It has, I admit, been an absolute nightmare of a year. Hit by one illness after another I am beginning to face the reality of not ever being able to work again and it’s terrifying.
In the near 50 years since I left school I have never relied on another person for hand outs or help. Everything I have ever had I have worked for and I have worked hard, at one point having three jobs and studying part time at night school. The roll of self sufficiency is one that I took on without a thought.
Here, then, I sit, after eight months off work, in my second month of half pay and seeing the reality that, soon, very soon, I will not be able to cover my bills. I am in dancing in limbo, my work want to medically retire me, I want to medically retire, my doctor wants me to medically retire, but nothing is moving, well, something is moving, read on, you’ll see there is great movement in my life.
My finances did not worry me one bit until I was hit by shingles in June last year, that left but not before it started the mother and father of all Chronic Fatigue flare-ups which faded around October, just in time to be joined by Microscopic Colitis. Oh boy, are the two of those conditions having an absolute ball.
By the time the Colitis was diagnosed I was already well into month 4 of the symptoms, chronic diarrhea, like seriously, who’d have believed that it’s possible to go 5 or 6 times in an hour? Who’d have believed it was possible that this could continue for so long? So the diagnosis came along with the news that I had to take Budesonide, a mild steroid that made my face swell in just a few hours. So, the cure doesn’t work, the appointment for the specialist was still 9 weeks away, now it’s only 10 days, and still I shit, if it goes in, it goes through, my stomach doesn’t care if it’s liquid or solid, it’s not staying in there, no way.
And I am on half pay. I can’t get help from the state because my full salary is too high. No way I can even try to go back to work, the trots don’t just end there, they leave you fatigued. My fibromyalgia is learning to do the colon trot, this is a new dance the two conditions have concocted. It’s really very easy to do, you get into bed, you get out of bed, you do a quick step to the toilet and a slow slink back to bed, then you get out of bed and quick step…
Yep, today I am a real misery guts. Today I could just cry, if I had the energy, which I don’t, so I won’t. The moral of my story? Make sure you have your nest properly complete long before you hit 60, because after that you just don’t know what’s around the corner.