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Disabled RN Seeks Transportation Grant Money To Help Reenter Workforce

by Dawn Marie Mathis de Espino
(Centerville, TN, USA)

I'm a 58-year-old retired and disabled RN looking for a way to get back into the workforce.

I was married twice, the first time for 15 years and the second time is currently 12 years. I have one grown daughter and 3 grandchildren.

I began working as a young girl in the 60s fixing ladies wigs. When I was 16, I got a job in a fast food restaurant called Minnie Pearls Country Dairy.

I always worked in a public setting until 1987 when I was going through a marital separation.

I received help through a government program to go back to school and I did just that. I attended a community college in the next county.

With the help of Pell Grants and working part-time jobs I became a Registered Nurse, and have worked all over middle TN in many different areas of nursing.

In 2007 I became so ill I couldn't function any longer in the work force. I have recovered to the point of going back into the profession I love and have a current nursing license.

I actually got a part-time job but I can't really do it because my car blew up. But due to my illness, I have no resources left to repair my automobile or obtain a new one.

My disability started out in 2006 when I had had three accidents from falling asleep driving because I was in denial about having a medical condition.

I just needed to work to survive but couldn't adjust to the fact that I wasn't going to survive much longer if I kept on pushing myself.

In 2007 I had gotten to the point of not being able to breathe and walk. I was hospitalized with severe respiratory complications. I couldn't ambulate across the floor.

I learned that I was suffering from sleep apnea, along with diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Since the onset of this disability I was put on a bi-pap machine, which manages my breathing difficulties. I also lost around 100 pounds.

Of course, I still have diabetes and high blood pressure but everything is under control.

I was attempting to reenter the work force when I got bitten by a tick. The doctors couldn't find out what was wrong with me. Within a two-week period I was in the hospital on life support for 6 days.

Because of neurological complications from the tick bite, it has taken me over a year to get back to where I can function in a somewhat normal capacity.

My disability has improved greatly even though I still have some small problems but not that would keep me from functioning in the role of a nurse.

My official disability status is that I am no longer completely disabled. I can work but not in the capacity that I used to.

I used to be able to run up and down the hallways of the hospital setting but I wouldn't hold out all day at the present time.

The part-time work that I obtained doesn't require me to be so physical but I have no transportation to get there.

All of my SSD check is spent on the house, house insurance and medical bills (I didn't have medical insurance at the time of being hospitalized).

My house payment is less than renting but between car insurance, house insurance, medical bills, monthly medicine, and not even paying other bills that bill collectors are calling each day about, I have less than $90 left out of $1,088 per month check.

I am aware of the SS problems and if I could go back to work I would be able to be a productive citizen again and help some of the burden.

My home is in dire need of repairs but there is just no money. My car has blown a head gasket and that has altered the radiator, which is going to have to be replaced.

Repairs would cost more than the car is worth, somewhere above $1,500. My car is a 95 Chevy Lumina.

I live very rural and without a car I cannot get to where I need to go for work. There is no family or friends to help me and the one friend I have is older than me and with a small income.

The area where I live is a depressed area with very little employment opportunities and I have to drive at least 20+ miles one way to get to a job.

I am looking for a grant or money from somewhere so that I can either repair my car or obtain another one.

I would also need funds to buy gas to get started. I would be willing to pay any money back when I can begin working.

I would love to start a nurse consulting business for people that don't understand their medical problems and conditions.

I would give advice on how they should handle difficult situations and what is available to them in caring for themselves and loved ones.

I haven't thought it through because I haven't had any money to even think about investing and what it would entail but getting back to work would enable me to dream again.

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