STATEMENT OF CASE FOR CPPI, SALLY HODGSON of 28 Nausett Crescent, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia , hereby make this Statement of Case in connection with my husband’s Application for CPP.I have known my husband, ROBIN HODGSON, since January 2002. We were married in September 2002, and since that time, we have been living with Robin’s parents, since we lack the funds to rent or purchase a place to live.During the period when I was getting to know Robin, while we were still communicating via the Internet and telephone, before I came to live in Canada permanently, he explained to me about his injuries and subsequent problems. (Please refer to Robin’s own statement for further details).Since I have been living with Robin, I have become aware of the difficulties that he has because of the damage which has been done to his nerves and the constant pain which he has to endure. I consider myself not only as his wife, but also as his care-giver, since he needs my help with many of the tasks of daily living.Most mornings, he awakes in pain, and often requires help with getting out of bed, personal grooming and putting on clothing. Bending and stretching cause him great difficulties, so I assist him by fetching and carrying necessary items for him.Robin’s pain affects his ability to eat and digest food, so when his pain is intense, he does not get the proper nutrients which his body needs. He also suffers from migraines which are brought on by intense pain or stressful situations. He often suffers sleepless nights due to the pain and also not being able to find a comfortable sleeping position.He is unable to walk or stand for more than a few minutes without discomfort, and even sitting in the same position for more than 45 minutes causes him pain. He needs to rest frequently when he does try to pursue any form of activity. For example, when he is using the computer, he can only do so for short spells before needing to lie down.He is able to drive and holds a current driving licence, but he can only manage trips of 20 minutes or less. He does not feel safe to drive for any longer than this, because fatigue and pain affect his concentration and he does not wish to be a danger on the roads. He prefers to have another person with him when he is going anywhere, in case he has a bad spell and needs assistance. He has a disabled badge for the car, since he is now registered disabled. He does not own a car, but he has the occasional use of his parents’ vehicle.I have become accustomed to walking at a much slower pace than my own when we are out together. I also have to be aware of the fact that from time to time, he stumbles badly, especially on steps and uneven terrain. When we go on a shopping trip, we have to be mindful of the fact that Robin becomes tired easily, especially when he has to negotiate crowds in shops. He is also unable to carry all but the lightest of loads and has difficulty in pushing a supermarket trolley, so I do this.I recall one particularly bad incident, when myself and Robin, together with my parents, my aunt, my brother and his girlfriend, were all on a shopping trip at Mic Mac Mall. We had been there for a while, I cannot remember exactly how long, but we were browsing in the HMV music store, when Robin began to have an episode of severe pain. My father, who also suffers chronic pain, realised that we needed to get Robin to somewhere where he could sit down, as he was no longer able to stand upright. We helped him to a bench and tried to make him as comfortable as possible. He was very pale and trembling. He could not speak coherently because the pain had drained him totally. Eventually, a wheelchair was provided for him from the staff at the mall. For the remainder of our shopping trip, I pushed him around the mall in the wheelchair and we had to wheel him out to the car when we left the mall. Another incident occurred when we were attending a meeting of the NACPAC, which is a support group for chronic pain sufferers. I was helping some of the more able members to move the tables in the meeting room and Robin got up from his chair to allow us to move a table. When he got up, he stumbled badly and this brought on a very intense bout of pain, causing him to tremble and sweat. Like before, he was unable to speak or move for about 15 minutes. Even after the worst pain passed, he remained drained and exhausted for the rest of that evening and also it lasted well into the next day.These incidents clearly illustrate how Robin’s pain rules his life and limits his mobility. It curtails enjoyment of his hobbies and activities to a great extent. Before his injuries, he was a physically active person and this loss has impacted him psychologically. It is especially important for someone who is unable to work to have hobbies and activities for passing the time. Having quality of life helps to keep morale up, which is hard to do for someone with a chronic condition like Robin’s.Robin is also a graphic artist, having studied animation (both traditional and computerised) and other related topics. He has always enjoyed art and when he was first injured, he took the animation course with a view to re-training and starting a new career direction. However, he soon realised that he would not be able to obtain permanent paid employment because of his physical limitations and his inability to work to deadlines. This has caused him further depression, because he is unable to contribute financially to our relationship. Robin’s social life has also been greatly reduced due to his injuries. When he is invited out for a social occasion, he often refuses because the trip alone drains him to the extent that he cannot relax and enjoy the entertainment. Even sitting in a cinema or theatre is uncomfortable for him, therefore he does not participate in such activities as much as he would like to. He is no longer able to attend rock concerts, because he cannot stand for lengthy periods and he is in danger of being jostled or knocked down by heaving crowds. He avoids places like bars, shops, etc, for the same reason.He is unable to use public transport, because this does not take him door to door where he needs to go. Also, buses, trains and planes are very hard on him because the vibrations from the motion of travel aggravate his damaged nerves. This means that we as a couple have to limit the distance we travel and as for foreign vacations, these are out of the question, even if we could afford such luxuries. This affects me psychologically as well, since I have family back in England and I would dearly love for us both to visit them.Robin is an animal lover, having been brought up with family pets for most of his life. He is now unable to take the family dog for a walk, or even play with her in the garden, due to his physical limitations.Living with constant pain means that Robin is more susceptible to high stress situations and this in turn makes him more volatile and affects his moods. In any tense situation, this means that he would be more likely to lose his temper, which in turn increases his pain. This can be hard on those who are closest to him, as we are unable to do anything to alleviate his pain.
By Robin Hodgson