However, it has been 3 years since Ben has been able to teach his beloved students. And while that is devastating enough, the true devastation to me, is the loss of his passion and love for life. Unfortunately, Ben became ill 3 years ago with what started as Dengue Fever and multiple parasite infections and has only declined since then. After this period of time, Ben has found it extremely difficult and limiting to eat and digest food and he has great nausea before eating and has to force it down. Carbohydrates of any description bring debilitating pain. Not surprisingly, Ben, at one point, dropped 20 kg from his already small frame, to just 54kg. Thankfully, he has put a little weight on now, but eating (one of my great joys in life) brings him daily trauma as he not only finds it difficult to digest food, but his bowel suffers from semi-paralysis - which of course makes it very difficult to process and he has bowel blockage that makes it even more difficult for him to eat.
It might be easier if we would define this condition more accurately but after 3 years of treatment and 7 doctors, we are still as a loss as to why Ben's condition has only worsened. His Gastroenterologist provided a tentative diagnosis of Crohn's Disease but after more testing his doctor is less convinced as other tests show inconsistent features in Ben's bowel that are usually common to Crohn’s. The doctor is somewhat at a loss to do except try and provide pain relief. All this aside, Ben is not responding at all to any of the medication prescribed for this condition. Given the nature of bowel disease, Ben is unable to take pain relief as all forms attempted so far have increased his bowel paralysis. Therefore for over 2 years Ben has been in constant pain without the relief others who have pain problems experience.
The only thing that brings some relief (and not always consistently) is an IV Vitamin therapy that deposits vitamins straight into his blood stream. This is because Ben’s gut does not properly absorb the nutrients people generally find in food and he can’t eat enough to get those nutrients. We have tried to be committed to this treatment for at last 2 years to date (one of Ben's friends generally assisted us in this endeavour for the first 6 months), but the weekly cost of $234, plus all Ben's other medical expenses (3x different Specialists appointments, maintenance of 7 medications, vitamin supplements, regular gastro procedures (biopsies) and tests) is proving more than we can afford on a single wage. And Ben’s doctors wish to do more expensive testing and procedures to try and discover the root cause of Ben’s illness.
I keep telling Ben that I'll do anything to get him better, yet my savings are less agreeable to this sentiment. I have requested help of $12,168 as that is the cost of IV treatments for one year. My dearest hope, is that the treatments will at the very least keep Ben hopeful that some normalcy can be restored to him while we rigorously seek answers to his condition.
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