ridiculously busy for me with packing, moving, trip to see the bendy people specialist and more, so I don't expect to be back posting until after the 16th of January, and that is assuming I've got broadband connected by then. Happy New Year to you all, and I'll be back posting from my new home as soon as I can.



Thursday, December 25, 2008

You know you're getting old...



.....when you receive thermal bed socks and a plastic cat statue for Christmas....from the same person who in a previous year gifted you crotchless panties....


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays


Thank you to everyone who reads Benefit Scrounger. This is a difficult time of year for many people so no festive images, just best wishes and love to you all.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bog Off! Exhibit 9-Go Elsewhere!

Oh my, the relief! Not of finding a loo when you really need one...but the relief of not being the only one with a toilet obsession....

Photos to follow....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bog Off! Exhibit 8 - How the other half live/The Scottish Parliament


Drum roll please...This extra special edition of Bog Off! is delighted to bring you photos of one of the disabled loos in The Scottish Parliament. Benefit Scrounging Scum is clearly going up in the world! If anyone can provide photos of an accessible toilet in The Houses of Parliament or Welsh Assembley that would be fantastic. Pretty please?

Well, these photos certainly explain a few things, and I don't mean just the cost of building The Scottish Parliament. Far more significantly these photos give an insight into how the Scottish MP's are likely to view accessibility, especially important with the changes the Welfare Reform Act is pushing through.

There are plenty of other Bog Off! exhibits for people to get a good idea of the general standard of disabled toilets...and this certainly isn't it. Although even these toilets could be improved upon, they are world's away from the small, dirty, mirrorless, unlockable, baby changing facilities which masquerade as accessible toilets in most places.

Whilst we crips out and about in the world know that, I don't suppose your typical MP spends much time hanging around disabled loos. Ignoring the obvious cottaging type jokes, if this is an example of the kind of accessible facilitie
s MP's regularly see, many of the changes in the Welfare Reform Act suddenly start to make sense.

No, don't fa
int, I'm not agreeing with the WRA or proposing it will do anything other than cost the taxpayer more money. I am however suddenly able to see why MP's think only the most severely disabled should be exempt from the workplace. Accessible facilities of such a high standard would lead to the false impression that these standards are the norm and therefore leave MP's unable to see what many disabled people's barriers to work are.

Sadly, back in the real world where even supposedly accessible jobcentres are inaccess
ible to your average cripple we are the ones who are demonised and victimised by the WRA, voted upon by MP's with no idea of reality.





I'm very grateful to Jim Millar for providing these photos of one of the disabled toilets in the Scottish Parliament. All views expressed here are that of Bendy Girl not Jim Millar.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That bitch!

Ooo, I'm so cross. Proper, hormone fuelled, tantrum style cross. Happily I have learnt not to stamp my feet or kick things when this cross as inevitably inanimate objects defeat me. Like the Thai fighting stick I got walloped with at the weekend. Wielded by a trollied off duty copper, who, to his credit, did sober up remarkably quickly when he realised he'd smacked a 4'8 woman with a weapon. Anyway, that's not why I'm cross. It gets worse...

The puking is back, coinciding perfectly with my period and so confirming the hormone spike floppy tummy theory. Unfortunately it also coincided perfectly with a much planned visit from TLI. Our planning clearly wasn't up to standard as TLI was paged only a few hours after arriving and had to drive more hundreds of miles in the night to get to a patient I'd explained had better damn well be about to die otherwise I'd be ensuring they were. The only silver lining to this cloud I managed to find is that it meant TLI was not there the following morning to witness my vomiting half way down the stairs. Into a yoghurt pot. There is a reason sick bowls are shaped like...sick bowls and not yoghurt pots which are sadly not up to the job. I plan to send a report to James Purnell on the subject of being unfit for purpose. I don't expect him to spot the similarities. After all, yoghurt pots are vastly more evolved than he. They know what they're good for and being puked in ain't it. That is a job we should reserve for politicians. It's about time they did something worthwhile, and think of the money the NHS would save.

