Never mind me, I want to talk about Dave, my ever faithful, wonderful, loving hubby.
He has a "bad back."
Actually he has two herniated vertebrae and a coccyx injury from a motorbike injury years ago. He has lost most of the feeling in his right hand and suffers daily pain.
Nonetheless, one sickie in a household is quite enough, so he does what all good DWP ministers expect and gets on with it. He refuses to have surgery in case it goes wrong and leaves us even more vulnerable than we are now.
He has a job. It's not his dream job, but he goes in every day, knowing that without it, we would lose a little of the wretched dignity we have left.
He used to have a good job. He ran a call centre of 100 people, managing a budget of over £1,000,000 but he needed a job where he could leave at 5 and have weekends off, so he took a job with less responsibility and (of course) less money.
That one act ruined his career. Take a step backwards? But why? Need time off at short notice to look after a wife? But why? He has worked in his new, less responsible job for 4 years now and despite applying for countless others that he's ridiculously over-qualified for, he never gets them.
A few years ago, his back "went". Now and then, if he moves the wrong way or lifts something he shouldn't, he falls to the floor in terrible agony and spends the next week or two crawling to the toilet and living on codeine.
After two weeks he went back to work (grey and with a walking stick) and all was well for a while. A few months later he got a mystery virus. (As we all do at some time or another.) His temperature raged over 40 degrees for over 5 days, he tossed deliriously in bed, soaking the sheets and forgetting my name.
When he returned to work over three weeks later it was to face a stage D disciplinary procedure. One more day off in 6 months and he would lose his job.
He dragged himself into work come hell or high water for those 6 months, living in fear that he wouldn't be able to carry on supporting us if he didn't.
Not long after the 6 months elapsed, I got terribly sick and needed to be admitted to Addenbrookes yet again for surgery. My Mum and Mother-in-law rushed into sacrifice mode and organised childcare rotas and meal shifts, but Dave's boss was totally unsympathetic.
The only person who could take our son to school was Dave, but school starts at 9 and Dave had to be at work for the same time. He asked his boss if he could be half an hour late into work on the days when our mothers couldn't manage.
He was allowed one week. Then nothing.
All the while, I was in a hospital bed, alone, 140 miles away, with a feeding tube in my main artery trying not to starve to death. Dave's boss put him under daily pressure to confirm when my operation would be, or stated that he would refuse Dave compassionate leave to be there with me.
The company has a clear provision for compassionate leave. It is unpaid, but clearly defined and not in the power of a junior manager to deny. One day he asked Dave why they were keeping me in hospital for so long.
"What's the worst that could happen after all?" he asked.
In shock, Dave replied "She could die!" but the boss insisted that my surgeon drop everything (as surgeons are so eager to do!) to make me a priority and confirm the date.
After three or four months of intolerable stress Dave had a full on breakdown. A rocking-in-the-corner-unable-to-function breakdown. He was signed of work with severe depression, exhaustion and stress, costing the company thousands for want of a half hour here and there to get the kids to school and a little compassion.
He works for a multinational energy company with armies of HR managers and Occupational Health workers. They claim to adhere to the Disability Discrimination Act, but their own sickness disciplinary procedures call that into question.
What on earth would they make of me??
How would they "adapt the workplace" to someone who has a hospital appointment at least once a month? Someone who takes strong painkillers that mean she can't drive? Someone who simply may not be able to get into work for a particular time in the mornings or who might collapse with exhaustion before the day is out?
How would they feel about me spending 2 or 3 hours of each day I do get there on the toilet? Or about me crying too often with pain? How much sick time would I be allowed? A few days a month? Because realistically that is the minimum I would need. Would they mind the next time I need surgery? Would they pay me for the month I spend in hospital and the six weeks afterwards recovering?
It's ludicrous just reading it isn't it?
Critics reading are 100% right to say that none of that means I cannot in some way be financially productive, But unless we start to reassess the role of employers in a fundamental way and give them the support and incentives they would need to incorporate me into their business model, welfare reform is all stick and no carrot. It can never, never work.
That's why I fight welfare reform so fiercely - not the concept, but the reality.
Throwing nearly 2 million people onto a job market already flooded with healthy applicants, without radically reforming the way you regulate and inspire that market is pie-in-the-sky nonsense. We are looking at over 5 million unemployed and great suffering.
I have some great solutions. Broken of Britain are working on theirs too. Soon we hope to put together some ideas on real welfare reform that are innovative, positive and compassionate. We also strongly believe that they could generate billions in growth.
The irony of this farce is that sick and disabled people would be the first to say that welfare does need reform - drastically. It is punitive, degrading, limiting and shaming.
But business needs reforming too, or at least the way government interacts with business to harness our great talents.
We are worth billions to the economy, the government are certainly right about that. So ask us how we can share that talent, how we can make it work for us.
The answers might just solve all of your problems at once.