Moving home when you have fibromyalgia…

Right, I have been meaning to do this post for a month now and as I have a glorious four days off in a row (BLISS) I am going to make good the VERY rare opportunity and just ramble on about moving when you have fibromyalgia.

PREPARATION AND PACING

Preparation and pacing is absolutely ESSENTIAL!!!!!! I made sure I had everything that I needed; boxes, packing tape, marker pens, bubble wrap.

Before I even started to pack, I had a massive chuckout of everything I did not use or need. This included clothes, books, nick nacks. The aim was to reduce what I was taking to what was essential (however, I will admit that there were a significant number of books that I could not let go of and I will be getting rid of them very soon)

WHEN THINGS DON’T GO TO PLAN…DON’T PANIC!

Disaster struck me despite being prepared. I had set aside 3.5 weeks throughout March with a break in the middle to recover from an operation to remove a lipoma from my back…so I thought I had LOADS of time however…

1 March – Car Crash – Whiplash, back injuries = HUGE flareup

8 March Gastric Flu (off work for 4 days and it crucified me)

14 March Operation day

As the Lipoma was the size of an egg, you can imagine how deep the wound was and it required internal and external stitches.

So, I was stuck,my plans were put back for 2 weeks…I was panicking, would I have it all ready by the 25th?? The fact is, as I had already done so much preparation, I had a lot of wiggle room..so..

I knew I couldn’t do any lifting while the wound was healing, and working full time (March is a peak month at work) with a 3 hour commute is hard enough, let alone moving on top. So what was I to do?? I planned to do a section of packing and only pack for a maximum of two hours each night. No it wasn’t easy, but it worked. The clothes were easy as I had big boxes whereby I could keep clothes on their hangers and I already had my “storage” clothes in vacuum bags. ACE! I had already decided what boxes would be used for each section/ item types and this planing goes a long way

THIS IS NO TIME FOR PRIDE – ASK FOR HELP

I was worried about where all my kitchen kit was which had been hidden in the cellar by the father, so I did ask for help from my mam. Mam packed up all of this kit and the father brought the washing machine and dryer up from the cellar (succeeding in not only shearing off the insulation of the power cable, but puncturing the water inlet pipe…which I discovered when doing my first wash in the new house and walking into a pool in the kitchen…nice one…) Anyway, I am very grateful for all the hard work my mam put in, it was a HUGE help. The key point, is that I realised that I could not do it all on my own and knew that I would have to accept some help

WHAT HAVE YOU PACKED AND WHERE????

A valuable tip when packing, is to take a picture of what you are packing up and save it on to your computer with a number as the file name, say, “bedroom 1” and mark the box with the corresponding number. (e.g if you have your computer desk and gadgets all in one place, pack them in the same box and take a picture of the computer desk with everything on it before you pack it) This saves you so much time when it comes to unpacking it is untrue!

PACK AND STACK!

When you pack, pack the boxes so that they are full (obviously not exceeding weight limits). Make sure to tape the bottoms in a sort of lattice, like a noughts and crosses graph, the more lines of tape in opposite directins, the stronger the bottom of the box and the easier to get the tape off. By packing boxes full, they are easier to stack, thus retaining as much working space as possible. (always keep your bed clear as if your body needs you to stop and take a break, you must)

ROUTINE

Unfortunately taking time off work was not an option for me as I had already been off with the gastric flu (we don’t get paid sick so have to use our holiday days..we get 20 a year so you can imagine just how ill I was to actually use some of this tiny allowance) I made sure that I still went to bed at my usual time every night and kept to my usual routine. It was very hard and I was struggling, but I new as soon as I had everything packed, I could rest.

SUITCASE

Such a small thing, but again, essential. Pack 2 days of clothes, your toiletries, toilet roll and perhaps your kettle, dried milk, sugar (if you drink tea) and a mug and spoon in your suitcase (unless you have marked up the box of essential kitchen kit). Also pack, a towel, alan key or screwdriver set (for re-assembly of furniture eg) and a pair of scissors. Make sure that you also pack your meds in a secure container in the suitcase, you do NOT want to be without pain relief during the move.

The suitcase is easily and quickly identified and there is nothing worse than needing to go to the toilet and having no toilet roll!!! And what is the point of paying out for drinks and whatnot when you can save money by having your tea to hand to fuel you through unpacking.

