How are you all? A lot of you probably know me if you're reading this, and you may or may not know my story. I want to try and keep it as short and sweet as possible, but when you have lived through 22 years of birth defects, diseases, injuries, hospital stays, illnesses, and countless medications, it's a little hard. I'll try to keep it simple.
My name is Annie. I was born with Spina Bifida. Mylomelingecele if you want to get technical. I was also born with Hydrocephalus and a Chiari Malformation that haven't bothered me until now, we'll get back to that. Growing up, I had it pretty damn good. I could walk, talk, an do things on my own. I had to have a few surgeries to untether my spine and fuse some tendons in my left foot together, but overall I was a pretty normal kid.
Over the years, I've started noticing symptoms like chronic dizziness, headaches, slurring of words, clumsiness, fatigue, lethargy, numbness in fingers and left arm, shooting neck pain, and a plethora of other fun stuff. I was diagnosed with severe depresion and anxiety when I was 17 years old. I was told to lose weight an exercise and all of that would go away. Great. So I started going to the gym more and trying to eat a little healthier. I notice that I would lose maybe like 5 pounds here and 7 pounds there, but nothing crazy. The symptoms just got worse. So much worse that I couldn't get out of bed most days.
Fast forward to March of 2016. I'm house sitting and my mom calls me at 9am freaking out asking if I'm okay. I told her I couldn't move my neck and I couldn't see. Apparently I had texted her at 7am that morning with a very cryptic message asking her to help me. We went to the ER and I was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus. They inserted a shunt into my brain that drains spinal fluid into my abdoment.
This is where my story continues an this is where I ask your help. I've never been one to ask strangers for help. It's very hard for me. I can't even believe I'm writing this right now. But I'm in an extremely large hole that I do not see myself getting out of anytime soon. I have already asked for the help of my mom way too many times. I can't anymore. She has her own bills. I can't do that to her.
Ever since my surgery five months ago, I have not worked. I have honestly rarely left my room. I have gained well over 40 pounds from the medications I am on and from overeating. I have my good days, but they are rare. I have medical bill after medical bill coming in, as well as every day expenses like gas money, car insurance, car expenses, a late parking ticket my brain surgery made me forget about, and rent. I am not being paid enough right now to get by even a little bit. I also started this Intensive Outpatient Therapy Program last week for my Depression and Anxiety to help cope with my brain surgery and symptoms and other illnesses, and while insurance is covering allmost all of it, I still have a little bit of a copay. And by little bit I mean $500. I would love to stay in this program because it has helped me sooo much. I love going. It gives me something to look forward to every week. I have stopped drinking alcohol and taking drugs, I have stopped depending on any sort of substance(besides medication) to make me happy or forget about my problems. I am trying to do something about my problems. I am even trying to go back to school this semester, which is an expense in itself. I appreciate you even reading this and sharing it. If you could even give a dollar I would be so very grateful. God bless you all.
- Karolina Bashore
- Alex McDermott
- Dana Terry
- Karen Vermeeren
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