Hospital and Treatment Costs

This past Friday I woke up unable to see. I can see colors, shapes, and light, but I can't read anything. My eyes are of no use to me for photography right now. The only thing that I could think to do was to contact an optician to get my eyes checked out, which she did, but she was unable to help. The only thing she could do was refer me to a specialist, but the specialist was closed because it was the weekend.

As I see it, my vision is kind of important...I didn't want to wait and so I checked myself into the ER. The neurologist said that the eye doctor could not have helped me, and that the eye problems are a symptom of a much greater problem.

They required me to stay in the hospital for treatment and testing for the next several days. A lot of tests were done: three MRI's, a CAT scan, and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Finally, I had my answer...I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. 

While this was certainly not good news, it did answer a lot of mysteries such as: the loss of control and feeling of my legs and feet, severe spasms in all of my limbs, and loss of function in my left arm, and now I'm unable to see. I have not been able to figure out where these symptoms were coming from, but at least I have an answer (as unpleasant as it is). No more question marks floating above my head.

The problem is that I haven't been able to work for the past several months because I can't see or use my hands very well, so I haven't been able to make any money.

Yesterday my bank account was at -$2.41. I'm looking at almost $40,000 of hospital bills. I have no insurance, I have no health care plan, and on top of that, I'm now looking at very expensive prescription medications that I'll now need permanently to treat my medical condition. And food. And rent. And god knows what else is coming around the corner...I have no idea. I'm scared.

I have no other choice but to ask for your assistance.

I'm so grateful for all of your support over the years. You have always been there for me. I hate to have to ask for help, but at this point, I'm out of options and I need immediate assistance.

The most important thing to me is to be able work again. This fish needs to get back into the water. Thank you, more than I can say, for helping me swim again.

-Jaime Ibarra
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Jaime Ibarra 
Austin, TX
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