Disability Grants To Help Hashimotos Disabled Jamie Bring Relief To Arduous Caregiving Role
by Jamie Randall
(Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
My name is Jamie Randall. I'm a 27-year-old woman from Pittsburgh, PA. I live with my mom 68, and my younger brother 20. I also have a small but courageous two-year-old Chihuahua named Faith.
I currently live in a Ranch Style home 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. I have lived here for almost a year and hope to move somewhere more convenient to accommodate my mother's wheelchair.
She had a stroke three years and six months ago. I have helped her grow and recover since then and still to this day we are working hard together.Disability Issues
My disability began when I was 12 years old. I suffered from hives and swelling all over my body.
Going to school was difficult and my primary health doctor recommended that I see an allergy doctor. Unfortunately the allergy specialist couldn't find what the problem was.
At that time I was not yet diagnosed with what I later found out was Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disorder where the body slowly attacks the thyroid. The symptoms subsided, but more started to appear the older I got.
I am in the process of seeing a doctor for severe joint pain (a common symptom of Hashimoto's). It prevents me from working a normal job and it makes it difficult to take care of my mom.
My mom is not able to walk or speak so I'm sure you could imagine how important lifting and standing would be.
My finances is are a sad sight to see, but a sight nonetheless. I currently work to take care of my mom and have Power Of Attorney, giving me the right to sign and make decisions on her behalf.
According to the Law, I can't have Power of Attorney and receive compensation to take care of her at the same time. Getting around that Law is not and will never be easy, but I'm lucky enough to have a brother that can help me take care of my mom.
All the income that goes through my mom is to help her. Thanks to the Waiver program I get personal hygiene products sent to my home for free. We will be forever grateful to that government-funded program.
To get around I use my mom's car. She bought it a couple of months before she had her stroke. It's a 2012 Chrysler 200. It's reliable but needs fixing every time I blink.
The tires need replacing and the engine light lives on my dashboard now. All in all, it gets my family and me where we need to go, but like any car its days are numbered.Income Efforts
In 2016 I was trying to figure out how to work and gain an income while working at home with my mom.
I worked from time to time with Postmates Delivery Service at night. The Postmates gig lasted for six months before I had to stop to take care of my dad.
My dad doesn't live with me but has his own apartment in a senior high rise. He is 71 and has pancreatitis pain often. Now I'm doing more or less of the same caregiving work for both of my parents.Specific Needs
If I could ask for any need in the world I would ask for this.
- A bigger and better home for my family and me
- A way to get caregiving help for my mom and be free to live my life
- The opportunity to create a business to help other caregivers around the world
It's not easy for me to ask for help as I'm sure it not easy for a lot of caregivers. Controlling every aspect of our lives is a very important skill to have in a situation like mine. Unfortunately that skill can very easily become a double-edged sword.
I have put my heart and soul in everything I have done for my family and everyone else that needs me.
I'm seeking a chance to tell my story so that someone else going through the same thing can know that they are not alone. Maybe I'll even be able to convince myself.
It takes a strong person to take care of their loved ones when they can't take care of themselves.Business Idea
If I could start a business it would be to collect the funds that I need to help other caregivers. Sacrificing your life and time for another person can take a large chunk of you mentally and emotionally.
Time is something you can never get back but if you give someone even a little time for himself or herself it could make a world of difference. Starting an organization that gives even a week off could dramatically change a lot of lives.
I want to give other caregivers, young and old alike, the mental security they need knowing that their loved ones can be taken care of while they aren't there. Give them a vacation or even a week off while at the same time giving them a peace of mind that helps them relax.
I have been a caregiver non-stop for more than three years and I understand that pain. It's dark and lonely, and it makes you feel like there is no one in this world going to come to your rescue. It's almost like a prison with no windows or doors. You can leave at anytime but your heart keeps you there. I think life should not have to be so empty. If given the chance, I would change the world.