Hello, my name is Deondrei Stead. I am dealing with a rare infectious disease called Valley Fever. Valley Fever, is a fungal infection that spreads through the body, attacking and infecting different parts. I am looking at two surgeries within the next month and am currently on intravenous medication.
About year ago, I was diagnosed with pneumonia after being sick and running a fever for a week. I was treated for the pneumonia, however, I was dealing with some strange, what seemed to be unrelated, health complications in the following months. These complications, including the pneumonia, turned out to be Valley Fever. This fungal infection derives from the fungus Coccidioides, also known as cocci, that is found in the soil and inhaled through the respiratory system which then spreads throughout your body via the blood.
There is no telling how I contracted cocci. Some people may inhale the fungus spores and it does nothing, some catch a slight fever that lasts a day with no other side effects, some get pneumonia for a couple weeks and shake it off. Other lucky individuals, like myself, host the fungus within our body as it spreads and latches on to different parts inside; lingering in its very stubborn presence. Some, ultimately, die from this infection as well.
In my case, two places in my body showed the most damage from the infection. My manubrium (upper sternum) and the upper fibula/shin area both contracted bone infections as an aftereffect. The process of figuring out what was going on was extremely trying and confusing. I had my first overnight stay in the hospital earlier this year and between November 2017 to May 2018 I visited the hospital almost three times more than I had in my entire 23 years of life. School suffered, work did as well.
I was relieved when we finally figured out the source of these issues, however, the recovery process for Valley Fever is quite the adventure.
The process of recovery is slow with fungus because it is slow growing, so having two open wounds on my leg and my upper chest where the infection resides in the bones below can be quite burdensome. For the past 5 months, I have been debilitated with pain and often fatigued. I am on the highest dosage one can possibly take for Fluconazole Diflucan (1200 mg, 6 pills daily all at once). However, this is not enough to eliminate the cocci so I am now receiving daily medicine through an IV. I have two surgeries coming up, the first will be on my chest, shortly after, I will also have surgery on my leg to scrape the bone of any infection as well.
I am humbly asking for help, as hard as it can be for me to do at times, because although I have an amazing mother who has done everything in her power to make sure that I can get the best medical attention and coverage that there is, and as much as my heaven sent family and friends have helped me out in my time of need, this has become an overwhelming situation. There are still many out of pocket costs that I am responsible for. Although these days my spirits are high, this has been an extremely challenging situation; physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. I do not work as much, and from here on will probably work even less being that there are more drastic measures about be taken than before. I am a recording artist, but cannot dedicate as much time to my craft as I would like. I am no longer in school, for dealing with that as well would be too much. I also live on my own in Southern California and am responsible for my rent, car insurance, phone bill, etc., as well as day to day cost of living. These were already getting difficult to manage, and now, I am faced with more medical bills. These are all finances that need to be taken care of in the near future, if not immediately.
I am not oblivious to the financial woes of every day people, this is actually the biggest reason I had a hard time creating this account. I do come here, however, to ask that you please donate whatever you can; even a dollar would be considered a very touching and heart warming gesture and greatly appreciated. I appreciate every single of one of you that empathizes with me, and please know that I can feel the love, positive energy and prayer if anything. Thank you all so much. This is not the end of my story by the grace of God; just a challenging road to recovery. I hope that this has inspired people, if anything, to appreciate your health, your loved ones' health, and your day to day activities that you are able to do without pain, constriction or difficulty.
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