Anyway, the puking is not why I'm cross. Oh noes. I was initially cross when rudely awoken this morning by the sound of drilling from my neighbours. I'd been aiming to sleep through the worst bit of morning sickness** but instead found myself throwing up again. I managed to avoid the stair carpet this time..and the cat, though that was a close miss. You'd think she'd learn...

Various projectiled body fluids later I was cheered by a phone call from Roland. For a couple of seconds until I was plunged back into fury as he called to moan about his girlfriend again. She needs a name so Porn Star it is. I've seen parts of that woman's anatomy I didn't know existed on myself, but that's not anger inducing, just too much information. The saga of Porn Star has been going on for months now, and along with Roland's other friends I've moved from sympathy and support to downright brutal bluntness. I should think it's quite difficult to inspire all your boyfriend's friends to call you a selfish bitch but Porn Star achieves that with ease. Still, we all need a talent. And hers is admittedly alot better than vomiting into yoghurt pots.

Roland made me promise not to publicly humiliate Porn Star for her latest antics as that was my preferred course of action. Still, I think calling her Porn Star is more anonymity than she deserves. Porn Star has a general disregard for pretty much anything that isn't herself. I assume that is the reason she gets strings of fines for speeding, illegal parking, erratic driving type incidents. Impressive for the girlfriend of a traffic policeman. She's sunk to new lows this time though. Porn Star was given a ticket for parking in a disabled bay without having a valid blue badge. Objecting to the £60 fine Porn Star bitched and moaned until Roland gave in and wrote a letter of appeal that he claims he hoped was bad enough for the company to put straight into the 'bullshit bin' but enough to satisfy Porn Star he was 'sortin' it'***.

Now, companies who manage privately owned car parks have been held up in the media enough times for refusing to back down when they've fined genuine blue badge holders for failing to display their badge properly, so I was quite pleased to hear of this companies response to the letter. They would write off the fine, but wanted a photocopy of the blue badge Porn Star claimed belonged to the friend she was taking shopping and forgot to display to show it was a genuine mistake. Which is where I got dragged in....

Yes, Porn Star had requested Roland acquire a photocopy of a genuine blue badge. Mine. I suggested I'd be more than happy to tell Porn Star to get fucked myself if Roland did not wish to do so, and that I was disgusted that Roland himself has stooped so low. Porn Star I expect this from. Roland I expect better. Still, the man is besotted and falls for everything Porn Star says hook, line and sinker. We've all been there before, and considering any of the many, many ridiculous things I have done in my time to please some bloke I was convinced to be the source of the sun, I don't feel too inclined to kick Roland for the same thing. Well, not tooooo much anyway.

After all that the bloody hammering wasn't my neighbour at all, it was the for sale sign going up. They've not even been to measure up yet! Then, to finish my temper beautifully I dislocated my knee asking it to commit the unreasonable activity of holding me upright. I'm going back to bed!


*no dead patients
**Ah the irony of morning sickness without the pregnancy.
***I know, I know. Roland is a mug

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome:Its no freak show


Blogger Veronica is undergoing some investigations to see whether the health problems which have affected her life for many years could all be due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobility Syndrome. Some time ago I suggested to Kim that it might be an idea to check and see if her daughter Veronica was hypermobile. It is distressingly typical for people with EDS not to be diagnosed until adulthood, and what is worse, often after many years of disbelief by medical professionals, family or friends. Now, after many years of health problems it's looking like Veronica may well have issues relating to her hypermobility.

I have long believed that the reasons diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobility Syndrome are so rarely made in timely fashion are inextricably linked to the teaching doctors receive on these conditions whilst at medical school. Students have traditionally been taught that EDS is incredibly rare and they would be unlikely to see someone with it in their entire careers. Couple with that the kind of extreme images shown here which are typical examples of those shown to students and the philosophy of "If you hear hoofbeats think horses not zebras" and the problem becomes quite clear.

