I am disabled and unable to work due to my progressively failing health. I have a growing list of diagnoses that include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Celiac disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Raynaud’s phenomena, chronic pain syndrome, and Bipolar disorder. I now use a wheelchair, and despite having a Master’s in English and experience as a professor, cannot work due to extreme fatigue, memory loss, chronic pain, and other symptoms. Working with my doctors to find a diagnosis has been prohibitively expensive. I have seen many specialists, have had MRIs, EMGs, EEGs, and other costly tests with more ordered. (For instance, I badly need an MRI of my lumbar spine because my reflexes are abnormal, but the copay is $200.) I have about $9,000 in medical debt, not counting my $70,000 student loan debt. I have had to go without tests or medications because I cannot afford them. Without being able to afford diagnostic testing and doctor’s visits, I cannot get additional testing done, which is critical for my health and to apply for disability. At this point, we cannot afford a wheelchair ramp, anything to make the house more accessible, other accommodations for my disability - like an a new mattress, as my current one is broken with springs poking out dangerously and other springs completely collapsed, making sleeping an even more painful ordeal, and dangerous.
My mother, who is my caregiver, is currently chronically underemployed. She herself has fibromyalgia and arthritis and struggles to work. She is working whatever temporary shifts she can find as a nurse, but we are now struggling to pay for groceries, rent, and the car payment. We have made rent lately by selling all our gold and silver jewellery, asking for donations, and selling off possessions. Medical expenses naturally take away from these necessities even more, and vice versa. I have a small Etsy shop - etsy.com/shop/thesibilantshoppe - and pick up small odd-jobs, but as I’m usually stuck at home, on the couch, I can’t help much.
I have set our donation goal in the hope that we will have a safety net for a few months - so that we will not have to worry about eviction, or car repossession, and that I will be able to pay for my medications, doctors visits, and tests. Being homeless while disabled is a terrifying prospect. I feel immense guilt that I have become so disabled, and have lost the ability to work and help provide for the household, and that I am now entirely dependent on my mother. I want to help ease her mind, and get us both the help we need to make it through until she finds a job, and I am well enough to work. Please help us stay housed and healthy.
I also have a PayPal account that you can use to donate if you cannot or would not like to use a credit/debit card: the email address to us is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I’ve explained on my blog, things have gone from bad to worse. Last week, my mother suffered a spider bite and this spiraled downwards into an ER visit in which the doctors and nurses freaked out immediately. She developed compartment syndrome and to try to save her hand, a fasciotomy was performed (cuts made through all layers of the skin in the affected parts of the body to allow the muscle room to swell). Her hand is hugely swollen and blistered, her fingers are cyanotic, and pulses aren’t good. I have pictures, but have refrained from posting as they may be triggering. She may still lose some fingers, and she may lose some function in her hand. She will need extensive treatment including hyperbaric oxygen therapy once she is released. She lost her contract job as a result, as they cannot hold it for her, and she won’t be able to work for some time, although the time frame is uncertain.
As a result, we have gone from serious need to dire. Please donate if you can, and reblog. It’s greatly appreciated.