done and done

I had my big ass assessment this morning … holy hell, what a mission. I was nervous … so nervous, my tummy has been in knots for days.

But now its over, thank fuck!

Aside from the obvious, which I survived to tell the tale, I gleaned a few tidbits I am ruminating on.

  1. Our health, particularly our mental health, system, is fucked. As per usual, my descriptions are ‘layman-womans’ terms. Now this news is nothing new; however today I got another awakening to just how stitched up everything is. After wading my nervous, semi sedated self through the myriad of questions relating to ‘permanent impairment’, I discovered that our health system rates permanent impairment in levels. Under 30% permanent impairment means – whilst you may not be able to hold down a job, or drive, or socialise, or talk on the phone, or be alone, or leave the house – if you are not in an institution and on medication, you are fine. Another words, 30% is the cap before they haul you off to the nut house and jab you with drool inducing meds. As this reality dawned on me during the assessment, 2 things happened.
  2. I became very aware that I didn’t want to rate over 30%.
  3. I became very aware that the likely-hood of receiving anymore than $35 a week for ‘permanent impairment’ was nil.
  4. Which brings me back to point 1.

I left that office slightly grateful that I hadn’t been institutionalised at any time. It would have killed me if I had. I shit you not. Me – Caged? Fuck No. It can’t happen.

But I was also very aware that my dance with ACC is grinding to a rather unproductive halt. It has been an exercise in asserting and flexing my rights, for sure. As far as having a productive outcome … well, apparently I am entitled to a life times worth of counselling slash psychologist intervention. Oh and mind bending medication if I so wish to be mind bent.

What struck me whilst answering all those rather intrusive questions, was that interacting with ‘the health system’ makes me feel more unhealthy. How is that possible? I’m unsure. Maybe because with every question about concentration or socialisation, I am trying to figure out what is deemed as normal. No I don’t interact with many people. But on a whole I don’t find people very interact-able. When I tried to explain this, I actually ended up sounding reasonably mad – even to myself lol.

You see (and I’ve talked about this before), when I go somewhere – meet people -just enter a place really – theres a shit tonne of things that happen. I was trying to relay this reality today.

When I arrived for my appointment, this is what I noted:

  • There are two large slow moving sliding glass doors to get into before you enter.
  • Not an easy exit.
  • 2 ladies sat at the front desk.
  • Mellow, low, horrid music in the background. It’s source was in the corner of the foyer.
  • 1st woman recked of cheap perfume.
  • 2nd was more interested in her lunch. It was 8.50am.
  • The lights were seedy. Lots of them. Meaning it was bright.
  • No open windows.
  • 1 door open, to files room, to the left of me.
  • Waiting room – large, hospital set up.
  • 2 large ugly pictures on far wall.
  • 2 framed ‘signs’. 1 about phones and photos.
  • 1 large ugly picture behind me.
  • toy box to the right in the corner.
  • water cooler far left.
  • it smelt dusty but cleaned.

And thats not the office. And this is me on an unobservant day.

So hows my concentration?

I don’t know how to answer that.

What I know is, it’s all fucking tiring.

Anyways … I am here … I survived. I still hate the system and I’m still unsocial lol.

On a lighter and nicer note: We are now waiting for the impending birth of moko #5 🙂

My partners daughter went into labour this morning and this is her first baby. If she’s anything like her mother, her labour and birth should be quite short. But bubbys have a way of doing what they please 🙂 It was moko #4s 3rd birthday yesterday, so we will end up with 2 birthdays close together which is kinda cool.

Right, I’m going to find some chocolate and make a cup of tea.

Peace Out 😉

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to lawyer or not to lawyer, this is the question

I’ve been pondering on my post assessment, pre assessment assessment (good lord), which is to be done at the end of August. I’m going to need truck loads of patience for that one …

But some well meaning bunny has advised I hire an ‘Accident Compensation Corporation Lawyer’; yes, there is such a thing. These dudes are supposed to get you the best deal or financial arrangement. You see, it turns out the ACC bastards could be up for back paying a hefty sum of dosh out to Me. Partially due to all their fuck ups, and partially due to more of their fuck ups. In a nutshell; because I have been on their books, with an accepted claim, since the early 90s, there should have been a 5 yearly assessment, like the one they’ll do in August. At these assessments, they gauge the money side of things (as in, how much to chop your compensation by) by figuring out your ‘impairment levels’. It’s at these assessments, they also figure out if there is any significant changes.

My last assessment was in 2000 and fucken 4.

