This year same as the last

So I left my last blog entry very hopeful that 2015 would be great and couldn’t get any worse than 2014. How wrong was I…
Inbetween Christmas and New Year hubby had a dr’s appointment as he was still very breathless, the Dr took some blood and told him to come back after out holiday.
We went away on holiday to Egypt as planned , had a wonderful time it was great lazing by the pool every day , hot and cold running waiters bringing us drinks all the time. While we were there I got a text from work telling me my boss who I didn’t like had been made redundant which just made the holiday even better lol.
When we returned hubby eventually made a Dr’s appointment for the first week Feb, he got the appointment to coincide with my lunchbreak so I could go with him as he always worries he wont hear everything with his hearing problems, even with his hearing aids in he doesn’t always get all the info. The Dr felt it was a little too complex for her to deal with so sent him to the BRI and she insisted we went that afternoon. We duly went over and they admitted him to an observation ward, for allegedly a few hours. They sent him for xrays, then a CT scan and eventually at 6.30 and Dr came and told us they were keeping him in overnight as something had shown up on the CT scan and that he had a lot of fluid in one area of his lung and they wanted to draw some off and get it analysed. Which they did, he came home the following evening a Wednesday. On the Friday we had a call from the consultant at the hospital wanting him to go for a PET scan in Cheltenham as they believed he had a tumour in his lung.
We went for that and the appointment back with the consultant a week later. We walked into the room and there was another lady there as well who was introduced to us as a specialist nurse. The Dr then gave us the news hubby has lung cancer.
When you first hear that word you automatically think death… but as the adverts keep telling us more people live after cancer now than die from it, so we clung onto that, he had to go into hospital 3 weeks later where he had 1/2 his left lung removed. He has been going back to the hospital every couple of months and last week was told he doesn’t need to go back for a year which is fantastic news. We both feel life has been on hold since Feb now we can start to plan things again.
The twins boy’s were born in May and are another 2 grandchildren for us to spoil. Anyone who is a friend on fb will have seen the pictures I have posted.

Through all this the last payment for our IVA left my bank on 1st April, an event we didn’t even really think about with everything else going on. We are now just on the long GT wait for out CC.
This last 12 months have definatly put everything into perspective and made us realise health, family, and happiness are far more important than material things and the IVA became such an small part in the grand scheme of things. When we first started the IVA it was all encompassing every aspect of our lives, once we learnt to budget and settled into a routine it became where it should be ,there but not as huge as it was. By the end we didn’t even really notice that last payment going as everything overtook it.
Last weekend was the anniversary of his bike accident, cant believe how quickly it has flown by.
Hopefully we are turning a corner and can look forward now instead of back.

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What a year!

Just looked back at my last update and realised it has been a year since I last updated, and what a year it’s been.
My last update I was worried that the last year of our IVA was going to drag as most people say it does, this hasn’t, I cant believe in 3 1/2 months it will be over.
So lets start from the last update we had a lovely Christmas last year, nothing eventful happened apart from the fence blowing down and us having to find £300 in-between Christmas and New Year to fix it, but we managed luckily we get 2 rent free weeks at Christmas so we had a bit spare. We then plodded on through the rest of winter and spring, I have a new boss who I don’t really get on with, but apart from that life was good, we were counting the months off, the review came and GT did not want any extra which was a bit of a shock, a nice one though, as with hubby getting his state pension we expected it to rise by approx £200. I still feel its wrong though and keep worrying that GT will realize they have possibly made a mistake and add a load on at the end.

Easter came and went and as we had a lot more money and with my yearly bonus (after paying across the bit GT have) we booked ourselves a holiday to Egypt for Sept. Then July came…

We started having a grand sort out and getting rid of loads of clothes that no longer fitted us, hubby was taking trips down to Sainsbury’s to the recycling clothes skip thing on his scooter a couple of times a week, when he was on a ride back on Friday 10th he was knocked off his bike by a car, I got a call at work from the BRI to tell me he had been brought  in by ambulance and that he was having a problem breathing. I dashed over there as you do and got there just as they were taking him for a scan. It turns out he had broken 7 ribs on his left side (some in two places) and one of the broken ribs had punctured his lung, which was why he was having a problem breathing. They were going to keep him in hospital for a few days.

