Ray's Second Surgery

Last January I had to face surgery to replace my aorta. At first they thought I had an aneurysm which could have been fixed with a repair through an artery, but it turned out to be scar tissue building up in several locations, so they replaced the whole thing, leaving a 12-inch scar from the sternum to near the pubic bone, and cutting through all the layers of abdominal muscles to reach the aorta.   They warned me that a hernia might develop if I were not careful.  

I laid off from working (I'm an independent art yarn dyer) as long as I could, and was very careful in what I lifted and how I worked.   In spite of my caution, taking things slowly and trying to not exert myself, a couple months ago I noticed an uncomfortable bulging in my abdomen.  My doctor had an ultrasound done to confirm -- I'd developed a hernia (separation of the muscle) in a couple places along the original incision.  

So now I have to have another surgery on November 11 to repair the hernia(s), and it will require the same care-and-caution as last time while I am healing, although hopefully not for as long a period as before.  Thus, I won't be able to work like I normally do, lifting heavy wet yarns and doing all the things I do while dyeing yarns. It is a surprisingly physical job, with a lot of manual handling of the yarns.   

Anticipated Expenses:  I will need to come up with the co-pay for the surgery (they said between $300 and $500), as well as the expenses for travel to-and-from for follow-up visits.  I don't drive and will have to hire a Lyft driver, so each visit will cost me about $40-50 dollars for the ride and tip, since the clinic is downtown and I'm a good 20-25 miles away.    (edit-- I just took a Lyft to the downtown clinic for a COVID-19 test and some blood work prior to the surgery. Yikes, it was just over $30.00 each direction!  My regular clinic is a little less, thank goodness!)  

Since I won't be standing around cooking meals for a couple weeks at least, or  schlepping to the market for groceries, I will need to order out for dinners.  I already have foods stocked for morning and mid-day meals that don't require cooking or major prepping and standing in the kitchen.   And since I won't be working for November, and possibly December, I will also need to raise enough for my basic expenses like all the utility bills (about $350 a month, mostly electric, cable/Internet, and phone).   Rent, gas, and water are already covered, but only just barely.  

Most years I am able to budget ahead for December, which is nearly always a low-income month for me.  This year, my dyeing income is already down to 40% of what it should be because of the first surgery and recovery time and slow healing.  Having this new surgery in November means I will not be able to dye yarns ahead to make my December needs.  

Anything you can offer will help make this an easier process.  Anything over and above covering these actual needs will be used to replenish my working inventory and supplies (yarns, dyes, packing/shipping supplies, etc.), to give me a good head start in January.  This will also allow me time to actually rest and heal properly this time and (hopefully) avoid further complications.    



Houston, TX

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