DLA, COPD, Disability & ME/CFS questions…

Please Note: The question of COPD – will it kill you, and variations on that theme (will I recover, will I get better, etc), is addressed specifically in this post . All my COPD-specific posts are collected together here.

Note: this is a very long post, I’m afraid, so to find a specific item, use your browser’s Find function for a keyword search of this page and successive pages. This normally lives in Edit, in the toolbar, at least it does in Firefox, Opera and IE.

This post grew from my responses to Google searches that bring people to my blog, when what they’re looking for isn’t already covered. These searches generally relate to benefits, medications, Motability, ME/CFS and COPD, and for the most part, and I’ll do my best to cover them here. Note:- Benefit answers aren’t just off the top of my head, they’re properly researched, even if I already know the answer, as is anything else of which I don’t have personal knowledge.

February 10 2009 – this post is as long as it’s going to get; it’s a whisker away from 10,000 words, and this paragraph takes it past that level. In future new items will get their own individual posts. I’m reluctant to stop adding to this, as it’s my all-time most popular post, but I think it’s a matter of people being able to find information quickly. I’ve suggested, at the top, using the browser Find function, but people will still do their own thing, and scroll down, and there’s probably a limit at which they stop bothering. If you think I’m wrong, do tell me. By the way, 10,000 words is the equivalent of 20-25 A4 pages (depending on font and size), just to give it some perspective.

Obviously, by its nature, this is a work in progress, so if you have any questions about the above subjects, the areas in  which I have personal experience, post a question in Comments and if I can answer it, I will. (NOTE:- Comments are moderated before being posted, so I can read them and delete them for those who require confidentiality):-

M

Can my wife work if I get DLA?

Absolutely – it matters not at all who works, even you (see below). Conversely, if they qualify, both partners can claim DLA – one person’s claim has no effect on another.

Return to work and lose your DLA?

There is no reason why working, of itself, should cost you your DLA. DLA can be paid regardless of income, wages or savings. It is paid for mobility or care – or both – and the need is not automatically obviated by working. I believe that if a claimant starts work, then that will trigger a DLA review, and THAT may result in loss of benefit, but it need not. I used to know a guy who worked and claimed Mobility Allowance, as it was before it was DLA, but his disability was incontrovertible – he’d lost a leg, and no-one can argue with that. Were I able to return to work – fat chance – then, because of the nature of my disability, I would find it very hard to justify continuing to claim DLA, and I would almost certainly be re-assessed, and lose it. The bottom line – working does not automatically prevent you claiming DLA, or retaining it if you already have it, it all depends on what’s wrong with you.

Attendance Allowance & COPD

That depends on age. Up to the age of 65 the benefit is DLA; over 65 you can no longer claim DLA but you can claim Attendance Allowance. In either case, the benefit is payable for COPD, providing it is sufficiently disabling. As with any illness, simply having it isn’t a qualification, it’s the disability that counts.

“clenil modulite”+”alcohol”

Presumably the questioner wants to know if you can drink with Clenil Modulite, a steroid inhaler. The answer is yes. Unlike oral drugs, inhaled drugs go straight to the lungs, they don’t get there via the GI tract and the blood stream, so alcohol has little/no effect. There is, though, with CM at high doses (2 puffs 4 times daily and up), the prospect of systemic side effects like those you get with oral steroids, including weight gain, which alcohol will exacerbate.

DLA medical examination uk – how to pass

It’s not a matter of passing – it’s not a driving test and there are no right or wrong answers to the questions.

The simple answer is to always tell the truth. That is, the version of the truth which is beneficial to your claim. If, say, you can walk a mile every few months on a rare good day, but usually are restricted to a short distance, then the latter is the truth in reply to the questions about how far you can walk. Actually, the question is about how many metres/yards you can walk without pain or discomfort. In my case, as pain accompanies every thing I do, the answer is zero. If it’s, in your case, say 40 yards, don’t say 10 yards, because there’s a good chance they’ll take you for a walk – they did with me (and just saying ouch, ouch, when you reach your limit won’t wash!). Basically, it’s what your normal situation is that matters – you don’t tell them about good days. That’s not dishonesty, it’s irrelevant. You don’t say how much you can do if someone helps you, either. It’s all about your unaided capabilities.

