Life as a Buddhist Cripple

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Getting there... slowly...

OK, so the application cut off for the degree I want to do is January 15th. So I've got enough time, though I'll have to work out the forms on my own.

I sent an email to the accomodation people asking about accessible accomodation for my boyfriend and I and how much it'd be, etc.

So, waiting for the response to that one before I make my decision.

Once I get a response to that, and know how much things will cost, I'll talk to my boyfriend!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oooh...

I emailed the university contact for the foundation year in sciences and asked him a few questions like; did it provide access to the BSC I want to do, and did it qualify as HE, or would I get shafted on loans?

He responded and said that yes it provides access to the BSC I want to do, and yes, they count it as the first year of an extended BSC, so I'd qualify as an everyday, normal HE student, loan-wise.

So, I responded and asked a couple of other questions, like when would my application have to be in?

I'm going to wait for his response, and depending on how long I've got, see if I can go and see them, and see the disability co-ord type at the same time, and talk to them about accomodation and finances and such things!!

I should really tell my boyfriend what I'm considering... especially considering I'm thinking we could move into halls together... though I doubt the course would start until September, so we've got a while to think things over yet.

I really wanted more information before I told him I was considering it, especially more information about how I'm going to afford it, and whether it'd put us in a better, or worse, financial situation than now.

Ooooh!

I managed to convince the goods-holders at Ouch! that I deserve a rucksack!!

Ooh, I'm all excited now!

I'll be the proud owner of an Ouch! rucksack!!
I can't wait til it arrives!!

Income

The maximum student loan outside of london is: £4,405

The rent being 6815 a year, split between two of us, that would leave me with £998 for the whole year.

I'll definitely get 75% of the £4405, but the last 25% is tested.
So who knows.

That'll give me £83 a month.
It's not really very much.
From that I'll have to get books and stuff.

I'll be able to get a laptop on the DSA thingie, but I'm not sure what else they'll be able to provide, and it's only for equipment, not for feeding myself.

How on earth do people do this??

On top of that, £3,000 a year tuition fees. They can be paid back after I finish Uni though.

Hmmm...

Bad, bad thoughts (Part 1)

I'm actually working out how much going to Uni would cost me.

First up: House-wise: where to live.

If my boyfriend and I took up one of the flats available in Student halls our budget would look something like this:

Per Year Current In Halls Saving

Rent: 7200 6851 385

Internet: 360 0 360

Phone: 360(ish) Not sure

Electricity: 800(ish) 0 800



Total Saving: 1545

The obvious question is; where would I get the money from to pay the rent?
So... time to look at student loan-type stuff

Benefits and actually living a life...

So I'm hoping that I'll be able to get onto benefits soon. At least DLA, anyway. I'm hoping for IB too, though, so I can take a break from work and actually get a proper medication plan going to try and help the FMS.
3 months hasn't helped in a medication way, so far, so I mean a long term break whilst they actually sort stuff out.

How on earth am I supposed to live though? Sure, Housing benefit will pay my rent (though they'll probably look at the size of my flat and laugh at the amount I'm forced to pay in rent and refuse to pay it all), council tax benefit will pay my council tax, but DLA and IB won't pay the bills fully.

I have dreams... I'd love to go to university properly, get the help I need, and get my degree. There's no way I could afford to do that though.

I also want to set up myown business. I have a lovely business idea, and it would really help people, but again, without a massive amount of money, I can't even think about it now.

How am I supposed to save up that kind of money if I'm on benefits? Especially since any savings would reduce my benefit.

I'm starting to wonder if there's any point in dreaming anymore. People keep going on about how disabled people can do things just like any other person, but it just isn't true.
I can't go out and get any job I want, because as soon as people see that D word, there's suddenly someone else more suitable.

I can't study because I can't afford to, and I wouldn't be able to pay my rent if I did, and weekend jobs are pretty much out for me because I couldn't study all week and then work during the weekend. It would destroy me.

I can't start my business because I can't afford to, and I can't work properly to build up the savings to be able to afford to.

I can't go out and do the things I'd like to because I can't go out.

Gah, I'm angry now.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I'm sorry...

I've been terribly remiss and not updated for ages.
I've been pretty bad though, and I've only really wanted to respond to other stuff, rather than write my own.
I was also pretty ill and spent an evening in casualty, and have yet another medical disorder to add to the pile.

I'm not doing too badly though; in order to distract myself from my problems, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year.
The target: 50,000 words in one month. (see http://www.nanowrimo.org for more details.

I did it last year, despite being in and out of hospital when they thought I had Hodgkins.

This year I'm not that ill, though the other conditions are much worse.

I'm lagging behind though; I'm not really getting into much of a flow, so I've been trying to do that and not write anything else.

So yeah... I'm alive and such.
Thank you all for the comments asking how I am and where I am.
It really does mean a lot to me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Meh

Unfortunately there are some situations there aren't ways out of.

The only good way out of this mess is if I won the lottery, or got a new job that somehow paid me a ton very, very quickly. AND if they came up with a cure to FMS, or at least a way to help the pain. AND if they came up with a way to wipe the mind of specific memories.

