Grants For Fibromyalgia Disabled Woman To Restore Normal Debt Free Life
by Tamara Eicher
(Paulding, Ohio, USA)
I am a 51-year-old mother of four, grandmother of six. After a couple of failed marriages, I decided to take care of my family on my own, not to rely on anyone but myself.
I went to vocational classes and became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). I worked in a nursing home 12 miles from my home.
I loved my job. It was far from glamorous, but I was needed. I was earning a living and helping people who needed me.
I had a way with the elderly; even those who came across as mean or grumpy with others responded to me. I could make them laugh.
I worked as much as I could, at one point working 48 days in a row. I would call and ask if they had a full crew when in fact it was my day off.
My job was who I was. It made me somebody.
I was part of the work force. I was in a union. It was a happy time in my life. I was very proud. The only thing that I was prouder of was my beautiful granddaughters.
In 1975, when I was 13 years old, I was having trouble climbing the stairs to change classes. A doctor saw me. She explained to me that I suffered osteoarthritis. She told me how my knee was bone on bone.
She told me it would only get worse as time went by, and it did. It took over different parts of my body: hips, shoulders, spine, both knees, hands and ankles.
Many doctors saw me. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was put on pain meds, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medications. I went through injections. They gave no relief.
I continued to work. The lifting took a toll on my spine. I also had two falls at work.
By now the right knee was bowed away from my body. I was 44 and had no choice but to have a total knee replacement.
I was six hours in recovery. I had three transfusions. My whole leg was black from bruising. After I was sent home, I developed an infection. I required another operation to remove dead tissue.
Rehab was grueling. Seven months later I returned to work. It was so hard to walk. Pain shot through my femur.
I could feel the implant slipping. Sometimes it would lock without warning. I started doubling up on my pain meds trying to get through each day.
I awoke one morning and sat bolt upright in my bed with my heart racing. I thought I had a bad dream.
I went out in my living room to lie on the cool floor. My heart rate would not recover. My daughter came out to find me in horrible shape.
By now I thought I was having a heart attack. The squad came. I was in fear for my kids. What would become of them?
I was given IV meds to recover a normal heart rate. After being admitted for tests, I was told I had slow node. My heart was taking a short cut. It would require an ablation.
My daughter was pregnant. I asked if it could wait till the birth of the baby. They said I was at risk for sudden death. They asked me if I wanted to live to see the child.
I had one more attack, and then got the ablation done. After the ablation, I was sent home. I had strange symptoms.
I could only walk a few feet and I had to sit down. My blood felt like ice water flowing through my veins. Doctors had no idea why. Maybe it was my fibromyalgia and high sensitivity to medications.
I had woken up during the procedure. I thought maybe I caused some damage.
In a few months I returned to work. One evening while I was on break, I went out the side door to go to the smoking area.
I had a cup of coffee in my hand. Next thing I knew I was on my back, hot coffee all over me.
I had slipped on a chunk of mortar from the demolition of the old kitchen. The workmen failed to clean off the sidewalk.
I was in the ER that night, and later had an MRI. I had lower lumbar injury.
I continued to work, sometimes taking three times the pain meds prescribed.
I suffer migraines due to herniations in my neck at the c-5 c-6 area. I have had injections into the base of my skull, with no relief.
My daughter lived at home with my little granddaughter Lilly. My Lilly seemed to give me relief just by giving me a hug.
Lilly brought the sunlight into my house. She would creep downstairs in the morning and open my bedroom door.
There in the light of early morning, her long silky red hair gleamed, and in a tiny voice she would say, "I missed my granny too much!"
She would jump in bed with me and hug and kiss me. She would stay about 20 minutes and then she would say, "I miss my mommy now!"
She would go back and forth about six times every morning.
In January 2011 Lilly was diagnosed with a DIPG brain tumor. In 10 weeks she died in my arms in the bed where she loved to watch TV with me, where I hugged her and felt the warmth of the love of a child fill my heart.
The loss of one of my granddaughters, one that lived her whole life with me, I cannot put the pain into words.
Eighteen days after her death I had my disability hearing. I hardly remember it. It was all like a dream.
I had already suffered depression, anxiety, mood disorder, osteoarthritis, congenital hip dysplasia, shoulder impingement, degenerative disc disease, herniated cervical discs, failed total right knee replacement, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, among some other illnesses.
Now it was the loss of a beautiful child.
I became more depressed, I never leave my home unless to go to the doctor. I live in my bed most days. My home is in total disarray. The mess only makes me feel more helpless and more depressed.
My life is a dark and lonely place. My grown children are trying to get me to take part in family outings, trips to the zoo, and such. As of yet, I have not.
My day begins with the phone ringing, over and over and over again... bill collectors.
My husband of 10 years could not deal with my conditions anymore. After Lilly died, he left.
I don't know how long I can hold on to my home. I could not pay the water bill for almost a year. They did not shut off my water; they tacked it onto my property taxes.
Now I will suffer an escrow shortage at year's end, and my house payment will go up. It is all I can do to make the payment now.
My roof is bad, my central air unit is outdated and the blades clatter. I cannot live without air condition with the fibromyalgia.
I need a van to haul my electric wheelchair.
Maybe I could take part in family outings, at some point. Right now my mind is so troubled with bills and tormented by the loss of my sweet Lilly, I feel no quality of life anymore.
I am writing this is a last resort in hope of making a change in my so-called life.
I had $1200 assessed on my property taxes from being unable to pay the water bill for so long.
The central air unit is a rusty mess of clattering junk that will cost $3,000 to repair.
I need a new roof and that will cost $16,000.
I need handicap van at $25,000 used.
Numerous credit cards and bills total $5,000.
I could put my life back together, but nothing will take away the pain of my baby's death.
It would help to be less burdened with the phone ringing, the thought of the house payment going up due to the water assessed to taxes and all the mess and disarray.
Maybe I could hire someone to help make order here. I would be very grateful.
I get my social security check of $866 a month.
I have a 17-year-old son as a dependent. He gets Social Security of $216 a month.
I get $240 a month child support for him. That will end when he turns 18 next year.
I have sat and typed all night for a grant only to be asked for my credit card numbers at the end. All that typing was wasted.
My family has no money to help me. Two sons are low income with children.
I am seeking grant money, something that I won't have to worry about hanging over my head for 20 years, or attachment of my home.
I need some kind of help. I have no Idea what is out there, if any.
I am hoping when I am done typing this, they don't ask for credit card numbers.