June 7th, 2016

On balance, the news is good

FB lost me my post again! It and my mouse have arguments from time to time. This time you missed an extensive discussion of my new situation, told with much drama. The bottom line is that there's bad news and good news. The bad news has amelioration.

The bad news is that, while I'm eligible for government support while I'm ill, I'm not actually eligible for any money or a health care card. This means that I'm not actually able to receive anything except the letter telling me I'm eligible, unless I am sick for longer, in which case they may pay me something.

I heard this a few days ago and have spent much time since then thinking about options. Today I calculated how much money I was going to get from other sources (eg my writing, and also the workshop in July) and worked out that I only have one big bill to pay before the end of July. My financial bottom line is that if I can get $1000 more between now and the end of July, I'm fine for esssentials.

My inner debate on how to get $1000 without sending myself back to hospital was interrupted by my post-hospital check by my cardiologist. Lunchtime today. It changed things.

The bad news there is that all the symptoms I currently have will last for months. They're normal and expected and the only medication that may change in the foreseeable future is that a blood thinner might come off. But.. this is a very big but... all my symptoms are merely the side show. I am far more recovered from the operation than is normal at this stage. Far more. Apparently my capacity to teach last week was astounding. I explained it left me exhausted and the cardio laughed. She also laughed when I admitted to dancing for ten minutes yesterday. She pointed out that I was sitting straight and was vibrant and chatty and she said that this was not typical for patients at this stage. And she and her boss (my main cardiologist now) don't want to see me for twelve months.

The next couple of months will require much work from me to achieve full wellness, but I'm already doing more than nicely. If I can find a job that starts in 2 months, I'll be able to take it up with no qualms and with no worries from the employer's end. So if I can get through those next two months, it'll be life as it should be (albeit with a few annoying symptoms).

The next two months brings me back to that $1000. I can do some hours a week work starting now. This is the immediate dividend from recovering so very nicely*. On top of my teaching. Not that many this week, but more next week and building up. I'll be looking out for paid articles, for editing of all kinds, for tutoring, for advice to writers on the history side of things, for advice to academics on the fiction side of things, for almost anything I can do from my desk (or a coffee shop if consultation is needed) to earn this $1200. (It suddenly became $1200 because I suddenly realised there will be tax deducted. If I were playing safe, I'd make it $1400.) The Writers' Centre is kindly watching out for things for me. And I've hauled out my belated tax stuff to do this week, because any tax refund would go into that $1000 (or so) and lessen it. I'm allowed to do my taxes now - I'm allowed to do several hours work a week, starting today!

The trouble is, of course, we are in pre-election zone in Canberra, which makes it a bit tough to find work because everyone is scared about job loss. And, of course, our current government has cut back the Arts so much that very few writers have money for essentials, much less money to pay people like me.

Still, $1000 (or so) is a lot better than going into debt. (I'm going to need $2000 more to fix my flat, but that can wait. Or I can do it in bits and pieces as opportunity arises. And all the non-essential expenses can go hang - I will get the social life that my friends give me.)

*the other benefit is that I'm 2 cm taller