My income for the last few months has comprised of three sources. The taxpayer subsidises me to the tune of £83 a week. Plus a BMW 3 series. I qualify for this due to my illness being a bit on the nasty side. Thank you tax payers.
I get £550 a month from an insurance I took out when I bought my first house. If only I’d indexed the cover! This pays out until I’m 62 and provides an annual increase of 5%. Beats the public sector pay cap! They ring me every three months to check I’m still alive. If I’m not, they cease payment.
And finally I get £200 a month from an insurance I took out to mitigate the risk of job loss when it looked like the Credit Crunch would deliver redundancy. Somehow that never happened before I was ill. I should have cancelled the £9.95 a month direct debit but never got around to it. Decent mistake to make as the policy also covers illness.
Alas, that £200 a month now ceases. It’s twelfth and final payment has been made. I can cancel my direct debit and scrap the policy.
As well as being a shame, let’s face it nobody likes losing income, it’s also a reminder of a series of anniversaries. A year since my back surgery. A year since my lip wobbled for the first time, spilling a drink out of my mouth – Bell’s palsy. A year since my neurosurgeon said on Monday “Your CT scan is clear” then rang me on the Tuesday to say “there’s something on your lungs”. A quick google revealing a 50% chance of death in six months if it’s cancer. Scary, but not a problem as I don’t smoke. A year since I met Rachel. Just over a year since Louise and Emma married. There are always a silver linings.
The subsequent lung cancer diagnosis came a couple of weeks later. The BUPA oncologist giving me instructions to move over to the NHS – my cover didn’t include secondary cancer – thanks Lloyds. Being seen by a room full of people on my first NHS visit, two of whom were carefully documenting the fact I was being told I’m a dead man. Can’t have too many witnesses to such news it seems.
It is fair to say I feel low right now. Certainly not depressed. But the drug change, ongoing limitations to mobility that I thought I’d shaken off and threat to Australia, combined with triggers of the anniversary of my diagnosis, not great.
Losing £200 a month isn’t the end of the world. I can dip into my redundancy money to support day to day living. That’s been used for holidays up to now. Give me about four years and I might be struggling. Maybe at that point I’ll be well enough to work or skint enough to get housing benefit. The odds are on a darker option though.