Last week was pivotal in my life, as two revelations that will potentially change my life forever have come through — but it remains to be seen whether good or bad will come from it…
Firstly, my pay at work has gone up just enough to set me over the monthly gross limit that means Student Loans will probably deny me the chance to defer my repayments for another year. They may accept the Jan-Mar payslips I’ve already sent them (I only found out my April pay at the end of the month), but if not, I’ll have no alternative but to start paying pack my debts, after so very many years of interest. If so, it means my pay rise will be more than wiped out!
However, a Lannister always pays his debts, and if I’m on a very high pay rate now, it’s surely about time I started, instead of lingering on lower pay packets like I’m somehow gaming the system and am smarter for getting away with it. So, if necessary, I will indeed start paying it back — but for my sake, not for that of the debt holders, who are private businesses now, rather than the taxpayer. I’ll feel better getting the debt off my shoulders once and for all, and since my pay will still increase over the years, it’ll get easier.
(Besides, I don’t want to get in trouble for what they may perceive as attempted fraud, and have to pay back all three loans in one go, or else end up in gaol!)
The other mixed blessing recently has been the inexorable time it’s taken Charing Cross hospital to arrange brain surgery for me — something that was supposed to be set up, with a two-month waiting period, back in February. Indeed, it’s taken so long that I was encouraged to ask for a whole new referral to a different hospital! While I continue to worry about my brain condition, and wish I could stop taking medication (which doesn’t always prevent me from getting bursts of “mind static” at odd times, though nowhere near as bad as in December 2016), the delay has given me the chance to keep on living, and relax back into my normal routine. Hey, I even bought new things — a printer (much faster than the one I got in 2012), and a Freesat digibox that I can use to record things!
However, this mixed blessing has now been entirely reversed: on Friday I finally received a phone call from the team my mother and I have been chasing up for months, and it turns out my surgery has been arranged for mid-May, with a pre-op assessment at the start of the month. Everyone tells me I’ll live through it fine, and that it’s better to get it over with sooner rather than later, but still, I feel a great deal of trepidation — it’s so sudden, and I worry that my life will be on hold for weeks afterwards, as I slowly recover my strength. And that’s assuming there are no complications, and I don’t need any significant post-op treatment (like chaemotherapy)!
Still, getting it done soon will at least reduce the time before I can start climbing again (if all goes well), and perhaps more importantly, start donating blood again some day in the next decade. I was called by the blood donor organisation last week, having not been for a while, and the bloke on the phone confirmed that, as I’d suspected, the anti-epilepsy medication I’m taking does indeed disqualify me — worse, for three years after I stop taking it! So, if all goes well with the operation and I can stop popping pills, it’ll be mid-2021 when I can finally resume making deposits at the blood bank, and thus
appease Dracula help people who need transfusions of my rare blood type.
And finally, while this is a serious and intense period of my life, it’s made me realise just how many people I’ve got who care about me (even “boss lady” is being comforting and patient), and want me to get through it alive and with all my faculties intact. It’s also a mixed blessing, as it means a lot of people would be sad if I died on the operating table, but I have no intention of doing so — I want to come back from this stronger than ever… and I’ll gladly agree to start paying my student loans back if it helps my karma!