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Help Pave Dave's Road to Recovery

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Help Pave Dave’s Road to Recovery I have created this GoFundMe campaign to ask for your partnership as I regain my mobility step by step. I am committed to fully healing, and living in a supportive environment. Such healing will probably take a year (details below), and your support is deeply welcomed. The background: On August 28,2018, I was suddenly stricken with horrible lower back pain that put me in the hospital. Two days later I was admitted to a rehab/nursing home facility, unable to walk, bend or perform the most basic activities. On September 28, an MRI was performed which diagnosed my condition as spinal stenosis. My insurance company decided that home health care was the next step. On October 11, I was brought home from the hospital via ambulance and stretcher. My roommate viewed my return with trepidation, convinced I would now be a burden on him, and offered little in the way of support. Thankfully I did get help from friends, acquaintances and neighbors over the ensuing weeks. However, I was unable to walk up or down the stairs and therefore was stuck in my second floor apartment for nearly two months, mostly confined to my bedroom, as the bathroom and kitchen doorways proved too narrow for my wheelchair. During that time, I received in home physical and occupational therapy twice a week. I also had a home health care aide who helped me with bathing and some light housework. After 2 months, my insurance company ended my coverage for in home care. They determined I was "fine", apart from my inability to walk, shower, or negotiate the stairs on my own. On December 4, at a cost of $650 out of pocket (as I had to be carried out on a stretcher and taken by private ambulance), I was finally able to go to a great pain specialist, Dr. Chen, and on December 11 and December 20 had two series of steroid injections. The results were extraordinary. Although I was tremendously weak, I began to walk. On January 8 I began outpatient physical therapy. The impact of the past 5 months is multifold. Financially, my expenses have increased while my revenue stream has decreased. My insurance premium went up; my out of pocket prescription costs likewise increased. Having necessities like groceries and medications delivered costs more. Simultaneously, my coaching practice also suffered, as the various effects of 5 prescribed medications and their attendant side effects sapped my energy, focus, drive and confidence. I lost 60% of my client roster. It became increasingly difficult to support myself. Physically, I have a pre-existing vestibular balance issue that already made it difficult to walk. I also have a pseudo parkinsonian condition from epileptic seizures at infancy which causes my hands to shake. Add in the spinal stenosis, and I felt like I was going to be stuck in a wheelchair forever. Among the great pieces of wisdom I've received was from one of the doctors on Dr. Chen's team, who explained that for every one day in bed (or sedentary confinement) it takes three days to recover full strength. Given that I was wheelchair bound for more than 100 days, my full recovery is expected to take close to a year. I am now walking with a walker and a quad cane, and though not exactly making great strides (pun intended), I am getting stronger every day. I still can’t go grocery shopping, buy and carry 2-3 bags of groceries home. Just walking a couple of blocks drains me, Every step hurts, and every step heals - and then I rest. And then I walk a little more and a little more. Bottom line: I've been operating at a deficit and need money to sustain myself and move into a first floor apartment. I need to return to eating a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, both to lose the weight I've gained during my convalescence, and to support my healing on a consistent basis. I'm applying for Medicare, Social Security, and disability. I have retained 40% of my clients. I am reducing my expenses as much as I can. And after all my research and calculations, my deficit will be $12,500 while I am recovering. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your consideration and, if you are able, your support now and beyond. With gratitude and love, Dave Rudbarg P.S. I may heal faster. I may regain my full energy, clarity and focus sooner. I will be doing as much as I am able, as soon as I am able - you have my word. If I am the happy outlier in the predictive model, I will shout it from the rooftops and gratefully pay it forward.


Dave Rudbarg
Jersey City, NJ

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