On the Saturday morning he rang me to say he would be discharged on the Sunday and to bring some clothes over for him. I duly did this on the Saturday afternoon visiting. When I left on the Saturday I told him I would ring him at 7 that evening. When I rang he was surprised I had rang which seemed strange to me as we had arranged it. When I went in on the Sunday I couldn’t find him , another patient told me he was in the discharge ward as he was going home etc. I decided to wait until I saw a nurse to check. I waited for a few minutes and decided to walk around until I could see a nurse to ask, what I found was hubby walking up the corridor with a nurse on either side and an oxygen mask on. They had found him on the floor in the bathroom, as he had an unwitnessed fall they were going to see about keeping him for another night. As I chatted with him he got more and more unresponsive and was not himself, I told the nurses but they did not seem  to believe me, it was only when my son arrived and told them the same thing that they got a doctor down to him,  the doctor started asking him questions, he didn’t know how he got to hospital or why he was there, he thought Margaret was the Queen, but he did know when the 1st World War started. The doctor agreed with the nurses that he needed to stay in. I left then as it was late afternoon and hubby didn’t even know who I was.

Premonition or just concern made me take my mobile upstairs with me when I went to bed, normally it stays on my kitchen table overnight, I got a call at 5am to say hubby’s kidneys had stopped working and that he had been moved to the intensive care unit.

To cut a very long blog update short he ended up staying in ICU for nearly 3 weeks they had him on dialysis for about 10 days and gradually his kidneys started slowly working again. He was discharged from hospital on the 1st August. He still hasn’t recovered properly, his left side is still tender to touch and he gets very breathless if he walks a lot, he keeps having to go to the Dr’s for blood tests to check his kidney function as it still isn’t quite as good as it could be. His potassium levels are quite high which is quite dangerous as it can affect the heart rhythm and because he has had a heart attack previously they are concerned. But at least he is home and more importantly alive which for a while it was touch and go.  The holiday got cancelled and luckily as we had already taken out holiday insurance they paid up, although we were still approx. £250 down. We have rebooked it and we go away in Jan which is good.

Its amazing how life counterbalances bad news with good news, we found out around 3 months ago that my son and his partner are having another baby and when they went for the scan last month it turns out to be babies and not baby, yes it’s twins, due next June, so we are going to have 2 new additions to the family.

With all this going on it no wonder we haven’t thought about the IVA that much but next year should be special, holiday in Jan,  the IVA ending in April and the Babies in June, life is getting good again and I cant wait for New Years eve to get rid of this horrible year.

I cannot see me doing another update this side of Christmas so I will take this opportunity to wish all the forum members and anyone else reading this a Happy, Peaceful and Joyful Christmas, and an amazing New Year.


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November Update

Well it has been a while since I did an update so thought I had better do one.
Things are moving along nicely with us, we are at that middle hiatus where the end is not quite in sight, but we are settled and got over the initial euphoria of the IVA being accepted.

I am getting quite excited about getting to next April and getting into our final year. We also have the added thing of hubby getting his state pension from Christmas onwards (his birthday is the 21st Dec). We know our payment will change upwards, at the moment all he gets is £92 private pension an month,  when I spoke to GT about it, they said we do not have to alter our amount until our review in April and with everything else going up we are hoping we have a little bit more.It took them a few times of us explaining it that our money was going up not down, the women kept trying to tell us they can do a variation and stop our IVA as he was going onto state pension from working, she didn’t seem to realise he hasn’t worked since his heart attack before the IVA started, think it confused them someone actually planning to pay them more not less 🙂  the other plus is being able to have the extra until April and our review.

