Feels good, doesn't it? I hope so, but I wouldn't know for sure. I can't do that anymore and haven't been able to for nearly three years.
I have severe asthma, bordering on COPD, and my condition has been degrading steadily over the last few years. It's gotten to the point where nearly any exertion, even something as simple as brewing a pot of coffee or taking a shower, leaves me heaving and struggling for breath. I frequently have to use a nebulizer just to attend a doctor's appointment and generally am so exhausted and weakened afterwards that I end up having to sleep the rest of the day.
I miss being able to step outside just after the rain and breathe deep, feeling that beautiful, damp air slide through my body. I miss being able to stop by the game shop and have a chat about what's coming up. I miss going to my job, helping people, training others, and socializing with the great friends I had there.
There's something that may help; it's called a bronchoplasty. Essentially, they want to shove tiny laser beams down my throat and burn away the parts of my lungs that aren't working right. Very sci-fi. They tell me this may help, that while it may not remove all my symptoms, it will at least hopefully lessen them to the point where I can take a deep breath once in a while, or go back to work.
Problem is, it's not cheap and the insurance I have won't cover it. Being away from my job for almost three years has murdered what credit rating I used to have, cancelled the semi-decent insurance that my work provided, and left me clinging to a state health plan that barely covers my meds, let alone something like major surgery.
I do what I can, trying to bring in some income. I don't just sleep all day. I write, I blog, I try to stream when I'm feeling well enough and can manage to talk for more than five minutes without a severe coughing fit or fainting spell hitting me. None of them pay the bills, let alone build up enough of a nest egg to get what I need, but at least they pass the time and sometimes can buy a sandwich.
That's where this comes in. I'm throwing myself on the mercy of the masses. For those of you who have the fortunate position of being able to take a deep breath without pain or fear, just think about what it would feel like to have that taken away... and consider if that is worth your mercy. If not, I understand. Times are crazy and tough for everyone these days. But it'd sure help.
The amount listed for the campaign covers the approximately $15,000 worth of surgery and includes a $5,000 buffer for aftercare and living expenses while I recover. I know it's a lot. I wish it was less, and that I didn't have to ask. But it is what it is.
That's all there is to say, I guess.
Take a deep breath. Be thankful you can. Consider helping someone else do the same. Thank you for your time.
- H K
- Travis Dean Willis
- Monica U
- J T
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