Reality is somewhat different though. EDS is now widely accepted to be more prevalent than previously thought, 1 in 5000 people are the current figures although that does not include the milder Hypermobility Syndrome which is thought to be far more common. Personal experience has taught me both that I am a magnet for other bendy people and that so many bendy people randomly knowing each other probably indicates HMS is a very common condition with very poor diagnosis rates and even EDS is not the rare condition doctors are taught to believe it is.

One feature commonly missed by doctors is that of the blue tinge EDS patients can exhibit, commonly seen in sclera, skin or teeth. From images I've seen of the blue colouring found in conditions such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, the blue found in EDS tends to be less startling and more likely to be widespread throughout the body. This image is of the kind of blue 'glow' I display in certain lights. It's both more subtle than the above images might lead medical professionals to expect and importantly, far more representative of the overall appearance of the
vast majority of people with EDS.







Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The elephant in the room

I'm working on a more in depth analysis of the current welfare reforms, specifically what really needs to be done to reform the benefits system in a workable and hopefully equitable fashion. Whilst that is still in draft form there is one very important point I hope to make. Currently the wrong benefits and the wrong groups of people are being targeted.

Disabled people, on the whole, tend not to be the most noticeable group. Wheelchairs, white sticks or window licking are probably the most common symbols people associate with disability, and are all very visible, albeit possibly not to anyone needing a white stick*. The point being that for most people, linked in their mind with disability are visible symbols. The flaw being that the overwhelming majority of disabled people do not have any visible signs of their disability and then there's a whole other group who do but are too busy being unwell/disabled to be out and about much.

It is easy to see how those common misperceptions could lead to a wider and more sinister misconception that there are very few genuinely disabled people and therefore very few genuine benefits claimants compared to the suddenly all too visible Karen Matthews style minority. After all, aren't screaming Chav mum's with fags hanging out their mouths everywhere clearly draining the very life from hard working tax payers?

As someone genuinely reliant upon the welfare state this constant barrage of abuse against benefit claimants is terrifying. The government promise to get a million people off Incapacity Benefit and into work even more so. That promise relies heavily on the assumption that the vast majority of Incapacity Benefit recipients are either workshy, lazy, fraudulent or a bit 'stressed'. An awful lot are claimed to have a 'bad back' too. The frightening bit is that this is just not a true representation of Incapacity Benefit claimants.

Ironically today the children of courage awards were at 10 Downing Street. Tonight footage of an 'assisted suicide' will be shown on television. Why do we recognise and celebrate the achievements of such children or battle to save babies born at 23 weeks whilst refusing to recognise those children grow up to be adults? Adults with disabilities.

This morning my 'surrogate mum' came round to have a bit of a cry. Her beloved husband, a man who served his country for 25 years and worked for many more is dying. He has cerebellar ataxia. This afternoon I met a mum with her bright, happy, beautiful baby girl. Who is about to be diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease. I've never met anyone who is fraudulently claiming Incapacity Benefit**, but I know large numbers of young adults who are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and also working. They leave education and as soon as they are able, living at home with their parents, sign on and work for cash in hand. They won't be affected by the current reform's though. All are on New Deal, all are going through the government mandated jobseeking process and all are committing benefit fraud. It's just not called benefit fraud when you're white, middle class and have taxpaying parents, then it's called 'being entitled to it'.

These current 'reforms' insist upon targeting Incapacity Benefit claimants and single mothers and as such are doomed to fail. At great cost to the tax payer. Those job brokers don't come cheap.

Deciding that it is no longer acceptable for society to pay our young people not to work when they leave school, college or university could work out a hell of a lot cheaper though. If any politician has the courage to confront the real issues instead of demonising the most vulnerable in society that is.

