Step by step

Taking time out from blogging is starting to open up my life again. There has been a list of things waiting to be done, that I just didn’t have the energy to do. The other day, I started work again on what now feels like a long ago dreamed up list of the things that I need to know to put my mind at rest, when it comes to the subject, of my future. The other week I had broached the subject with Adam, about getting in contact with Social Services in regard as to what help they can and can’t give us. I did write about it, but it took a second discussion and my finding both the email address and phone number, before Adam contact them, at the beginning of this last week. Several phone calls later, and we have managed to arrange for someone, to come here and talk to us. Someone will be coming out to see us, at the end of next week, which just proves what I suspected, nothing happens as quickly as we want. If we had waited until it was to us an emergency situation, we would have been struggling for weeks. The next on the list, well it was, of course, sorting out the issues with the grave that I thought I owned in Aberdeen. Somehow, when my son died, the documents for the actual plot, landed up in my ex-husband’s name. To my surprise and delight, when my daughter took the documents to him, he too was shocked and signed all the papers needed, for the name change to take place. The next step would be really simple for most, but not for me. I had to make a phone call. This time, I knew that it had to be something that I did, and not something I could hand over to Adam.

Despite all of the undeniable facts, that I am heading rapidly in a downwards direction, Adam is still finding doing anything that is connected to my death, extremely hard to deal with. I didn’t need to talk to him about that fact, so I knew that regardless how I hate the phone, I had to make this call. I have to admit, that it wasn’t just this dragging exhaustion, that was stopping me, but also the fact that I somehow had to talk to a stranger, and worse still, one I couldn’t see. Without a doubt, it had to be done on a good day, even then, I knew that I was going to have to work up to the point, when I could actually lift the receiver, and dial the number. I tried a couple of times last week but just couldn’t do it. I just knew they were days when things weren’t as good as they should be, so I waited. I know that might sound pathetic to many of you, but it really is something that is that difficult, for me to do. I eventually managed it on Wednesday afternoon. It lasted no more than five minutes, but I was so glad to hang up and take a breath equal to the one I took before I committed myself to action. They hadn’t mentioned it when I phoned to get the forms, a conversation that found me in tears within seconds of saying “Hello”, but still I wasn’t that surprised to discover there would be a charge of Β£34 to redo the documents. I actually made it right through the call without a single tear, just a lot of stuttering. I actually can’t remember when I last wrote a cheque, but fortunately, I had had the foresight to put my chequebook where I could and can still see it. Which proves I do have a brain occasionally.

Adam took all the paperwork with him when he went to work, so he could post it for me. That evening, when we were just sat watching TV, he turned around to me and said, “I was thinking when I was at the post office, how weird life is. Just 16 years ago, we were happily living in our first flat together, and there I was posting off documents that referred to your funeral. How has this happened? No one should be arranging their wife’s funeral while she is still very alive.” I thought for one horrible moment that he was unhappy about what I was doing, but it turned out that it wasn’t that close, it was more a case of no matter when it just wasn’t right. As I said to him, though, you just need to watch the TV adverts to see that these days, people are planning and paying for their own funeral all the time, it is becoming more the norm, just as it should be.

Quite rightly, both of us actually still find it a hard subject to talk about freely. We do when circumstance brings the subject up, but it’s not a regular topic of conversation. Like most things, though, the more we do, the easier it seems to get. but no one wants to think about the actual event and all the stuff that surrounds it, it still feels a little like talking about it, means that we want it to happen, which of course, we don’t. I know that when I sit here writing about it, it does read as though I am totally at ease with all of it. I am no more at ease with it, than you are about your own death, it’s just I am the type of person who wants to remove all the added stresses of my death, from Adam. I will never remove the pain he will feel, but if I can make the rest easier for him, then I will. Death is a fact, and it does have to be discussed and I clearly believe that things have to be organised and arranged in advance. If I hadn’t started looking into it a couple of months ago, we wouldn’t have had a single clue, that my son’s grave was in my ex’s name. If that hadn’t been discovered until after I died, it would have caused huge issues. Once I have the documents all correct and legal to use, the next step is to once again, contact the funeral directors, and get it all signed and sealed ready for the date it will be needed.

