Michelle Cussick's Health

My story will seem unbelievable so I will try to keep things as informative and in order as possible.
   Michelle and I met on line. She in Aylesford Nova Scotia Canada, and me in upstate NY. We had both went through similar divorces, and chatted on line for about a year before we met. After many many 900 mile trips up and 900 miles back home, I invited her and her daughter down in 2002. Since things were going well, we soon after,  got married.
         Life was going well untill a call in 2010 from back home. Her dad was battling cancer for a while, and things took a turn for the worse. He was dieing, small cell lung cancer, and the call was a "better come home soon " call. So Michelle and her daughter Holli raced back home to Nova Scotia to see dad before he was gone. I had to stay home and tend the house and keep working to pay those bills in the mail box. When they got there, he had a turn for the better, and ended up coming home.
          While visiting, Michelle  has a bad fall down the stairs at her brothers... her sock got caught on the head of a nail that was on the top step between the 2 levels of the house. Head over heals she went and landed on her back. Didnt break anything, but sure bruised up her back and did some long term problems im sure. Then, if that wasn't bad enough... Michelle got a bad cold that turned into numonia becoming so weak her brother had to carry her to the car to go to the emergency room.  This was 3/19/2010.
    They took her to the ER in Sackville N.S., they had rushed her by ambulance to Halifax Infirmary. She had gone into a diabetic coma, got double lung pneumonia, trached in the neck, was also in a medical induced coma and would be on life support in ICU for the next 10 weeks. It was bad. While her daughter Holli was there for her, she didnt know it most of the time, and didnt recognise us when we were there. It was pretty crushing. I couldnt be there the whole time, so I took conference calls with family and doctors, and rushed up on the weekends to be with her, and then back to NY to deal with everything back home too. Holli stayed there with her,  and my parents even went up for a couple weeks to be there for support.
            On 3/25/10 ... RSV affects her lungs and airways, heart looks good, has a echogram done, and discovers she now has the MRSA infection.
On 3/27/10...  she opens her eyes but doesn't follow direction and is unresponsive. They turned the oxygen down so she could do most of her own breathing, and is still on life support.
On 3/28/10...  MRSA, RSV, ARDS
On 3/29/10...  Michelle wakes up from the coma and is still on life support.
   Some time in April..... she had a catheterization that showed she had a small heart attack.  
On 4/28/10 ...  she needed blood transfusion, and hemoglobin is low.
Every time they suction her lungs, she would cough up blood. Discovered they scratched the lung walls every time they used the suction line, so she lost too much blood.
On 4/29/10...  still on oxygen, still on life support.
On 5/18/10...  they have her up and trying to walk with a walker for support, and catheter was removed.
 On 5/20/10...  she was taken off everything, feeding tube, trache, life support.....

