Disabled in need
Organized by: Kerry Herbert
This is the hardest decision I've ever had to made. Most men pride themselves for being providers and survivors, and belive me, I've survived being a victim of violent crime, including being shot by a stray bullet that riccoheted though the back of my left leg and into my left knee. I've survived methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MERSA). I was hospitalized for nine months, had nine surgeries, was in ICU and almost died three times. I became one of the first, if not the first, patient to survive late staged MERSA. It came with a price as everything does. MERSA attacked my left knee and leg and I became disabled and unable to continue work as a laborer in the construction industry and as a security guard. The most devastating part of surviving MERSA is the long term deabilataing injuries. I had so much tissue, muscles and bone removed due to the MERSA infection, that my left leg is a inch shorter and one year after leaving the hospital, I was walking during the rain and slipped on a manhole cover and my left leg snapped. I was hospitalized for two week and two more surgeries. My doctor said this was a possibility, I was also told that the MERSA infection is dormant but any time I have a fever of 100 degree, I am to go the nearest hospital emergency room for intravenous anti-biotics. This has happened several times over the past eight years. I am in constant severe pain whether ambulating or resting. Due to all of the medications I'm taking, I have gained an enomous amount of weight and suffer sleep apnea. I recently, found out that the MERSA infection is slowly building back up in my bloodstream and I will be needing more surgery on my left knee and leg because of massive calcification. The prognosis is that I will need long term intravenous anti-biotics,( more hospitalization) and either more reconstruction surgery, a knee replacement and metal rod in my leg or amputation. Not a slob story, but my a sad reality. My only source of income is disability which makes it extremely difficult to care for myself and children. If I could work, I truly would not being subjecting myself to the public embrassment of an online beggar. Everytime I see someone homeless with their signs and cups for money, I always give what ever I could. I would pray that I would never be reduced to begging for anything. That's why this is so hard for me. So, how has my life come to this? Yeah, that's the question. Well over the course of the last three years I have been doing what I could to help family, friends and extended family member, that as a part of the fallout from the financial crisis, (eg., losing their homes and jobs) to prevent them from becoming completely homeless and thrifting, I allowed various family, friends and extended family members to stay in my little appartment. Unfortunate for me, they never paid their agreed amount of the rent, utilities or food. Because I have live substaining medical equipment, PG &E gave me special allowances. So my gas and electric would continued even when I could not pay. I would pay what I could but because so many times I've went against my better judgement and allowed others to live with me, I'd end up with a larger and larger gas and electric bill. I now have no other choice but to seek help from kind hearted folks who are able to help me. I am not asking for any money to come to me directly, as I stated, this is to pay down my PG &E account so I can get assistance from programs that are implemented to help low income families pay their ultilites. These programs will not assist me due to the high amount of my ultility bill. All I'm asking is that all funds go directly to PG &E. You can call PG &E at 800-743-5000 or go online at www.pge.com, my account number is 7353008535-3. I just want my gas and electric bill to be reduced enough so I could maintain my bill from now on. I have to pay down the PG &E amount within the next 48 hours or my gas and electric will be shut off!! This is the urgency that has gotten me to swallow my pride and endured my feelings of shame and guilt by appealling to the compassion of others for help. I was told that, "everyone needs help sometime in their lives." And I've help many others without any care for own needs. I always figured, that I would survive and others needed my help more. This is a scary thing to do and I only hope people don't judge me too harshly or unfairly. If there were another way to reslove my dilemma privately, trust me I would have done so in a heart beat. This is a brief discription of some of my daily stuggles. I just want to thank everyone in advance. Please know that I appreciate any support offered. It's not how many times we fall down, but all the times we've gotten up that counts. The Almighty and the Universe have been good to me. And I give thanks for each and every moment I have. May you all Be Blessed. Thank you.