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Hello, i'm Barney. I am a sixtyone year old man from Lincolnshire, who was a fit and healthy 'work hard, play hard' type of guy until 2006..i'd already sold my windowcleaning business in 2005 due to arthritis in my knees..had a succession of temp jobs with agencies until in February 2006 i had a heart attack. Six months later the DSS, as it was called then, had me in for an assessment with one of their doctors..he put me on 'long-term incapacity' and told me they didn't want any more sicknotes, that my benefits would automatically go in the bank from then on...I should mention here, I have a lower spine injury that happened way back in 1989, I did it playing amateur football one sunday. So..the years went by (slowly, I was bored and unhappy) the arthritis advanced on its march till most of my joints were affected, I survived a second heart attack in 2012, was told by a consultant that one third of my heart is basically dead and the next attack will kill me. The back injury was getting worse and I was in almost constant pain by now, so I drank more..and more..to numb the pain..was on anti-depressants now and relying more and more on drink. Christmas 2013..had a word with myself in the mirror..sounds corny but it happens..upshot is I haven't touched a drop of alcohol since..I just suffer in silence with the constant pain of arthritis and the back. Can't have the 'proper' meds for arthritis either, due to my heart meds. So last march I was summoned to an assessment and i'm sure you are familiar with the rest.
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