Yesterday’s post did not mention my PIP assessment I had, as I did not want to drag away from what I was feeling that night in the previous post. It was a long day for me yesterday, as I was up at 5.45am. I was going to get up at 6am, but when I woke up then, I thought I’d get up. I was surprised I wasn’t tired with lack of sleep, but obviously, by the end of the night, I was knackered and drained by the time of the work scenario.
I was up early, as I had to compensate setting out earlier than normal as mum was coming with me this time. So I wasn’t alone.
When we arrived in Nottingham and literally around the corner from the place of where the assessment would take hold, we had a hot drink and a little something to eat, till it was nearer to time for my appointment. I did not lose my way this time and for going the right way this time, I could see there was more options to visit till appointment time. The cafe we had chosen was Tuckers, which was opposite the Kitty Cafe. The staff were nice and welcoming and we actually went back there after my assessment for lunch, before making our way home.
As you will know, I have been worried about the PIP assessment due to not feeling that the form suits people with a hearing loss. Also from what I have read and heard from people affected directly with regards to it, in which people who are entitled, lose it. On top of that, as you know, the first time it was cancelled and I did not know until I arrived there, in which I found it was them who tried to phone me, even though my PIP form clearly stated to only use my mobile number for texting, as deaf. They also did not book my Lipspeaker. So I had every right to feel concerned about this appointment.
After signing myself in and meeting my Lipspeaker, the first call was the toilet for me, then we made our way downstairs to wait in a private waiting room outside the room where I would be assessed. While waiting for my turn to be assessed, it was a chat with my Lipspeaker to get to know one another with not meeting her before and for her to know how I would like her to help me, finding out if I knew any sign and if I wanted her to use that too.
When it was time to go in the room, I pointed to the chair for my mum to sit at and I sat next to her, facing my Lipspeaker and the woman who was to be assessing me. After the formalities were out-of-the-way, in which I decided I wanted to see if I could lipread and hear the assessor first and if not, then I would look at my Lipspeaker, for her to repeat what she had said.
I found the assessor had a tone of voice that was right for me, but there were times after trying to lipread her for a while that I did end up using the Lipspeaker to get it repeated. When my mum spoke to add her part, I relied on the Lipspeaker to tell me what she had said every time, as she was sat a little further back from me and I can’t lipread sideways on, on top that I don’t hear my mum as well now.
Some questions were a repeat that were already on the PIP form and some were new. This gave me a chance to add, or amend anything by doing this. Every time the assessor spoke to me, she always looked at me directly so I could see her face. She never covered it and when she asked some certain questions about my hearing loss, I felt with this and making sure she always looked at me when she spoke that she had awareness. I have read how some assessors have not been helpful and done tests that were not acceptable towards deaf, but I have never received anything in the assessment room that was not acceptable. She only asked questions, nothing else.
My assessment was under an hour and although it was relaxing in the room, I wasn’t fully relaxed because of questions I would know that would possibly come, when it came to talking about my depression and anxiety. I thought more questions were going to be asked than that with regards to my depression, so just when I thought I may not hold it together on the subject she asked me, it was on to a different topic.
I did have tears in my eyes after a particular question about how I feel and why. I don’t know if it may have been obvious to her. It’s not nice saying how you truly feel in front of your own mum, that you wish you were dead and that I have thought these thoughts, I just not acted on them. I just instead wished that when I went to bed to sleep at night, that I did not wake up the next day.
My opinions after my own PIP assessment
As I have mentioned, staff are pleasant and so is the assessor. The environment was relaxing and welcoming, even though I was not relaxed. The assessor always looked at me when she asked me questions and never ever covered here face. She even used some sign herself when she spoke, which was nice. I have the confidence that what I said, is down on those notes, but because of how I feel about the PIP application process, I still wonder whether I will get it. The waiting will be long, because of the back log, so it will be many weeks before I know anything, so until then my DLA continues, till they make their mind up at DPW.