Here's the problem for both Marli and Joe. Joe's met his Kryptonite and no 7 year old child should stop seeing their Daddy as a super hero. About 3 years ago Joe started developing pain in his left arm and shoulder. Not your average I tweaked something and it will go away with some rest type of pain. His pain comes from, well, We don't know. We don't exactly have a name for it yet. When I say We I mean Mayo Clinic, neurologists, neurosurgeons, top chiropractors, top physical therapists, orthopedics, hematologists, oncologists, physiologists, acupuncturists, pain doctors, etc. So far he's been diagnosed with CRPS, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, cervical myelopathy, C4 / C5 scarring on his spinal cord, pinched nerves, and a polymorphic tumor on his parotid gland.
Joe has battled this issue now for 3 years but in the last 18 months it has become brutal. He's had 3 surgeries (parotid gland, disc replacement, radial nerve biopsy) and approximately 200 medical appointments (MRI's, CAT Scans, PET Scans, blood work, etc.). Each successive surgery have compounded his pain. The last one (radial nerve biopsy) at Mayo clinic resulted in Allodynia. Allodynia gives you pain like your skin has been removed and everything is on fire. A simple touch or breeze registers as painful. His constant pain typically hovers around an 8/10. His pain has registered above childbirth without training on the McGill Pain Index.
The three surgeries have made him progressively worse. He had tried living with the pain and dealing with the intensity with exercise, stretching, medication, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc. but found no solace. As an alternative he checked himself into the Courage Kenny Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program. His anxiety and depression were tested at a 31 on the depression scale. 10 is normal. 31 is extremely clinically depressed. A very dark place to be. So he had a lot of work to do. After going through the program his depression, anxiety, and attitude have improved a good amount which has slightly calmed down his pain.
Joe went from being the most attentive participating parent I've ever seen to laying on the ground in deep depression for a month. He still took care of all of Marli's needs but not being the Dad he's always been has really hurt him. Marli has seen him stressed, suffering, exhausted, physically change (weight loss and atrophy), and worst of all lose most of his playful demeanor. Those changes have shattered some her childhood illusions. Not being able to hold a book for bedtime stories which had been a nightly tradition since Marli was old enough to understand a story went away due to pain.
It's been a pretty rough last couple of years. Our Mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and spent some very serious time in the hospital where she had a series of small strokes, both Joe's pups had to be put down, and of course the painful debilitating affliction which was amplified by everything else going on. It has to be pretty overwhelming when it looks like your Mom could pass any day and you can't begin to grieve do to your own pain, stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, sorrow, helplessness, regret, doubt, confusion, etc.
Joe's a fighter. To be honest there have been times he's wanted to curl up in a ball and just give up. Who wouldn't after years of this problem without a correct diagnoses or coarse of action? Thing is, like I said before, Joe's a fighter. Just like our Mother, Linda. Just like both our parents have instilled in all three of us boys. Keep pushing. You'll get there.
Joe loves working. Both places he was at before the onset of pain held his position for him for almost 2 years. That should say something about how hard he works and how those employers feel about him. He's so nice, funny, efficient, and amazing with his customers and that's reflected by the thousands upon thousands of patrons who know him by name. Joe's condition has improved slightly and since April he has attempted to get back to work. Working 4-5 shifts a week was too much and he had to quit one of the jobs. Letting people down, especially his daughter, hurts Joe. Deeply. So you can see how the pain lead into not working, which lead into no money coming in, which lead into feeling like less of a Dad, which lead into depression, and Joe spiraled downwards. But, Joe's a committed parent and committed parents do everything they can for their children. They get up off the ground when they hurt.
Even with the many setbacks in the last three years we are trying to be cautiously optimistic but realistic too. We may never find a cure or the root of the issue but Joe is working very hard on learning how to cope with what is happening now. He continues to work on figuring out what it is and how to cure it. Currently he is doing yoga, chiropractic, medicines, natural eating, and some great stress relievers (Marli and his new puppy Janice). He will be checking back in with his doctors for any new tests or therapy that may help.
After almost 3 years of reduced or no income and little to no help from the County and State bills have piled up and savings have disappeared. I would not have asked for help if the situation didn't demand it. Here's where you come in. We need a Marvel. Joe needs some serious help. We are looking to raise $50,000 to pay off debts that has accumulated over the last three years. If we exceed our stated goal we will donate 1/2 of anything above the goal to a pain or neurological cause. We currently have no idea how long or how much worse this medical issue may become so if we are fortunate enough to pass our goal it would be ideal to set aside funds if this problem progresses or for Marli's education. Please send love, support, and $1, $5, $10, $20, or more. Also it's very important that you share this campaign. Facebook, Twitter, talking with people, etc. The more people who are aware the more we can help.
I will be making updates on Joe's progress , posting others testimonials, and any definitive diagnosis.
Thank you so much for caring and helping,
Here's a video of Joe's arm. This is an example of the painful tremors and spasming that have been going on since June of 2016.