God-it's Elizabeth-I'm still here

Elizabeth has been battling serious health issues that all stem from a medical mishap that occurred 4 years ago this June.  She went in for stabilization surgery to fuse her cervical vertabrae and ended up with being given an incorrect prescription upon discharge.  She took it as prescribed & it ended up killing off all of her adrenal function.  She has none left, despite the herculean efforts of her drs. trying vainly to get her adrenal glands to come back 'online'.  

The medications that she has to take just in order to stay alive have plunged her into an abyss medically, emotionally & physically.  

In the past  4 years we together have fought (& cheated) death numerous times.  She survived a full out Addisonian Crisis with the initial onslaught of Adrenal Failure - Massive Bilateral Pulmonary Emboli 90% occluded with the rest of her lungs filled with so many clots they couldn't count them on the final report - I will never forget the drs. tellling us that they had never diagnosed as severe a case that wasn't upon autopsy and how incredibly lucky that she was still alive  - so many hospitalizations with many of them days & weeks long while she battled serious systemic infections due to her lack of immune system from the medications that she has to take to stay alive.  

One wound that took literally 1 1/2 YEARS to heal.  Home health nurses, PICC lines, home IV therapy - surgeries to debride the wound - blood transfusions - etc.  She has lost a lot of the muscle mass in her left lower leg from this one wound alone.  

Still, she keeps fighting.  We keep fighting.  We will never give up.  NEVER.  I am a full time teacher for the Kansas City Kansas Public School District.  I am always at her side to help her , be with her,  always lifting her up but it has come at a huge cost.  

We are backed into a corner.  She just got out of the hospital AGAIN - this time an 8 day stay.  Fighting off yet another wicked nasty infection that could easily rally & has the potential to take her life if it gets into her lungs or bloodstream.  

Why are we doing this?  Telling our story - reaching out to you / to anyone ?  She can't fight this alone.  We can't fight this alone.  Our only substantial income is what I make as a teacher (we all know this isn't much trust me) and her small SSD disability check that is only $682.00 a month.  Just TWO of her many prescriptions that she has to take monthly to stay alive  blow that precious SSD check out of the water.  That is with insurance coverage.  We make too much to qualify for the free or discounted programs , even the manufacturer drug programs.    She is not taking the medication that the dr. wants her to be on to fight off this infection because we cannot afford it.  So we are trying to make due with something that is cheap while knowing that it isn't indicated for her particular infection but we have no alternative.  It sucks being us.  Trust me, the fight is real.  We have been waging it for the past 4 years.

We are just those folks that somehow slip through the cracks but we aren't going down without a fight!  I can't even tell you the last time we had a vacation - even if it was only for a weekend getaway,  which would be so awesome to not have to focus on 'the illness'.  We use all my timeoff for her medical issues and eventually (has happened every year) gone into the hole with my paid time off to the point that I am docked monetarily in my paycheck due to missed days.  Just what you don't need when you are counting every nickel and praying for a miracle.  We don't have a fancy house, we don't drive a fancy car.  We don't have credit cards - we are not extravagant.   Our eldest son is a 100% service connected disabled Iraq vet.  We all live together along with his little 7 yr. old son in the same house.  We are family & we band together & somehow make it through another day, another week, another month.

She just wants the chance to be normal.  To not have to take a laundry list of drugs in order to live.  She  wants to be able to grumble and complain about the mundane things that you take for granted.  I know that there is a reason that she is still here.  I know she has touched others in their trials - lifting them up & being their 'cheer leader'.  I know that God has a purpose for her -  I want her to live - she wants to live & I think that God wants that as well.  

Please if you can, please help us.  Anything, even if it is only to reach out with prayer.   We are firm believers in the power of prayer.  Trust me -  

Thank you for taking the time - it means so much to us - as they say - a burden shared is a burden lessened.  God Bless each & every one of you~*
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Michael Carpenter 
Olathe, KS
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