The good news? The big push for which I needed legal help is, for now, dealt with. There will likely be some little things on down the line, as we're now in the "waiting for bureaucracy" stage, and the result, though the lawyer is pretty confident, is of course not actually a foregone conclusion. That said, getting most of my proverbial ducks in a row has been achieved. (I am really, really hoping there are no big things on down the line...)
The bad news? Well, the updated lawyer's bill came today. To the tune of around $2400. I apparently way under-estimated how thorough she was going to be, and how much time that thoroughness would take. (My first donation check also arrived, and will immediately head back out the door to pay off 1/4 of that. Thank you!)
I'm very proud of myself, in that I didn't immediately have a meltdown. This will get handled, one way or another, however long it takes. Meanwhile, I continue to politely beg for help. I know most of you have already poked at your various networks of helpful and kind peoples, but if you haven't and it won't create drama to do so, I would appreciate the signal-boost. If you have, and feel inclined to do so again, I would appreciate that, as well.
(Secondary bad news, of course, is that until this next stage or two is resolved, I still cannot seek an additional part-time job in my field - and at the moment there are several locally looking for applicants - to supplement my private practice. It would be unethical to attempt to get hired on somewhere while I have an active ethics complaint investigation, however spurious the complaint may be. So I am losing potential income that could be used to help pay the bills that I'm racking up to keep my future income. My head hurts.)
I owe a few of my wonderful donors postcards and cards and other goodies, and will be on that later this month as I have a little breather - see the above "waiting for bureaucracy" comment.
(Oh, and pointers towards freelance or other work are, as always, quite welcome! I have been fortunate enough to pull in a bit of transcription and data-entry work recently, but more would be great!)
There's this amazing feeling I have right now. I think it's called "being able to breathe"? While I'm a long way from meeting my financial obligations (hey look, another $400 bill in the mail! How exciting!), that first scary lawyer bill is now covered, thanks entirely to the generosity of friends and friends of friends and so on, who were willing and able to help me out. You are all so very appreciated.
Putting out a call for help was really hard for me, but I guess I needed to do it to get my life starting to tick again - my work load has been on the upswing in the last week, and I'm feeling less alone than I have in a long time.
So thank you, all of you, for your help in sharing my fundraiser, for your donations, and for your support and caring.
I've been putting this off for months, hoping we could keep things going without asking already over-stretched friends for help, but I'm afraid we're running out of viable options. I'm seeking extra work, and even sometimes finding it, but expenses are piling up faster than income can be found, and I can't just not pay other professionals because I'm having trouble.
On top of the difficulties I've been facing with general under-employment and some medical bills for long-needed care, I am now dealing with legal bills. I was...let's call it 'strongly encouraged' to seek experienced help for responding to allegations that I have mis-used my professional license. (I sought legal counsel on the advice of a respected member of my profession - massage therapy - and two other lawyers who were notified of the situation and aware of the background that it arose out of. The allegations are false, but proving a negative is one of those mind-bendy-not-really-possible things, so it's a bit tricky to put together my response.) The lawyer's bill is already over $500, and that will more than double within a week, due to another planned meeting and more time going over materials both with and without me. By the end of the month, I expect it will have tripled, and while I hope to not need the wonderful helpful lawyer in the future, I wish to leave a small retainer with her if at all possible, in case of further problems.
Meanwhile, I finally have health insurance (yay!), which means monthly payments (not quite so yay), and having to deal with things like deductibles and co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximums (truly not yay).
So, here's what I'm asking for: Any financial help people are willing and able to give without putting themselves or loved ones at risk. I know many people I dearly care for are barely holding on themselves, and I don't want to be why someone can't make rent themselves, please. I will need to pay at least 1.5K for legal bills, owe roughly 300 in medical bills with much more to come, and am just generally floundering trying to pay basic bills like rent and keeping the cats fed. (They say good photos help a campaign, how about cute-but-not-good ones? Hey, look at this blurry photo of my elderly pocket cougar! Cheyenne is very sweet, but in kidney failure, and his food is more expensive by weight than most of ours is at this point.)
Here's what else I'm asking for: my friends to continue to be wonderfully patient with me while I'm so tangled up in personal and family crises that I seem to have fallen off the planet. I care! I promise! Eventually I'll be able to demonstrate it again for more than a few minutes at a time.
If you have an ear or shoulder to spare, i can probably really use that, too.
tl;dr Oh good grief lawyers are expensive, and I have a big bill I will need to pay off while trying to defend my livelihood. Help?
If a donor requests that their donation be used specifically for medical care, or legal bills, or some other restriction (vet bills? chocolate emergencies?), I will honor that to the greatest extent possible.
Note to people who have found this through mutual friends or further afield, have no way to be sure if this is legitimate, yet still read this far: Thanks for reading! If you were told of my needing help by a mutual friend or aquaintance, and would like to know more details or actually communicate with me in person before you offer me a donation, please feel free to ask said friend or aquaintance for a way to contact me, and I will happily answer what questions I can (relevant ones, anyway - the less relevant ones may or may not get timely responses other than "blueberry").