Unlike in the past, you don’t apply for the components of DLA (they used to be separate benefits, Attendance Allowance and Mobility Allowance), you submit a blanket application and wait and see what you get.

A medical examination is pretty standard, to verify your disability, and if you take a lot of medication for your condition, you may think it’s a good idea to reduce it or just not take it – I couldn’t possibly comment. I would suggest, though, that you insist on being examined at home. My personal view is that if you are well enough to go trekking off across town – or further if you live in a rural area – then that might adversely influence how you are perceived.

If you are asked to perform any actions that you feel would be harmful, then refuse. I can’t kneel, for example, and if asked to demonstrate that, or climb stairs, or bend down – anything, in fact, that involves bending my knees beyond an absolute minimum, I would refuse, because it would damage my knees, the ligaments, and leg muscles, and I’d be even more disabled for weeks. They cannot refuse your benefit on the grounds of your refusal; you are within your rights to refuse to injure yourself. Explain, though, just don’t say no.

If you have a mental illness, then you may want to take a close friend with you who can speak for you, or seek a benefits advocate, if you feel it would be difficult for you to properly explain your situation. In fact, I would suggest that anyone does this if the claim is turned down and goes to appeal. One thing you should not do, at appeal, is come up with new stuff that you should have told them in the first place, it just makes them suspicious. Unless, of course, your condition has deteriorated in the meantime. And one thing to bear in mind is that most rejected claims are granted on appeal.

Appeals are a pain in the butt. I’ve never been to one, but I understand that you’re pretty much treated as if you’re lying. My advice is to be firm with them but, no matter how justified you might feel, never lose your temper. A favourite tactic is to repeatedly ask the same question. My advice is that asking twice is acceptable, more than that is not, and a polite “We’ve covered that at length, can we move on? would be perfectly in order.

I’m sorry I can’t be more precise than this, but everyone’s experience of the application process is different. I’ve never had any problems with benefits, though I’m wary of applying for the middle care rate (I already get lower care and higher mobility), as every time you apply you’re reassessed, and that’s risky.

I also know, very well (this isn’t hearsay from the Daily Mail!), a woman who is little more than a hypochondriac, yet in her time she has managed to get every disability benefit available, including direct payments to hire her own care staff. Go figure.

One final though – fill in the downloadable application form from here . That way you’ll have a copy of everything. Also, you may find it easier to type your answers on separate sheets of paper. This is acceptable as long as your name and NI number is at the top of each sheet, and you show the numbers of the questions your answers relate to. I also date and sign each page, but that’s not a requirement.

Clenil Modulite gains weight

Not necessarily. Like any other steroid, it all depends on the dose. As I say above, at high doses with this high-strength inhaler (2 puffs 4 times a day), you get pretty much the same systemic effects as with oral steroids like Prednisolone (Prednisone in the US), including weight gain, and you should carry a steroid card. Clenil Modulite is a replacement for Becloforte, and contains the same drug with a CFC-free propellant, so you should expect the same side-effects. In addition I’m convinced that it causes increased sputum production, which is not a good thing.

Tesco website access issues

For a major player in the online retail market, Tesco’s website is pretty rubbish. The only way to ensure proper functionality in all areas is to access it via Internet Explorer – it malfunctions badly and unpredictably with Firefox, though it seems OK with Opera.

How long am I contracted to my motability

I’m not entirely certain what the questioner is asking, but the standard period for DLA-based contracts (HP or lease), is three years.

Help, I can’t get d.l.a. and I’m ill

A common complaint sadly, but being ill isn’t a qualification for DLA – being disabled by your illness is – the two are quite different. There is some advice about DLA above, and also elsewhere on this blog – type DLA into the search box at top right, and the titles of the posts it throws up will show which are relevant (DLA also cops up in posts which aren’t about benefits. In addition, if you’re in the same position, post a comment and I’ll see if I can help. Comments are moderated before they appear, so if you want confidentiality say so, and I’ll delete your personal details.

