First, the good news. I managed to get last week?s CD4 results, instead of having to wait until late February. I worried they?d followed the same downward trajectory ? they didn?t. My percent stayed the same at 26%, but my absolute was at 567, up from 447. I was worried they?d be in the lower 300?s this time (I?d lost app. 100 per quarter last year) and all this palaver over being evicted would push them even lower. As you may imagine, it was a relief to find out I still have plenty to spare. Those numbers were a very bright and welcome spark in an otherwise murky week.
Thursday morning I arranged for additional letters from my consultant in Liverpool and my GP on the Rock, so hopefully I?ll not end up in another damp house and/or too far from the shops. (I don?t have a car) Next, I took advice from a duty social worker ? the closest thing to a case worker available to me. Manx law is a bit different from English law and while I do have some rights in the situation, I don?t have many, so I have to tread carefully or I could end up on the streets.
Thursday afternoon brought a meeting at the Town Hall with the town clerk (like a mayor, but not quite), a commissioner and the head of the works department. I?ve never met this particular commissioner before and I thought I was in for a bull-dozing, but she turned out to be quite fair and open minded. The head of the works department really fought my corner, which surprised me no end. I take back everything I ever said about him when I was an apprentice under him years ago. (hehehe?.. )
The outcome of the meeting wasn?t much ? I still have no idea where I?m going, aside from the Bed and Breakfast I checked into a few hours ago. On the up-side, I know I have at least one person looking out for my best interests and I think possibly two, counting the commissioner. They were both against the town clerk?s idea of moving me into a house I couldn?t actually have, temporarily and with little more than a mattress, toothbrush and kettle. They?re both insisting I stay in the B&B until suitable housing is found.
Today I spent chasing down the correspondence and cheque I should have received ? but didn?t ? from the DHSS. Still none the wiser on that score but hopefully all will be revealed ? and paid ? on Monday when my adjudication officer is back from personal leave. I also spent time chasing down the letter from my GP that wasn?t ready ? but that?s a whole story in itself, involving small-town medical practices and the locals who staff their offices. ?nuff said.
This evening, I checked into the B&B. It?s owned by a lovely couple and the room is beautiful. I admit I was more worried about the people than the accommodation ? I was afraid they?d be taciturn and fussy and I?d dread having to go there every night. After chatting with the woman, I know it?s going to be ok, even if I end up there for some time. To be honest, I think she was as relieved as I was when we met. I?m not sure what the blow-hard in the town hall said to her, but I had the impression she was expecting me to turn up on the doorstep semi-inebriated, with two garbage bags of possessions and a bottle of Jack Daniels under my arm.
After checking in, I came back down to my flat to watch telly, catch up with some emails and write this update. I spent some time reading Jonathan?s and Regan?s blogs and got a healthy dose of perspective. The knot in my stomach is finally starting to unwind. This is starting to feel do-able, something that seemed near to impossible a week ago when this whole thing started. Some of the thoughts and feelings I?ve had this past week reminded me of being newly diagnosed - the word ?vulnerable? pops into my head. I don’t like that it?s gotten to me so much ? there was a time when I?d have taken it all in my stride. Knowing there are people on my side, both here on the Rock as well as in cyberspace, has made a huge difference though and I think I would have been even more of a basket case without the support I?ve had. Thank you - all of you.