We have out granddaughters 2nd birthday on Tuesday which will be fun, a firework party as usual, as her birthday is bonfire night. She is wonderful and spoilt rotten the same as our grandson is, but that’s what grandchildren are for.

We then have the countdown to Christmas, I have been madly doing as many surveys as I can and have got quite a few vouchers so I am going to hit Amazon on Black Thursday / Friday (Thanksgiving, 28th Nov) when they have a huge sale and you can get some real bargains, got my Wii fit on it last year for only £35 (half price) so hopefully that will help spread the vouchers even farther.

It is good to see so many people coming to the end of their IVA’s on the forum lately, I really like reading those accounts as it gives me hope when our own ending is still 17 months away, that it will arrive. Lots of new people on there as well which is not so good as it means lots of people are still struggling and no matter what the so called economic experts and the Government tell us people are still struggling and it is only going to get worse with the energy companies. Thank god I fixed my prices till Jan 2015 in 2010, best deal I have ever done although it is really going to hit us when it ends as we are still paying 2010’s prices. There have been numerous rises since then. I recommend to anyone to fix your energy prices for as long as you can it might be more expensive at first but you gain from the first price rise.

Think I will end now will try and do another update sooner next time.



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Another Year Down

Well I just noticed that today is my anniversary date of our IVA, so we are now officially only 2 years to go.
Looking back over the last 3 years we have come such a long way, since the dark days when we first started.
The biggest change is hubby and I laugh a lot more now, we are a lot more relaxed and chilled out. Before we were snapping at each and never finding fun in anything. I like my life now…

We are just going through the PPI fiasco with EIC (GT’s claims firm) and it seems to be going OK apart from Lloyds TSB. They (EIC) are not looking at mine as I was able to tell them and show them I didn’t have PPI on mine but hubby did so they are investigating it. We recieved earlier in the week a letter from Lloyds wanting further info, they sent 1 form out for all of it we are talking multiple loans and a credit card. I filled it in as best as I could, I haven’t got a lot of the details as once we went into the IVA everything was given to BE. They even stated on the form that even if we were using a claims company we still had to fill in the questionnaire, makes me wonder what we are paying EIC 39% for if the banks wont deal with them. Well I am sending it off tomorrow and will see what happens, they have 24 months to get it sorted… wonder if that is long enough going on GT’s record to date.

The other thing that has got me down a bit this last few weeks is that I have to go away periodically with work for Group HS&E meetings, this often involves an overnight stay in a hotel, normally this isn’t a problem as whoever is the most senior person pays then claims it back, we have a facility to get an advance from accounts and then offset it against your expenses form, I had to go away last week and unfortunately the guy I normally go with the HSE manager is off sick so another guy went in his place, the maintenance manager. Neither of us has a company credit card and neither of us had the money to pay for the hotel rooms plus food etc, when we went to accounts to get the advance, we have a new temporary head of accounts and she basically said there was no facility to do advances etc so she wasn’t going to had the cash over. She made me feel awful that I haven’t got a credit card, she couldn’t seem to grasp the idea that people haven’t got them. Talk about being made to feel like I lived in the dark ages LOL. Eventually HR intervened and we were given the money. Keith (the maintenance manager) didn’t want to use his own as you have to wait quite a while for expenses to paid back to you. Hopefully next time I have to go our normally head of accounts will be back form her secondment.

Think that is about all for now, will update when I have more news, just waiting to hear our review outcome, not expecting any surprises, out I & E showed we actually have less to pay in that we are paying, but we don’t want our payment reduced as we are managing OK just being extra careful with the budgeting.

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Another month down

Well February being a 4 week month has been so much easier than January. Got a nice weekend on the 22nd, my sister has booked a holiday cottage in Taunton for the week for my brother and his wife, her and her hubby, and has invited hubby and me along for the weekend, so we are really looking forward to it, the cottage has a hot tub! so cossy’s have been hunted out.

