"Following on from this week's big question of the week, which was asking about having anything deducted from your benefits, my situation today in particular is related.

I have several pets-one dog, two cats and six rabbits. There are people out in the great wide world that suggest that folk living in poverty shouldn't have pets at all. But they are my life and give my life meaning and purpose and don't answer back like my sons at their adolescent worst loll. They are all rescue animals, and I probably rescued them in response to previous trauma in my life, but I do accept that I may have gone a little overboard.

Irrespective of that, one of my rabbits, Ragnar is really ill with a dental issue. I took him to the vet's a couple of weeks ago and was already worrying about how much it would cost. However apart from the price of prescription that didn't cost much more than £10, my budget could handle it.

But Ragnar has continued to deteriorate, to the point that he has lost a lot of weight in proportion to his size. He is skin and bone apart from that he is bright, alert and as feisty as ever. I've had to book an appointment with the vet tomorrow. Thankfully I get paid some money tomorrow, my child tax credit, and I've already done the shoppers are this week. But come Monday, I have several bills due out totalling over £100. Obviously tomorrow's money would go to Monday's bills. But now I'm in the position of having to pay for potential treatment at the vet's, namely checkup, dental x-rays under sedation and also additional food supplements that I've purchased online to help Ragnar regain weight that he has lost.

So once again I find myself in the situation of an unexpected event potentially blowing my budget. I get so sick and tired of hanging on by my fingernails on it to find something else come a long to make life even harder.

There is the option of going to the local PDSA charity hospital where, if you are eligible i.e. on benefits, you can get low-cost veterinary treatment in return for a donation. But the nearest PDSA is over 13 miles away which means extra running costs regarding the car, which I am fortunate to have but is also a big pressure on my budget. Furthermore it means more pain and fatigue for me because I am disabled Also there isn't the same continuity of care like my current veterinary practice.

I will do everything I can to make sure Ragnar is helped. But if the vet vet bills start to spiral there is a very real risk that I have to consider having him put down because I can't afford it which would be devastating not only to me but to his partner, Nibbles.

So my Covid reality today is that sometimes poverty may force you into having to making life or death decisions, which is an appalling position to be in.

"

Meg T
Nov 12, 2020

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