So the PIP forms arrived today and I’ve started to type up the extra information sections (I’m not even going to attempt to hand write this in the form, typing on a tablet is enough fun). It dawned on me how depressing the questions are, and quite how crappy I’ve become. I’m going to admit, it’s not doing wonders for my self esteem.
I’ve managed only 1 question so far (out of 15) which is about preparing & cooking food. It actually wasn’t until I actually thought about it and wrote stuff down that I realized how useless I am right now.
Q3 Extra Information
Can I perform this task at all?
Preparing a meal including peeling, chopping and opening a can: I am able to perform this task with assistance on most days.
Can I do this safely?
It is unlikely that I am able to peel and chop vegetables safely using standard equipment due to the potential for finger dislocation, or injury from slipping. Where lifting causes pain, and sometimes dislocations or subluxations, lifting a pan of boiling water, or tray from the oven poses a risk of scalding/ burning.
I would also be unable to stand for the required length of time required perform the task described without risk of fainting or causing considerable pain. This may be negated through the use of a wheelchair in the kitchen, although this poses other safety issues.
Can I do this to an acceptable standard?
Without aids, I would not be able to move pans or trays around the kitchen, especially if hot, nor open a can. This is a task often performed for me, or aids are used (please see below).
Can I do this as often as I need to?
I am often reliant on ready prepared meals or meal replacement shakes where I do not have assistance to prepare a meal. The fatigue or pain caused from standing will often impact on other daily activities. Should faintness or fainting occur due to standing, this will also impact on other activities.
Can I do this in a reasonable time?
Time scales are not an issue in terms of food preparation as it is the task itself which causes issues.
Do I need assistance from others?
Preparing light meals such as breakfast / lunch, I will often require assistance with transporting plates, cups etc. as I am using aids for mobility (wheelchair / crutches). This is a similar scenario at my workplace where colleagues will often carry hot drinks to my desk for me to ensure my safety.
During food preparation, I require assistance in lifting objects such as pans of water to and from the hob, or trays from the oven due to the risk of dropping from my wrists or back pain or unexpected subluxation / dislocation.
What aids do I need for this task?
Should I need to stand for this task, I would use:
- Hinged leg braces to prevent over flexion or twisting of my knees which may cause injury
- Wrist splints to prevent over flexion of my wrists
- Crutches to support standing / walking short distances
- A wheelchair
For peeling vegetables, I use a wide handled peeler.
For opening tins / bottles, I can use an adaptive device.
How might this vary throughout the day?
I am more likely to be able to perform this task earlier in the day, as fatigue impacts upon my pain levels making an evening meal particularly difficult to prepare. Factors such as fatigue / pain after returning from work impact in this significantly, and during the week I am highly reliant on my husband preparing meals.
I currently conserve energy by taking a meal prepared by my husband or a meal replacement shake to work thus negating the need to undertake this task more often than needed.
… Well, I’m totally revved up for the rest of this form. -.-