Saturday, 3 March 2018

Typical Challenges Facing Those with Memory Difficulties

One of the reasons I started blogging in late 2006 was that I couldn't keep track to what was happening in my life. I was forgetting what I had done, and what I needed to do, and there were problems I was facing that I felt sure others would be dealing with too. I wasn't particularly confident enough to properly describe them online, though, that being part of the problem. Eventually, though, my parents encouraged me to write about these issues, seeing as after years of NHS treatment, I was a fair bit more capable than I used to be.

Rather than complain about the problems I'm facing, I'd prefer to explain them and describe the situation, and possible routes forward, or lack thereof. A day at a time, I'm jotting down these concerns when they come to me, using Omninotes, an app on the Google play store. I can put all these ideas in one bullet- point-listed note titled Psychology Saturdays, whenever they come to me, wherever I am. Every Saturday I look at my calendar and see what has happened, and what will happen, to come up with ideas for a post. If there's nothing that relates to events at this particular time (e.g. depression support group Andy's Man Club taking over a Parkrun, something I've covered a couple of times) then I can fall back on stockpiled ideas saved in the app.

On the issue of OmniNotes- there is one problem I've found with the incorporation of multimedia. With Microsoft's OneNote, I could drag pictures into the middle of a block of text, or to the end. With OmniNotes, any picture I add to a text note gets slammed in right at the top. This means I I want to write something about that particular picture, and then perhaps include another picture with a different paragraph of accompanying text, they get separated.

This week there are a few small points to make. I managed to get another NHS fine refunded on the grounds of memory difficulties. I appreciate their understanding and their acceptance that I wasn't trying to rip them off. I was getting confused between PIP, which doesn't cover prescriptions or dental treatment, and Working Tax Credits, which were stopped. There has been no explanation for this stoppage.

In fact, I've filed a complaint against HMRC over the way they have handled my case. I've waited over a year to find out why my WTC were stopped- I've received no explanation. Is it to do with my hours of work, which haven't changed? Is it the fact that I was allocated PIP, which would have been a change in my circumstances, albeit one that came from HMRC's own office? Is it some other thing I'm completely forgetting about? Nobody knows. HMRC won't tell me.

I've made numerous calls to the HMRC helpline, which has frequently been engaged- no ability to queue, no recorded message- just an engaged tone, as if there's one handset receiving all the calls from the UK. When I have got through, I've been told my case is 'under review'- but eventually they sent me a letter saying that I'd 'informed them of a change,' so they were 'stopping' my WTC. What was this change THIS time? And did they not know they'd stopped it already? Do they not realise how insulting that is to some one who has already told them their disability stops them understanding formal documentation anyway?

What a joke. I have a Welfare Rights appointment on Thursday- I hope I can explain my situation properly to him, and I hope I understand what the officer advises me to do.

No comments: