My MS and Team Doolan's fight
I have many things to be thankful for in life. I’m married to the love of my life, Tom, and between the two of us, we have three beautiful children we’re very proud of. Two of them are still young and living at home, while our oldest is recently married. We’re fortunate to have many friends and to live in a community where the schools are good and the neighborhood is safe. Like many who had taken a huge hit in the economic melt-down, we had to work very hard to stay afloat and there were many times that we weren’t sure we were going to make it.
Our mantra at the time was that we didn’t have any problems that money couldn’t solve and that made us very lucky. But we were coming to the end of the worst of it. I’d quit my soul-sucking job and started my own single chair salon business. It’s been doing well, and I love it. My husband was looking for a job that paid better, but we’d just come to a place where we had finally found our footing. We were at a place where we could finally start putting some money away for emergencies. It seemed that our troubles were just about behind us. All I’ve ever really wanted was to have enough of what we need, with a little extra for things like braces for my teen, soccer for my second-grader and a chance to visit our daughter in Texas.
And then one day I woke up with a feeling of pins and needles in my right hand, and eventually numbness in several fingers. That was mid-November of 2015. Two CT scans, several visits with the Neurologist, 4 MRIs, a lumbar puncture, EMG, visits with a spinal specialist, cortisone shots and numerous prescriptions and doctor’s appointments later, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That was only the beginning.
That by itself was devastating to hear. I’m an active person. I’m a hard-worker, with a physical job and my hands growing progressively numb and spastic. The solution to preserving my health would be the ability to take the time to allow myself to recover. It's what I'm supposed to do. It's what will best prevent relapse. It will allow me to still be there for my family.
But the ironic thing about the timing of our financial recovery shortly before my diagnosis was that there was no time to prepare for the financial blow that getting sick would deal our family. So instead of taking it easy, I work until I physically drop. And instead of putting money aside in case of emergencies, we’re drowning in medical bills. We’re no longer making it, and all I really want to be able to do is to get caught up again, for the sake of my health and for the sake of my family. Because this has been so unfair to them in many ways.
Admitting that I need help, and then actually asking for it is incredibly difficult. I'm stubbornly independent and would rather take care of others than to have others take care of me. I'm sure by the time I post this, I'll have contemplated not posting it for a painfully long time. But the fact of the matter is, if something were to happen to me, something unexpected, my family would be in big trouble. And I will do anything to make sure they're okay. This, by no means, is me giving up. In fact, quite the opposite. All I'm asking for is a moment to get back on my feet, get healthy so that we'll never have to be in this position again.
Do not give me money unless you're doing okay yourself. I do not want anyone else to struggle in my place. And in better times, it is my intention to pay it forward. If you're interested, you can read My blog about my journey.
New blog about my progress. Thank you for your support!
Another blog post to include all of you as part of my journey. Thank you so much for supporting my family.