You know what the weirdest thing about the whole mess of being sick or disabled is? You suddenly spend the rest of your life having conversations that make no sense at all. Maybe you were a lawyer or a teacher, a graduate or a gardener and you lived a totally "normal" life of uni or clubs or cutting edge ambition - then suddenly you're nothing. Just nothing.
You find yourself sitting in front of a doctor or DWP "assessor" or MP speaking the same words you used to use in your old life, but suddenly no-one understands them any more. You say, for instance you are in pain and doctor might tell you you're not!! What to answer? "But I am!" You suddenly find that these circular conversations can go on for months or even years with no resolution. You wonder what words it is you need to find in this new life.
Next, you are dragged in front of an "assessor" who asks you to touch your toes and walk up and down to somehow judge whether you have bowel disease or schizophrenia (!?!) You try to explain how your condition affects you and what the symptoms are, but they ask if you have any hobbies (?!?) You are expected to go through this odd experience to claim a few hundred quid a month that doesn't even pay for food and heating.
In hospital you often find yourself assuring a doctor that the drug you're allergic to really will have a lethal reaction, or that whether s/he says it can be one of your symptoms or not, you are indeed vomiting every ten minutes. Bizarre, bizarre conversations that ultimately conspire to make you lose yourself.
You can't understand where the person went who everyone used to understand quite clearly. Who wore a suit to work or sacked people or discovered new species. You used to speak the same language, but now you find yourself pleading for rent or food or care or medications or even basic human needs such as dignity or cleanliness.
MPs release statements and you read them and think "Huh? He said what?" Daily you sit open mouthed as policy after policy totally ignores anything that might work and instead, goes straight for the path of most destruction. Now they're all speaking a different language too!!
The media are calling you a scrounger, doctors are calling you a hypochondriac, friends might be calling you a lightweight assessors are calling you a cheat, and MPs are calling you a burden!!! How's that for an attack! You live in another world now, but you used to live with all those other people....
The strangest thing of all is that the world doesn't seem to care much either.You explain what you thought was totally obvious, but no-one seems to get it. You must be speaking a different language, because surely it was only a few months ago that everyone was talking about "protecting the vulnerable" and "fairness." If you had asked anyone what percentage of the sick and disabled they thought were cheats, surely no-one would have put the figure at 93% - that's ridiculous. Yet suddenly, when the DWP miraculously claim only 7% of previous claimants were "unfit for work" everyone believes them!!
So, if anyone out there speaks "able-bodied" do you think you could give me a crash course? Only I've got some really important things to tell them but I obviously can't find the right words.