COPD and PIP . . .

Here’s something I haven’t done for quite a while – answered a question from my search-engine slush-pile:-

“if i have emphasemia and copd will i get pip benifit in thek”

First of all, when applying for benefits, do work on your spelling – it helps. And you don’t have emphysema and COPD. You have COPD, for which emphysema is the defining condition. What “thek” might be I have no idea.

While often considered a death sentence by the ill-informed, emphysema can be managed – I was diagnosed in 1996, for example, and while I’m terminally ill, my COPD isn’t the cause. Type COPD into the search box at the top of the right-hand column – it’ll bring up a load of information. This one should help with your claim

http://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/claiming-dla-and-esa-some-tips/

OK, skating around the fact that PIP is, apparently, hard to claim, as with DLA  it’s not what ails you that matters, it’s the degree of disability it imposes upon you, so if your COPD is slight, you might be unlucky. If it’s severe you might still be unlucky – PIP is designed that way – but you’ll have a better chance.

Medication also matters. If your meds are deemed to be too low to support your allegation of disability, you might lose out. It’s entirely wrong that this happens as all too often patients are under-medicated by penny-pinching GPs and they have no control over that. This, by the way, is what I take to support my COPD:-

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

The post is 5 years old, as you can see, but nothing has changed.

Note: Comments are closed for posts over three months old. Sorry, but this does NOT mean you can post comments or questions on another, still open, post.

Finally, if you smoke, stop. Smoking with COPD is, quite literally, terminally stupid, and it will almost certainly compromise your claim if you turn up for an assessment claiming a respiratory condition has disabled you while stinking of fags. And when it comes to medication, work out a timetable – and remember that 3 or 4 times a day means in 24 hours, not just in the hours of daylight – and take them religiously, by the clock, not just when you remember. Not only will you feel better, you’ll probably live longer too.

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10 thoughts on “COPD and PIP . . .

  1. Firstly, flip, I hit the stars to rate the post and it slipped back to one – sorry Ron!

    Secondly, great post, as always :) I’ve a feeling that the “thek” may be “the UK” – probably another immigrant wanting to know what is what to claim benefits *rolls eyes* – these type of people make me sick as they are the ones that have screwed things for the genuine sick and disabled claimants!

    Hubby has been diagnosed about 3 to 4 months ago with having COPD :( He’s had scans etc to make sure that the heart hasn’t got damage and has just recently had the results back of the heart scan – thankfully all seems fine in that respect :) He had to go and see a specialist nurse but that was the day before his heart scan – she did some tests but couldn’t prescribe meds from the GP until the heart scan had been done! He’s back to see her on 2nd August and will then be able to have things to help his breathing. The worst part for him is breathing out on exertion or after a coughing fit – very strange I find, but hey, I am not the one experiencing COPD. As soon as he is prescribed anything I will be the one to organise his meds as I already have to due to him being disabled and having a short term memory!

    Really did laugh at your reply to the idiot who wrote to you :)

    Jay x

    • One star! I’m mortified!

      As I said in the post, the important thing for meds is a timetable (you want to see mine no – 2 A4 pages even I’d never be able to keep it all in my head, not reliably anyway), to which your old man – or probably you – sticks firmly. With the right meds, taken at the same time every day, COPD is manageable. It’s not fun, but nor need it be a death sentence.

      I don’t know how active he is now – I’m guessing not very – but if he is active, he might have to scale back his activities. Maybe permanently, maybe just until he adjusts to his meds – time will tell. If he has been active, keep an eye on him for depression. I was lucky – I lost backpacking, cycle touring, rambling and fishing, but I adjusted – some don’t and it drags them down.

      If you need specialist equipment, like a nebuliser, let me know – it’s very easy to pay far too much because the disability market is rip-off territory. Basically, all a nebuliser is is an aquarium pump and an atomiser, yet you can easily pay a couple of hundred pounds. I got a portable (rechargeable) one that’s very quiet (some are incredibly noisy, which matters if you have pets) for around £70. And ask the hospital for a loan unit before you spend money, you might get lucky. Then you’ll see just how noisy the crap one are! I was quite staggered by the amount of equipment I now have access to if I was of a mind to scrounge it, like the bed, but that was offered. I bought my own commode, then the problem I bought it for, which had seen me trailing off to the toilet every half hour, day and night the whole time I was in hospital, just stopped when I got home!

      It’s odd, you know. Quite a lot of women – and it tends to be only women – find my stuff funny, but it’s not intentional. Well, not always, anyway, and you can usually tell when it is!

  2. I was diagnosed with Chronic Bronchitis some 15 years ago. that was changed to COPD about ten years ago. Following a scan last year it seems I have now developed Emphysema. My Consultant told me I did not have Emphysema 10 years ago just COPD.

    • Are you in the US by any chance? If so, some consultants tend to regards COPD as an exacerbation of COAD, which is fundamentally flawed. In the rest of the world, emphysema is the indicator for COPD – no emphysema, no COPD.

      Its also possible – pretty much inevitable, in fact – that minor emphysematous changes were present 10 years earlier, as emphysema takes time to develop, it doesn’t just appear (in my case the first changes appeared in 1996). I suspect, at that stage, he didn’t want to risk scaring you, as a lot of people have entirely the wrong idea about emphysema based on the experiences of elderly relatives. These days, medication is greatly improved and it’s not the disaster it once was.

      Ron,
      Platinum Level Patient Expert, Wellsphere Network, which I was invited to join based on the quality of my work on COPD (normally, you have to apply to be admitted, and demonstrate your worth).

  3. Pingback: COPD and PIP . . . | Welfare, Disability, Polit...

    • That became my intention as the blog evolved into what it is today.

      Received wisdom has it that a blog should stick to a single subject, but I’ve never bought into that and, after starting out, briefly, as social commentary, it became what it is now – anything that I find useful, and feel sharing might be a good idea, goes into the mix, along with the politics. And, for me, at least, it works.

      And I think it works because information has little value unless it’s shared and, modesty to one side, it’s also well written. I think that’s essential – if I care enough about how my blog’s written, people will care enough to read it. That’s my theory, anyway, and it seems to work. The fact is though, I don’t know how to write any other way – it’s how I was taught by the best English teacher possibly ever, and certainly of his generation.

      I know I tend to say that a lot, but a good teacher is worth is (or her), weight in diamonds – he recognised my interest and, essentially, poured what he knew into me and that, almost 30 years down the line, was what enabled me to become an adult literacy tutor, pouring knowledge I was unaware I had until it was tapped in the training process, into someone else.

      And so I set out, on my blog, to share what I knew about anything at all, which turned out to be rather a lot – I don’t think any of us realise just how much knowledge we have squirreled away in our heads until, like me, we go looking for it.

      Will the supply ever dry up? No, I don’t think so, as life is one continuous learning curve – a process which, for those of us who care enough, never stops – which means the supply of information is constantly replenished. The gaps in my blog are because I feel too ill to write (my pain meds have buggered my brain), not because I have nothing to write about. I said a long time ago that a good blogger should be able to get up to 500 words** out of almost any subject.

      **Not counting this sentence, I got 370 words out of your comment ;-)

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