This week has been the calm before the storm. Next week I’m out for lunch on Monday for my Mum’s birthday, Tuesday I’m having the car’s air conditioning re-gassed as it hasn’t worked since I bought it 3 months ago, Wednesday I’m making the mammoth trek to Newcastle for my Gynae appointment and Friday I have a 60 mile round trip to the Orthopaedic Vet with Bertie for his back pain. Then the following Monday I’m back at Newcastle for my Anaesthetic appointment, which I did try to get on the same day as the Gynae appointment but didn’t mange. Jaysus.
However, this week has not been without emotional upset and contained a huge shock. As many of you know, I have a private health insurance policy which pays me a proportion of my wage from when I was working. It forms the bulk of my income – if I had to live on the £106 ($150) per week the government gives in sickness benefits I would be homeless. My insurance policy paid out without any problems from 1994 until 2011 when the company decided they’d been paying me waaayyy too much money and took 1/3 of my income off me. To cut a year long, horrendously stressful story short I took them to the Financial Ombudsman who ruled in my favour and my money was re-instated in full. The FO’s Decision is legally binding so I was confident I’d have no more problems. Think again.
In 2013 my insurance company found themselves in financial difficulty and was taken over by another insurer. I was reassured there would be no change at all to my policy and for the past 2 years there hasn’t been. Until this week, when I received a letter to say they’d been paying me waayyyy too much money and will be stopping 1/3 of my income this month. FFS!!!! They’ve used exactly the same calculations as the previous company to work this out, and the Financial Ombudsman have already ruled this is incorrect. Why on earth they’re trying it on again is beyond me.
You can imagine the state I was in when I received the letter. The stress of the last time this happened was the reason my (then undiagnosed) Mast Cell Disease went from bothersome to life-threatening. I contacted the Adjudicator at the FO’s office who dealt with my previous case only to find she is on maternity leave. So I then had to contact someone who knows diddly shit about it and as yet haven’t heard back from them. Between this and fighting the Government for the welfare benefits to which I’m entitled and for which I paid a National Insurance stamp, I’m at my wit’s end. The Government want my taxes, and the insurance company want my premium, yet neither want to pay up when I claim. They’re all just a bunch of corrupt, greedy bastards who don’t care that they’re making other people’s lives hell so that they can send their kids to private schools, live in mansions and drive expensive cars.
While all this is being sorted out I’m having to live on 1/3 less money. It’s not exactly like my income is huge to start with and I’m classed as living only slightly above the poverty line. I don’t have a husband or partner’s income to depend on – there’s just me. I feel like suing them for Harassment.
I’ve had a horrible pain flare-up the past few weeks. I’m often better in warm weather and it’s been lovely and sunny recently, so what exactly is causing the flare is anyone’s guess. I’m having pain in places that haven’t bothered me for ages, like my elbows, upper back, ribs and SI joint not to mention a spate of migraines and headaches the like of which I haven’t seen for some years. I’m also sleeping really badly and have hives, so my histamine levels are obviously rampant. My period this month was awful and has left me with stabbing, burning stomach and bowel pain – going to the loo is like giving birth, with me labour breathing my way through every bowel motion. In fact, thinking about it there isn’t much of my body that isn’t hurting which explains why I’ve been a miserable cow recently 😉
The week wasn’t all doom and gloom however. I received a surprise on Thursday from Tesco of all people. I’ve used their grocery delivery service since it started and this week apparently marked my 800th shop, which Tesco honoured by presenting me with a huge bouquet of flowers. I then worked out I’d spent approximately £62,000 ($97,000) with them over the years, so it was the most expensive bunch of Chrysthanthamums in the known Universe 😉
I’ve also been enjoying the weather, which has been lovely. Bertie and I have spent soul enriching hours sitting on the swing seat in the garden in the sun or lying by the river watching the wildlife. A flock of Black Headed Gulls arrived one afternoon and I managed to capture one eating on the wing, and we found Blue Tits feeding young in a hollow tree trunk down by the river. I don’t know where I’d be without my photography to distract me from the fact my life is shite and my body is falling to bits!
I’m aware I have put no new recipes on the site in ages. My life is just too busy. When I have the time I don’t have the energy to cook, and when I have the energy to cook I don’t have the time. I am hoping to have a go at some cookies in the next few weeks, plus a new variation of tomato-free sauce, but as far as proper meals go I have nothing up my sleeve. Even I’m sick of the eating the same old same old, but dealing with my health, my finances, my parents’ health and the dog’s health is having to take priority this year which I know you’ll all understand.