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30 thoughts on “DLA, COPD, Disability & ME/CFS questions…

  1. just to say my father enjoyed reading this,and did have astroke 12 years ago,allso suffers from emphysema,copd,hypertension its that bad that is doctor cant controle it properly,allso hiyatas hernia and acid reflux,panic attacks,infections,cant win, filled in ib50 about 5 weeks ago waiting to here from atos health care, he never thought that he would ever would have to call this labour goverment a shitehouse and uncareing loads of robing bast^rds picking on the disabled,cant believe it, even the dwp said its negible only 1 percent on the fiddle and they are catching more and more all the time,but who can we turn to the tories are the same. he as allso just been told that he might have or could have artheritas,not that the doctor would say that he does have,i dont think the doctor dare say that he does have,im afraid that my farther is afraid of being disabled now as do all the other genuin disabled people.

  2. Hi John,

    COPD should be manageable, with the right meds. If your father’s not not already attending the chest clinic at your local hospital, he should be – he may well get better meds there. Some GPs also have an odd idea of what constitutes adequate medication for COPD – the last post in the list below is what I take. The thing to bear in mind, though, is that “manageable” doesn’t equal normal – with COPD normal lung function, no matter what the medication, can never be regained.

    Check out these posts too:-

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/a-bed-wedge-for-copd/

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/a-tip-to-alleviate-acid-reflux-gerd-in-copd/

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/copd-meds-and-potassium-deficiency/

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/copd-and-calcium-antagonists-a-personal-view/

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/copd-and-acid-reflux/

    http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/drugs-for-copd/

  3. my father says thanx for the links, is med for copd is ventolin,clenilmodulite,serevent.and spiriva,but still as days were he is gasping for breath allso at nights were he as to take is sprays ,allso panick attacks its quite frightning to see him this way allso as i said he had a stroke 12 years ago and is disabled down is right side, from is daughter emma

  4. is it worth putting down about a minor learning difficulty on a DLA claim form? my partner is trying to claim DLA and whilst filling out the claim form i noticed that an example of an illness/disability was learning difficulties. my partner cannot read or write very well and always asks me to fill in any forms, write any letters and read his mail. is it worth putting this on the claim form as he hasn’t been diagnosed with it but we are very aware of it in everyday situations?

    • Put down anything that seems appropriate – it may help. Just one thing, though – is it genuine, diagnosed, learning difficulties or plain, old-fashioned illiteracy? I used to work as an adult literacy tutor, and I know from experience that there’s a lot more illiteracy than most people suspect. There’s also another reason for asking – you may be asked for supporting evidence of learning difficulty and/or the DWP will check it out for themselves. If you’re sure, then yes, go ahead.

      If, though, it is illiteracy, then there is probably an adult literacy scheme somewhere in your area, if your partner is interested – from experience, with a good tutor, fluency in both reading and writing can be achieved in a year.

  5. Hi I really need to know if your national insurance contributions are paid if you recieve DLA. I recieved higher rate in the past and i was told that it would cover my stamp to but now I am getting told i owe them payments because my stamp isnt up to date. Any ideas?

    • If there is any NI credit it’ll be with Incapacity Benefit (or Income Support), not DLA, the mobility component of which is related to the degree of disability whether you work or not .

      Whether there actually is any NI credit with IB seems to be a secret! I’ve tried all the search terms I can think of on Google and come up blank. If you’re getting IB the best thing to do is talk to the office that administers your benefit. Logic suggests that if one is on long-term disability benefit, like IB, then there would be a NI credit built-in but, sadly, logic has nothing to do with benefits.

  6. I am too ill to work and I have just been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia. Is it recognised as an illness? could I claim?

  7. Hi Ron,

    I was diagnosed with CFS last year. Determined to get better I did a staged return to work and built up to 4 days in the office with 1 day working from home. Didn’t do much else though and 2/3 weekends out of 4, I’d just sit around at home trying to recuperate for the week ahead.

    Sometimes, not often, I’d have a good phase when I was able to do more outside work then suffer the consequences with the delayed fatigue, malaise etc. For example, I had a week off at the end of August and did a couple of longish walks. 4/5 miles perhaps. I felt unwell returning to work and have recently had a bit of a relapse. So now I’m off work for a bit and the most I can manage is a short shuffle to the corner shop, and I’ve only done that twice in the last 9 days.

    I had an ATP profile test done recently. The results were a bit of a shocker to be honest. They show badly impaired mitochondrial function with a disability rating of 25/100 – a rating of 30 would mean I was able to do 2/3 hrs office work with breaks, rarely leaving the house.

