49 Year Old Disabled Wife And Mother Seeks Grants For Multiple Uses
by Vickie Lancaster
(Goldsboro, NC, USA)
I am a 49-year-old married female who has one daughter, age 23, and a stepdaughter graduating high school in June.
My husband and I have custody of our 5-year-old granddaughter whom we have raised since birth.
We are a household of four: myself, my husband, daughter and granddaughter. It will soon be five with another addition to the family in September.
I have been having many health problems for several years now. But in 2005 I had to quit working because the pain became unbearable.
I was declared disabled in 2006. I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
I also have hypertension, kidney damage, edema, degeneration in my back, osteopenia, irritable bowel syndrome, gall bladder disease (taken out 2010) and the many side effects from the 14 different medicines I take daily.
In 2008, I ended up having 4 surgeries, with both of my knees being replaced. I was hospitalized 5 times that year.
After that I had therapy in my home for several weeks. That went okay for a while, but my left knee didn't turn out so good.
It remains stiff, constantly hurts and is hard to lift up even to get into a vehicle sometimes.
From the medicines I take I suffer from dizziness, weight gain, confusion, nausea, and many other symptoms. Some days it's all I can do to get out of bed.
I pretty much stay confined to the house trying to do chores. What used to take me an hour now takes me all day.
I can't seem to enjoy anything anymore. I used to love gardening, but now I can't get down on my knees.
I used to do crafts, but now my hands won't work like they did.
My eyesight has changed drastically, and my back and legs can't take standing or sitting any length of time.
I am going to the pain clinic where they were doing injections in my back, but that made it worse.
I am awaiting back surgery but I am afraid to go through with it because my last surgery didn't go too well.
In the recovery room I had stopped breathing and staff had to perform procedures to make me breathe.
In the process, I bit my tongue terribly and had to have it repaired.
So, as of now, I take medicine after medicine just to get me through a day.
Nighttime is no better because I can't lie in any position in the bed; where I toss and turn all night.
The next day I am very irritable because I am very sleepy, I hurt, and no one understands the way I feel.
As I type this I find myself nodding off, misspelling words, and have to keep getting up to take a break.
In December of 2008 my husband returned back to work after taking care of me using up his family medical leave to find out he was now being laid off.
He went to look for other work but to no avail.
Then in August 2009 he was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and tongue.
They performed surgery in September where the doctors removed a patch inside his cheek, removed 2/3 of his tongue, and 26 lymph nodes.
Again we are set back!
Here it is May 2011 and he is still unemployed (unemployment ran out in December 2010). Not only is he out of work, but my daughter got laid off and is desperately seeking work as well.
I receive a disability check monthly but after paying the bills there is not enough to keep going until the end of the month.
We have 1 vehicle (98 Dodge truck), which we have to take turns using to go to the doctor, grocery store, job interviews, etc.
We also have to take and pick up our granddaughter from Pre-K daily as no bus can do that. Even when my daughter or husband finds work we don't know how we will do it.
I am looking for grants or benefits to help with bills and make our home more handicapped ready.
Also, I need advice as to what to do next. We live in my husband's home place, which is an old farmhouse that is very drafty and heating/cooling bills are outrageous.
Right now we owe an electric bill of $529.81 due June 10th. That's over half my check.
We do get food stamps at the present, but still there are other outstanding utility bills, gas, trash, water and maintenance on vehicle and home bills.
We just can't do it. I never wanted to become disabled at my age and to be a nothing. I loved working, and being able to do things for others. Now, I need help for myself.
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