There is for me a strange comfort in getting all of this organised now. I’m not looking forward to the meeting with Social Services, but it has to be done. We both need to know what they can and can’t do for us, and even just getting the first contact in place, so when things get worse, they are there, no hassle, no assessments, just hopefully a phone call and life will go on. Once that one is done, the next and final one on my list is to contact the hospice here in Glasgow and talk to them about their possible role in my life. Thing are moving slowly, but they are now moving.

 

Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 29/05/2014 – Out of Control

Another drug is now being prescribed for MS in the UK and once again I have received several really thoughtful tweets from people to let me know about it. I actually had for once beaten them to it as someone mentioned it months ago, of course, I checked it out straight away, only to be once more disappointed as it is for the treatment of relapse-remitting MS and of no use to me at all. Sometimes it nice……

22 thoughts on “Step by step

  1. It is so good to get these things organised. I am relieved that your ex-husband reacted as he did over the papers. Perhaps it gave him more than pause for thought about what your future is. Happy Sunday, Pamela, and lots of hugs from Berkshire (then moving to my cottage on the Isle of Wight and buying those stylish hand grabs for the bathroom!) xx

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  2. Firstly, kudos for making the phone call. I know how draining even the best conversation can be when you know the person and want to be on the phone. I have to give you applause for that. Secondly, I’m sorry that you have a need for such arrangements but I’m in solidarity with you on making them now. Mortality, as even a distant discussion bothers so many people. Even those that are close to people in our positions either don’t want to discuss it, or as I’ve even found in my medical professionals, try, though it’s clearly not true, to squash the topic and some add a level of delusion. My Pulmonologist has made it very clear that I won’t live to see 55 (officially a senior citizen in the US) unless at some point I actually get much worse and then depending on what way I became worse, radical intervention could then be on the table. One such option would be a lung transplant. Now I haven’t looked recently but last I knew, the odds of getting lungs were slim. Yet even though it’s been made clear that odds are I have less than 17 years and that’s if I don’t catch a respiratory infection, he and others still give me the “But I’m sure you’ll be a medical miracle!” talk and do so in all sincerity. They are also unforgiving when you decide to plan ahead. Preparing is not giving up. It shouldn’t be off putting. It just is. It’s a fact everyone will face sooner or later and as someone who has been the one that had to handle the arrangements for some late family members, it’s best handled by the person themselves.

    I know my reserved family would present the most boring event possible. If they follow my wishes, I have a great playlist and there will be cocktails.

    I’m sorry it’s been so stressful and you don’t feel well to boot. Many good vibes your way. Thank you for posting this.

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    • If I can save my husband a single second of unneeded stress as the time gets closer or arrives, I will. That’s why while I have both the strength and brain to do this, I want it all organised.

      Here in the UK it is slowly becoming more accepted that people at least make sure the finances are in place. I honestly feel it is the right thing to do. I have already half arranged my funeral, and all the big funeral companies here offer that service, so hopefully more and more will around the world. If you want you funeral a certain way, check, I’m sure there has to be that option in the USA as well. We usually follow you, so I bet that’s where our funeral companies got the idea from. πŸ™‚

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      • The funeral service is a big business in the USA but most people are so superstitious or freaked out by the idea that they never plan for anything. I can’t even get my 74 & 69 yo parents to update their Will that they made before I was born. The only reason they have a funeral plot is because my grandpa bought in bulk. It’s the one thing no one ever wants or thinks they will need to think about.

        If disability here would allow, I would have the whole thing planned out and paid for so it would be done my way and avoid any confusion. Sadly, they don’t.

        They are working on the weirdest things and I understand why they are issues what I don’t understand is how me having a prepaid funeral would make me in any less need of Government services.

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      • That makes no sense, as surly if you have a funeral plan, people don’t land up unable to pay and costing the Government.