Will be intersting to see their reaction as I have lost 2 stone since I last saw them and have gone down two sizes in clothes, I know my sister has seen my pictures on fb but my brother hasn’t got internet access so will be quite a suprize for him. We are really excited about it, stupid really when we are only going 50 miles away but it’s just nice to have something to look forward to at this time of year, the only thing we need to pay for is out food and drink, think there might be more spent on drink, food is for wimps…:-)

The IVA has taught us to appreciate the free stuff more, families, going for a walk, sitting and chatting, hubby has turned into quite a scrooge, he challenges himself each week to not spend money, he is getting quite good at it and spent less than £1 since last Sunday. Drives me barmy occasionally though when he is down to his last drop of milk and refuses to go to the shop and get more, because ‘Lidls has it cheaper’ and he would rather wait for them to open. 🙂

Think that is about all for this month , we are expecting our review stuff through next month for our 3rd review in April, not really worried about it nothing much has changed, income and outgoings are similar to last year. Then we will be onto year 4, I was hoping once we got past half way it would seem to go quicker but that hasn’t really happened it is still plodding on with a seemingly never ending finish line in sight. At least PPI forms went back before Christmas so they have 2 years to decide we didn’t have any and we can hopefully get closure certificate quicker by then.

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Up till now

Well here is the update I promised…

Since Chloe has been born we have more or less just trundled along, nothing major has happened ,thank goodness! No major breakdowns of appliances or anything, I have probably just jinxed it and something will break now.
I always have this fear that something will break down and we will be unable to replace or repair it. It helps living in a council house as I know if the boiler breaks etc the council will fix it. There has to be some benefit from renting, and that is it.

I do get a little frustrated that some home owners on the forum seem to think us renters have it easy, what they forget is that eventually they will own there place even if they have to pay out an equity release figure now, eventually the place will become theirs, and they can when they retire take a drop in income, us renters never have to likelihood of not paying rent, it is with us until we die so when we retire out outgoings never go down only our income, so when they go on about how renters should have longer IVA’s etc, why should we, people without equity in there houses can finish after 5 years why not us renters. I wish people would put themselves in others shoes before they try and impose their opinions on others.

Sorry… Rant over.
It has been a long month this month as some of you know I get paid the last Thursday of the month which this month is Jan 31st, we were paid early for Christmas on December 13th. So it will be 7 weeks inbetween paydays, it’s been a killer, I have £6 in my bank to last till next Thursday, hopefully it will be OK, the snow helped as I couldn’t use my bike which meant I saved petrol 🙂

Thats all for now folks till my next update…

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My Story so far

As most of you know I had another blog under my old user name that I started when our IVA stared in 2010. Unfortunatly due to a bit of bother last year I deleted my blog and changed my user name to this one.

So if anyone is new and does not know of me I will give a brief recap of my life up to know.

I was born in the 60’s at a time when jobs were plentiful and times were good… OK I wont go that far back 🙂

So how (I hear you all shout ) did you end up in an IVA. We were trundling along quite nicely able to afford all our repayment and bills etc until the Northern Rock fiasco and the Global World Recession. Hubby was made redundant from his job in January 2009 and at 60 it seemed pretty unlikely he would get another one. We entered a DMP with Bains and Earnst the following August, once his JSA ran out, because of my wages he was not entitled to any benefits as JSA goes means tested after 6 months and we suddenly had to live on my wages alone and his works pension that because he took it at 60 only paid £82 per month. In the November of 2009 he had a heart attack which required him to have a stent fitted, as you can tell 2009 was quite an eventful year. We changed from the DMP to the IVA in April 2010 after it became clear hubby wasn’t going to be able to work again, who was going to employ a 60+ guy with a dodgy heart.

Since then we have also had another grandchild, which makes 2, 1 boy of 6 and a grandaughter of 1 year. Anyone who is a friend of facebook sees countless pictures of them both as I continually take pictures of them.

That is where I left my last blog Chloe had just been born and life was good.

I will do another update in a few days of from then till now.

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