Medical, Illness, Healing Expenses

Back at the beginning of May, I went to a local emergency room because I was experiencing vision loss in my right eye. As part of the check-in procedure, they took vital signs and found out my blood pressure was over 260. So they admitted me and ran a bunch of tests which unearthed kidney problems as well as some cardio-related issues.

I was put on blood pressure medication immediately, and eventually they proceeded to diagnose my eye problem. That revealed a torn retina which required surgery. However, they could not do the surgery until the blood pressure stabilized. I was sent home after 2 nights, found an eye doctor to do the surgery, but ended up in the hospital again because my blood pressure was still high. They eventually did the surgery, and I was released from the hospital after a total of 5 days to follow up with a primary care doctor.

My blood pressure never stabilized where they wanted it, and I developed tinnitus from one of the medications, so they changed it to a diuretic. That switch caused a cascade of events characterized by extreme swings in blood pressure and extreme dizziness, so I had to stop taking the blood pressure pills. Since then, I have been experiencing a variety of debilitating health problems like dizziness, pressure in my skull, problems with breathing, ear pressure, hearing loss, digestive issues, headaches, fatigue etc. These are in addition to symptoms from fibromyalgia, myofascial pain disorder, and Graves Disease, all of which I had been diagnosed with decades ago. My specialist appointments for the cardiologist and kidney specialist are not for a while yet.

Meanwhile, Tom was laid off from his job back in February and is dealing with what is most likely Parkinson’s Disease. He has had the symptoms (tremors etc) for several years but never saw a doctor for it because he had no insurance. We just bought insurance, but it does not start until August, and the deductible is $1,500.

We are looking to get him into a specialist as well for an official diagnosis, so he can eventually file for disability. If he were to take early retirement, it would be about $750 a month, so that’s not an option right now. While Tom has worked for almost 45 years, much of that was in low-wage. labor intensive jobs. He also spent a decade self-employed. That is why this number is so low.  

Right now, we live on temporary unemployment. The amount is $339 a week. About half of that goes for rent, and we are behind on all bills. We get food from the food bank, but I am supposed to eat a low-salt diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Those foods are not generally found there, so we have to buy them.

The money I ask for will go towards paying insurance costs and basic needs. Also, I would like for us to see a functional doctor to supplement healthcare. Here in the USA, those costs are out-of-pocket.   I know that this costs more than what my goal is, but I want to see how this will go.  It says I started the fundraiser 2 months ago and I did, but I had not been able to finish it until now. Thank you!

  • Marije Essink 
    • $45 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 5 mos
  • Janet Collinge 
    • $10 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 6 mos
See all


Alexandra Heep 
Des Plaines, IL