I was declining rapidly by 2009; the year when the next assessment was due. If ACC, coulda shoulda woulda, done that assessment, it would be quite plausible that I wouldn’t have been rocking backwards and forwards in the corner of my house by 2012.

By the time ACC had ‘responded’, it was 2014 and I was well and truly fucked by that stage. And they still fucked up the treatment and completely ignored the compensation side of things … hence living on $35 for god knows how many years.

When the psychologist was abruptly cut off, and I was a little more ‘myself’, I laid a big ass complaint with the ACC fuckers. It was a long time coming … and it was more about ‘responding’ for Me. It wasn’t a polite complaint … it read pretty much like I write Here. But it did the trick.

However … nearly a whole fucken year later … I am still waiting. But, the end is in sight … sort of.

So, why the lawyer? Apparently they are able to do what they do and wrangle every last cent of what I’m entitled too, out of ACC. However … they come at a price … of course. It’s usually 20% of whatever I may get as compensation. And not being a mathematician at all, 20% sounds like a fucken lot to someone who gets $35 a week!!

But this isn’t what I’m really having issues with.

For Me, it seems like someone else coming along, right at the end, on a shiny little white lawyer-y horse; to wave a little wand to get results.

I fought this battle.

I fought fucken long and fucken hard. And I’m still fighting.

Do I want to pay some cunt 20% of a sum of money (that isn’t guaranteed yet) for doing 5 minutes of work? Not really.

I think I got most of what I needed when ACC rang and apologised for their giant fuck up. To have that in writing would be even better, but a recording will suffice for now. I get another giant dose of what I need whilst listening to all the ACC twats tip toe round what they say to Me now; and I enjoy not responding to any of the; “We’re terribly sorry for ….. ” …. “Silence (from Me)” … its most satisfying 🙂

I guess my ‘pondering’ has more to do with …

Am I cutting off my foot to spite my leg? >> No, hang on … cutting off my finger to spite arm??  … fuck knows! Never liked that saying anyway! Makes No Sense!

Am I fucking it up for Myself … yeah, thats what I mean … Just to prove a point?

And even if I am, what have I got to lose?

Money? Reputation? A job? Nope, they’re all gone lol.

You know what … I think I may have just made my decision.

Fuck the lawyer and fuck ACC. I’ll see this bastard through on my own terms 🙂

you did what? … well that was fucking awesome! … good on yah!

Said No-one ever … well not today anyway … well alright, slightly over dramatised … said no-one today, that mattered anyway!

Why the tanty??

I had a gi-normous day today … profoundly difficult and profoundly victorious, in more than one way!

The long-awaited ACC assessment – that I laid a complaint about – that has taken approximately 3 years to get – that may see my $35 per week grow by … a little bit more, hopefully – Yeah … well that; I had that today.

I have been nervous as fuck about it for the past few days as I found out I had the appointment on Friday for today. Usually I’d kick up a stink about that, cos I need a hell of a lot longer to prep for shit like that … but cos I’d waited so long for it, I agreed to it … and have quietly prepared ever since.

I wasn’t going to write about it or talk about it with anyone … didn’t want to jinx the process 😉

But I prepped. Made sure the partner was available to take me … got my ‘kit’ ready … downloaded travel appropriate, distraction, ‘happy’ music and tried to relax. In between ‘quakes’ I tried to remember that this has been a long time coming and I wasn’t going to miss it … I’d ‘medicate’ if need be, just to get Me there.

I had about 3 hours sleep last night, but remained calm. And somewhere in between planning what to wear and finding at drink bottle at 4am, I had a thought ..

I’d been discussing with a fellow blogger, my dislike of the wind … earthquakes etc … that they were ‘unpredictable’. She said something interesting … to the effect … that a tree ‘bends’ with the wind, it doesn’t stay rigid. In all my planning for the unpredictable, I had severely taken the ‘joy’ out of everything … well was hard pressed to find any joy actually. Well as I was planning what to wear, I headed for the comfortable shit first … reason … less hassle. Then I found a dress I hadn’t worn in ages, and it made me smile. So I found my old leather jacket and my sneakers to wear with it … and I smiled again. I actually felt good. When I woke up at 8, after my hour’s nap lol … I looked outside and it was pissing down with rain, that I don’t mind, but it was also windy and fucking freezing! My lovely little dress was not going to cut it … at all. Fuck fuck fuckaroo … was the track I was heading down, cos my well thought out plans had been fucked up by nature … again … when I remembered the ‘wind’ analogy. So, moments later, whilst sitting on the toilet, I was trying to figure out how to ‘bend with the wind’, and enjoy it … fuck!

