"I hope someday people will realize there is a way to provide health insurance, food, jobs, affordable housing and education for all citizens of the world in our current advanced civilization, but I'm afraid this Gene Roddenberry altruistic philosophy and sense of community in which humanity is an "enlightened" altruistic peaceful species is still a fantasy... but I've always been a dreamer, and I will continue to fight for and promote these ideas for humanity" Paul Rainwater
"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed" Mahatma Gandhi
I am a graphic artist, photographer, philosopher, secularist, activist political blogger for health care reform, human rights, advocate for social justice, for peace, free-thought and education worldwide. I am a USA citizen living in Thailand and single.
In December 2012 all of sudden @ age 58, I begin to have difficulty walking and numbness in my legs. After seeing multiple doctors at 2 different hospitals, seeing 2 different physical therapists, getting blood tests, MRi's and X Rays, I found out I have degenerative disc disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and osteoarthritis (I was worried it might be cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis and it really scared me how fast this hit me).
I lost my contract graphics job in May of 2012 and have been unable to find work since. I a partially disabled with unbearable pain if I sit for longer than 3-4 hours working on my computer, but I am walking better now. Pysical therapy has helped and I wish I could work at least 20 hours a week. I spent over $20,000 on the initial medical bills and continuing bills for living expenses since the injury with no income or paychecks, and I need funds for continuing medical, ongoing physical therapy bills, medication and basic living expenses (I now live on about $550 a month including food and rent and have no government assistance or family support). I need another MRi (here in Thailand the cost is about 15,000 baht/$485). I try to walk most places and do not own a car (the food market is across the street). I have no health insurance and live overseas in Thailand because I can't find work in America that pays a living wage with health insurance benefits. It's much cheaper to live in Thailand, medical care is very good, less expensive (but not free or cheap) and the only way I can conserve what remaining savings I have left after living expenses with no income and huge losses in my savings.
It looks like I will have this pain and partail disability the rest of his life. I exercise doing Aqua Therapy in a pool 3 to 5 days a week (depending on the pain level) and try to get physical or massage therapy 4-6 times a month. But it's a chronic condition and will probably never get better. I hope to start another business or work again someday soon and will donate 10-20% of the proceeds from this site to the Camillian Home For Children Living With Disabilities here in Thailand.
UPDATE Oct 28: After 2 trips to the hospital recently for blood/urine/stool tests the doctor says I have an upper GI bleeding peptic ulcer, believed caused by the anti-inflammatory painkillers and osteoarthritis drug I was taking for my back... they gave me an IV injection for the pain and a month's worth of meds... I can't seem to catch a break, but the good news is the doctor doesn't think it's colon cancer but a bleeding petic ulcer is very serious (and painful), if I don't see results and healing with the meds and diet change within a month i will need endoscopy procedure for further investigation, I am hoping for the best... See links below:
See my site PaulRainwater.webs.com: http://paulrainwater.webs.com/
My Graphic Design & Photoshop Samples: http://goo.gl/VGvjd0
My Blog: ExPat Views From Thailand: http://retirethai.blogspot.com/
My Fine Art Photography For Sale: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/paul-rainwater.html
My Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/paul.rainwater1
Camillian Home For Children Living With Disabilities: http://camillianhomelatkrabang.org/
Good luck to us all (even Republicans), Paul...