Back in November I injured my LEFT knee while on a trip to see my family for Thanksgiving. My dog bolted from our car on the side of the interstate and proceeded to run from me through all kinds of steep, rocky, hilly terrain. We chased her for nearly 45 minutes and finally caught her, no doubt saving her from being lost or killed. From then until February my knee became very problematic with lots of pain and constant buckling. I still persevered working and carrying on as usual until a doctor saw me in February. He administered cortisone injections which only made my pain worse, so we knew then there was a bigger issue.
Fearing that my employer would not be understanding about the situation since I had missed a big chunk of time in October of last year due to a severe and nearly life threatening bacterial infection, and also because I had bills to pay, I just bought a brace and did my best to deal with it. Big mistake!
Fast forward to April of this year when I was dancing at a wedding and blew out my ACL and meniscus on my RIGHT KNEE. I only missed one day of work for that, only rested a couple days after that injury and it wasn't even diagnosed until May (along with the other knee). Either at the time of that injury or in the weeks that followed I also tore my meniscus at the root on that knee, likely because once again I didn't take time to deal with it. Just pressed on in terrible pain like nothing happened. Big mistake!!!
So now I am looking at two knee surgeries before the end of the year. The first is scheduled for the second week in July where I will have ACL reconstruction surgery, as well as a repair (or removal) of the meniscus root tear on the right knee. For that surgery I will be on crutches and unable to work for 4-6 weeks with a hopeful gradual return to full time work after that time. These time frames are really subject to change. So even when I do return to work it will likely be gradual. Therefore it may be some time before I am able to contribute to my own bills and our household.
The second surgery will follow with a repair or removal of the left meniscus root tear, whenever my doctor deems my right surgical knee stable enough. I will once again be out of work for 4-6 weeks. Again, this is just an estimate because we won't know the true recovery until the time of both surgeries, dependent on what is done to the meniscus. Repairs of the roots of both meniscus often yield longer recoveries whereas removal of meniscus tends to be a little less.
My loving partner Gene has agreed graciously to shoulder most of this financial burden and says "we will get thru it". However, with him paying my bills (car, car insurance, cell phone, health insurance etc) and also with me not contributing to our household it is still going to put an enormous stress on us financially.
Right now I am pushing through the pain and continuing to work and prepare for surgery the best I can. Trying to get ahead on bills and get the house handicap ready. Also needed is a few hundred dollars in medical equipment and supplies that I will need after surgery.
After surgery I will still be having to pay copays for rehabilitation sessions two or three times a week for a few months (I've used all the insurance authorized sessions for pre-hab). In addition to that I will need to make arrangements for my high energy dog. This may mean daycare or hiring a dog walker. The first week I have my nephew coming down to help with the dog and house but then after that I will be mainly relying on Gene, family and friends to help me with the dog, around the house and get to and from appointments, as I may not be able to drive for 2-4 weeks. She is also due for her annual check up and vaccinations shortly after my surgery, she will need those vaccinations in order to attend any type of facility for daycare. I'm doing my best to save up for all this by working extra shifts and doing my best to not miss work for doctor visits and surgical consultations. As the surgery gets closer it seems more unlikely I will be able to save for ALL of these necessary things because right now I'm only able to get very slightly ahead. What's coming in is going out.
In hindsight I wish that I had gotten a short term disability policy. If what is known now was known in April I probably would not have spent my savings to attend two weddings a week apart, although I cherish the time I shared with my family. This kind of thing is not something that you can always prepare for. As an independent hair stylist if I don't get work there is no pay, or sick leave or vacation time that can be used. If my employer is not able to hold a position open for me then I won't be able to even collect unemployment as an independent contractor.
This campaign does not reflect any copay that may be due at time of surgery, or the full amount of the costs the surgeries will be.
So I am asking for help with what Gene and I are facing in the next 6 months. It's going to test us in every possible way. Recovery will be a long painful process. It would mean a lot to me if I could worry just a little less about the future. If you can help in any way I will be immensely thankful.