    The test results show a high cell free DNA score of 22ug per ml (I think). This seems to indicate my body’s been making energy in a rather costly way and tissue damage is occuring as a result. In short the disability rating is the amount of energy I have to spend, if I go over it I will end up paying for it in unpleasant ways.

    Several people on the ME boards have mentioned these results will help with a DLA claim, however, it never occurred to me that I would be eligible because I’m working.

    This week I’ll be picking up 7 prescription items and have had the expense of taxis to go pick up stuff from the chemist. When I am more well, I would just walk / bus / walk, but in this relapse phase that’s simply not a good idea. I think I probably could push myself and do it but it would make me feel very unwell – nauseous, faint, strong compulsion to lie down & recover. No pain though for which I’m very grateful.

    Given the cost involved with the medication and the necessity of having to get taxis at the moment to just do the essential stuff, DLA would really be useful. I’m worried reading the other posts that it would be very hard to fill in the forms as my clinical level of ability is greater than my bio-chemical level of ability. Plus it fluctuates so greatly. There is no ‘normal’.

    Apologies for the long post, are you able to recommend anything. Should I just not bother if it’s going to be too much hassle?

    Regards,

    Sue

    • Hi Sue,

      Just a quickie – I’m on my way out – but DLA is payable whether you work or not. The mobility component anyway – not sure about care but logic suggests not. One caveat, though – DLA depends on demonstrable disability, not numbers. The bottom line is how well you can walk (and you may be asked to prove it – I was).

      Have a look at this post http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/claiming-dla-and-esa-some-tips/ there’s some useful advice and also a link to download a DLA application. Personally, I don’t find the form difficult. But then, I spent much of my working life filling forms for HM Customs and for foreign consulates, and compared to that, benefits forms are a breeze. Anyway, if you have any problems, you know where I am.

      Oh – an important point. The DLA people (or anyone else involved in benefits), are not your enemies, no matter what you might read elsewhere – they’re just normal people doing a thankless job. Be nice to them, and they’ll be nice to you – that’s my experience anyway.

      And be aware that almost everyone is having problems claiming right now, from what I’ve heard, so don’t be disheartened if you’re turned down – it doesn’t end there, and many cases are successful on appeal.

    • Hi Rita,

      Sorry for the delay – having a bad spell. There’s absolutely not reason why you shouldn’t reapply. You may even get the higher rate mobility. Before you do though, you need to make sure your GP, and any consultant, will support your claim. If they will, you’re in with a chance.

      These days, sadly, a chance is all it is. There are no guarantees, I’m afraid – judging by the comments on some of the posts here, DLA is getting harder to claim successfully. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though.

      Oh, almost forgot – make sure you’re adequately medicated – they do take that into account though, personally, I think that’s bugger all to do with them.

      Ron.

  8. hi ron i am 35yrs old i was diagnosed with copd when i was 33 with moderate copd i have now been moved to severe copd fev1 35% i am struggling when walking with breathlessness and need help bathing and getting dressed i get so out of breath i have tried claiming dla and been refused twice i think partly because of my age i went to appeal the first time and it was the worst experience ive went through i applied again and just heard ive not been succsesfull i am reluctant 2 appeal this time should i keep trying or just accept i cant get dla thank u for your time

    donna lewis

    • Hi Donna,

      What’s your actual fev1 number? (It’s not expressed as a percentage – mine is around 1.6 for example.)

      It could be your age – it’s extremely young to have COPD. It could be your meds – these days medication is taken into account, and if they think, rightly or wrongly, that you’re undermedicated, it would adversely affect your claim. Again, if you mentioned 35% fev1, that would undermine your claim, too.

      Then, you have to be sure your doctors are on board and will support your claim – GP, consultants, whatever. If they’re not, you’re doomed. Then there’s the question of diagnosis – a GP diagnosis probably won’t wash for COPD. If, indeed, that’s what you have. And if that is the case you want a hospital referral without delay.

      And not least, there’s the question of how, at 33, you have COPD.

      COPD is normally the result of many years of respiratory illness (in my case, bronchiectasis and asthma since age 2), or, in many cases, many years of smoking. I believe that the DLA doctor will be at a loss to understand how someone of 33 can have COPD. It’s not a disease, despite its name, it’s the accumulated effects of long-term respiratory illness, resulting in emphysema, which is the defining condition for COPD. No emphysema, no COPD. So what they’ll be asking themselves, and probably you as well, where did it come from?

