But it isn't over: she now has to see a specialist for Addison's disorder. This disorder occurs when the adrenal glands are damaged and cannot produce enough of the adrenal hormone cortisol. When her body is under stress (which it has been for most of her adult life), the deficiency of cortisol can result in a life threatening Addisonian crisis characterized by low blood pressure.
Everyone who has met or is lucky to know Karen can tell you what a wonderful person she is. Not only does she live with chronic pain due to her degenerative disk disease, but she always has a smile on her face and a brightness around her. She is a woman (one of the only ones that I have ever met) that is willing to help ANYONE and everyone in need! Trust me, I have a bunch of stories and I am sure everyone else does, too. She raised three wonderful children (one that I am lucky to have married), she has helped out with grandchildren when needed, she even took care of her Father when he was sick. Karen and Joe took in both of her parents when she knew they weren't able to live on their own. When her Father got really sick, Karen did everything she could to make sure he was able to stay home and was cared for by her. Karen continues to take care of her elderly mother, while trying to recover from these major surgeries. Some days are better than others, but again, she always is smiling and happy. And remember, this is all while having a disease that she knows won't be cured.
The magnitude and impact of this past surgery is almost unreal. This is what her back looked like before this past surgery (notice all of the screws and rods): And just think, not only was this surgery HUGE, but this her 2nd one JUST this year, all while continuing to take care of her family and home!
Her husband Joe works his butt off to support her and her mother - 6 days a week! I know that the expenses, the extra workload that Karen has to undertake, as well as the normal day to day stuff is tough on them all.
Karen is not the type of person who would ever ask you for money or help, but the expenses for this surgery (and the past 13) are astronomical. As well as the new specialist she will have to see for the Addison's. I was hoping that friends and people who know Karen and Joe (or have been impacted by Karen's kindness) would be able to help them out. They have doctors bill upon doctor's bills rolling in every day; this surgery alone will cost them over $500,000.00 out of pocket! Any amount of money, support, or help is appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.