the Hi, I recently moved back to my home state of Virginia from California to try and complete my engineering degree while working full time.  I had been offered a job that would pay my bills, allow me to go to school part time and be in an industry I love.  I was given an excellent review 3 months in and even a discussion of a managerial position.  I was then abruptly laid off, no warning, no severance, no explanation.  After some detective work, I believe I was let go because I have multiple sclerosis (preexisting condition, no longer protected by the ACA) and they did not want to pay my additional insurance coverage.  I was forth coming about the MS in my documentation needed for coverage.  I have been living with it for a number of years and have been doing well.  The stress of unemployment and no income seems to be causing me to have a flair.  Since I have no funds nor insurance, I cannot see a neurologist to be evaluated.  I have no family to go to.  My parents are both deceased and I am an only living child of two only children, so there are no siblings, aunts, uncles or first cousins.  I am not saying this to feel sorry for myself but for people to know if I had family resources, I would not be reaching out.  I am only trying to survive and seek some medical attention, the complex I am in is aware of my situation but not helpful.

The above was my original post and unfortunately, life has grown much bleaker, despite my best efforts.  In October, I was finally able to secure part-time work at a national home improvement store. Although, I did not have consistent hours, I decided to do it for healthcare benefits that would start in January.  I also, was able to begin some tutoring again, although at a much lower rate (remember minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25 an hour) and was able to muddle through for a couple of months.  Right after Thanksgiving, I became acutely ill, still no health insurance and missed several days of work, also no sick leave.  This illness exacerbated the MS and I had visual issues and lost the feeling in my upper left thigh (I lost the feeling in my right thigh several years ago after atypical pneumonia) and became extremely anemic.  I tried to be seen at the Neuro clinic at the teaching hospital but because I could still ambulate, the appointment would be several months out.  I told work I would come back asap but my only request was not to climb the 2-story rolling stairs to bring down inventory from the top stock, I feared falling to the concrete floor below.  They refused my request, stating if I could not do my job, then my position was gone.    

Prior to this my Prius was rear ended by a hit and run driver that did about $1000 worth of damage to the bumper and back.  Because it's older I had a high deductible and still unable to have it repaired. 

Since the first of December I have been fighting this illness but it caused weakness unlike any other time in my life.  I have continued to job search and have been able to do some private tutoring.  I have been offered a couple of positions down in the Hampton Roads area, about 100 miles away and where I am from originally, but I cannot get out of my lease here without paying $4500 up front and then of course, moving expenses and deposits.  That said, I am stuck until the end of April.  

I have numerous items for sale on craigslist and have had some minimal success,  but it's a slow process.  I have been in a place emotionally I have never experienced.  Truthfully, if it were not  for the 4-legged children and my fear for their safety, I am not certain what I would do.  I just spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's alone and have never been this isolated in my entire life.

Earlier this week, I spent an hour on the phone with a Multiple Sclerosis navigator to see if there were options there.  She was helpful and there may be some resources but it will take a few weeks to go through the process.  She encouraged me to speak with an attorney about what the bike shop did.  There have been numerous instances of people being let go after this administration changed the ACA and pre-existing conditions.  They are receiving a lot requests from people like myself, who want to work but employers refusing to pay their health insurance.  Disclosure is optional but you may pay a price if you don't disclose and if you do.  Welcome to my world.

I am now behind in my bills and fearful of eviction, losing my power or cell.  Having to put this up again is demoralizing and cuts me to the core of my being.  But I have no where else to turn.  I cannot even get a small loan because of my situation.  All I want for 2019 is to move forward with my life and start living again!  I have survived the death of my parents at a young age, the end of an 18 year relationship (not my choice) and fighting an incurable disease but for the first time feel broken, pathetic and alone.
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Rebecca A. Dunn 
Glen Allen, VA

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