When I started college almost 4 years ago, I thought my time here would fly by easily. Unfortunately, during the winter break of my first year at SCAD, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The numbness in my feet and hands meant that I had to drop art classes and take lectures instead. I've accepted that I have to get through school at my own pace and that "graduating on time" doesn't really have a meaning for me.
Since my diagnosis, I've lived in constant stress over bills. I have no health insurance. I do not come from a wealthy family. I've had trouble keeping any minimum wage job because of my health. My parents still receive my hospital bills from several years ago and they've been slowly paying them off and deferring my student loan payments.
But the primary reason I'm setting up this fundraiser is this:
The other day, I experienced heart attack symptoms. It started with neck pain, and then made it's way down to my shoulder, chest, and back. I began vomiting. I paced back and forth, I tried to find a way to lay down and get comfortable, but I always ended up in the bathroom helpless and unsure of what was happening. I thought it was something I ate, but that was the most pain I've ever experienced in my life. I was shaking and it became harder and harder to breath. The sweat was dampening my sheets and I was sure I was dying. I managed to convinced myself to stay calm and breath deeply. I did that until I felt my breathing return to normal and the sweat stopped. My body was in pain for the remainder of the night and the following morning.
After discussing what happened with my partner and speaking to my parents over the phone, I decided it would be best if I went to the ER.
Considering my age and the fact that I haven't had any sort of treatment for my MS in months, the doctors at the ER agreed it was more of a musculoskeletal problem than anything affecting my heart. I stayed at that hospital for a ridiculous amount of time just so a doctor could write me a prescription for ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer. During my time in the ER, I had blood work done TWICE because a nurse didn’t realize someone else had already taken vials of my blood. I was so drowsy that she had already filled her own vials before I thought to ask her what she was doing. She acted like it was my fault that my blood was taken twice for the same tests. And I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that's something the hospital should have recorded. To rely on the memory of an ill and weak patient doesn't make any sense to me. But that’s besides the point. I got a few X-rays done and they pumped some sort of anti-inflammatory drug into me for nearly 3 hours before they decided I was fine and let me go home. I haven’t seen any bills yet, but it already keeps me up at night knowing that I don’t have any insurance and that they ran so many tests. I avoided the ambulance cost by taking a cab, but my biggest regret was going to the ER instead of any local doctor. I will not be able to pay those medical bills when they arrive.
To make matters worse, today I got a letter saying our power would be shut off because of the insufficient payment. I thought I had paid it two weeks ago, but it took them this long to tell me something was wrong with my account. I payed what I could today and all I have left in my bank account is about $20.
My family is having trouble getting back on their feet since my father had been unemployed for months. He says he can help me pay half of the rent, but I don’t know how true that is.
I left my job at Chipotle a few weeks ago because I have MS and my health was failing the longer I was there. It was a minimum wage job and my final check was gone within 24 hours of it being in my possession because of the bills I had pilled up. Last month, I moved somewhere cheaper because the cost of living was getting out of my control. Now I live with my girlfriend, Tiari.
Tiari has been struggling to find a job. She’s had a ridiculous amount of job interviews, but no luck. Her mother doesn’t support our relationship and was definitely not on board when we decided to live together. She will almost definitely not be someone who helps pay our bills.
I’m so weak and in so much pain since my time at the hospital that I can’t even offer commissions for some money. And I am so embarrassed to ask for help. But I have to.
Please consider donating or sharing this fundraiser. Signal boosts mean so much to me.