Spine Injury Disabled Eugene Seeks Home And Wood Shop Disability Grant
by Eugene P. Brown
(Black River Falls, Wisconsin, USA)
I am a 62-year-old man. I have four children, all of whom are grown. Three of my children are married and one is to marry next summer.
I also have six grandchildren and enjoy spending as much time as I can with them. I expect one or two more yet.
Growing up on a dairy farm with eight brothers and three sisters, fourteen in all with my parents included, I learned a lot of skills on the farm that prepared me for being on my own.
We were well rounded and my Dad did not work on the farm. We learned to be resourceful. Large gardens and wild game were on the table.
After high school l left the farm and began working in building construction. Shortly after I broke away on my own with a friend. We worked our small company for ten years.
We soon realized, that in a small town, the better money was elsewhere. I spent all my working years in the construction trades. I found it very rewarding.
I was on my way to work one morning in March and hit some black ice. It was to change my world forever, not all of it in a negative way though. My family was still young and this allowed me to be with my kids more often. Times could have been worse, because I lost a younger brother with four children to cancer.
One of my biggest disability issues is not being able to get around as I was always on the go before. I used crutches and even a walker for a while. A big factor in my disability was the chronic pain that came from a spinal cord injury.
Doctors at the time said I would probably not walk again, but I fought back, teaching my children to never give up.
Over the years I had seen many doctors at different hospitals. All results were the same.
Five years after my injury, my wife divorced me. I then became the primary caregiver. She had an inheritance from her father after he passed. I kept the house and waived all rights to her inheritance. An even split.
After high school my kids moved on and I no longer received social security for the kids, and the child support was no longer needed. I was able to get Disability quite quickly, due to the severity of the injury.
I still struggle with mobility, largely due to all the rods and screws used to rebuild my spine. I spend a certain amount of time in a recliner or lying on my bed to rest.
After recently visiting a spine surgeon, I learned that there was no easy fix, and coupled with many risks, it would require major surgery.
With medication changes and not overusing myself, I came to learn the balance. I have osteoporosis in my foot, leg, and back but use a variety of brace aids to help out.
Trying to keep up with the costs often proves to be challenging. I keep out of the cold in the winter months to help keep warm.Financial Hardship
I face a number of financial hardships. Having to sell my home and pay off my mortgage was difficult. After the mortgage was paid, I went out and paid off all outstanding medical bills.
Paying for all remaining bills and debts pretty much put me even. I was able to stay at a friend's place for an affordable price. He has since asked for the area I stayed at as he needed it for his own use.
I have since been offered a camping trailer to use until I can find a place for the cold northern winters. As long as I clean the camper I can use it, but come mid-September it will get cold.
Keeping a reliable vehicle and paying the loan as well as insurance, registration and maintenance does get tough to keep up with.
My medical bills will always be an ongoing expense. Plus paying the Medicare insurance also. A lot of my meds are reduced because I meet the requirements.Income Efforts
Due to dealing with chronic pain it is very difficult to hold any kind of schedule. I have many sleepless nights and often am trying to find sleep when I can get it.
I spend some of my time just trying to get comfortable. When fighting chronic pain, it is difficult to remain focused.
Because of the area I live, a small town, with many of the people over 65, it's hard to get help from church, community and other sources. I've applied but have had no success.
I tried to work as a cook in a friend's restaurant but my back and feet hurt too much.
There are days when I'm laid up in bed for up to three days at a time. Some of the meds keep me from driving also.
I'm hoping for a place to live and have a small wood shop because I was a carpenter and still have some shop tools. This I could do from a wheelchair.Specific Needs
My specific needs are as follows. My biggest is a place to live and maybe a wood shop connected so I can do a little shop work. I was a carpenter before I was injured and still have some shop equipment left. It has been in storage. Being able to get by financially is a need I have.
Another specific need is for tires on my vehicle. It is all-wheel drive and all tires have to be put on at the same time or the warranty will be void. Estimated cost is around $500. In this northern area safety in winter is important.
Having dental work done is a very immediate need. It's been a while and I have not been able to afford it. X-rays have to be taken before they start.
My mobility is an issue when I'm outside with my grandkids. I just can't keep up with them anymore.Business Idea
My plan would to have a wood shop as part of my home. I was a carpenter before I was injured. I still have some of my equipment in storage. I would plan on setting shop up to do most of the work from my wheelchair.
I would build craft items that I know will sell. I have been to flea markets and know what sells well. I made a few and the response was great.
If I needed help I would look for others needing some extra money. I can train whom I would find competent. I could then get the ball rolling.