THE DETAILS: About a year ago, pain began to make it difficult for me to get through a day of work, a date night with my partner, Ali, or a day out at a museum with friends. It’s really hard to find yourself having to choose between physical comfort and the people and things you love. It’s hard to begin asking for help for things like getting dressed or tying your shoes. It sucks having to say “no” to friends’ invitations, having to ask for reduced duties at work, and to not even have a name for what’s wrong with you for a long time. Ali has been going through all of this with me – a roller coaster of tests, appointments with multiple specialists, and good & bad news.
X-rays and other tests showed that I have arthritis and inflammation of the connective tissue in my neck, shoulders, hips, back, feet ankles and chest wall. I was finally diagnosed with a condition called seronegative arthritis, which I’m about to start treatment for. I also have Femoroacetabular Impingements (FAI) and labrum tears on my right and left sides, which need to be corrected in two separate surgical procedures (arthroscopic hip surgery), spaced a few months apart. It actually feels really good to finally know my diagnosis. The treatment and surgeries will absolutely improve my quality of life, and I’m looking forward to having the first hip operated on in early spring.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP: Even though I have a full time job and have health insurance, the cost of co-pays alone for all of these specialist appointments and procedures is shocking. Lots of working people live from paycheck to paycheck and don’t have money set aside for large, unexpected expenses like this. The two surgeries will be mostly covered by my insurance, but there will be thousands of dollars in co-pays and living expenses that I will need to cover. I will need to take 4-5 weeks of unpaid leave time for each procedure, one in early spring and one in summer. After that, I’ll be on crutches and should be able to return to work. I need to raise approximately $6,000 in order to pay for outpatient surgery, follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy, transportation and living expenses for 8-10 weeks of recovery time, total.
It felt important to me to ask for help on my own, which is why I'm making this request myself. I’m a social worker and I love my job; the rewards are many, but they’re not primarily financial. I’m not used to asking for help, but I also know that I need to advocate for myself, this time, to get the medical care I need. I hope that once this is all behind me, my pain will be greatly reduced and I’ll be able to devote more time to work, community and volunteer activities, and to just spending time with friends outside of my house again, like I used to.
If you can’t help out by donating, know that your good wishes will also make a huge difference and be appreciated very much. Love to Ali and my friends who have supported me and encouraged me to take this step.
All my best,
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