Fibromyalgia Disabled Woman Seeks Grant Money For Electric Wheelchair And More
(Surprise, AZ, USA)
My name is Nikki. I have come to a point in my life where everyone around me is telling me that it is time to swallow my pride and tell my story.
In my life a lot has happened since I was very young. I had to grow up quickly, taking care of my younger brother and my half-sister, when I was only eight.
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After my mother lost her second husband to brain tumors, she also lost her mind.
Whenever I heard the front door open, I would make sure I was awake, so she would not take her frustrations out on the other children.
I took it upon myself to be her beating stick while I raised my siblings by myself, until I was 13 years old.
Then, I picked my brother up from school one day, and went home to a completely empty house.
My mother had packed up everything while we were at school, took my half-sister, and moved.
Ever since that day, I promised myself that I would never grow up to be like her. Every day I had a tough decision to make, I always think about what she would do, and I will do the exact opposite.
All throughout my life, all I have wanted to do was to take care of other people. Anything they needed or wanted, and to keep them safe from harm. I really believe that that was the reason I was here on earth.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis at age 14, and was told that I would never be able to have children of my own. God blessed me when I was 20 with a daughter.
We were both pronounced dead during delivery for approximately 30 seconds, but we both made it with no harm.
I got married, very young, to my daughter's father, who was also my first boyfriend. I helped him in every way, shape, and form known to man, but as the years went on, we grew apart.
Throughout our time together, which lasted 17 years, there was a lot of emotional abuse coming from him, and that is why I left with my daughter.
I wanted her to have a better life than I did. So, my father, daughter, and I moved to Phoenix Arizona to start over.
When we arrived, we parked our U-Haul in front of our new rental house, and took the animals to check out the new place.
I never thought I could be happier than that day.
I was on the phone trying to get the water turned on when we heard a loud popping sound coming from outside.
My dad and I ran out to see our U-Haul truck was on fire and before the fire truck arrived to put out the fire, everything we owned was destroyed.
The entire metal cabinet on the U-Haul truck was melted to the sidewalk.
This fire was not my fault and it took U-Haul seven months to give us a settlement offer, which was very low because they knew I didn't have any money to pay a lawyer at that time.
I always look to the bright side of things and am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
At this time, I tried to do everything by car to try to get help for my family through the state, church, and anywhere else I could possibly try.
Even Goodwill Industries said they could not help us. I lost my job (as a body piercer/tattoo artist) because all of my equipment was in the U-Haul truck.
I felt the same way then that I do now, and it has been, four years since that happened, and I believe that everything could only get better. Boy was I wrong.
I found a wonderful man through everything that happened and he helped me get a job within his company.
I had two part-time jobs, a teen-aged daughter, and things were looking a little bit better.
On September 4, 2008, I was working as a DOD civilian on the Air Force Base, and I loved my job. On this day, everything went terribly wrong.
I was working security when two large men came to the loading dock to pick up a refrigerator.
There were only two people in the stock room at this time, the stock room supervisor, and myself. (The company cut back on stockroom personal to save a few dollars).
The two gentlemen were walked through how to get the refrigerator on to their truck. The next thing I knew was that the refrigerator was on top of this girl because the two men lifted it up wrong.
Since there was no one else around I ran over to help pick up the refrigerator so that she could come out from underneath it. When I did, my knee popped and started to hurt very badly.
When she got out from underneath it, I dropped the top part and asked, "Why did they do nothing?" Their answer was simple, "We did not want to hurt the refrigerator."
We then sat down to fill out an accident report and I went straight to the emergency room when I was finished.
While there, I had some x-rays that showed nothing was broken, so the doctors suggested physical therapy.
I will do whatever the doctors told me to do, whether it works or not because they are doctors and should know what is best for you.
After about three weeks of physical therapy, I was unable to walk on my right knee at all; the knee just could not hold any weight on the joint itself.
I was receiving workers comp at the time, which barely paid my bills. My doctor then sent me in for an MRI, which showed that I had a torn meniscus and a torn ACL.
The worker's comp doctor agreed with the outcome of the MRI. After this, they set me up for surgery in February of 2009.
I could not wait to have this surgery done so I could walk normally again. When I woke up from the surgery, the doctor showed me pictures and told me there was nothing wrong with my right knee.
Now I was very confused and it took three weeks for the knee to heal from the surgery. I did go back to work afterwards but the more I walked on it the more it hurt.
It actually still felt the same as it did when I first hurt it, except that the pain started to spread through all of my joints, including my neck, which caused major migraines.
When I brought this up to my doctor, he said that it was normal, and would go away with time.
Well, it did not go away, so at the beginning of 2010, I saw a neurologist who diagnosed me with a severe case of fibromyalgia, nerve damage, and migraines.
My neurologist sent me to see a psychiatrist, who added anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
All of this, at one time, drove me insane and I needed to get my mind off everything so I started college.
I wanted my major to be accounting with an understudy of psychology or psychiatry.
Half way through my first year of school, I changed my major to psychiatry because all the medications that I am on make it hard for me to remember the major details for accounting.
My two-year mark is up on my worker's comp case and they are now trying to find me a suitable job.
The worker's comp doctor that I have seen twice in two years has put me on a 5% disability.
The doctor who did my knee surgery labeled me as 90% disabled because I cannot walk, get hot, cold, or push myself around in my wheelchair and he has told me I cannot drive any longer.
I have gone in for one more MRI and it said the same thing that it did before, where I have pictures, showing nothing is wrong.
Both doctors have me at 100% recovered, saying it will not get better than it already is because of the fibromyalgia.
Three of my doctors have told me that the trigger point for my fibromyalgia was my knee accident, but they will not put it in writing, because fibromyalgia can be caused by anything.
In this past month, which is October, worker's comp has cut back my wage to one third of what it was and DES cut back my food stamps to $16 a month.
This does not give me enough money to pay for any of my bills or cab rides if I were in need to go to the hospital.
I do not like asking for help and definitely do not like to take handouts, but I have helped others for so long that right now I need to ask for help. I do not have a choice.
Last week, I applied for Social Security and SSI disability, which could take forever for them to accept or deny my claim.
I do have a lawyer working on my side for worker's comp, but he is not helping me much, because the doctors will not link my knee problem as the cause for my fibromyalgia symptoms.
The only thing that makes me feel better is when I go to water therapy. But now because of the changes in APIPA, I am out of therapy lessons for the year.
I guess right now I just do not know what to do. I know what I need but that is not helping me at all, because I have no way of obtaining these items or the money to help me get these items.
Everywhere I go I need a babysitter, and someone to drive me, and push my wheelchair. I have never had to depend on another person for every little thing I need.
I am getting better at it, but for a 37-year-old woman who wanted (and was practicing) to be on the Roller Derby team in 2007, this is a major change in lifestyles.
What I am looking for help with is an electronic wheelchair or scooter. I have already been turned down for one through worker's comp and APIAP.
Donations or another way to put in a small in-ground swimming pool (between 4 and 6 feet deep) into my backyard for strengthening and exercises my muscles, along with a way to help pay for college and bills.
Most importantly, I am looking for any advice anyone can give to me. I would greatly appreciate it.
The home that I live in was bought for me as an engagement gift. My name is not on the house itself.
My boyfriend and I were going to married, but after this accident happened, my credit rating plummeted, and I will not marry him until my credit rating is back up.
If anyone has any ideas or a place to start, please help me.