        If I were you, I would sort out some kind of savings plan, then write it all down for those who need those details. For me, sorting things out as I am, is yes painful, but it also is lifting a weight of my shoulders and hopefully those I leave behind.

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      • Disabled people aren’t allowed to save money either. We can have one checking account for daily function, no reserve of cash or a second account, and we can’t own anything worth more than $500. In many states the total cost of everything you own cannot be above $500. I desperately need new glasses but finding a Dr that takes disability insurance is tough then I still might not be able to buy glasses. There is talk that my state might start to include dental care but as of right now unless my mouth is so infected that it becomes a medical emergency, they won’t help. Just a cleaning out of pocket is more than half of what any of us make in a month let alone if you need a filling. That makes it worse since you can’t save and if you even inherited enough to cover what is usually massive dental care, they pull the disability insurance and sometimes the monthly support. You can reapply but more often than not, with no back pay waiting no lawyer will help you so from then on you’re on the streets. This also happens if you turn down an inheritance.

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      • I had no awareness of just how tight it was! Here in the UK what we own is of no importance, they only limits are on the money we have in that bank with for individual or couple is the same Β£6000. On top of that, they give me at the moment around Β£900 a month to live on. All our medical care, including dental, is free.

        Personally, I found that tough at first, having had a good income before, but I do get angry with the whiners that we have. Yes, life is expensive, but I believe that we still have a decent life, although being housebound does make cheaper.

        I’m am sorry that life has landed up so tough for you and all in the USA, especially, as this story doesn’t travel. Sickness and disability isn’t to do with choice, it’s to do with fate and God help you if you don’t have support, where ever you are, but I find what you have just told me as nothing short of cruel and even more useless in this world..

        I’m so sorry, take care (((Hugs)))

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      • For this fiscal year my State decided that pregnant women can have dental care but aside from children, that’s it. When I was in the shelters hiding from my abusive and soon to be ex husband, I was quickly schooled that the best way to provide for myself would be to produce several children by as many first time father’s as possible so I could get the maximum amount of child support payments for each one. This would also increase my food budget, ability to pay for housing, and I could get some dental care. This seemed so outrageous to me but I guess that’s how it goes.

        No wonder people complain that most people in my position are milking the system! They probably have been. Meanwhile, while I adore children, I’m not going to bring one or several into the world as a meal ticket. I’m also still getting back on my feet and my health is barely supporting my body. I cannot imagine having to do everything for 2 living beings and have any chance of surviving the process.

        I do wish health care were covered for everyone. We are working on it but there’s still a long way to go.

        Over here people like me and those who are on any public assistance are blamed for a vast amount of our financial woes. It has been proven many times that even if people like me are using from what was paid in there have been and are enough people paying in that we shouldn’t be running low. If you figure in everyone who has passed away before they could collect soc security, those who worked before they collected, and those who choose not to draw if they either keep working or have another plan.

        I wish I could travel. I would like to tour the UK. I made it to a few places in Europe once but we didn’t get to any part of the United Kingdom.

        There’s so much of this world I would love to see.

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      • Now that doesn’t sound too far away from how things are in the UK. For as long as I remember, it has been said all you need is a couple of kids and the government will house you and pay for almost everything else. You don’t live in luxury, but you do live.

        I travelled around Europe as a kid, but since then, I have never left the UK. In fact, I haven’t even left Scotland for the past 30. I am a real home person, a bonce when being housebound, as I don’t really miss anything that much πŸ˜€

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      • I don’t get out anymore either. I’ve been in almost every state in the USA, to Vancouver BC, Canada and Victoria Island, then 30 days in Europe which mainly means I had some short trips to various countries but mostly stayed with friends in Germany. I would love to be healthy and prosperous enough to do it again someday but even if my bank account agreed, I doubt my health would. I had such a great time there though and I’m forever thankful I wasn’t teased too badly for trying other languages that I’ve had no chance to study.

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  3. Well done, Pamela! Getting older, we decided that it was time to arrange both our funerals, so that the survivor(s) – my husband, me, the children- , would not have to take care of that as well. We did it while still quite healthy, and it was quite liberating.

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