Help Me Live!
Organized by: Lynn Huff
This tale starts 15 years ago when I was diagnosed with a rare arthritic disease called Spondylosis. This disease causes pain and swelling in the joints, bursitis, tendonitis and the growth of bony cysts within the joints. At the time I was married with a daughter and a nice 2 bedroom home in Wall Township, NJ. I had a job I loved working as a bookkeeper and office administrator for a growing law firm. The job was very demanding as I handled just about everything you could imagine from HR, to equipment leasing and repair, supplies, plus every penny of income that came into the firm. I also did all the real estate closings, etc., etc! My salary was $48K a year plus many perks, such as a free car, paid car insurance, a gas credit card...between my husband and I we were meeting our expenses, saving for my daughters college and for our retirement. I used to work a 54 hour week and enjoyed every minute of it. As my disease progressed, the amount of medication I was taking also grew. My Rheumatologist tried everything to give me relief including self-injected Methotrexate and Humira. The Methotrexate caused my hair to start falling out and I lost about half of my volume of hair before we got a handle on it with another medication. Over time the Humira began giving me a low fever and a feeling of general malaise. I found I was using all my sick, personal and vacation days for doctors appointments and to be honest sometimes I simply did not have the energy to get out of bed in the morning. It finally came to a point when my ability to keep regular work hours became impossible. I had a long, sad talk with my boss and he suggested a career change. I went on temporary disability and went back to school to become a Realtor. I started from scratch in a very competitive field and over time managed to become a top agent in my office with Coldwell Banker. I had found another job that I loved! Even though I had to take a huge pay cut, especially in the beginning while I was building my client base. Meanwhile the disease kept getting worse. I had pain from my TMJ's to my toes. It finally got to the point where I was asking friends in my office to cover my open houses, closings and other aspects of my job. I had to give up this career and applied for Social Security Disability. Because of the severity of my problems I was granted benefits with my initial application. My benefit was $1,000.00 per month. Financially, we hit the bottom of the barrel, First our savings went, then we lost our house and then surgeries started. In October of 2012 I had my first shoulder surgery. This was followed by 4 months of Physical Therapy, 3 days a week at $35.00 a session. The medical bills started rolling in. Thanks to the new healthcare policy put in place by the government my great healthcare plan was downgraded to the minimum allowed by law and my total "out-of-pocket" expense skyrocketed to $4,000 per year. This may seem minor to some but it was a big hit for us with my income nosediving from $48K to $12K a year! It took a full year for my shoulder to heal. Then in January of 2014 I had my right shoulder done. In January of 2015 I suffered a stroke, leaving residual effects on the right side of my body. During this time I was trying to decrease the amount of medications I was taking. In order to cut down on my Oxycodone pain medication I started taking Advil. Basically this burned a hole in my stomach and on August 25th of 2015, I was rushed to the local Trauma Center with a perforated ulcer with peritonitis. Emergency surgery saved my life and I spent 7 days in the Trauma ward. This in itself was so traumatic that I developed PTSD. In November of 2015 I developed an infection in the incision and had to have it opened again and drained. One year later in August of 2016 I developed 2 incisional hernias. I am currently healing from double hernia surgery. I now find myself deep in debt to Meridian Healthcare and am desperately trying to pay off a mountain of medical bills and it seems hopeless that I will ever get these bills paid off. Please HELP! ANY CONTRIBUTION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED! We are about to become homeless as we can not meet our rent, electric bill, etc. and soon we will be eating out of the food bank. I find this very unfair to my husband who is a hardworking man who has basically given up on retirement because his salary is the only thing currently keeping a roof over our heads. If you can't contribute then please pray for me. Thank you.