      Do you mind me asking why? I’ve had this conversation several times, and no-one has ever said I have COPD in my 30s because. . . whatever. I have far more knowledge of respiratory illness than any DLA doc, and I confess, I’m baffled. I’m not saying you don’t have it, I’m just saying I’m mystified.

      And I’m pretty sure the DLA doc wanted to know that.

      Other than that, and the fact that if you appeal you might lose, but if you don’t appeal, you definitely will, I’m pretty much at a loss.

      Ron.

  9. hi ron thanx for the reply yes i am being seen by a consultant at hospital they think ive getting copd due to smoking i had a bad cough for a number of years i just thought it was a smokers cough so ive had lots of spirometery test then i had scan which showed very mild emphesemia i am on spiriva ihaler ventolin and seretide inhaler the sprirometery tests confirmed copd my gp isint very helpfull he was a bit off at first then he made me do another breathing test when that came back worse he was ok with me he is still not that helpfull when i ask him to do me letters i have to go 2 pulmonary reabilitition and see a physcoligist i had a operation in dec and they refused to put me to sleep saying i was to much of a high risk with my copd fo them to use anasetic thanx again

    • Hi Donna,

      OK, that gives me something to work on. But read it all, the reply to your second comment tonight is in here too.

      And please tell me you’ve quit smoking! If you haven’t, you’ll really have severe COPD a whole lot sooner than you would otherwise and, trust me, you do NOT want that.

      Very mild emphysema means very mild COPD – the two, as I said, are inextricably linked. The severity of the emphysema defines the severity of the COPD, to put it another way. And, of course, you still have the respiratory problem that caused your COPD – the damage caused by smoking.

      Your meds also indicate mild COPD. Compare your meds with mine, for severe COPD http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/drugs-for-copd/

      You need to take your meds properly, and most doctors don’t bother telling the patient how. Ventolin is the most important. Take it half an hour before you get up in the morning (it takes 20 minutes to kick in). Then take your other inhalers. If you’ve been told to take them twice a day, take them every 12 hours – on the button! 4 times a day, every six hours. And take a hit of Ventolin 20 minutes before each dose – they’ll work better.

      Ventolin, as well as the one before you get up, should also be taken at bedtime and – and this is the important bit – any time you need it during the day. You can take all the Ventolin you need, as it’s almost impossible to overdose on the inhaler (for example, I have a nebuliser and the dose that delivers is 25 times the dose of one puff of Ventolin – when I’m really ill I take two doses 5 times a day).

      And there’s a load of advice on managing COPD here http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/copd-and-nothing-but-copd/

      Surgeons can be a bit iffy about general anaesthetics with respiratory illness, it’s not an indication of the severity of your condition. If you’re in that position again you’re going to have to be firm and insist on a general, if it’s indicated for the operation, of course – some really are are fine with a local.

      You have, though, explained why your DLA claims are failing – your claim to have severe COPD just doesn’t hold up. So, did somebody tell you it’s severe COPD – by which I mean a consultant? Or do you just feel that you have? I’m getting a feeling, too, that you’re more frightened of your COPD than you really need to be. It’s true that COPD is incurable, but it’s also true that you have a long way to go before you even need to think about worrying. And, when that time comes – don’t worry! It’ll only make you feel worse and it won’t change anything. COPD is also extremely manageable, especially if you’ve stopped smoking, and you seem to be in good hands.

      Aaaargh!! OK – just got your spirometry stuff, and that indicates a severe respiratory problem. But as I said, mild emphysema = mild COPD. So the question is, what else is wrong with your lungs, because that needs to be part of your DLA claim. Has, for example, your smoking caused bronchiectasis, which in turn will have caused your COPD? I don’t have the full information and, obviously, the DLA people don’t either.

      There’s a conflict – your spirometry indicates a serious problem, your meds, and everything else you’re telling me, indicate a moderate problem, as does your emphysema.

