Disability Grants To Help MS Disabled Jacqueline Get Medical Expense Induced Debt Relief
by Jacqueline Ferguson
(Cabot, Arkansas, USA)
My name is Jacqueline Ferguson. I am a 42-year-old wife and mother.
I taught Special Education for 11 years before I had to resign due to medical reasons.
I became a stay-at-home mom to my teen age daughter, four Yorkies, one Chihuahua, and two cats.
I spend most of my days home alone in Cabot, Arkansas. It’s a daily struggle just trying to keep my spirits up.Disability Issues
One morning, just three weeks after having a para-thyroid gland removed, I awoke and was numb and tingling from my shoulders down.
After seeing one specialist after another, after the X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and a spinal tap, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Two years later, the testing began all over again when I could not find any relief from the severe “strained muscle” pain in my lower back.
I was eventually diagnosed with Degenerative Disc disease (DDd) and arthritis in my spine and hips. The rapid disintegration of the discs in my lower back caused tears in the discs and fractures in the vertebrae in my upper spine.
The MS and DDd symptoms of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and major depression significantly limit my daily functioning.
The medications I take cause nausea and additional drowsiness. I experience episodes of loss of bladder control, trouble swallowing, vision impairment, trouble concentrating and communicating.
Problems keeping my balance and walking are progressively getting worse.
I can no longer work. My husband drives a semi-truck but has had to change companies in order to be home more and be available to assist me with medical procedures when necessary.
Because of his change in employment, his pay does not meet our monthly expenses.
My daughter is in her second year of college and that additional expense has forced us to max out our credit cards.
We have exhausted all our available resources. Repairs and renovations to our home, lawn maintenance, veterinary care, and general automotive upkeep have gone unaddressed due to the daily struggle just to keep our heads above water.Income Efforts
After resigning, I was able to draw on a long-term disability insurance policy while I was awaiting the decision of my SSDI application.
That policy pay out was 60% of my monthly income – just over half. It was an adjustment but a blessing that was certainly "better than nothing."
That has been long since depleted and my SSDI application is still being processed. We have searched the state for institutes that will refinance our home but have come up dry since we live in a manufactured home.Specific Needs
Paying off our debts is a priority.
Tuition and living expenses for my daughter’s education keep building up.
Addressing upkeep and the maintenance issues of our home, vehicles and pets are an ongoing concern.
Partaking in a hobby or even considering recreational family activities seems like a luxurious dream at this point because we just do not have the means to do so.
My disabilities have left me and my family in desperate need of financial help.Business Idea
While I do not have a specific business idea I do realize I share a common need with others who have Multiple Sclerosis.
Once my debt and other financial needs are met, I would like to organize a county-wide support group for people with MS.
The nonprofit organization then could carry out fundraising activities to assist this targeted group. MS support groups already exist and this idea may flourish by adopting in as a local chapter of one of the existing foundations.
It does not necessarily need to be a new or individual program to be successful.