CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Secret Observations Used To Refuse PIP Plus Claimant Deaths Reviews Victory

We now know that a PIP assessor can complete your entire assessment – and score you nothing - days before you even turn up for your medical. Or he can ignore your evidence completely and base his entire report on secret observations he claims to have made.

And allegedly rake in £20,000 a month for doing so.

We also know now that there is absolutely no question of universal credit being scrapped by Stephen Crabb, as many had hoped. He has, however, discovered lots of ‘interesting ideas’ for getting sick and disabled people into work.

And we’ve also come a good deal closer to discovering if the DWP have been ignoring the findings of their own secret death reviews - and costing more claimants their lives as a result.

Secret Observations Used To Refuse PIP Plus Claimant Deaths Reviews Victory

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A 10 point nursing model of practice for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

There is an urgent need to develop an appropriate model of practice for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Crawford, Aitken and McCagh (2008) found that nurses still respond more positively to patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis than patients with ME, which they are more likely to wrongly view as a psychological disorder. Nurses are not being educated in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, making it difficult for them to recognise the mistreatment of ME and also making it unsafe for patients with ME to be exposed to a hospital/ medical environment.

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A 10 point nursing model of practice for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Fordingbridge Model Railway Exhibition 2016







Yesterday we paid a visit to Railway Pastimes, the Fordingbridge Model Railway Exhibition 2016 organised and run by The Rotary Club of Fordingbridge at Avonway Community Centre in Fordingbridge. It was a lovely show, packed with a nice variety of layouts. These are just a couple of shots of scenes which caught my eye and imagination.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Always use the correct term to refer to "ME"

Always use the correct term to refer to "ME", if you do not, then you are actively perpetuating a seriously dangerous state of confusion, denial, oppression, mistreatment and medical neglect leading to death. Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/ Post Viral fatigue Syndrome (ME/PVFS) is formally classified as a neurological disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10:G 93.3; WHO 1992). “CFS”, according to the WHO is only acknowledged as a colloquial, not an absolute term to represent ME. The ICD separately classifies fatigue syndromes as a behavioural (psychiatric) disorder (ICD 10:F 48). What the PACE Trial refers to “CFS/ME” is a condition of “medically unexplained” fatigue that is perpetuated by inappropriate illness beliefs, pervasive inactivity, current membership of a self-help group and being in receipt of disability benefits (PACE Trial Identifier, section 3.9). “ME/CFS” is an umbrella term, subject to many different interpretations, incorporating a wide range of meaning and poorly identified conditions.

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Always use the correct term to refer to "ME"

Stephen Crabb: You don’t improve ‘life chances’ by taking a rape victim and a disabled child to...

In the UK, we live in a country where you can read that the Work and Pensions secretary has pledged a ‘relentless focus’ on improving life chances and that the DWP is spending £100,000 on lawyers to fight a rape victim and the family of a severely disabled child. What does that tell us about our society?

Stephen Crabb: You don’t improve ‘life chances’ by taking a rape victim and a disabled child to...

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Migraine, ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia - Low Oxygen, High Lactate Disorders?

That makes a recent migraine study highlighting hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels) and increased lactate – two intriguing possibilities in ME/CFS and FM – all the more interesting. A recent blog suggested that increased lactate levels in the brains of ME/CFS patients could set the stage for increased fatigue. Several studies, in fact, suggest that increased lactate levels exist in the brain, muscles and perhaps guts of both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia patients.

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Migraine, ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia - Low Oxygen, High Lactate Disorders?

Monday, 11 April 2016

Standing stones and old mine workings

The Hurlers and old mine workings

Where the farmland gives way to moorland. What could be more Cornish?

Image © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Fibromyalgia Doctor Touts Ketamine for Pain and Depression

Ketamine has also, though, been successful in the difficult to treat chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It achieved remission in about half the patients in a small CRPS trial. It works so quickly in depression that it may become the first anti-suicide drug. For some people who had about reached the end of their rope ketamine has proved to be a life-saver.

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Fibromyalgia Doctor Touts Ketamine for Pain and Depression

Pillboxes at Porthkeres

Pillbox above Finnygook Beach

If The Cornish Engine House was an essential for the area, then a World War II pillbox or two will be even more indispensable for both the time and the place we're modelling. Cornwall, with its huge stretch of coastline and numerous beaches suitable for amphibious landings by enemy tanks and troops, became a fortress with lines of pillboxess, as this map shows.

Two useful links: War in Cornwall and Fear of Invasion tell us more.

For these, we'll be using this N Scale Type 22 & Type 26 Pillbox kit from Metcalfe. There will ideal places for them to be sited on the rocks alongside the port and for more ideas on placement, see: World War II Pillbox Cornwall Stock Photos and Images

Image: © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Published, independent review of the PACE trial‏

