$2,139 of $2,107 goal
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2006. Since then my life has been one long medical adventure. Blood clots, kidney stones, hand surgery, bone spurs in my shoulders, vocal chord issues, and regular sinus infections.
Thanksgiving 2015 was an even bigger adventure for me - not one I would have planned or wanted.
Years ago I was diagnosed with blood clots in my leg. I took blood thinners for a short time and the blood clots seemed to break up. Of course then they came back. With clots, two strikes and you're out. I was told I'd be on blood thinners the rest of my life. I check my INR regulary to keep my blood from getting too thick or thin.
Because of my RA, I take meds that suppress my immune system, which means I have a poor immune system. I try to stay healthy by staying away from groups of people. Even so, periodically I develop sinus infections that get treated with antiobiotics.
Antiobiotics interact with blood thinners. Although the antibiotics interact, they never seem to affect the INR very much. With this latest round, the antiobiotics interacted much more than in the past. My blood got so thin, I developed a bleed in my stomach muscle. The pain became unbearable - and this for someone who's had more than a dozen kidney stones.
Thinking I was having another kidney stone - because of the pain in my abdomen - I went to my urologist. Good news after the scans: no kidney stone. Bad news: the pain didn't go away. The pain got worse - bad enough for me to go to the ER. They did some scans and found the bleed, which landed me in the hospital for four days, three of those in ICU.
Hospital stays, as I'm sure you're aware, are expensive. There is no inexpensive way to be in a hospital. The final cost of the the visits, the scans, the meds, etc. is almost $40,000. Fortunately my insurance covers most of the cost. My responsibility will be less than $2000, including the follow up visits with the surgeon and my primary doctor. I'm also starting a new med, instead of the previous blood thinner. It costs $370 for a 30 day supply. I am looking into assistance options (through the drug company).
When I shared this holiday medical adventure on Facebook, several friends expressed a desire to help. It surprised me, in the best possible way. I'm so thankful to have a supportive group of friends. And not just financial support - I receive so much more.
Now, I could use your help.
Expenses to Cover:
$1260.00 - Hospital Visit
$130.00 - Doctor Follow-up
$? - Surgeon Follow-up (guessing $130 )
$43.03 - ER Visit
$17.87 - Radiology
$370.00 - One month of new med
$1.78 - Boise Advanced Imaging
$? - Hematologist Follow-up
$? - Vascular surgeon
GoFundMe Fees: $156.00
Total Need: $2108.68
In just a week you came together to cover the costs. Your support means more than I can say.
Thank you all.
Every day I experience the support of my family and friends. I receive kind words and notes, small but important gestures of friendship - and those are easy to give and receive. For me, gratitude and kindness are an everyday part of my life. I give daily and I receive daily, and maybe I've begun to take those expressions for granted.
Somehow, receiving money seems bigger. It's not more important, but money is not an abundant resource for most people. Everyone works hard for the money they have, and spending it wisely is important. So how do I respond when people offer me some of their hard-earned money?
At the rec center yesterday, a friend handed me a check, to help with the thanksgiving adventure. They were headed to a class so we only had a few seconds together, and I was glad they walked away quickly. Even thinking about it now makes me a little emotional. Walking the track at the rec center is not the best place to get teary - or maybe it is.
My point is: I wish I could adequately express how grateful I am for all my friends. I don't know exactly how I'll pay this forward. I will make an intentional point to express kindness and gratitude every day, in all the ways I can.
Money things always work themselves out. I'm so blessed to have the resources I do. I'll be supervising practicum students this semester, so that will be a paycheck. I'll also be teaching a photography class through the Nampa Rec Department. I'll be able to cover the medical expenses. God always seems to provide the resources when I need them.
So here's how you can pray:
Pray that I'll be strong enough to handle whatever life brings to me.
Pray that my life and circumstances will be my testimony, that I'll handle adversity and challenge with contentment and peace.
And pray that I'll be able to return and expand the kindness I've received.