      I think you need to talk to your doctors, and soon, because nothing adds up here, and you seem not to have some essential information. Do you have asthma, perhaps? That would screw up your spirometry. There is something you’re either not aware of, or you’re not telling me or the DLA people. As there is no reason for you not to tell, it seems like someone isn’t telling you.You need to raise it with your GP ASAP – the bottom line is that mild emphysema does NOT give you spirometry results like that.

      As for your current DLA claim, you have nothing to lose by pressing on with it – you never know.

      Good luck.

      Ron.

  10. hi ron sorry im not that up to date with fev not sure exactly what they mean my last ones were fev-1/fvc0.97/1.64 ratio 59% fev-135% predicted

  11. HI ron thanx for your reply yea when i was having tests at the hosp the consultant said i dont have asthma i was very fit when younger i was in the ta for 13yrs i have had a cough since i was about 20 but i put it down to smoking yes i have quit smoking and this copd thing terrifies me i have2 young boys i dont feel my inhalers are helping much i am much worse in the evening when i get into bed im out of breath and cough all night which makes me really out of breath so i am breathless and tired in the morning i dont work as many hours now but im finding it a struggle i feel that im not getting much help medical wise my consultant sees me every 6 months i have more breathing tests next week at the hosp then in march i will statr the reabilitation course i just feel they are leaving me to get on with things i have had mri scans thats when the emphesimia was shown up my breathing tests have went down hill rapidly in 2 yrs my oxygen levels are ok

    • Hi Donna,

      Sounds to me as if you’re substantially under-medicated. If your O2 levels are fine, and your breathing isn’t that does rather indicate a meds problem, too. Time to nag your doctors, or ask for a referral to a Pulmonary Function Laboratory for a full assessment. Trying my suggestions should help, though.

      It’s probably a good time, when you’re at the hospital, to raise the question of your meds.

      For the cough you need codeine linctus – nothing else works, so don’t bother buying anything. Some doctors don’t like prescribing cough suppressants with COPD, as there’s a quite a bit of crap needs clearing from the lungs, but persistent coughing is unacceptable, so nag your doctor and keep nagging until you get it. Codeine linctus is, in theory, available OTC, but most pharmacists refuse to sell it. so you’ll have to pester your doc.

      Ron.

  12. i am getting full dla and low rate care.been ill over 12 years now.it was only 2 years ago that i started being ill all the time,and got pnumonia twice.but then they found i had copd on top of my other illness which is severe spondilytus in the spine.i am still seeing my specialist at the hospital.why i am writing is is it worth me applying for more for my care .i am on low rate but ive got worst .and only been dianosed in last nine months with copd. my medication is quite a lot including morphine tablet for my pain,it is quite a lot i can tell you .brian

    • Sorry for the delay – I’ve been a bit swamped.

      No easy answer, I’m afraid. Yes, logically it is worth reapplying for DLA but, on the other hand, based on some of the reports I’ve had, losing what you already have is a very real risk. And if you qualify for higher care, you may lose your higher mobility (if you need so much care, the assumption is that you don’t go anywhere much).

      I’ve needed middle care for years, but I haven’t reapplied because the risks are too high for me.

      And for the benefit of people unfamiliar with DLA you can’t, for example, apply for middle care – you have to reapply for the whole package, at which point pot-luck kicks in, and you’re entirely at the mercy of the gods of buggeration.

      Whether it’s worth it is, I’m afraid, something only you can decide.

      Ron.

  13. Hello Ron,

    I listened to Jeremy Vine today (radio2) about M.E., Esther Rantson was on and recommend that L.Process thing as a treatment. That’s how I found your refreshing blog!
    Boy am I glad I read through this – I have a doctor coming to assess me at home tomorrow for high rate DLA.
    I don’t know why they’re coming, nothing’s changed for the better, I’ve had a motability car for 18 mths. If they remove the DLA, what happens if I can’t pay the monthly charge for the car?
    My husband and I have a young family and no other help so he cares for me day and night. Kind of restricts his employment opportunities.
    He started a garden rooms business but we have yet to trade! Maybe he could sell one to this doctor tomorrow…
    Thank for the blog.
    Julie.

    • Hi Julie,

      If you’ve applied for DLA, then a medical examination is part of the process – nothing out of the ordinary.

      As for Esther Rantzen, her daughter has been “cured” of ME at least twice – I think the Lightning Process is her third shot. I see no reason why it should be any more successful. ME is a physical illness, and talking therapies won’t fix that, any more than they’d fix a broken leg. The LP, though, has a wonderful get out of jail free card – if it doesn’t work, it’s your fault!

