For those who do not know us, my wife, Christi, has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years now. She was diagnosed in 1994. Since then, we have battled the disease through some very rough times. She was able to walk with a cane until a fall in 2006 in which she broke her ankle. She did not receive proper rehab at the time, and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since, unable to walk or stand.
We have made things work, just the two of us, but there are times where it gets very difficult to navigate. In the past ten years she has been in and out of the hospital several times for various complications from MS. She has had pressure wounds which resulted in various surgeries and the use of a wound vac, infections from these wounds, more than once leading to sepsis. She has also had complications which arose from one of the MS medicines. There are many other issues that continue to make daily life difficult, all due to her MS.
In spite of all this turmoil, she refuses to give up or give in, and continues to work (and smile) full time. She is a fighter to say the least, and MS is one terrible disease to have to battle.
So why are we here? Despite having health insurance, we have mounting medical and credit card bills. Things classified as "durable medical equipment" were not covered and thus we have had to lay out thousands of dollars for motorized and manual wheelchairs and other items over the past decade. Just when we thought we were catching up on everything, she would be back in the hospital with more problems. In addition, house and or car repairs popped up adding to the mess. Too often, these things had to be put on credit cards as our savings has been wiped out over time.
While she continues to work full time, I am on call as her caregiver 24/7, helping her get ready for the day, driving her to and from work, scheduling and taking her to her many doctor appointments and hospital visits. We have no family to call upon for help, it's just the two of us, and we have somehow managed to deal with all the things thrown at us, a lot of that comes from her attitude of not wanting to give up and rot away.
Unfortunately we have reached a point where we are asking for a helping hand. We need to get out from under the already present bills, as well as those soon to grace our mailbox. We had things under control for a long time, but it's all starting to crush us now, and we don't know where else to turn. With everything from wheelchairs and surgeries, to medicines and medical procedures, hospital stays, general expenses, and so on, it has us in a real bind. Believe me, this is the last thing we want to do. It's embarrassing to admit you need help, I'm sure you can understand that, but at the same time we have nowhere else to turn, so we turn to you, our friends and those we don't know us from anything.
Even if you can't help, we appreciate you taking the time to hear our story. Peace and love to one and all, and may your lives be full of as much joy and happiness as possible.
- George Hanrahan
- John Zehner
- Robyn Francis
- Karen Laney
- Steve Norgrove
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