Grant Money Will Help Back Pain Disabled Couple Make Bathroom Accessible
by Lloyd Armour
(Santa Clarita, California, USA)
I'm 59 years old and my wife is 61. We have three children: two grown men and one daughter we adopted when she was five. She turns 18 in January.
Both sons are married and I have two grandsons both born within one week of each other.
The Vietnam War was almost over when I turned 18, so I never had to go. My number was within the next set to be called.
I injured my lower back in the 1980s. After working several years suffering with severe low back pain, I decided to have surgery. I felt better for approximately two weeks and then the pain returned.
I've suffered with lower back pain ever since. I took painkillers for years, but stopped due to the fear of destroying my kidney and liver.
I experienced a nervous breakdown in 1992 because I was driving 73 miles each way to get to work.
I took medicine for years. With the side effects and costs though, I cut back to the minimum.
I fell and injured my left side of my neck, causing me severe pain since day one. I finally decided to have surgery, which was a mistake.
I now suffer with more pain and a frozen left shoulder. My HMO would only pay for six physical therapy visits, which wasn't enough.
My wife became disabled in the 1990s due to fibromyalgia. She suffers from constant pain, a lower back problem and bad nerves.
I also have diabetes Type 2. At the moment I'm trying to keep it under control, but it seems to be getting worse and I may have to go back to taking medicine.
Prior to our disabilities, we had relocated to a new city about 65 miles north of where we had been living due to the high cost of housing there.
We made a mistake and put all our equity from one home into the other home we bought. The city experienced extreme hardships due to no jobs available and the distance to Los Angeles.
This is where I was driving over 150 miles daily to travel to and from work. My wife was driving approx 130 miles round trip.
We had to sell this home and we lost over 50 percent of our money. We were able to move to the Santa Clarita Valley, approximately 50 miles away from where we had moved.
I had hopes of returning to work, but my back and neck and anxiety has made it so difficult I can't even do minor chores around the house due to my severe orthopedic problems.
It's 4 am at the moment and as with many nights, I can't sleep due to my pain and anxiety, even after taking double medicine, which I don't like to do.
We had to move because the home we had bought was just beyond what we could afford. We were sold on the idea of another home with a mortgage we didn't understand. We were able to sell it with the Bank's approval as a short sale, but lost all of our money.
We had to sell most of our items after 38 years of marriage and move to a small two-bedroom apartment for three years. Then they raised our rent so much my youngest son allowed us to move in with him for about 3-4 months until we could try and buy something else more affordable.
We bought a small single-story home with FHA Financing. It's comfortable for us and we thank God we were able to purchase it, even though our money is extremely tight with all the expenses connected with our disabilities.
Since my daughter is turning 18, we're losing income from Social Security because were receiving benefits for her since I'm disabled.
We're both on Social Security Disability.
We have contacted churches in the past for help but have always been told, they don't do anything like that.
My doctors have told me that I'm completely disabled and could not possibly work. Constant pain makes me lose the desire to work. If I can't even stand or sit for 10 minutes without pain and anxiety, I can't work.
None of my family is living that was close to me. My wife's family doesn't have any money.
Nobody had ever given us donations or grants. I have never known how to try and obtain a grant.
Thanks God for Social Security and Medicare.
Our biggest and most concerning need would be to have our master bathroom remodeled with a step-in shower. I slipped and fell a few months ago and hurt my back. I couldn't get up for about 10 minutes.
About a month ago my wife also fell in our bathtub. She somehow fell between the tub and toilet, breaking the toilet completely loose from the bottom.
It was sideways at a 90-degree angle and she cut herself. She had a really nasty bruise for about two weeks, but thank God didn't break anything.
We had to hire a handyman to install disabled bars in the tub. In less than a week I fell again and grabbed on one bar. It saved me, but I really wrecked my back again.
We're also in need of some yard work. Since it's all dirt, my dog can't go into the backyard due to snakes.
But our bathroom is our biggest problem. Our sink/vanity is too low and it's very difficult to bend over for both my wife and myself to brush our teeth, but it's worse for me.