      By the way, Take Vine with a pinch of salt – he rarely lets the facts get in the way of a good story – see http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/jeremy-vine-and-falling-standards-at-the-bbc/

      Apologies for the delay, btw, I’m having a bad spell.

      Ron.

  14. i need your advice please i take uniphyllin continus 200mg 3 times daily spirvia 18 mg 2 times day fluticasone 2 puffs 3 times dailysteriod tabs 5 mgs aday ventolin inhalers omerazole 40 mg aday calcium carb one aday risedronate one a week codine cough medicine 3 times a day sometimes more and pain killers wot would you do would you apply for it as iam worried i will loose wot i got as it helps gina i just got the lowest rate care gina

    • Hi Gina,

      I’d question why you’re taking both inhaled steroids and an oral steroid. Are they both for your COPD or is the tablet for something else?

      Uniphyllin Continus is supposed to be taken twice a day, not three times – you’d be better with 400mg every 12 hours. It’s a sustained release drug, the effect of which lasts for about 12 hours. If you look at what I’m taking, accurate timing is essential for getting the best out of your meds http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/drugs-for-copd/ .

      You really should have vitamin D with your calcium carbonate, to aid absorption.

      Codeine linctus is OK at that level, since you’re not taking any other form of codeine.

      Spiriva – my advice would be to time it carefully, and take it every 12 hours. A mistake many people make when told twice a day is to assume it means during the hours of daylight. It doesn’t, it means twice in 24 hours. Likewise, 3 times a day would be every 8 hours.

      Ventolin, as you probably know, you take whenever you need it. It also has a prophylactic (preventative) effect, so taking a couple of squirts before any activity is always a good idea.

      Omeprazole 40mg is fine. Again, timing is critical to get the best out of it, and I find it works best taken around 4 or 5 pm (though most GPs prescribe it for the morning). Whatever you do – and this is important – don’t take it anywhere near your calcium carbonate.

      As for what I’d do, well, I need middle care, so I can employ a carer, but if I apply in the hope of getting it, I might lose what I’ve got. It’s a very real risk. That’s really all I can tell you – as for whether you should apply, that has to be your decision.

      Based on your meds, I’d say you might have a good chance of getting more DLA. It’s just impossible to be sure. The mobility component, by the way, is based mainly on your ability to walk, so if you feel it’s bad enough, it might be worthwhile – both your osteoporosis (or is it Paget’s?) and COPD will affect that.

      It might be worth talking to your doctor, to see if he thinks you’re disabled enough to re-apply. At the end of the day, though, the DLA system is in such a mess, what, if anything, anybody gets is in the lap of the gods. Seriously.

      Ron.

    • No idea, I’m afraid – you need to talk to your local council. There is no right to a parking space, and if you get one it isn’t reserved purely for you anyway, it’s just a courtesy.

  15. Hi Ron,

    I have a 30 yr history of chest infections which are getting very frequent and aggressive. a month ago I visited a/e because I was coughing up blood in the sputum, etc. chest xray together with my symptons confirmed chronic bronchitis, tried cefaclor, prednosilone, flucloxacillin, dioxcycline.

    the specialist emergency doc spent a good 40 mins explaining to me that i need to have ct scan, broncospocy, ent for possible polyp, and full lung function tests. he mentioned that I had early copd and would need specialist inhalers as time goes on.

    my own doctor didnt fix any appts for me for 2 weeks after the letter to him from the a/e doc. I had a spirometry test and was told it was normal, and i hadnt got copd as it was only smokers who get copd, a ct scan is set to show more in about 4 months time, the doc said that more likely bronchiestasis. ive been give dioxycline antibiotics incase of return.

    I have been to cab and made a dla claim, based on the hosp docs chronic bronchitis diagnosis, also my own doc has written me a short medical report which says i have chronic bronchitis and copd.

    as you will know, the lung foundation, nhs , and dwp websites all show that chronic bronchitis is part of copd.

    Im annoyed that the doc at hosp doing spirometry is saying that you have to have smoked to get copd.

    can you help at all, ive sent off my dla claim and dont want it to be dismissed.

    thankyou.

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