After my business, I headed back to the room where my lovely little dress was all laid out … put it away … and tried to find something else that would make me smile … and I did 🙂 Another dress, not anything like the other, that I hadn’t worn in like, forever … then i found a top and some nice red stockings … matched them up with my leather jacket and sneakers … and wahlah!! I smiled … I had just learnt how to bend it like beckham instead of having a panic attack because my shit had been disturbed.

Hurdle 1, done!

I went about my morning routine … coffee … coffee … breakfast and … coffee; I did the shopping online to be delivered when we got home … and then lo and behold, Mr bursts out of the room, hollering “How much did you spend on shopping, I’ve only got $40 left … fuck it all” and proceeded to have a man-sized tantrum.

Now usually, at such a pivotal time and moment for Me, I’d freak, toss my cookies, cancel any appointments and have One Outs with big mouth. ‘Don’t you fucken talk to me like that’ … ‘I spent as much as we needed’ … ‘My spending is our fucken spending, don’t fucken forget that , cunt’ … ‘Where’d the rest of YOUR fucken money go then?? Oh that’s right, you didn’t pay Your fucken parking ticket, or Your doctors bill … both went to the fucken debt collectors and Yes that’s right, like I said last fucken week … If you don’t pay those bastards they will take what you owe out of your pay check!!’ … ‘Fucker’ …

But instead, feeling rather ‘bendy’ … I breathed … focussed on the fact that I needed to get to my appointment and this cunt was my ride … but like fuck was I going to be intimidated by a man size tantrum or engage in any kind of discussion re ‘missing’ money right … now. I needed to do ME. So I did the only rational thing I knew … and I ignored his funky ass.

I continued to get my shit together … I got in the car … turned on my music and sang as loudly and joyously as I fucking could … I took photos … I breathed some more … I sipped on my water … and I sang even louder.

I had given him previous instructions of which route to take to minimise stress, and he did. Good.

We got to the appointment early and Partner sat in the car … trying to sulk. I looked at him and said ‘I told you I need you to come in with me until I’m settled, then you can go’ … he reluctantly got out of the car and came in with me.

It was a Psychological Assessment … Impairment assessment thingy … I got to re-live my history of sexual assault as a child … with details … dates … positions … feelings … faces … Yeah … I got to re-live that shit again, because that’s how these cunts like to assess shit. It went on for nearly 4 fucking hours.

The Partner stayed for the first 10 minutes then left. Fine.

I did what I needed too.

I lined up the coasters on the table … I fiddled with the ornament in the middle of the table … I took off my shoes … moved my seat … turned off the down lights … announced that I’d be swearing liberally as that’s how I talk usually and trying to be polite only gives me a headache … The psychologist nodded his approval … not that I was looking or asking for it.

But that’s what I did. 4 hours later … I was fucked!!

When I left the office I felt like I had been run over by a bulldozer … my eyes were blurry, I was shaky and nearing tears. But I had expected that … and prepared … with chocolate chip cookies … which I ate all the way home … whilst listening to my music … again. I had one slight panic attack at the lights but had brought an ice pack for my face … that helped.

So while I was stoked to have ‘completed’ this mission with minimal ‘after effects’, sort of … I was waiting for a “How did you go dear?” … “Are you OK?” … “Do you want a cup of tea?” … something.

But I got nothing. Not a word. Not an encouragement. Not a fucking high-five … nuddah!

Usually I would be devastated but I think I’m too fucked to give 2 shits really … but it has fucked Me off … and it is something I’m going to address with his Royal Sulkiness before the week is out ….

After, I have taken care of Me.

After, I have High Fucking Fived my own shit.

After, I have bought myself a bitching coffee from the Cafe tomorrow.

After, I’ve finished listening too and posting all the songs that make me feel OK.

After, I have finished going on about it on My Blog.

After …. after, I have done right by ME.

Not cos no other cunt will … but in spite of it … and because …

I fucking deserve it … and I deserve an explanation.

I won’t be treated like that and let that shit slide. Not anymore!

—– The one compliment I did get today, which I took … was from the psychologist. As we were nearing the end of all this shit … He looks up, moves his glasses down his nose, and says with quite an interested and stern look … “How the fuck are you still ‘here’?   … You have a strength that is rare … do you know that?”

I cried.

