I'm writing to you today with great humility and embarrassment. Friends, I need your help.
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.
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.
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.
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