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Benefits To Help Accident Disabled Man Keep Independence And Freedom

by Anthony Giacalone
(San Jose, CA, USA)

Hello, my name is Anthony. I am 48-year-old male. I am single and have no children. I live in San Jose California.

I was born in San Jose and have lived in this area my whole life. I feel very blessed to live in an area with amazing weather and such scenic beauty.

Disability Issues

My disability began in the summer of 1985. I was working as an apprentice electrician for the union and injured my lower back while working on the Stanford Children's Hospital.

I was working with a 90-pound jackhammer for two weeks digging a temporary power line and I herniated the discs in my lower back at L4 and L5.

I had my first back surgery in June 1985 on L5. My surgeon did not operate on L4 at that time.

A month later I was back in the hospital when L4 completely herniated. I went back to work about a year later, but my back was never the same. It never stabilized.

In the summer of 1987 I was referred to the Neurosurgery Department at Stanford Hospital. The doctors decided that I needed a spinal fusion.

In October of 1987 I had a Spinal Fusion with Harrington Rods at S1, L5, L4. It was actually two surgeries, as they harvested bone from my pelvis for the fusion.

I was in the hospital for more than a week and was sent home in a full body cast that covered my entire torso. I was in the body cast for more than six months.

This was a brutal surgery that took almost 10 years to recover from. I did retrain during that time and learned accounting, computers and I got my real estate license.

I was able to work part-time as a loan officer while I was recovering. I then worked with my family from 1994 to 2005.

In 2003 I was in an auto accident and fractured my neck at C5 and C6. I had to have a cervical fusion at Stanford Hospital at C5 and C6.

In 2005 my lower back went out again when the disc herniated at L3 above the original lumbar fusion. I had a laminectomy at L3 and was put on Social Security Disability.

I remained on Disability for several years and then went back to work for approximately two years.

In 2010 my back went out again and I went to Stanford Hospital and had a CT Myelogram. It showed that the L3 laminectomy had completely collapsed and was bone on bone.

The nerve at L3 is being compressed and causing tremendous pain. I was told that I need another fusion at L3.

The doctor also told me that it is a very risky surgery. He recommended that I hold off on surgery as long as I can until I was unable to walk or take care of myself.

In 2010 I went back on Disability and have been as careful as can be, trying to avoid the surgery.

It is now September 2013 and my back has deteriorated significantly. I have been hospitalized two times in the last year because I couldn't walk and take care of myself.

I am currently being evaluated by my doctors and am at the point where I will have to have another surgery. It's a very risky surgery having a fusion on top of a 28-year-old three-level fusion.

I am terrified and afraid that I will not be able to take care of myself after the surgery. I live alone and don't have anyone that can help me.

This is a very painful, scary, and uncertain time for me. I don't want to lose my independence or freedom.

Financial Hardship

I am currently on Social Security Disability and that is my only source of income. It is extremely difficult to cover rent, utilities, car expenses, insurances, medical expenses, food and any unforeseen expenses that come out of the blue.

I am barely getting by. Sometimes I'm unable to buy the food I need because of other expenses.

I recently was hospitalized and I will have to cover the co-pays and I don't know how I am going to cover it.

It is getting harder and harder to take care of myself and I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I want to be able to maintain my independence and keep the place I'm living in.

I've recently installed a Medical Alert / Alarm so I can push a button and get help if needed. It's money I don't have, but I have to be able to summon help when my back goes out.

I was hospitalized last month because I couldn't walk or take care of myself. After that I decided to purchase the Medical Alert / Alarm.

Income Efforts

After being injured in 1985, I went through retraining and worked part-time as a loan officer from 1991 to 1994.

From 1994 to 2005 I worked as a project manager / estimator for my brother's electrical company.

In 2005 I had another back surgery and went on Social Security Disability.

In 2008 I went back to work for a couple of years, but in 2010 my back went out again and I went back on Disability.

It is currently September 2013 and my back has deteriorated significantly, and my doctors are evaluating me for another surgery.

Social Security Disability is currently my only source of income.

Specific Needs

I am new to the world of grants and benefit programs. The only thing I am familiar with is Social Security Disability.

I am interested in and would appreciate any help I can get. I just want to maintain my independence, freedom and dignity.

Any grants or benefit programs that can help me stay on my feet would be wonderful.

I am a person that just wants to feel productive again. I am very isolated now and would like get back into life. Thank you for your help.

Business Idea

I would love to work again. Unfortunately I am too weak and in too much pain to attempt it right now. I am hoping that I will be able to work again in the future, God willing.

I think starting my own business in computers would be the logical path for me, if I could get healthy enough to do it.

I am very good with computer hardware and software.

I would like to start a business in computer networking and software integration, specializing in the construction industry. That is where I have most of my experience. I would mainly focus on small to medium size businesses.

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