Grant To Help Multiply Disabled Farm Couple With Debt Relief And Housing
by Tamie Ringen
(Caldwell, Idaho, USA)
My name is Tamie and my husband's name is Doug. I'm 48; he's 50.
We have been married for 12 years. I have two daughters from my first marriage. Doug doesn't have any other children.
We met through the Internet. He told me that he was ready to get married and have a family. I told him that I wasn't looking to have more kids.
A few days later he called me and said that he would sacrifice having his own children if I would let him help me finish raising mine.
I knew then he was a good man. Now our girls are 28 and 29 years old and we have three grand children. He is a very attentive papa.
At the very beginning of our relationship I let him know that I have Lupus, Asthma and Diabetes. My lupus was in remission so it was not a true bother. He said it's okay, just something we deal with.
As each year passes it gets worse and now some days it's unbearable, but he still helps me all he can. As of 10 weeks ago Doug was put on dialysis. He has failed kidneys. He has been a true warrior throughout the process.
He hardly complains, and follows the doctor's advice to the letter. Doug has just finished his second week of training for night dialysis, being hooked into a machine all night long to accommodate his work schedule.
At this point in time he is going to pick up his doctor's release to return to work on Monday. We are both grateful.
We live in a small town in Idaho. The weather is unpredictable. Three years ago we got ourselves an old farmhouse built in 1940. It's very small on a five-lot parcel.
We were thinking finally no wall-to-wall neighbors, kids looking through the windows, things going missing, our cars broken into, etc. It was a cute fixer-upper that we were both healthy enough to work for and to do with as we please.
Now that Doug has to do home dialysis his solutions get delivered, 48 boxes for a 30-day supply. We have no other place to put it all except the laundry room.
The boxes are not to get over 70 degrees. They are stacked close to the ceiling. Last weekend the temperature got to 81 degrees in that room. We haven't any central air to keep the room cool.
I can only fit two boxes in the fridge so we got a box fan, which didn't help at all. We have drained our savings just getting by for all the time he has been off.
We still needed our meds and to pay for gas to and from his appointments and that is three towns away. For the past 10 weeks, it's four to five times a week. He has had three surgeries and on those days sometimes it's two trips a day.
Two days later our furnace went out, so now we have no heat and it was only 42 degrees. I have called so many places that are supposed to help, with no such luck.
They all say they are out of funding and maybe next year. I am all out of ideas. We could really use a central air and heating unit installed.
He is put on a special diet and we can't even afford the appropriate foods for him to eat, not to mention paying our car insurance,.
We have shut off notices on our power bill and water. I don't know how sick people do it. It's a good thing we don't have farm animals; we couldn't feed them.
One bright spot is the neighbor's cat. Doug is trying to make friends with it. Every now and then it comes over.