It started with pain. Then vertigo. Then fatigue. Eventually all of them at once. And it got worse, day after day, month after month. Doctor visits, referrals, wait lists, blood draws, PET scans, MRIs, more blood work, over and over and over.
In September, I had to stop working. After Christmas, I was bed-bound.
In all, it took ten months to begin to get some answers - brain damage, nerve damage, damage to my blood vessels and lymphatic system, immune system damage. We have a probable cause, but not a confirmed one. I’ll have to wait and see if the treatment plan actually works to know for sure.
The pain and vertigo are nearly gone - which after nearly a year is a relief and is also disorienting. My head is beginning to clear and I am beginning to be able to write and talk like I used to.
But I still cannot do either for more than about 30 mins before I have to stop and rest.
I can’t be out of bed for more than two hours without feeling faint.
My husband has been taking excellent care of me - keeping notes on symptoms and side effects of meds, advocating for me when I haven’t been able to fully express myself to doctors or when I’ve had panic attacks, taking me to multiple doctors and specialists, MRIs, blood draws, PET scans, etc. I cannot drive, can barely make it up the stairs in our home.
He also ensures that our son makes it to all of his therapy appointments, that our daughter understands that everything will be okay, that the kids are settled and happy in school, all while taking care of our home, and working his full time job.
In different times, family would already be supporting us with childcare, etc. but the Covid-19 pandemic is making it unsafe. I did manage to get double vaccinated, offering me some protection, but we don’t want to risk me actually contracting the virus and making all of this worse.
My business – supporting and coaching other moms – has ground completely to a halt as I have executive dysfunction because of white matter ischemia in my brain. I cannot write essays, coach, or teach and haven't been able to for months. This has slashed our income and exaggerated the debt problem. Under different circumstances, we might have been able to manage it. But right now, with me not able to work, and not able even to return to work until I get more scans and physical therapy, we’re drowning.
So I’m doing the thing I encourage all of my clients to do: ask for the support they need. Because your needs aren’t just about you – they’re about your family.
We are at the point where we have to ask for help. So this is me, asking. If you can give - without putting your own self or family in any financial hardship - any amount would be appreciated.
If you can share this, that would be wonderful as well. I don’t have the energy or capacity to promote this.
The final goal is $25,000 - but here’s how any amount helps:
- At $10,000 past due medical bills will be paid off.
- At $17,000 physical and occupational therapy will be covered.
- At $22,000 continuing medical bills will be covered
- At $25,000 childcare and household assistance will be covered (afterschool program, house cleaning, some meal delivery to relieve some of the pressure)
My personal goals:
I want to play with my kids. I want to read them bedtime stories and do bathtime with them. I WANT TO COOK. I want to bake bread with my son. I want to do laundry. I want to do the damn dishes - and I never EVER thought I’d be saying that! I want to go to parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings. I want to help them clean their rooms and do their homework. I want to water my plants. I want to kick their butts at Mario Kart.
Eventually, I’d love to be able to write and coach and teach and help moms again - but right now I just want to be able to BE a mom again - as close to the way I was as possible. However you can help will count, will matter, and will be appreciated.
Big, HUGE thanks to Alexis, Caelin, and Jess for helping me to write this message. Any typos or grammar foolishness are all mine.