A year ago I was recovering from heart problems that have kept me from returning to work. My spirited 47 year old wife Linda was working full time when she was hit with the unusual illness of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD).
Linda did some incredible research and found that there are experts in MCTD at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In October Linda was doing so bad that we sold our pickup truck to pay for our travel to UCLA for diagnosis and treatment. 10 minutes with the Doctor and Linda was admitted to the hospital. After her hospital stay we remained in Los Angeles for as long as we could for after care but had to return home as we ran out of funds.
Since we returned from UCLA, We have traveled to many medical centers for diagnosis and treatment. Most of medical facilities that we go to in our area tell us that Linda is too complex for them. Our local Doctors have recommended that we travel back to UCLA Soon.
I am a retired Air Force NCO and recently 100% disabled from problems acquired during the Gulf war. As with many other veterans, I am still working with the Veterans Administration.
We have sold everything we can to pay for Linda’s medical bills and travel and now need to return to UCLA.
Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a rare connective tissue disorder. MCTD is used to describe what may be an overlapping group of connective tissue disorders that cannot be diagnosed in more specific terms. These disorders include systemic lupus, erythematosus, polymyositis, and scleroderma. Individuals with MCTD have symptoms of each of these disorders including arthritic, cardiac, pulmonary and skin manifestations; kidney disease; muscle weakness, and dysfunction of the esophagus. The exact cause of mixed connective tissue disease is unknown.
The treatment of mixed connective tissue disease is based upon the specific symptoms present in each case.
Medical Co-pays and Medicine co-pays are draining us; we are behind on our payments. This disease may require this medication today but another tomorrow. Linda’s maintenance drugs are covered at the military base but they do not carry the specialty drugs so we have a lot of bills for medicine. Bandages for her wounds are also costly.
My parents have been kind enough to lend us their motorhome to travel to LA and live in while we are there. It needs brakes and some minor mechanical work to go. We took it the last time we went to UCLA and it helped so much. We will need to buy gas, food and stay at a campground while there. We have learned how to stay quite economically.
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