Imagine this: you find out that a certain English soccer player will earn approx. £300,000 per week in a new contract deal with his current club. You realise how over-the-top, unreal and frankly, disgusting this amount of money is for any kind of sportsman.
You then realise that, to ever earn that kind of money in your life, you would a) have to be fit to return to a professional life and work hard for about a decade, or b) have to save every penny of your invalidity pension for a total of several decades. After all, you are not allowed to work anymore because of a chronic, neurological illness for which there is no cure yet. Emphasis on ‘chronic…’ and emphasis on ‘neurological…’ and also emphasis on ‘no cure yet’.
Does all this convince you to find a weekly income of £300,000 totally over the top, if not unrealistic in this day and age? If it does, then please continue reading this blog post.
Yes, decades… to earn what a soccer player will earn a week. Yes again… a week… to chase a ball over a field a couple of times a week. Was my job as a library assistant that inferior to what he does? Was looking after books and people so bad that my employers could not pay me any more? Or am I punished that badly for ending up with multiple sclerosis, having to end my job as an Incident Coordinator at the age of 36.5 y/o because perhaps I did something wrong in my life? Or is my life simply not special enough, my deeds not worthy enough to those who earn unimaginable high wages for chasing a ball on a soccer pitch?
Thursday once again. End of the week. Money Thursday. Grocery Thursday. Scary Thursday. Don’t-talk-about-money-in-public-when-you-have-MS-Thursday-unless-you’re-Wayne-Rooney-Thursday.
More or less people avoid talking finances in public, even when they’re healthy. But what when you had to retire from work because illness interrupted your career path, and you still have a number of financial issues that need to be addressed every month?
Yours truly knows all about it.
Before my MS diagnosis, money was not an issue. At all. Since that fateful diagnosis, my savings had a life of their own: additional holistic and medical treatment, GP visits, medication and the odd feeling-sorry-for-myself-so-I-want-to-treat-myself-expenses ran wild.
In addition to that, the on/off affair with wanting to lead a “normal” life turned into a love affair with cabs as fatigue became my main disability, and walking became torture. The local taxi drivers know me by name and know what ails me, as they’ve all had me in their cars on the way to the hospital, my GP, my local shopping center and pharmacy more than once.
My savings account now looks bleak, if not black, in its own emptiness when it used to be as white as a lily. But how do you refill it when your income has been cut in half, if not more than half?
As your health deteriorates, your income declines. Your medical and financial self requires more money than when you were healthy. It’s truly a loss/loss situation.
You need traditional and holistic medication and treatment like massage and vitamins, yoga and tai chi to strengthen your immune system and/or support your body.
You have critical expenses which include increased household bills because you want to sit in a warm house as opposed to an igloo. You also don’t want to walk around the house carrying candles instead of turning on the lights and you want to stay decent and take showers or relax in the bathtub.
You have other critical expenses like rent and adaptations to your housing.
You need better nourishment as you need all the strength decent food can give you.
You require new clothing because your weight increases steadily because of medication and non-activity. Your family ends up paying for those because you have other bills that need paying first.
You crave the odd social outings with friends and/or family because you don’t want to be cooped up at home every day.
You want to give a small gift to friends and your other loved ones for their birthday.
You need a laptop, mobile phone and/or other communication methods so you can stay in touch with family and friends.
The list is endless.
On the dream list are several things to make life easier and enough money to pay household bills for a few months without having to cut back on food expenses. Not feeling awful because you need to decide which takes preference.
Many chronically ill people have dreams like mine, but they have to cut back on proper nourishment because of financial commitments. Bankers really don’t care whether you can eat or not.
Bills before food. Like yours truly today.
Terror Thursday: the day my invalidity pension enters my bank, and leaves a few hours later to pay bills. After that, I calculate how much food can be added to my fridge.
The day of the week I love because of the notion I have a little bit of money in the bank.
The day of the week I hate because I have financial commitments I cannot get away from.
Thursdays are bad moments, a feeling that lingers under the cloud of what my body became, what my illness stole from me: my job and income, my social life and basically… a worry-free life.
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