On 5/23/10...  they rushed things along and signed her out of the hospital.
After 10 weeks, she made alot of improvement, but the hospital wasnt getting paid by my insurance co. because they argued she had canadian medical, but didnt. You see, you need to reside in canada a minimum of 6 months out of the year to get the medical benifits. So, they came after me for the $515,000 bill. They released her from the hospital, we said our goodbyes to the great nurses she had, her close friend Denise who would visit her every single day and give me updates when I wasnt there, we said good bye to her family, her brother, his kids, her parents, mom and yes, her dad Lorne. He was still alive and hanging on to good times and doing best he could. I rushed her back home to upstate NY and was home for a week or so... her Doctor saw her and put her back in the hospital (Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie NY). While there, they discovered that while back in the Halifax hospital, she had a heart attack.
She had some struggles but pulled through and came home. Dependant on oxygen, a wheel chair or walker... life was changed but we carried on.
On 1/6/2011,  We received a phone call from back home... her dad was dieing.  Michelle got on the phone and was able to talk to dad and say their goodbyes while he could still talk. Shortley after this was when Michelle was rushed to Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck NY to the ER in the middle of the night. She was having severe back pain and heart burn. A ekg showed she was having a heart attack right then.  As she was there on the table hooked up to the machine leeds, we get a call on the cell phone from back home. It was her brother giving the bad news, dad had passed away. Michelle was soon after rushed off by ambulance to Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie NY to the Heart Center and admitted to ICU.
On 1/7/11.... Catheterization found 1 artery 100% blocked, 1 artery 80% blocked, and 1 50% blocked. Was now in CT step down ward, and had bypass surgery scheduled for the 10th. 3 days later.
On 1/9/11 ... she gets a fever of 102, and possible pneumonia, which pushes the surgery back to the 13th.
On 1/13/11 ... she has open heart surgery. During the surgery they discover a 4th blockage and it becomes a quadruple bypass.
On 1/16/11... doing alot better and in step down ward.
On 1/24/11 ... she is released and comes home.
On 1/31/11 .... 7 days later.... we are back in the ER at Vassar Hospital. Potassium is dangerously high and admitted. Tests....
On 2/8/11...  she is released and sent home again.
On 4/2/11 ... I take her back to the Emergency room at Vassar. She was sick all night, severe vomiting causing weakness, dehydration, blood pressure and sugar out of wack, hooked up 2 IV's and shes admitted to ICU again.
On 4/5/11... another catheterization is done. But they cant do anymore for her heart because her blood vessels are too small.
On 4/6/11 ... she is released and back home we go.
On 5/12/11... back to the ER and admitted again. Severe vomiting, dehydration,   blood preasure low, sugar numbers out of wack... Test test test... Gets hydrated.... eating solid food again, things going well and sent home on 5/17/11.
On 5/25/11...  we are back in the ER again, sever vomiting, they discover gall stones and is admitted, few days and released again and home we go.
On 6/19/11...  we are back in the hospital and admitted. Same ol.
Theres a gap of time here I cant find our notes....
We are told by the doctors that we should be looking into making a living will ...  and reality sets in.  The living will was sugested because they just dont know when the time will come that things go bad in a hurry.    I hate to even bring it up, or even think about it, but it's a reality we need to deal with. 
   12/12/12 ... she has chest pains, so we get to the hospital. Shes having a heart attack again. So shes admitted in ICU again. Things get better, and back home we go.
On 3/7/13...  Michelle's sugar spikes high, in the 500's. We think from a cortisone shot she had in her low back the day before. She also gets a crazy migraine headache and gets admitted.
On 5/24/13...  admitted back in Vassar Hospital again..... vomiting, dehydration, blood preasure, sugar.... stomach specialist says she has gastroperisis. Test test test...  and sent back home on 6/1/13.
On 6/3/13...  back to the ER and admitted with the same...  severe vomiting, sugar, blood preasure...test test test...... and back home on 6/11/13.
On 11/24/13....  back to Vassar Brothers Hosptal and admitted. This time CDIFF, vomiting, dehydratio, and  back in CCU, on 3 litters of oxygen, and monitoring the heart, and soon after sent home. Usually 5,6 7 days each time in the hospital before they release her.
12/9/13...  back in hospital for the usual but on the 13th had to drain fluid off the lungs and then back home on the 15th.
3/16/14 ... back in hospital for the same things, test test test, ex rays,  cat scan...  and back home on the 20th.
4/19/14...  admitted and unresponsive, tube put in her nose to suction bial out of her stomach. She had to be restrained to the bed to keep her from pulling the hose out when she wakes up........ and back home on the 23rd.
12//24/14...  spent Christmas in the hospital again, vomiting, dehydrated, sugars crazy..... back home on the 28th.
And the most recent...
 3/6/15.... admitted in CCU, spinal fluid leak, DKA, central line put in her neck, and on IV. Had fever from some infection. Tests as usual... and sent home on the 9th of march.
Now hopefully your still reading after all the repetitious hospital reports...
I've always been a firm believer in the saying "what comes around goes around",  " but when oh when ... will it  finally come around this way ? " 
Ive been employed by a local comercial electrical contractor for the last 22 yrs now and am lucky to have a job in todays world.    With my wifes condition, life's needs are much different than they were just a few short years earlier.  Insurance only covers so much. Medicine is through the roof, as well as the things they make you rent, like wheel chairs and things, oxygen machines and portable units... They really take its toll on a families income. I cant imagine how senior citizens get though life with the struggles that are forced on them.  Although we arent seniors, its just a crushing scenario to be in. One that I   wouldn't wish  on anyone.  Paying all the other bills, all her needs, medical and nutritional... trying to keep the house, and not sure of the certainty of having it...  life is more than a struggle now.  The situation  of keeping the house and dealing with the mortgage company is a completly  seperate nightmare.    Living simple, driving old cars, living a low budget life..... life just isnt fair for some while others live on the edge and have the best of everything handed to them.
Fearing the thought of having to walk away from our home of 22 years .... I dont know if there is any other options to reach out to, so by suggestion of my cousin, I looked into this site and decided to write up our story.
  I know  i think  the same thing many others do......
   How can so much bad happen to the same people in one life time ????     Although pretty unbelievable I must admit, its all fact,  and documented through her medical records, doctors, our family and friends who have been along for the ride with us since 2010 with this horror story.
    I hope and pray for the day to come that we can live without the restlessness of what is to come tomarrow.    
        The intent of trying to raise funds is to provide a better quality of life for my wife Michelle, pay bills and get us out of debt, be able to supply her with the health  necessities, meds, house hold improvements since her needs are different...  and hopefully provide it in "our" home without losing it.   
        There comes a time in some peoples lives, when they ask.... how much can one handle before they break ?
    I ... am one of those people.

Thank you for reading.
     Joe Cussick

Update.... March 22, 2015... took her to the ermergency room (Vassar Brothers Medical) with severe chest pain and shortness of breath.   Not the norm as usual, so i was thinking the worse. EKG done, exrays,  fluid on the lungs, ... so far diagnosed with CHF (congestive heart failure) and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder).  Stress test planned for the morning. 
    Please accept our sincere appreciation for the calls, cards and letters, emails, donations, and thoughts and prayers from our many friends around  the world.  Good friends, relatives,  many fellow pigeon fanciers, and even complete strangers. We are very very great full. 
         It took much more than you can imagine to put this all out there for the world to see.  The mere embarrassment
of this all. I  can usually hold my own to any bad situation, and come out of it  with pride and a smile. But this is surely  the challenge of our lives thus far. Again, thank you all.


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Joe Bada Bing Cussick 
Salt Point, NY
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