On April 4th 2011, Carrie went to work at Kraft Foods just like any other day. During the morning Carrie feel ill and was having severe back and stomach pain. By noon she couldn't stand the pain thinking she maybe had a kidney infection, so she left work and went straight to the doctor. They suspected the same and sent her home with antibiotics.
The following day after not being able to keep anything down or in she returned to the clinic knowing she was getting dehydrated. They did a bunch of blood tests and even took a stool sample. The doctor gave her Zofran and again sent her home.
Later that evening the doctor called her at home and told her she had a very severe bacterial infection called Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff) and needed antibiotics immediately. Carrie was started on Flagyl and told if she wasn't improving in a few days to come back in.
Two days later she drove herself to the ER knowing she was getting dehydrated and not getting any better, and seemed to be getting much worse. She was admitted to the hospital immediately and I was called at work. After spending a week in Springfield Hospital, Carrie was transferred by ambulance to Mankato Hospital. I have never seen my wife so sick. I felt absolutely helpless. The doctors told us she should have died. Carrie was diagnosed with an antibiotic resistant C.Diff bacterial infection. Her body was resistant to all the power antibiotics including fidaxomicin, metronidazole, and vancomycin.
After being hospitalized for 2 weeks, Carrie was sent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where after seeing many doctors and had every test imaginable, they finally determined that the C.Diff infection, being diabetic, and being resistant to all the antibiotics had caused major organ and nerve damage.
The nerves in Carrie's gastrointestinal track along with her kidneys, liver and pancreas have all been effected. Carrie was given another diagnosis because of the permanent nerve damage. Autonomic Neuropathy. It is incurable. The neuropathy affects her entire autonomic nervous system with an array of symptoms from severe stomach pain, chronic diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, inability to control body temperature, and much more.
In the weeks, months and years to follow, Carrie has tried HUNDREDS of medications, has seen countless doctors, had a magnitude of tests, and has spent WEEKS of grueling therapy to get her muscles stronger. Carrie has to use a cane due to her balance and uses a walker at night because of how unsteady she is.
This past December and January Carrie contracted the influenza virus twice, and with her weakened immune system her pain hit an all time high. After more tests and trips to Rochester and Mankato, her neurologists decided to send her to see a new pain management doctor. We were hoping for a miracle treatment. We had heard of a nerve pain block or a pain pump but her new doctors said unfortunately there was not a lot more that could be done except continuing to increase the opiods. They said with the progression of the neuropathy they wouldn't even consider a nerve block, saying it would do more harm than good. They could surgically implant a pain pump that would continuously distribute pain medication, but that is permanent and Carrie would be on the opiates forever. A transplant was also to risky.
Carrie's disease is progressing. Everyday is a challenge for her in some way or another. She is in extreme pain 24/7, she has multiple bouts of diarrhea EVERY DAY, and is extremely exhausted. She has many other symptoms due to the damage to her autonomic nervous system.
Carrie is currently taking 27 medications, including Opium-Morphine, Oxycodone, Gabapentin, Duloxetine, and Amitriptyline for the neuropathy. Her current medications exceed $5000 a month and insurance only pays a portion of that.
They said because of the progression of her disease, she now is an excellent candidate and could try a new treatment which is NOT covered by insurance. The doctors basically told her it is her last chance at a miracle.
In 2013, after being denied long term disabilty from Kraft and social security disability Carrie went before a judge and pled her disability case again. The judge said that after reading though over 4000 pages of medical documents Carrie had an "incurable debilitating disease" that will continue to progress over time. He awarded Carrie social security disability on the spot, going back to the 1st day she got sick in 2011. Kraft Foods insurance said her disability was NOT severe enough to grant her the lifetime disability even though a judge had deemed her disabled. A disability insurance SHE PAID for out of HER paychecks. With the back pay Carrie received from social security she had to pay back what she had received from Kraft's long term disability insurance. Carrie's monthly social security disability payment she receives only covers about 1/5 of her medication costs.
Over the past 6 years I have slowly drained my 401k to pay for Carrie's medications that are not covered by insurance. I decided that despite my pride, we need to ask for help. Any help would be greatly appreciated. It could improve her health in many ways and give her back some quality of life. At this point, as her disease progresses, she has very little life.
We are desperate for help as we need assistance with covering Carrie's medication and medical bills. We are humbly asking for your help as we cannot do this alone. By donating to Carrie's medical costs, you would be helping us out tremendously. Any donation will make a difference, and is so very much appreciated. Sharing this with your contacts can also make a difference. Our gratitude for your willingness to help in this time of need is absolutely inexpressible. THANK YOU for your generosity.
Thank you for taking the time to read Carrie's story. May the Lord fill your hearts with comfort as he continues to do so for us. Carrie and I appreciate all the love, prayers, and support. We will keep you updated on Carrie's new journey.