I recently volunteered to be a tutor for the expert patient program. Its based on managing long term illnesses. For years Ive avoided it thinking it was designed to make you an expert in your condition and therefore (as doctors are concerned) a total pain in the neck (or wherever you feel)
I very quickly learnt that the expert patient is about teaching people to manage their conditions and live the best life they can.
From a personal point of view I found that applying for DLA and attending a tribunal the worst thing ever, and the attitiude of managing your condition means theres no problem which isnt true. I have written various letters and will update you in time.
Today I attended the first training session Ive had in goodness knows how many years. It was about safeguarding children. Although I dont expect to be working with children it really opened my eyes. It made me realise that my childhood experiences now would be classed as abuse. They WERENT!!! and I know that but it totally freaked me out. Things that as a kid happened and even though my parents loved and protected me, things happened to me that I couldnt control. I look at as an an adult and realise the lack of choice that my parents had and feel so sorry that they feel so responsible for circumstances they had no control over