I’m Sick and Tired of Being in Limbo

The shadow of me in my wheelchair
Me, feeling like a shadow

There’s no way I could work 40 hours a week. I can’t sit for more than a couple of hours together, and I don’t have normal stamina – I doubt that I ever will. But I don’t want to sit in a corner and rust. I’d love to work part-time, preferably something creative that gets me out of the house and meeting people. I want to sell my books and tell children stories.

But as I understand it, I can’t raise an invoice (for books sold or a story session) without being officially self-employed, and that’s a flat-rate, 300€ a month quota. I doubt I’ll even earn that much! So we asked a gestoría – a paperwork agency – to help us sort it out.

They said, “OK, but not now. It’s the end of the year and we have a lot of end-of-year work, plus the law’s changing and we need to get up to speed on the new rules. Come back in January.”

So we waited. We’ve asked again, and they’re still saying, “Not yet.” I think we’re going to have to find another agency. It’s still all up in the air.

I’ve been told I’ll get some sort of disability pension from the national government, but they still haven’t told me how much it will be, and I’ve been waiting since September. (To be fair, I am getting interim payments.) I think they might be waiting until I get my prosthetic leg, to see how well that goes.

In other news, my surgical scar still hasn’t quite healed, which means I still can’t have a mould of my stump taken and that in turn means that my prosthetic leg is delayed yet again.

I feel I’m in limbo, and I’m getting fed up.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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