Remarkably, I had everything packed up over just 5 evenings and this left me 4 days to recover and refuel ready for the move…this, I will talk about in my next post.

xxxx

UK Government does not like single people

I was initially going to make my next blog all about moving home with FM, but I have parked that for now as something else has popped up which I need to get off my chest.

Ok, I pay my bills. I spend no money from my monthly pay on myself until bills are paid. Maybe it is because of the job I do, but I HATE to owe money and I despise having anything outstanding when it is my sole responsibility to keep bills up to speed.

I am not moaning about having to pay bills, I am raging about the AMOUNT I have to pay on two bills in particular, Council Tax and TV Licence.

Council Tax

OK, no problem, I know it has to be paid. However, my issue is this; As a single occupant, why do I only get a 25% discount? The average monthly council tax is £100, and if you have a  couple, that is what they pay, essentially, £50 per adult. Therefore, as a single occupant, I am of the strong belief that we should get 50% discount.

Single occupants produce half of the waste that a couple does, so that covers refuse. We still have to pay a full rent, utility bills, tv licence, other bills, so when do we get a break? I don’t get tax credit as I don’t have children, or childrens allowance, and I cannot expect anybody to help me with my monthly bills and indeed, the government would not help a single person unless they earned £10k a year or less. Esssentially, this means that my disposable income is significantly less than a dual income household, yet I still have to pay out hand over fist.

Of course having children costs more and of course families are put first by the government, but I have to be honest in that it is a CHOICE to have children and parents generally only have as many children as they can afford, but again, it is my choice not to have children so why should I be penalised? Also, what about the pensioners who have paid out on their NI all their lives, Veterans and Disabled people? What about them? Oh yes, they are all being penalised because the government cannot afford to help them. SO FRUSTRATING

TV Licence

This has really stuck in my craw. For the first time in my life, I opted to pay for the TV licence by monthly direct debit instead of in full, in advance, as I have always done before.

The BBC advertises abundantly that the TV licence is split over 12 months if you choose to pay by Direct Debit, but IT IS NOT!!! The advertising is totally misleading!!!!! What they do, is split a whole years licence over your first four months of Direct Debit (£36 per month) and on your fifth month you go on to the monthly amount of £12!!!! WTF??

You are paying EIGHT MONTHS IN ADVANCE. I contested this and after reaming off a response full of legisltaive DRIVEL , TV licencing had this to say;

” Allowing people to pay completely in arrears at the standard rate would affect the BBC financially and could mean increasing the licence fee for everyone”

B*LLOCKS!!!!! What sort of customer service is this??? Do they assume that the UK licence payer is STUPID???

Further to this;

“If you don’t have six months to run on your current licence, or you don’t have a licence, you?ll make higher payments to begin with. This lets you catch up, usually over five or six months. This puts you in a position where you can start paying for future licences, six months in advance and six months in arrears.”

Bearing in mind that the BBC is not even producing anything close to quality TV, is patronising and condescending in it’s news broadcasts and the majority of people in the UK have cable or satellite TV, they are utterly REDUNDANT and I begrudge paying for NOTHING. So what are we actually paying for?;

“I should initially explain that when you buy a TV Licence, you’re paying for a legal permission to install or use television-receiving equipment until the licence expires.

Unlike utility bills that are usually paid for in arrears, the licence fee is a legal permission and is normally paid for in advance at the start of the licence.  The licence fee is fixed and isn’t related to the value a person thinks they’ve gained from it.  You need to pay the full fee regardless of which channels are received”

Apparently, TV licencing doesn’t give a toss about the quality of programming, but choose to shift the blame to the government as you have to pay to own a TV. So it is not to pay for programming, to fund the BBC, or any of that pap, it is to pay for a legal permission. Two things in this really annoy me, a. the utter contradiction! b. the use of “they’ve, you’ve, you’re”..THEY HAVE, YOU HAVE, YOU ARE. FFS!!!!  it is the same amount of characters!!!!! Sheesh.

Also, a single person is only likely to have one tv, whereas a family can have as many tv’s as members of the family, so again, if the licence was broken down per adult, a single person SHOULD get a discount, but no, we have to pay more, again.

It really is terribly unfair and really not cricket.

Anyhoo, rant over.