The PACE Trial Invalidates the Use of Cognitive Behavioral and Graded Exercise Therapy in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Review: The main findings reported in the PACE trial were that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) were moderately effective treatments for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), and fear avoidance beliefs constituted the strongest mediator of both therapies. These findings have been challenged by patients and, more recently, a number of top scientists, after public health expert Tuller, highlighted methodological problems in the trial. As a doctor who has been bedridden with severe ME for a long period, I analyzed the PACE trial and its follow-up articles from the perspectives of a doctor and a patient. During the PACE trial the eligibility criteria, both subjective primary outcomes, and most of the recovery criteria were altered, creating an overlap of the eligibility and recovery criteria; consequently, 13% of patients were considered “recovered,” with respect to 1 or 2 primary outcomes, as soon as they entered the trial. In addition, 46% of patients reported an increase in ME/CFS symptoms, 31% reported musculoskeletal and 19% reported neurological adverse events. Therefore the proportion negatively affected by CBT and GET would be between 46% and 96%, most likely estimated at 74%, as shown in a large survey recently conducted by the ME Association. Medication with such high rates of adverse events would be withdrawn with immediate effect. There was no difference in long-term outcomes between adaptive pacing therapy, CBT, GET and specialist medical care, and none of them were effective, invalidating the biopsychosocial model and use of CBT and GET for ME/CFS. The discovery that an increase in exercise tolerance did not lead to an increase in fitness means that an underlying physical problem prevented this; validates that ME/CFS is a physical disease and that none of the treatments studied addressed this issue.

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Published, independent review of the PACE trial‏

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Microstructural Havoc: The Immune System, Fatigue and the Brain - An ME/CFS and FM Scenario

The authors believe these changes reflect changes in, get this, lactate – which we’re seeing more of in both ME/CFS and FM – and pH in this region of the brain. Increased lactate or lactic acid levels appear to be present in the brains, muscles and possibly guts of fibromaylgia and ME/CFS patients. Increased lactate levels also predicted which GWS patients were able or unable to exercise. Increased brain lactate levels also appears to be triggering migraines when low oxygen conditions are present. High lactate levels, then, are showing up in several related disorders. That’s good news for those looking for a common thread in these disorders. It turns out that the basal ganglia are “exquisitely vulnerable” to several factors that could be occurring in ME/CFS/FM – hypoxic (low oxygen level induced injuries), viral invasion and neurodegenerative processes. Given what we know low oxygen conditions could fit very well with what is happening in ME/CFS.

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Microstructural Havoc: The Immune System, Fatigue and the Brain - An ME/CFS and FM Scenario

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Four stone loss



Getting to this milestone hasn't been easy with ups and downs in weight and stalled weightloss through a bout of illness, but I got there. However, just last week I read that those who lose the most weight are most likely to keep it off and keep losing.

Maximus Under Threat, Space Invaders And PIP Failure

What will life be like for claimants with Stephen Crabb as secretary of state for work and pensions?

We should get our first real indication on 12 April, when Crabb will give a speech setting out his vision.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times is claiming that Crabb plans to try to get out of the current work capability assessment contract with Maximus and also look again at the PIP assessment contracts held by Atos and Capita.

At this stage a renegotiation looks more probable than simply sacking Maximus – who else is likely to be willing and able to take on the job now?

So, any changes to the current WCA contract are more likely to be aimed at saving the DWP cash than making things fairer for claimants.

Crabb is apparently also instructing the DWP to stop blocking freedom of information requests relating to universal credit. But this is almost certainly not the dawn of a new age of openness at the DWP. Instead, it is a chance for the government to discredit IDS by showing just what a mess UC is currently in.

Nor is it likely to be the beginning of the end for universal credit, just an opportunity to increase the timescale for full roll-out even further whilst heaping the blame on IDS.

According to the Times, Crabb will also say that his aim is for work coaches delivering universal credit to be held in the same esteem as NHS nurses.

Given the role of work coaches in pushing people onto forced labour schemes and helping to impose sanctions on claimants which have led to suicides, this seems like a bizarrely far-fetched idea.

And it is, perhaps, this IDS-like disconnection from reality that gives us the best indication of what a dire secretary of state Stephen Crabb is going to be. There’s definitely no point in looking to him for any understanding of what life is really like for sick and disabled claimants.

In the meantime, the work of dehumanising claimants continues at every level of the DWP.

The Mirror carried a story this week showing a huge poster in a jobcentre plus entitled ‘Yardley ESA challenge’. ESA claimants are depicted as aliens in an old style Space Invaders game, being destroyed by shots from what must be Jobcentre Plus staff.

One of those saintly work coaches pulling the trigger, perhaps.

Finally, we have the unsurprising news that PIP is turning into another grand DWP failure, with the intended 20% savings compared to DLA now being predicted to be just 5%. After the costs of the PIP assessment regime and additional appeals are taken into account, the final savings are likely to be tiny.

6 April 2016 update

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Brace yourself for the next assault on the sick and disabled

So the plan is to continue using the discredited perversion of ‘biopsychosocial’ theories (that claim illness is a personal choice and is all in the mind) as the basis for any assessment of a claimant’s illness; to put anyone with “mild or moderate” health conditions such as cancer or Parkinson’s on the welfare-to-work treadmill, with sanctions applied if they fail to participate (even if that failure is due to their illness); and to have all sickness benefit reduced to the same level as Jobseekers’ Allowance.

Brace yourself for the next assault on the sick and disabled

Monday, 4 April 2016

Is chronic fatigue syndrome finally being taken seriously?

If you take Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever, only about 10-15% of people tend to go on to have a prolonged case of the disease leading to CFS. But why do this set of individuals have this type of response to certain viruses while others don’t? Are there genetic factors, is it actually a completely different pathogen which we haven’t discovered yet?

Is chronic fatigue syndrome finally being taken seriously?

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