Now when asked that question, I have no answer. I don't think anyone at any age thinks they will end up in the position I now find myself. In full disclosure, I currently have $22 and am a couch away from being homeless. My situation has hit mission critical status. How did I find myself here?
Here is my story.......
Over many years I have faced injuries and illnesses that were either corrected with surgeries or medications. Many of you know of my historical past of 38 surgeries.
In the middle of September 2016, I woke up at 3am with what was the start of 3 1/2 months of daily migraines. My first ER trip was on day 16 and my introduction to Imitrex and Zophran. During this time I lost my job in November and as a private contractor, was not eligible for unemployment.
As December rolled around, the migraines became less frequent but I was left with other troubling symptoms. Severe and persistent dizziness, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain and felt like I was always on the brink of fainting. After multiple ER trips and an exciting 911 call, I still had no answers.
I established myself with a new primary care in April who diagnosed me with Diabetes. No change in symptoms, if anything, getting worse. Finally saw a new OB/GYN in August who saved me. By this time I was in a wheelchair as I could not walk any distance over maybe 10 yards. She immediately got me the referrals I needed and was diagnosed with the following:
Chronic Gastritis with Hemorrhaging due to pyloric stenosis - hopefully repaired but jury still out.
Severe Cervical Arthritis - NO fun and first neurosurgeon's opinion is that it is beyond surgical help.
Severe Sleep Apnea - Doable with my bipap machine. I had 97 apnea episodes in the first 92 minutes of sleep study.
And FINALLY the WORST of all ... 2 forms of PERSISTENT VERTIGO.
BPPV and Cervical Vertigo with a possible 3rd type known as Silent Migraines . I do not get a day off from the Vertigo. I have been pretty much bedridden for well over a year. It's either extreme dizziness or the world spinning and I dry heave like I'm getting paid for it.
There are no simple tasks. I can no longer drive, some days when I can walk, it’s with a cane ... and I miss my old life.
It is difficult for me to ask for help. I much prefer to give it! I never thought I would be this sick for this long and have exhausted all of my means. Everything is gone.
I have been in treatment since diagnosed. The county had determined that I am disabled so I am fortunate that most of my care providers come to me. I had Kayla, my occupational therapist, she was fantastic. Ryan is my Physical Therapist and he is magic! Then there is sweet Sheri, my home health aide. I am very lucky.
I have made improvements but have pretty much exhausted all forms of treatment my insurance will cover. I would like to try Chiropractic care, Acupuncture and even CBD oils. There is even a potential surgery for the BPPV, but with some risks. I also found a clinic in Boise that has had significant success with brain stimulation techniques. All of that would be out of pocket. Then there are your everyday medical costs that I no longer can afford.
Beyond searching for a cure, I also need to live. Before I got sick I was living with my Dad to help him, now he has been trying to help me on his fixed income of social security by going without critical things like prescriptions. That can no longer happen! I cannot put him in harms way.
Consider things you have as recurring bills, I have them too. I used to think having a cell phone and internet were just extra expenses. Now after being homebound since September of 2016, they are my lifeline to my world of friends and my former kids. The internet has also allowed me to stay in touch as well as do as much research as I can on alternative therapies for my chronic pain and vertigo.
I have hired attorneys and filed for disability. Only God knows how long that will take. It could be years.
So friends, and friends of friends, I humbly come to you now and ask for help. I can't thank you enough or find the words to express my gratitude.
Helping me in this quest is a former All-League Volleyball Player of mine from Aloha High School, Sabrina Garboden-Zehe.
Kelley has touched more lives than I can start to explain. As a teacher, coach, and now friend she probably has no idea what an inspiration she is to so many. I wanted to make her proud in every way shape and form. She has always been such a huge support system for everyone in her life. She never disappointed.
Now it's our turn!!!
Asking for everyone that has been influenced by Kelley to help where you can. I know she would never ask for help but I also know the depths of her need at this point in her life. Unfortunately Kelley's health has been struggling. She's not able to perform simple tasks that we all do on a daily basis. This is not easy on her. She's not able to work due to illness, therefore she has fallen on hard financial times.
Anything we can pull together for her would be a huge blessing. While she struggles with health and finances her fire, sense of humor, and grace still remains. She is still full of so much joy and I know that anything we can do for her would mean the world.
My generous friends who have helped and encouraged me and this campaign: Dawn Carter, Lisa Amerman, Jon Cross, Todd Iverson, Sabrina Zehe, Kelsey Coe, Hannah Ronquillo, Brad & Nancy Gardner
Please share !!
- Kathleen Twist
- Scott Piper
- Mark Fulk
- Alicen McCambly
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