On July 8th my wife took me to the ER because I was having trouble breathing and it was very painful when I could get a breath. After spending several hours in the ER, I was sent home with a diagnosis of pluerisy, the inflimation of the lining of the lung, and a prescription to some pain pills.
Just a couple of days later, on July 11th, I was back in the ER with a worsening condition. But this time they admitted me after the xray showed fluid buildup and infection surrounding my lung. Within an hour they gave me a an emergency thoracostomy, where they were required to go in between my ribs and drain the fluid from my plueral cavity surrounding my lung.
After a few days in the hospital they said that the fluid was coming back, and that the infection had not subsided, so they decided that I needed a chest tube. A similar procedure to the thoracostomy I mentioned before, but this one involves a semi-permanent tube that serves to drain any fluids.
Another few days passed and the doctors determine through the xrays and ct scans that not all of the fluid and infection is properly draining, and that a surgery is going to be required to go in and manually clean out my plueral cavity. They put me under for this one, every other procedure I had been awake for. I woke up with two new chest tubes for drainage. The surgeon said that they found some areas where the infection was so old that it had to be peeled away from the walls of my plueral cavity.
The surgery turned out to be exactly what I needed, but my white blood cell count was still through the roof, so we had only taken care of half of the problem. The infection was still there. The next week or so of my hospital stay was comprised of recovering from my surgery, and a constant iv of antibiotics to finally bring my white blood cell count down to a level that the doctors were comfortable with me going home.
I was just discharged a few hours ago, and at this moment I have only missed out on two weeks of work. But the doctors have instructed me that I can't return to work for 4-6 weeks, and that if I rush this before my body is ready that it could put me back in the hospital in worse shape than before.
I am the sole providor for my family of 4, including rent, all bills, and all utilities. And to put the icing on the cake, our son is expected to be born in the next 4 weeks, so at 9 months pregnant my wife is unable to work, although she will go back to work as soon as she can.
I am lucky to have insurance, and I am in the process of getting short term disability through my employer, however that is only going to be a percentage of my income, and I'm not sure yet of the exact amount, but the fact remains that it surely will not be enough as my income was hardly enough on a good week.
I had also taken a deposit for a wedding I was going to photograph, we had some bills that needed to be paid so I had to go on and spend the deposit that I had recieved. But after being admitted to the hospital I was forced to cancel the job, and I now need to pay back the deposit I recieved.
It is absolutely terrifying to not know how I will pay our rent in a week, let alone feed my family. I am hoping to raise enough to account for a total of 8 weeks of net income, and to take care of the deposit I must refund.
Every single dollar helps us get through this hurdle until I am able to get back to work. Thank you for reading.
- Laura Doll
- Katherine Shacklette
- Brett Coffey
- Jason Shepard
- Manny Gacet
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