49 Year Old Accident Disabled Carpenter Seeks Help For Mounting Debt
(Hicksville, NY, USA)
Hello. I am a 49-year-old finish carpenter. I have done this work my entire adult life.
I am married with two daughters in college. I have always loved my work, both the work itself and the final product. I take extreme pride in my work.
It all ended when the day I fell while working, rupturing a disc in my back. Now my life is just a big nightmare. My marriage is in turmoil due to this.
It was a normal day in late November 2010. I showed up at the job site at 5:30 am in the city as I did every day.
I had spackled a small section of the ceiling on the second floor that was uneven about 5:45 am and at around 6:45 am or an hour later I climbed back up to check my work.
There was no scaffolding on the site so I was standing on an unfinished tub/shower. It was metal studding so it was slippery to start with and I think I stepped in a small blob of joint compound.
The next thing I knew I was falling down a steel stairwell. My hand was stuck in the rail and was twisted quite bad. I smashed my knee on the second floor steel railing base.
The next thing I remember was landing at the bottom of the stairwell hitting my lower back and pelvis on the first floor stair treads. These were temporary and made up of three sheets of 3/4 plywood and very solid.
I could not get up or move for a few minutes. Witnesses said I hit my head, but don't recall it. I did have a sort of whiplash effect in my neck.
I ruptured a disk and have a bulging disc. I’m in constant pain. I can't stand more than 20 minutes without sitting. I have a problem sitting for an extended period without moving or standing.
I have lost a lot of weight. My back tends to get locked up if I bend the wrong way. I have been through physical therapy that didn't help.
My orthopedic Doctor does not want me to lift or work with any weights over 20 lbs, or work on ladders. Needless to say I can't function as a carpenter now.
This has caused me tremendous grief which lead to my having severe depression and anxiety. He’s told me I was 100% disabled as a carpenter.
I have seen Labor Department counselors recently who suggest that I sign up for Social Security Disability as they feel I cannot work at all due to my physical limitations and my emotional problems.
We are having an extremely hard time making ends meet now. My wife works full time, but she makes less than half of what I was making.
I can't do any work around the house like I always used to. Things are falling apart.
I had to sell a few things to try and make some extra money. I always had a hobby going. And now I find it impossible to do that.
I'm never happy; I have really bad nightmares every night. I'm on 3 different medications for my emotional problems. I find it hard to go into a store without having panic attacks.
We have a mortgage payment that is going to be impossible to continue paying.
Chase Bank has turned me down four times for re-modifications due to the fact they talked me into doing a "streamline Refinance" in 2010.
Now I don't fit the 2009 cut off date, even though the refinance people said it would not affect it. They plainly misled me.
In April of 2011 I tried to take a job as a supervisor with a small construction company.
I was not able to perform in my usual way both mentally and physically and I was let go after 9 days. This really hurt my pride, as I have never been let go from any job.
I always excelled at anything I did. Since then I have been trying to find something I can do, but there is not much out there for a 49 year old carpenter who can't do the work.
I have applied for disability, but haven't heard back yet. Even if I get it, it will not be enough to do any good as far as putting my life back how it was financially. I have spent hours and hours looking for help online, with no luck.
My specific needs right now are help financially with our household bills, mortgage, college for the kids and car payments.
A grant would be unbelievable! We need financial help very badly. If I where able to choose, I would choose a grant or some type of long-term low interest loan.