I hoped I'd never have cause to make one of these but here I am: a YA writer on the brink of finishing my manuscript and finally, FINALLY querying agents, stuck in a bed in hospital, desperate for care, and wracking up a bill I'm going to be paying off for the next year because I can't move.
On Sunday 14th July, I was hit with sudden pain that stemmed from the base of my spine all down the back of my leg. I couldn't walk. I decided to give it until morning, using my arms to drag my body down the stairs to the toilet. By morning, it was a thousand times worse. It took a full hour to caterpillar myself off the mattress, during which there were many tears. By the time I reached the toilet, the pain was so severe I was trembling all over, my leg spasming, and my vision was like a static grey tv screen. I called an ambulance, spent a day in hospital that involved being rolled over by doctors who didn't believe I was in pain, crying and hyperventilating because the ways in which they asked me to move were excruciating. To top it all off, after it was remarked upon during an ultrasound that I had a full bladder, I was abandoned in a corridor, mid-panic attack, for an hour and a half, unable to move and desperately trying not to end up in a puddle of my own pee.
Ironically, I was misdiagnosed with a kidney infection, and after two excruciating days and three nights at home which involved shifting off the bed just enough to go to the toilet in a bucket and letting my poor partner clean it up, I am back in hospital. This time its Sciatica with potential complications. After all the moving, all the CT scans and IRMs, being sent home then carted back in when my symptoms inevitably worsened, I can't even lift my backside to pee. I can't go home, because I cannot take care of myself, but being here is costing me 215 Euros a day, after insurance. Even if I'm lucky and get better in the next 4 weeks, I'm going to be suffering from this for a long time financially.
Coming from a poor background, having been raised on food stamps and benefits and living in a council flat, I never dreamed I'd live in France. Since moving here, I've had imposter syndrome, because living abroad is a luxury for the financially secure, which I have never been. Times like these remind me being poor will kill you eventually. And it will kill off your dreams even faster.
Holed up in this hospital in Sallanches, I feel my dreams dying. Severe anxiety is difficult to manage at the best of times, but there's nothing imagined or irrational about my fears. I fear leaving the hospital prematurely, lying in a peesoaked bed for a week and making my body worse. I fear that leaving the hospital early will leave me unable to walk to the GP, missing complications, and requiring a third ambulence that, again, I can't afford.
Above all, I fear this world and my place in it, because it's one of never having quite enough to get by. When just getting by is such a struggle, how did I ever think I could do it in another country? Being poor is expensive. You don't get to prepare for the day you have to call the ambulance.
2000 euros won't cover the cost of treating this injury, and I don't expect to raise anything close to it, but every penny makes a difference. So whether you've stumbled upon this by accident, if you're a follower on twitter, or you've read my short stories and enjoyed them, for the price of a coffee you could make these expenses a little less daunting and make the world feel a little less bleak.