I'm not suggesting benefit fraud is not an important issue. It is, of course it is. Reform of the system is overwhelmingly needed, but more so is an honest discussion of the issues. Namely whether or not we as a country wish to continue providing a safety net to the most vulnerable, and assuming that is the case, how we wish it to work. The current 'reforms' are disingenuous at best and downright fraudulent at worst.





*Yes, you are supposed to laugh. Political correctness helped us into this mess
** I am not suggesting that there aren't plenty. Just not the numbers the govt would like you to believe. Single mothers do not receive Incapacity Benefit.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

More Mac But Still No Cheez

Apologies for the long delay in posting. I am no more cripped up than usual but because of the housing situation I'm still very much busier than usual. Thank you for all the emails and expressions of concern, I may not be able to reply to comments properly at the moment but I read each and every one and they all make a huge difference.

The good news is I've sold lots of old clothes on ebay, the bad news is the estate agents came today to value the house. Whilst they were here I asked about rental properties which I was told were readily available until I mentioned they would have to be below £500 a month when the agent went white and insisted it was not her area of expertise. I haven't quite got the inner mental strength required to explain less than £400 a month would be more realistic for what I can afford, even if it is laughable considering the rental market conditions. The letter I received from the local authority informing me they were reducing my housing benefit because the value of the property had lowered should warm anyone's cockles. Especially as they took that action some months prior to the credit crunch but still managed to 'forget' the millions they had sitting in Icelandic banks.

In other news having survived all these years as a borked person without anyone trying to heal me, I've now had two such offers within a month. The first seemed to amuse many people, the second, volunteered by a person known locally as Paedo Paul-well, his nickname should tell you all you need know about the veracity of his opinions, but if not...

I met Paedo Paul through a mutual friend. For legal reasons I should explain that no-one suspects him of actual paedophilia but his strong desire for young looking Thai women is no secret. And yes, such men are always irresistibly attracted to me. It's the ringlets and height I think, unfortunately neither of which are within my power to change. Anyway, Paedo Paul has an amazing herbalist doctor. A doctor who PP claims can cure anything. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I suggested that genetic disorders might not be within the herbalist doctor's remit but Paedo Paul was not deterred. Clearly he likes his women not only to look unfeasibly young but be of the non borked variety too. And yes, of course he looks like a less attractive Frank Gallagher...Paedo Paul is not on benefits though, so obviously has far higher social standing than those of us the media currently considers the devil incarnate. Ah the irony of paedophiles being preferable to us disabled people benefit claiming, society destroying economic drains. Never let it be said I don't know my place.

Anyway, Paedo Paul was determined his herbalist doctor could cure me. Proper cure mind, none of your fancy schmanzy 'healing' for this guy. Who by the way is not a medical doctor. In case you'd not guessed that already. I always check because there are some medical doctors also preying onworking as alternative therapists the vulnerable benefit stealing scumbags The easiest thing to do in such situations is to smile sweetly and provide the required information as generally refusing just prolongs the situation and means having to listen to endless bullshit various justifications of why their healer is better than my bendy people specialist*. In this particular case that was the correct spelling of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (pronounced Ay-lers if anyone has wondered) I am now waiting with baited breath to find out what this con artist healer recommends for eliminating genetic disorders. Whatever herbal remedybullshit they insist will work is bound to be alot less fun than my chosen herbal cure all.

That's all for now, but bait your breath** for more forthcoming Bog Off! toilet photos...the Scottish Parliament no less. Thank you Jim. Oh, and a photo of me. If you're really unlucky that is!



* Yes, it is looking likely we will lose the only full time specialist for EDS and HMS in the UK. Whilst there is another based in London he is well past retirement age now and the hoped for replacement was no longer to replace last I heard. Even so the hoped for replacement is more interested in HMS and not the management of those of us lucky enough to be completely fucked. If any doctors are interested in such specialisation it is worth knowing that it is a specialty in which your patients will adore you-an unusual situation in the modern NHS.
** Don't hold it though...at my current posting speed you'll be very deaded.