Unfortunately, none of the above things are going to happen.

But, don't worry.
I can't cope with the pain enough to do myself any serious damage.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lack of coping

What do you do when you're having a bad day (month, year) and you just can't cope anymore?

I just can't cope now.
I can only see one way out of this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Discrimination when applying for a position that's to combat disability discrimination...

(Cross posted from Ouch!)
Ok, so I asked for an application pack for the position of disability administrator at a University (not gonna say which one!).
I asked for the pack to be sent to me in word format because I am disabled and can't write well.
The application pack states that it has to be submitted FOUR times and in hard copy only!

So... I just sent them the following email, thoughts?

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have a problem with the application pack for the position of Disability Administrator.
As the application is for this position, I feel the problem I have is even more important.
The application pack requests that the application is submitted on hard copy only.
I requested the application pack in MS Word format as I am disabled and cannot write well. My writing arm is extremely bad at the moment and as a result, I will not be able to fill in the application pack by hand before the submission date.

I realise that the application pack states that electronic submissions are not available, but I feel that I am unable to submit my application due to my disability and that an exception should be made in this case.

Please advise me as to whether I will be able to submit my application electronically.

Kind regards,

Nicola


(end cross post)

I'm absolutely stunned that even though I explained from the start that I needed the application pack electronically because I can't write due to disability, that the pack states it has to be submitted in hard copy. Sure, the application packs are all the same, but the person who responded to my email and sent me the pack didn't think to say anything about it.

If they don't let me submit it electronically, I'll be furious!
That would be active disability discrimination, when advertising for a position to deal with disability discrimination!

I don't have words for how I feel about that right now.
Angry, stunned... and other non-word type feelings

Queues and things

(This first bit is crossposted from Ouch!)

I went up to my local supermarket again yesterday. The queues were really long and my legs were killing before I even got there, so I asked about using one of their electric wheelchair basket thingies.
A nice gentleman showed me how to use it and it was wonderful!
No pain going around the supermarket!

And then, when I got to the disabled till (which unfortunately is wider to accomodate wheelies, but not lowered) a nice young lad who was there with (I assume) his mum, offered to help me get my shopping from the basket to the conveyor belt!
I was amazed and I said how nice it was to get some help, and how people usually didn't help. He explained that his nan is disabled and that he helps her with the shopping. I was most impressed!
Most youngsters (wow I feel old!) these days have such horrible attitudes, but this lad was really nice and polite and helpful!
So he helped me get all my stuff onto the conveyor belt.
Then the nice elderly gent who showed me how to use the chair went and got me a small trolley and helped me shift everything from the chair basket to the trolley, so I could wheel it down the hill and only have a short walk carrying things.
All in all, a complete success!

(End of crosspost)

The thing is... I feel like I cheated.
I'm not in a wheelchair yet.
But... those chairs are there for customers who can't walk around the supermarket to use. I qualify. But, I still feel like I cheated. I don't know why.
I wouldn't have been able to get round the supermarket without it, and I definitely wouldn't have been able to queue.
I just feel like I did something I shouldn't have though.
I can't understand why.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Job Interviews as a Crip

Sorry I've not updated in a while; my monitor broke and my boyfriend's keyboard is a horible 'ergonomic' one. Which means for people like me, who touch type, I have to learn how to type all over again on this keyboard!

So anyway... I have a job interview tomorrow.
I'm rather nervous about it; I'm always nervous when it comes to interviews, I guess that's standard.
The worst thing, though, is that my brain fog has been getting a lot worse recently, and I've not been sleeping well at all. I'm worried that I'll get there and just not be able to think. So I won't be able to answer any of their questions, and I'll look stupid.

I'm currently preparing for the interview, a thing I've never done before, but I realised I should when the recruitment agent said she'd give me time to prepare and ring me this evening at 7 to go over some things with me.
This has made me even more nervous!
Is she going to effectively interview me as well?

So, I'm working on preparation stuff.
I'm never really sure what to say about myself in an interview anyway. This is because I'm never sure what to say about myself at any time. I don't like talking about myself.

There are gaps in my work history, though they're mostly explained by my Dad nearly dying repeatedly and my looking after him.

I'm really worried about talking about why I left my last proper technical job. I left because they fired me because they couldn't cope with my disability.
Yes, I was fired because I'm disabled.
And yes, it was legal, because I was in my probation period.
They kept me until they had to thikn about taking me off probation. I did a hell of a lot of work for them, a lot of good work that wasn't really in my job remit. And then they dumped me.

You might be able to tell I'm a bit bitter about it. I don't know how to explain it to a company without sounding bitter. People always say you shouldn't sound negative about an ex company in an interview, but what could possibly be positive about that?

*sigh*

I asked a while ago, on Ouch!, about interview accessibility for memory problems and brain fog.
It was suggested that I explain that I have fuzzy days and my memory isn't perfect, and so I tend to have reference books when I'm working on stuff.

I think I'll try that tomorrow.
I'm just worried that they'll not want to hire me because I can't remember things properly anymore.

I'm worried now!