Psoriatic Arthritis flare ups and PIP blue badge etc.
So, I have suffered with swelling to my joints for around twelve years now. Had operations on my knees to remove cartilage due to misdiagnosis. Then finally being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis around 5 years ago. It got pretty bad, to the point I wasn’t able to live a normal life at all, and I suffered with depression so bad, I was considering ending it all. I was given various medications to try (methotrexate sulfaselazine) , and I just couldn’t get on with any of them. Nothing was reducing my pain or inflammation and it was making me feel ill in other ways.
I was then given etanercept after my diagnosis’s for psoriatic arthritis, and it really has saved my life. Apart from when I have flare ups, my life is pretty normal and relatively pain free but still stiff and reduced mobility with inflammation and joint deformities (nothing severe)
I work full time, it’s my dream job and I still can’t believe I got it! The problem I have is... I have been furloughed and only passed my probation period during furlough. I have had more flare ups than normal during furlough and can’t help but think if I wasn’t furloughed I would have been sacked from my dream job by now for excessive time off.
Im currently experiencing a flare up in my spine which is manageable with pain killers, and also in my ankle and foot which is not so manageable and I’m struggling to get around my house let alone anywhere else. It seems I have more flare ups during the winter. The summer I might get one very manageable one if I’m unlucky.
I have today applied for a blue badge, and I’m considering applying for PIP, but I feel extremely guilty. I only need help when I’m having my winter flare ups. If I am accepted for a blue badge, I will only use when I’m suffering because, actually, I like walking when I can because there was a time I lost the ability to even walk to the toilet! Am I being unfair? Should I just struggle because it’s only a few weeks at a time?
In regards to PIP payments, I would only claim for the mobility side of things and probably only be eligible for the standard rate. Again, I feel guilty because I do technically work full time on a great salary, my medication means I have more good than bad times. But I feel like if I wasn’t furloughed this year I would have lost my job this winter, and pip would kind of be a foot in the door when I need extra help.
I have a very fit and healthy partner who sees my condition and how it affects me as completely awful, but because before I met him I had got to such a low point, even wetting myself because I just couldn’t get to the toilet, I’m more than happy with the life etanercept is giving me, despite still having issues! So I am feeling a bit confused.
I also struggle with asking for help and I think it’s because my poor mum asked for dla because she was so unwell, she died in intensive care and a day later I opened her letter from dwp, who stated she wasn’t deemed ill enough for financial support. This is why I didn’t apply for any support when I was really unwell. Being told I wasn’t would have just tipped me over the edge.
Sorry for the long post. I just don’t have anyone that understands to talk to. Apart from my partner, no one ever sees my illness, and they seem to think of arthritis as just a bit of an ache that I can take painkillers for!