Help Me Heal So I Can Serve!

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This is extremely difficult to write, as I have always worked since I was 13 years old, sometimes 2-4 jobs at a time. Yet now I am in a position which requires community support.

About 11  years ago, I had a series of accidents, infections, toxic reaction to Cipro, and medical malpractice that left me with poly-neuropathy (sensory and autonomtic), dystonia, and ataxia throughout my body.  

Although I continued to struggle with these chronic conditions,  as long as I did my exercises and took the prescribed nutraceuticals, I was able to preach and travel, holding seminars and teaching classes on emotional recovery, not to mention working full-time as a Home Care chaplain for Florida Hospital and teaching religion and English at the Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando. Most people had no idea of my health challenges.

In the fall of 2013, I received a call to be the Director of Chaplain Services for Pinnacle Healthcare in Eugene, Oregon.  The first year out here in Eugene, I did fine, traveling throughout the state to visit all 10 nursing homes and train chaplains, as wells serving as a chaplain in two facilities, and offering grief and loss classes to the public.

However, in December of 2014, I had toxic reaction to some meds I took to combat bronchitis. I had a terrible setback.  All the muscles and nerves were damaged, keeping me homebound, unable to drive, on paid medical leave for three months, dependent on others for even grocery shopping. I gradually resumed work in March, working somewhat normally until July, 2015, still recuperating. 

In July, I had another another bad setback, with the nerves in my face, chest, throat, back and legs, which had not completely recovered from December, damaged once more. When I have a setback, I am extremely motion sensitive, as well as sensitive to light, heat, and sound.  I have convulsions and rock back and forth when I stand.

Consequently, I was on unpaid medical leave before finally stepping down from my job due to my health in October,2015  

Unfortunately, soon after I had two severe setbacks, one in November, 2015 in which I fell into a door and got a concussion, plus a fall on the ice in January, with increasing severity of issues.  

Here is a video from the end of 2017 that shows a few of my issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Yfbz7-VJXj8

I have now been homebound for over 3 years, unable to drive, mostly bedbound. I am now completely without income except for a very small disability amount. I am unable to pay rent, or food, or utilities, and unable to purchase my life-saving nutraceuticals that help me swallow, stand up, see, etc.  Because they are so specialized, insurance does not cover them. It is critical that I stay on them.  

As of November, 2018, these are my symptoms:
Dysautonomia. Sensory, motor, autonomic neuropathy. Balance issues; stagger frequently. Walked hunched over. Unable to stand in one place for long. Fall into doorways and walls. Posterior-anterior oscillations. Rock back and forth when standing. Tendency to fall to one side, usually the left. Unsteady gait. Stumble easily. Frequent dizziness. Nystagmus. Looking at patterns or moving objects make eyes blink rapidly. Sometimes eyelids so heavy they close automatically. Difficult to open eyes, as if eyelids are stuck. Can’t read for more than a few minutes. Difficulty watching video or TV. Right pupil larger and dilated. Sensitivity to sounds and noise. Spasticity. Muscular weakness in both arms. Unable to lift items more than a couple pounds without falling or becoming hunched over, very weak and in pain. Muscles in legs bunched in hard lumps; muscles in arms turned outward. Hypertonia in arms, legs, chest, back; muscles get so rigid that I vomit if I overexert. Breathlessness, panting with slightest exertion due to rigid muscles and neuropathy. Agonizing neuropathic pain in face, chest, back, neck and arms. Nerves and muscles are pulled over to the left. Difficulty breathing because nerves and muscles in nose damaged, Due to muscles and nerves in mouth damaged, difficulty pronouncing “r’s” “w’s” and “l’s” particularly when not on meds or under stress. Difficulty swallowing liquids. Choke and vomit easily. Food sometimes gets stuck in throat, particularly if not on meds, Can’t drive or be driven in vehicle. Extremely motion sensitive. Extreme sensitivity to cold, heat, movement, light, and sound. React strongly to certain spices, food additives. Stiffness and cramping in hand; left arm often curled up next to chest, held rigid at times. Hair loss on both arms due to nerve damage. Extreme fatigue constantly. Must rest on left side in bed for a couple hours after walking more than 5-10 minutes or standing for long (right side is too sensitive to lie on). Spend majority of day in bed.

I am single and do not have any family support of any kind, unfortunately.

I need to raise $2,800/month - rent, food, living expenses, utilities, doctor, medications/supplements (which are not covered by Medicare/Medicaid)

For over 2 years, I awaited Social Security Disability. Despite medical records, I was initially denied and so waited
for a court hearing.  I hired disability lawyers, who work on contingency. My disability hearing was set for June 5, 2018.  I was approved but they only awarded me about $900 a month. After tithe, I have $800. That is all I have to live on. It does not cover rent, let alone
medical care, food, utilities, etc.

Living alone, homebound and mostly bedbound, trying to survive all this, is excruciating beyond words.  I have come close to losing faith, yet I will not for Christ is all I have. I cannot and will not give up. I believe I will heal and be able to return to work at some point, as long as I stay on my medications. This will be a lifetime journey, unless the Lord intervenes miraculously, but I have fought hard for 11 years and will continue to do so in order to minister to others.  I just need help for the time it takes me to stabilize.  I have no answers, only trust in God! 

If you can't do anything, which I completely understand, please support me with prayers to the God of the impossible. And please pass my story along to those who may be able to help. Thank you for taking time to read my story and for whatever you can do to help me survive, heal, and continue to minister to hurting hearts.

“Out of suffering come the strongest souls. God's wounded often make His best
soldiers."
 
Blessings and prayers,
Lori

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Organizer

Lori Engel 
Organizer
Eugene, OR
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