New Hope, New Life & A Healthier Me

Hi my name is Tammy "Sam" Biss-Hickok. I am suffering from a neurologic disorder that causes me to have tremors & "seizure-like episodes". ( see video below) I am continuing to seek medical attention to which no one seems to know how or why my health has declined so rapidly over these few short years & give me a diagnosis &/or treatment regimen so I can be healthy & whole again. To top it off, after working with Downtown Dental Associates (DDA) for 22 years, I had to in good conscious resign a position I have loved for so long. I am eternally grateful for DDA Doctors & Staff for their support & flexibility over this journey of decline to where I am no longer able to work & support my family. Now without health insurance other than the ridiculous hoops trying to jump through with the Federal health care program, the medical bills are insurmountable yet ongoing.  In addition to these bills due to the fact I can no longer work, we have lost our home & filed bankruptcy that only helped with a very small portion of what we are responsible for.

Current Situation: Sometime in 2009 is when I could no longer hide the signs that I was dealing with & experiencing significant pain while working. This continued to increase to a point where I was noticeably holding my breath while assisting with dental procedures & just “gutting it out”. In 2012 my family & coworkers notice a dramatic change in my health. It came to a point where I would make it home & go straight to bed due to pain & exhaustion.  This continued to a point where I was unable to work full time, tried working part-time, & yet still bedbound through the evenings & weekends in an effort to function. I could no longer hold dental instruments or pick up small items as my fingers involuntarily curled and my extremities shook.  During all this, my memory was just gone! I tried to make sticky notes as reminders that ended up making absolutely no sense & I found myself getting lost driving home the same route I had taken for 22 years.  My vision would become blurry & my speech would slur. I knew what I am trying to say yet I am unable to make myself understood.  When I shake, I am unable to remain balanced whether I am standing or sitting, it is so uncontrollable & occurs without warning that I am no longer able to drive.  Those of you that know me, I am one who would rather care for others and do not accept assistance well.  I feel incredibly embarrassed and find myself changing from being outgoing to a homebody driving myself & family crazy. :-)

My husband, Dean, is also disabled after a 33-year career in the construction industry due to an accumulation of injuries, he too was no longer able to keep a “bank” of qualifying hours to maintain his health insurance & positional status.  Dean, bless his heart, tried working on a part time capacity as a supervisor until he was no longer able to maintain this position either due to his health. As of 2011, Dean’s physicians deemed it necessary he no longer work & is no on Social Security Disability.  During his challenging changes in career, had made me the primary income earner in our home until now.  We felt like we got kicked in the gut. We believe there are good people out there wanting to assist others with a hand up… not a hand out!  We have lived our lives with the heart of paying it forward whenever possible, yet now in the hopes others will do the same.

Recent Surgery History:
2009 - Exploratory surgery & left ovary removed due to Endometriosis. The pain continued.

2[phone redacted] - Many gastrointestinal scans to determine the cause of the continued pain, unsuccessfully I will add.  Found right sided kidney stones which were not fun either.

2011 - Emergency surgery for Intussusception (in-tuh-suh-SEP-shun) a serious disorder in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine. This sliding or "telescoping" often blocks food or fluid from passing through. Intussusception also cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that's affected. Intussusception can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation) causing infection and death of bowel tissue.  It was an unbelievable experience where I was being pushed on a gurney signing paperwork as they are rushing me into surgery.

2012 - Second emergency surgery for the yet another Intussusception episode that was unbearably painful.  The doctors expressed how rare this is to have once as an adult yet there I was again.

Assistance Needed For:
Cobra health insurance $483.00 per month.
Mayo Clinic for diagnosis & treatment.  I would love to be normal again, working & living life.
Future medical bills.
Building of small home on family property. Volunteering of your time, any materials &/or finances in this endeavor gratefully welcomed.

Please Share! Thank You!


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Tammy Biss Hickok 
Wilsonville, OR
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