Told him it is Stubbornness 😉

*(noting that he had dropped the F bomb … Yuss lol)

The VA is Killing Me

I’m thoroughly mortified after reading this. As you know, my experience with PTS(D) stems from sexual assault. It’s not a veterans perspective. So I can only comment from my experience. … that said … In our country they lump all PTS(D) ‘cases’ into one category – which I don’t believe they should because while the ‘traumas’ are present in both ‘types’, and are similar, they are also inherently different. The most obvious being that as a veteran / soldier, they are signing up to serve / work for their government / their country. That is a choice … an admirable CHOICE. And I believe as a government / country, who requests that their citizens do such an admirable thing, they should be honouring / acknowledging / taking care of those people. Sexual assault holds no such choice. For me that is the inherent difference.
As far as the ‘after care’ … I don’t know a lot about the VA. I believe we have a similar system here, and I believe they treat their veterans in much the same way. We also have a culture here, of being innately ‘staunch’. As such, there are few cases of PTS(D) in veterans here. Not because they don’t exist, but because no-one wants to admit they need help or are struggling.
For sexual assault victims, the only ‘compensation’ or recourse for assistance comes from ‘Accident Compensation Corporation’. In the 90s it was a reasonably straight forward process, to get assistance that is. Over the last decade or so, ACC has changed their processes and criteria. Now a sexual assault victim not only has to prove they were sexually assaulted (as they always have had too), but they have to ‘prove’ that the crime perpetrated against them has negatively affected them resulting in some type of mental / physical disability. This requires them to seek out a psychologist / psychiatrist (ACC choice) who can diagnose them with PTS(D) or any other mental impairment resulting from sexual assault. This adds another ‘stigma’ to the already piling up stigmas and impairments one has to deal with, after the fact. Only then are they considered for treatment … in the form of counselling, possible reduced medical costs, psychologist (limited), psychiatrist (limited). If you were in full-time employment before the assault you may possibly receive 70% of your income at the time of the assault, but only after you can prove that you are unable / unfit to work.
I don’t recieve any ‘compensation’ from ACC. I do receive a menial Allowance related to ‘Independence’ … pfft. I am still waiting for them to reassess this 3 years after requesting it. I am only seeing slight results now because I laid a big ass complaint with everybody and anybody that would listen.
As with the VA .. this is not ‘free health’. In our country, its citizens pay ACC levies within their taxes, so that if they become the victim of an ‘accident’ etc, they are able to tap into the ACC resources to assist in their rehabilitation. And those resources and the rehabilitation they provide is dodgy, to say the least!
There needs to be a systemic overhaul in how those in power treat their citizens! Why ask someone to sign up and fight for their country, knowing full well they are not going to treat the ‘outcomes’, whatever they may be. As far as I’m concerned, this is false advertising.
For us here, as sexual assault victims, why are we paying ACC levies if we are not going to be covered thoroughly??
My thoughts are with you Dave … Keep voicing what you have to say Loudly until you are heard!

Story of My Life

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything here. I just haven’t felt like writing. It’s also been a while since I’ve read any of the blogs I follow. It’s been a rough few weeks. I have been busy. My busy doesn’t equate to productive by any sense of the definition. But the thoughts in my mind keep me busy, yet also inhibit motivation and desire to do the things that I need to get done or even doing the things that I enjoy doing. I’m stuck in a cycle of doing the bare minimum to survive. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I can see it. It shines bright enough to lead me to the end of all this. I just don’t know how long before I get there. But I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and…

View original post 1,082 more words

acc complaint update:

So, I got a couple of email replies and about 5 phone calls in one week from the illustrious ACC. Amazing what a little complaining can do!

Step One – email the bastards – be concise and straight to the fucking point.

From: (ME) 
Sent: Friday, 27 May 2016 2:42 p.m.
To: Customerfeedback
 Subject: (ME)re Complaint
 Importance: High
 Sensitivity: Confidential

Kia Ora

Please find attached ACC709 form.

Claim Number: XXXXX.

Regards

(ME)

Step Two – wait patiently for their ‘nancy’ reply / ‘confirmation receipt’.

From: Complaints ACC 
Sent: Monday, 30 May 2016 4:26 p.m.
To: (ME) Subject: For the attention of (ME) Sensitivity: Confidential

Dear (ME),

Thank you for your email and ACC709 complaint form.

I am sorry to read of the concerns you have raised.

This email is to confirm receipt and to advise that your complaint will be referred to Management of the Independent Allowance Unit to respond to you accordingly and address the issues you have raised.

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this further.

Kind regards

MXXX

Step Three – wait patiently-er for, that’s right, AN APOLOGY!

Dear (ME),

In response to your email below, I approached Management of the Sensitive Claims Unit and also the Independence Allowance Unit to address your complaint.

It is my understanding that CXXX SXXX – Team Manager has been in contact with you directly and has apologised for the delays you incurred.  I see you have also been in contact with KXXX to discuss your application for a reassessment.

