This is Mary. Thank you so much for all of your support!!!! I snuck into my therapist's office to post this - just kidding! :-) I'm doing great, and the treatment plan is working wonders - love you all and thank you again!!!
Hi, my name is Theresa Savage and I'm helping Mary by monitoring and updating this page while she is at the Renfrew Center getting the help she so desperately needs.
MARY PARKS WANTS TO LIVE. After battling an eating disorder and the mental illnesses which have caused it, Mary Ann Parks took the incredibly brave step of admitting that she needed help. And, with pre-approval from her insurance company, checked herself in to the Renfrew Center for intensive treatment to save her life. Unbelievably, two weeks later, her insurance company decided, despite the pleadings from her psychiatrist, doctor, and other medical professionals, that there wasn't ACTUALLY anything wrong with her...even though she's experiencing kidney failure, she was an untreated, undiagnosed diabetic, and she CAN'T WALK. And that doesn't even begin to address the phobias, the depression, and other psychological issues that are FINALLY being addressed by the wonderful staff at the Renfrew Center.
To keep her there while we fight the insurance company's heartless decision to let her die, we have to raise $950 by TOMORROW MORNING. It's the last bit of a $7,000+ payment to keep her there for another two weeks. Every day she's there, she's closer to saving her life. You can be part of the solution. Please help Mary! No contribution is too small, every dollar helps.
Tomorrow's the big day. Sorry...no picture with this update - I'm a little bit of a "hot mess," as we would say where I grew up. No need to subject you all to that. But, tomorrow night, Pat and I are hitting the road and heading to Florida. We're gonna post some pictures (and maybe even some video, if we can) from along the way... Thank you, everyone, for your support through all of this.
Oops...messed up on the address. Turns out it's as follows:
Mary Ann Parks
c/o The Renfrew Center
7700 NW 48th Avenue
Coconut Creek, FL 33073
(not 22073 as I had typed before)
OK .... everyone has been asking about my mailing address for when I'm in Florida. Here it is :-)
Mary Ann Parks
c/o The Renfrew Center
7700 NW 48th Avenue
Coconut Creek, FL 22073
Renfrew Center, Coconut Creek FL
Pool for exercise purposes :-)
Another exterior shot
Things are moving along. I move out of my apartment this weekend (got 95% of it packed today, thanks to a dear friend) (and into temporary digs until I head to Florida). I'm getting things together so that the people I do stuff for can be Mary-less for an indefinite period, because we don't know how long this will take...so much to do, in what is really just a little bit of time....
Wow...things are moving forward. I have a tentative admit date of June 16. After my assessment, they feel I would be best provided for at their facility in Florida. They have more of the Bariatric/accessibility accommodations that I will need. Plus, the FL center has a pool (which will help with being more active and getting exercise that won't be detrimental to my joints, etc.).
Because of this (and other factors), my total goal will be changing soon. So, please don't freak out if you check in and the 'percentage to goal' has dropped drastically.
Thank you for all of the support (emotional and financial) so far! I know that with all of you behind me, I can do this.
Oh my gosh! This is really happening...
Well, tomorrow is the big day...one of the big days anyway. I go to Philly for my intake assessment to see what they recommend. (If any of my Philly people want to connect during the day, let me know and I'll see what I can do.)
Leaving at o'dark thirty (not enough coffee in the world...but at least it's not 4AM -inside joke-) in order to get there in time for my appointment.
Honestly, I'm quite sure what else to share, but I wanted to keep everyone updated because you've stood by me so far. Thank you so much for supporting me in this process.
Alrighty - what time is it kids?!?!?!? It's UPDATE TIME!!!! Things are moving forward at lightning speed....well, as fast as fat lightning can go, anyway ;-) So - I head to Philly on the 23rd for my in-person assessment. That's when they'll determine which program is best for me, and assuming they determine I'm a good candidate for their program, I'll get a start date....
Just got off the phone with Renfrew...in the process of scheduling the in-person assessment...Things are moving forward - thank you all, so much, for the encouragement!! I wouldn't be able to do this without your support - financial AND moral.
At my happy place (the local coffeeshop)
I draw stick figures:I'm not one in real life.
I never will be. And, I'm ok with that. My value doesn't lie in a number on a scale, or a size on a tag in the collar of my shirt. What I'm not ok with is the toll my size has taken, and will continue to take, on my health. I need to make changes. BIG changes (pun fully intended). These changes are more than just changing what or how much I eat, more than dealing with the compulsive eating diagnosis that at least puts a name on part of my struggle. These changes are a complete re-wiring of how I think, feel and act:habits developed over 30+ years. These changes will be difficult, and I can't make them without professional help.
That's where you come in.
My name is Mary. I am an artist and designer, and I live in a small town in south-central PA. Let me tell you a couple things about myself, to help you understand where I am coming from. The first thing is that I use humor as a coping mechanism. So, if I seem flippant, or joke around about my size and situation, it's not that I don't take it seriously. I do. But, laughter helps me cope with the day-to-day issues. So, just for the time you're reading this, you have my full permission to laugh at any and all fat jokes I might crack.
I wasn't always big.
In fact, I was a pretty normal looking kid, until I hit kindergarten.
I was quiet and not terribly active, but I wasn't really fat:come to think of it, I wasn't even chubby, really. But, just when I should have been losing any baby fat, I started to gain. I don't know why, precisely.
As the years went by, I got bigger. I had my ups and downs, when I would try different diets and things like that, but generally, as I grew in age, I grew in size.
I won't bore you with all of the stuff I dealt with as a kid/teenager/young adult, except to say that I faced a lot of challenges (as did many).
My goal is to get into a short-term inpatient treatment program (preferably the Renfew Program in Philadelphia), and make the most of that opportunity to kick-start my 'recovery.' I know that it is a long journey that I have ahead of me, and that it is going to take lots of hard work and changes on my part. Thankfully, I have a great support system in place. So, now I have the people in place, the motivation and desire to change...the only thing I lack is the resources.
It's kind of obvious that I can't really work at this stage. (Not just due to my size, but that is a large factor). I mean, I had to sit down to play Wii. That's not good. Eventually, I want to get back in to the workforce and be a "productive member of society" but I have a lot of work to do before that can happen.
I have a really hard time asking for help, so if this seems fragmented, rambling or any of the above, it's because I needed to hit "Post" before I talked myself out of it. Any help is hugely appreciated.
Some people ask what my goal is in all of this. I don't have a specific number goal, as far as weight loss, but I want to get to a point where I can walk more than just a little without being out of breath, and I want to be able to go to the thrift store and buy clothes (sounds silly if you've never had to worry about stores having clothing in your size). I want to be able to go to a friends' house, and not worry if their furniture is strong enough to support me, or whether it will hold me.
A really rough breakdown of how (at least some) of the money would be used is as follows:
$3600 - will cover one year of health insurance; this insurance will enable me to go to the 3-month rehab/treatment program I want to go into. (Otherwise, I would be looking at $800 per day at the lowest end of the sliding scale for self-pay). Also, this will allow for after-care following treatment.
$2100 - holding my apartment/housing until I complete the program and can return home;
$300(?) - incidental expenses related to getting into my desired rehab/treatment program (traveling for assessment and again for intake, etc.); I'm not sure exactly how much to allow for this, to be honest, so I'm hopefully over estimating.
$??? - Co-pays/Doctor fees - expenses not covered by the insurance.