Recovering from major surgeries

***If you want to skip to the "long story short" part, scroll way down. I just wanted to have all the info in here***

I never thought I'd have to attempt to go this route, but here goes.

Four years ago I was admitted to the local hospital with severe stomach pains. The doctors in the Emergency Room (Both a GP and a Gastroenterologist he brought in to confer with) diagnosed me with a pretty bad case of Diverticulitis. For those who don't know, Diverticulitis is a rather painful intestinal problem which can actually lead to a bowel perforation. I spent a week in the hospital undergoing treatment for the ailment and came or not feeling all that much better.

For the last three years I was seeing a Gastroenterologist (not the ER doctor who diagnosed me, but the one who agreed with his diagnosis and made me their patient at their practice once I was discharged) and being occasionally treated for the aforementioned Diverticulitis. About 8 months ago my symptoms became worse than ever and I couldn't get in to see my Gastroenterologist for weeks. I opted to see another doctor in the same practice.

After hearing my story, symptoms, and how no treatments seemed to be working she immediately decided that it did not sound like Diverticulitis at all and sent me for a battery of new tests which I gladly went for. Within just a few more weeks, it was discovered that never in my life have I suffered from Diverticulitis... I had been completely misdiagnosed and had been undergoing treatment for something I didn't even have for over 3 years! Direct quote from my new doctor: "You've NEVER had Diverticulitis. There are no signs that it has ever been a problem for you..."

This new doctor and yet a third colleague of hers came to the (pretty apparent, according to them) conclusion that I was suffering from Crohn's disease. For those who don't know, Crohn's is a severe form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It had now gone misdiagnosed by 2 different doctors (one of which was supposed to be a specialist...) and untreated for years. Not good... So my new doctor immediately started me on aggressive medication that we hoped would help me as my untreated condition had escalated into severe symptoms.

Long story short: The meds aren't working. They were sort of a Hail Mary attempt anyway because they are meant to suppress symptoms and keep the condition at bay - Not heal three years of untreated damage. I've also been on a steady diet of steroids for the last six months which have caused me to gain a very significant amount of weight (about forty pounds) which hasn't helped my condition in the least bit.

I'm at the point now where surgery is my only option. I found out just last week that I need a few feet of my small intestine removed in the coming months... I'm currently awaiting an appointment (July 11th) with a specialized surgeon in Chapel Hill North Carolina to discuss the timeframe and extent/severity of the surgery.

After all that, here lies my issue and the reason I'm asking for help:

I've been on disability for the last couple of months because of the chronic severe stomach pain, migraines, etc caused by this illness. I spoke with my company's payroll department after not receiving a paycheck for the week of 6/3/17 and was told that they did an audit of some sort and that my full pay has dried up.

Unbeknownst to me, they only allow 6 weeks of full disability pay when you've worked for the company less than 3 years. I hit my 3 year mark in September of this year so I'm not to the point where I can use more than 6 weeks of full pay yet... I've used my disability (about 8 weeks worth) for various ailments the last 2 and a half years without a problem and somehow nobody ever caught this supposed overpayment, therefore they haven't paid me now because they say they've paid me way too much already and will withhold my FUTURE pay until the "debt"/overpayment is resolved. Once that happens and I'm back in the black with them I'll receive only half of my normal pay from then on...

Half pay is certainly not enough to pay my monthly rent, my car payment and insurance, my phone bill, utilities, etc. I'm already behind on many of them. Making matters worse, my wife and I have recently separated. The bills now fall solely on me, as does the care of 2 cats and a dog. This added stress has not done me any favors.

So I'm requesting help from anyone willing to give it. I need to get caught up on my bills and be able to pay any upcoming ones (between now, my eventual surgery and the following recovery period) as well as buy groceries, get gas, pay my many copays (I go to the doctor very frequently, unfortunately), etc. I obviously can't afford to be evicted from my home, either. I'm struggling to get the rent paid as it is. Luckily the office has been very kind to me given my situation, but they can only give so much leeway.

So that's my story. If you've read this far I appreciate your time and thank you for even considering helping me out. I'm a good guy who has just fallen on some rough times. Any help would be seriously appreciated and I would be extraordinarily grateful.

Thank you for looking.

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Matt Seebach
Wilmington, NC

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