“The Back Story”
In April 2015 Gretchen received a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on the job where she worked as a veterinary technician. Workman’s Comp sent her to a string of doctors, none of whom specialized in brain injuries.
So, for over 2 years she has continued to struggle with a crushing headache, issues with her vision, balance, memory, difficulty finding words, super sensitivity to light and sound, insomnia, nightmares, confusion, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, challenges managing anger, frustration and emotions, which has never been a part of her outgoing and friendly personality.
Additionally, her ability to process, manage and comprehend information has deteriorated greatly.
Even after seeking help on her own, and receiving a week’s worth of treatment at a TBI specialty clinic, the doctors continue to keep her out of work and school, for at least another year of brain physical therapy before being reevaluated.
Adjunct treatment back home also involves the doctor’s order to limit screen time on computers, phones, and TV to no more than 10 minutes at a time, and no more than 4 times a day.
He similarly limited reading any printed materials. He also prohibited any strenuous activity and limited her daily routine to the lightest of chores.
Showering, doing a small load of laundry, cooking, light housework, or caring for her pets, all present an enormous challenge for her. She says it feels like more than 2 years of psychological and physical warfare while being under house arrest!
All the above debilitating conditions persist! Medical bills and other expenses are mounting up as is her anxiety for not knowing when she will improve and be able to return to work. She is 3 courses away from completing her college degree, so that is just another source of frustration and loneliness.
In October this year a visit to the ER discovered a serious heart condition which required restarting her heart 3 times! Two days before Thanksgiving she had an invasive heart procedure to hopefully correct that.
Also since her TBI, poor balance has caused her to crash into counter tops, walls, and corners which has resulted in a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder and a herniated disk in her back.
She will eventually need surgery for these conditions as well, once she has recovered from the heart procedure.
Through all of this her cat of 15 years and her wonderful yellow lab developed diabetes. She had to euthanize her cat in February, March her rescued hedgehog passed away and two months ago, her sweet dog lost his vision completely as an unfortunate side effect of diabetes.
For someone with such a huge, compassionate heart for animals, this has been an enormous emotional blow.
We have no idea what these 3 procedures will cost at this time, but that one trip to the ER was over $3,000. I am certain with 2 more upcoming surgeries, all the additional medication she is taking and physical therapy for each will exceed $25,000.
“How You Can Help”
No one can say when she will be able to return to work and school. Even with insurance, the expense of 3 major medical issues will put her in financial jeopardy. She has used up all her savings just pay essential bills but without the ability to work, she will not even be able to pay her insurance premiums, and her health will suffer even more.
As time goes by she feels more isolated, gets more anxious about the outcome of these procedures and worries she will not be able to work anymore, complete her degree, once again have purpose, and return to the life she once knew by helping others.
Normally she is a very independent, outgoing, conscientious and hard-working person who hates to, and is embarrassed by asking for help. That’s why I, her Mother, am asking on her behalf. She has said that just the thought of having an account of this type set up for her, makes her feel like a charity case.
I ask you to do what you can to help her get back on her feet and become whole and productive once again. Your prayers and words of encouragement help, too. Whatever you are willing and or able to give would be SO appreciated !
Also, please share her situation with friends via email and Facebook if you are so inclined.
Thank You for your time.
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