I’m back in London, back at my supercomputer, and definitely showing signs of recovering from my surgery: some nights, I’m only waking for a short time in the middle of the night, instead of a few hours! I’m also going for walks in the delightful summer weather, and sometimes even having the chance to pet dogs that are as friendly as the majority of canines in the Worthing area!
I’m grateful for my mother and grandmother taking care of me down in Worthing, but I needed and wanted to come back here; “best mate” was very helpful, driving all the way down from north London, eating my grandmother’s cooking (mac’n’cheese, which she still does well), and driving me back here without any issues (other than traffic, especially around Heathrow).
It was partly because I had a medical appointment on Monday, but I was also hoping to be back at work soon after, in early July; I popped into my workplace after the appointment, saying hi to my team and speaking to HR about the Occupational Health assessment I’ll need to undergo first. Unfortunately, it turned out they can’t arrange it earlier than the end of July, which means (barring a cancellation and my appointment being brought forward) I can’t resume my job and work my IT mojo until August at the earliest! And that’s assuming I pass first time, of course…
It’s very frustrating, having to stay home every day, and feeling like some kind of benefit scrounger — but I’m getting paid sick leave, at least for the first couple of months (and hopefully won’t need any more than that), and in the meantime spending very little on travel costs, which is saving me a lot of money… and not having to commute every day saves on stress.
(Even though the exact times I’ve needed the Northern Line — after visiting work on Monday, or helping the homeless last Wednesday — it’s gone spectacularly wrong!)
It’s a good job I’m saving money, because I’m now obliged to start paying back my student loans from the 1990s, due to earning just slightly over the maximum monthly gross amount that would have allowed me to defer for what may be the 19th year running. Fortunately, both companies who bought my debts from Student Loans have been reasonable and helpful over the phone (even if the one with my 1998 debt doesn’t seem to send stuff through the post any more — fortunately I figured that out in time!), and the total, less than £180/month, shouldn’t break the bank… plus, the limit gets revised in September, so you never know, I might be able to defer again!
There’s also the great possibility that my mother will finally, after all these years, get a new dog (a quiet lapdog is intended), and having July off means I’d be free to go back down to Worthing for a week or so, and help get the doggy used to its new home, and learning a few tricks (not least “sit!”). Saving money also means I can contribute financially to the upbringing of that mangy flea-bitten cur… oh, sorry!
Being off work also means I can also guide my mother and grandmother through London next week, when they pass through on their way from Sussex to Essex, for the funeral of my grandmother’s sister, my great-aunt (whose husband died nearly a decade ago, ten years after my grandfather), and then back again the next day, without having to take annual leave.
Moreover, I have time for medical appointments appointments — not just the dentist (I certainly need some help there!), but also the local quack, or whoever’s filling in for him (or her) next time… and this is for the reasons I stated in my last post: my mother’s been very unhappy with my treatment at the hands of Charing Cross hospital, not least their apparent inability at our meeting on 24th May to say how much of my brain tumour they actually removed (and imply I’d need radiology), despite their letter (which arrived here a month later) implying I was almost fully cured, and would only need occasional checkups. She’s urging me to seek a second opinion from a dedicated neurology/neurosurgery hospital, where the staff don’t contradict each other and know what words mean, and I’ll need the quack to help me with that — and to confirm whether CC even sent them the histology/pathology report they said they would, but hadn’t previously because they normally don’t send it to the GP at all!
The sad thing is, having to stay home and not work during this period reminds me of the summer of 2014, when I’d left Camden on voluntary redundancy, but had to wait for my agency to set up even an unpaid internship in IT, let alone getting income again! That led into the worst part of my life, when even the internship seemed like heaven compared to that horrible shift-based job, and even that gave a better income than relying on benefits, but I have high hopes that I just need to patiently work on my recovery, as I’m not unemployed or surplus to requirements.
(Indeed, senpai called me up to urge me back to work, as he still thinks one of the other team members is incompetent!)
I’m also, naturally, reminded of 2012 and 2015, the years I recovered (slowly) from the depression I felt in late 2011 (when I felt like I had nothing to live for) and the anxiety I felt in late 2014 (when I also not working, but it was much colder). And then there’s 2016, when I went to Worthing to help my mother recover from surgery, something I’d forgotten all about until I read my own 2016 diary recently (all I could remember off the top of my head was assembling a shoe rack)! I guess worrying that my improved life was being paid for, karmically, by her suffering was premature if I too was to need surgery this year (and my grandmother in 2017 to boot, though I barely mentioned it here) — perhaps I’m enduring this to restore balance, and “pay” for a good life.
I know I once said I’d stop looking back in time so much (in the blog category “then and now”), so I won’t look up which blog entry I said that in and link it here, because that’d lend credence to such a foolish notion — it seems life really does go in cycles… and I have hopes that the events of 20 years ago might just repeat. In the summer of 1998, I’d finished my second year of university but was waiting to find out if my alma mater was competent enough to finalise my student exchange with an American university — if not, I’d already suspended my student grant for a year, and would effectively have to take a year out.
Fortunately, in August my grandfather stepped in and made a hell of a lot of phonecalls, and almost single-handedly got the process running properly, for which I thank him — as not only did I befriend an American family and thus have an excuse to revisit the USA (present president notwithstanding), but, as I’m sure you’re tired of me recalling, I actually got a girlfriend for literally the first time in my life, after nothing but failure here in Britain. So maybe, just maybe, after I’m back at work and appreciated, in September I’ll meet someone? I’ve had a certain feeling that this recovery process is my final hurdle before my life can be complete…
Having said that, don’t think my previous list is of any relevance in this: the first three I haven’t seen in ages (two because I currently don’t go to salsa or climbing, the third because I’ve simply lost touch after three dates), and the fourth, my Polish friend, has become more like a sister to me — she’s been supportive and considerate during my recovery process (even coming to visit me in Finchley, despite living way out west on the Metropolitan Line!), and I’ve responded by, finally, accompanying her to the “helping the homeless” group she was too shy to attend on her own (after being too busy with her veterinary shift work, or too far away in Poland, to attend with me on previous occasions).
In fact, I regard her as my newest “female best friend” (the original two having their own lives and families now, and living far away) — and you never know, she might just fix me up! The most interesting fact: I was first contacted by her in November 2017, almost exactly five years after I met “best mate” in 2012 — will she be my (overworked) housemate some day?
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P.S. With so much free time, I have the chance to not only play video games, but to listen to new CDs — including works by Gorillaz, who I still enjoy after surgery as I did before… want to see the (strangely Pythonesque) video of a song I got in G Sides? Oh, here you go…