I hope this has been of assistance.

If you do have any further concerns relating to this matter please feel free to contact either CXXX or KXXX directly.

Thank you for your time,

Kind regards

MXXX

But wait, ‘incurred’??? I don’t think so lady … but any-who …

I took the apology. And the one they rang with … twice. I didn’t say a word in response. I didn’t say ‘oh that’s ok’ … or ‘oh that’s fine’ … or ‘well at least we’re moving forward now’. Hell No.

I took my apology with a cup of coffee and a deep sigh of satisfaction … silently. It was extremely nice hearing their discomfort on the other end of the phone.

🙂

But I decided not to print off the email and frame it because apparently:

 

ACC Customer Resolutions – Operations Services

ACC cares about the environment – please don’t print this email unless it is really necessary. Thank you.

Shame they don’t care about their ‘customers’ in the same way.

~ Watch this space for more riveting ACC updates 😉 ~

Image

2 2 Me ;)

And we have result number 1 …

image

Followed by (partial) result number 2 … the infamous ACC forms!

20160604_105040.jpg

A good day .. a good victory 😉 Who said complaining doesn’t help ?? LOL

the last one … apparently

Would have been nice to have a decent heads up … but oh well. Apparently todays session with the shrink (psychologist) was the last one. As it turns out, ACC don’t allocate so many sessions, they allocate a timeframe … and apparently that timeframe is up. Did they let me know … No. Did they let the shrink know … Possibly. Have they paid the shrink yet … No. Assholes.

But anyway, with that rant out-of-the-way…

I have to focus on what I have achieved so far…


That I can walk to the mail box by myself.

Into the back yard by myself.

That I can walk to the shop by myself.

The beach by myself.

I can walk without a stick.

I can walk without the breath pacer thingy.

I can ride in the car.

I can ride in the front seat of the car.

I can sleep without medication now.

I can sleep up to 9 hours some nights.

The nightmares have minimised.

I know how to breathe my way through things.

I have tools for panic attacks that aren’t medication.

I’m not afraid of my feelings.

I know how to ground myself.

I know what I need to do to get my senses ‘un-heightened’.

I can talk to a stranger.

I can enjoy things.

I smile at things.

I smile at me 🙂


And there’s more, that I’ll keep reminding myself of over the next few days, so as not to freak out, that my main source of therapy, back up, re-training, life line has now been terminated.


Breath ….

let the emailing begin

So far I’ve had 3 responses to my complaints I laid.

Very pleasant responses I might add. 1 from the entity that is Accident Compensation Corporation, and 2 from The Health and Disability Commissioner.

None from the GP. And no ACC papers either I might add.

Contents of all emails … “We are so sorry that you feel the need to complain about our awesome services and we will be looking into the matter… soonish …. Your complaint has been forwarded to the appropriate Department …”

Ahh

Let the bureaucratic paper shuffling, finger-pointing and blame laying begin 😉

Ok, I did it …

I have been bitching on about ACC and my GP for ages … trying to get results the most pleasant way possible.

Well, I’ve had enough … and I’ve been waiting for a while for my ‘had enough’ button to kick in … its been a bit slow; or is it disabled? …  in recent years.

Anyway, I rang the Doc again this morning … and got the same glib but apologetic reply … ‘he hasn’t finished them … it’s in your best interests to wait … sorry … ‘.

And finally … yes finally …

I said, “Actually it’s not in my best interests to wait, and quite frankly the waiting and the excuses are ridiculous. I would like the details of your formal complaint process. That complaint will also be forwarded on to The Health and Disability Commissioner.”

Well, she jumped to it.

To be fair, the reception ladies have been great, they’ve tried, well beyond their job description, to get my forms filled in and returned. God bless their sweetness lol.

So, I’ve been sitting here since 9am and I’ve just finished, at 3pm, sending off 3 formal complaints. One to the Health Centre where my doc is situated. One to The Health and Disability Commissioner. And one to good old Accident Compensation Corporation.

I may get an apology, I may not.

I may get my forms back, I probably may not.

I will continue to run with the alternative way to skin the cat since the back up forms have finally arrived!

But the satisfaction of tying them all up in bureaucratic paper work and sifting bullshit for at least 6 months … well that is reward enough for me at this stage …

mwahahahahaha 😉

alternatives …

So, the site I was going to post my ‘vent’ or ‘complaints’ on, regarding Renting; ACC and the Doctors, has yet to include ‘housing’ or ‘health’ to their agencies to be recorded. Until then, they will sit here, in my pretty little neck of the woods 😉