Whitney's Health Fund
Last year, when I signed up for insurance on the marketplace, I estimated my income at the minimum qualifying level, and set a goal to make enough money each month so that I would be sure to qualify for health insurance. However, things didn't go as planned, and my health was so erratic that I was unable to make even that minimum.
Many of you know some of what I went through, few of you know the whole story. 2016 was recovery from major surgery. It was successfully completing a pain management program; 4 hours of daily therapy, five days a week, for six weeks. It was constant physical, water, pelvic and mental health therapies. It was bone spurs irritating nerves around my rib cage. It was 2 pinched nerves in my low back, sending neuralgia radiating down my leg, making sitting impossible. This was followed by repeated steroid epidurals that provided tiny pockets of pain-free time. In the meantime, my chronic illnesses crept in on me and flared because of the stress - more pain from endometriosis and increased anxiety and depression.
I worked when I could, thanks to friends who offered me flexible jobs that I could do in the pockets of wellness. Thank you. Even with their generosity, most months I fell well short of my income goal. Being unable to sit was challenging and when I fell back on restaurant work, I found my single-sided deafness too great to be able to communicate effectively with guests or co-workers. It seemed everything I did to advocate for myself blew up in my face. As the year kept on, the stress from this continued to eat me from the inside out, paralyzing me with fear and self-disgust.
It was and still is my intention to become fully employed by eventually getting enough small jobs that are flexible so that I can be fully self-sufficient. Up to now, Pat has been taking up my slack cheerfully and without complaint, and I know he would keep doing so if it were feasible. I am very lucky and so grateful. But, making a living as a musician is difficult as it is and 2016 was an especially slow year for him with little studio work. I want nothing more than to remove this burden from him.
I went five years without health insurance and health care. The last three have been a blessing and I am so grateful to have the wonderful, affordable plan I have. I have been working diligently to improve my health and I have made so much progress.
Thanks to my excellent health insurance, I'm going to therapy twice a week, and with the help of experts, have an intensive at-home physical therapy and relaxation routine to help manage pain and neuralgia. I've been experimenting with new medications, and though I had a couple of bad reactions that set me back, I've recently found something new that's promising. I have discovered that St. Louis has an endometriosis specialist who is in my network, and one of my goals for 2017 is to see him and have expert excision surgery that is not available in Kansas City. 80% of his patients have no recurrence and the idea of not being in pain 75% of each month seems fantastical. Also, as a lot of you know, I have been testing bone assisted hearing devices and would like to go through with a surgery that would implant an abutment in my skull for the device to attach. During the trial, being able to hear, I've felt like I've been let in on a little secret. It's difficult to explain to those who haven't experienced it, but, not having to constantly position myself to hear, read lips, strain and eventually checking out and isolating myself from others has really made a difference. The lack of frustration must be self-evident, but, what is amazing to me is that I don't wear out so fast. I don't come home from a single outing exhausted with a 3 day recovery. I had no idea how much energy I was using simply existing in the presence of others. At this point, my insurance company has denied this procedure but my audiologist and her team are busy working on an appeal on my behalf. I am so grateful.
I am doing everything I can to make my life better, to make Pat's life better and to be a functioning member of society but I've fallen into one of the holes in the system. My income from 2016 is too low for me to qualify for healthcare in 2017. This means I will lose my insurance with providers I know and trust, my plans will be entirely derailed and progress lost.
I can't lose my health insurance.
I can't lose this momentum.
I've come too far.
I need your help.
I know it's a lot to ask and it seems an impossible amount and this is one of the most embarrassing things I've had to do.
I have about three weeks to raise $8,000. It sounds impossible, but some close friends have indicated their willingness to help, and that's given me the courage to ask. I'm doing this as a last resort. I humbly ask for the help of those who can. I know things are tight for most of us. Would you please consider donating?
Funds raised will be used for:
Most importantly, qualifying for 2017 insurance
Health insurance and medical costs, including travel to St. Louis for endometriosis treatment
Non-covered medical expenses: dentist, audiologist, alternative pain practitioner, optometrist, contacts, progressive lenses
Possibly, supportive seating that does not trigger nerve pain
Thank you, friends, for your consideration and for supporting my mission to wellness and full-functionality.
P.S. I welcome any suggestions you may have for flexible paid work in 2017. I don't want to find myself in this situation again. I am available for massage therapy in your home (or mine, if you love dogs,) pet sitting and nail care, house sitting, child care, cleaning and organization, light bookkeeping, administrative tasks, and research projects. I would love to assist a creative and am open to random opportunities
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the many people who have contributed to my GoFundMe. So many friends, and so many people I barely or don’t even know at all! I am so close to making my goal by the year-end deadline.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Knowing what good people I have behind me gives me the courage and confidence to keep fighting for my health.
Your gifts have already made a significant difference in the quality of my life, and I appreciate it more than I can say.
I’ve heard the Universe gives back what you send out to it. If it’s true, then 2017 will be full of love and generosity for all of you.
I know how it is to run seriously short every month....I'm sorry I have nothing yo offer but encouragement.....that's what we all need....the world conditions around us can also be quit discouraging...I have a question for you to think about...do you think world conditions will ever get better? What or who will ever better word conditions? Food for thought.....I will get back with you latter and see what you think.... We all run into financial situations we do not like...usually we just have to be patient and it will work out...thoughts are with you...Louellen Lambertson