I had thought that a false diagnosis of cancer and a botched colonoscopy were life changing events. However, if you really want to see your life, health, and finances go sideways, just get hit by lightning.
Prior to having part of a bolt that hit nearby come over and say hi, arthritis/inflammation and allergies were the worst issues in my medical life. Since being hit, I've developed cardiac issues that we are hoping recent open heart surgery has dealt with. They had to do three different things while in there: bypass several arteries that had become so inflamed and thickened (possibly/probably from the lightning) they were no longer functioning; zap seven spots on the heart to prevent atrial fibrillation; and, install a clip on the back of my heart to prevent clots from forming. While there are no guarantees, the effort seems to be working for now though we continue to work on dealing with some issues surgery can't fix.
In many respects, I am starting life over again. This fundraiser is so that I can not only start over, but do so in a way that will help me live as long and healthy a life as possible. I need the help because each of the events I've mentioned have cost me work, savings, and more. While I have been working my way back, it has been slow (to be polite). I'm not making anywhere near what I used to, and the last few jobs have been technically part-time and had no paid time off.
For the last couple of years, I've been advised to do a number of things, including move to the desert southwest. The warmth and low humidity are supposed to be very good for the allergies, arthritis and related inflammatory issues. The cold is not good for me, and the true cold snaps we have had since the surgery have done a number on me. Financially and job-wise I've not been able to make much progress on moving (or anything else). Since I'm going to be out of work until at least February, the goals of the fundraiser are to:
1. Cover my basic expenses while I am out of work
2. Cover the cost of traveling to the three areas in the SW where I've been focusing on finding work; determine which area is the best option for now; and, secure a place to live there.
3. Cover the expenses of moving there, as I will not be able to lift, tote, or otherwise do the normal things of moving myself.
As of right now, I've exhausted my financial resources. With this fundraiser, I can use the time I know I will be out of work to take care of the things needed to start my life over again on the best possible footing, and to be prepared for being out of work longer than expected. Thank you for your help with this effort.
Update #14 June 29, 2022
I know times are tight for everyone. That said, I hope you can help. I'm working to be able to move as fast as possible, but meantime there are bills and some unexpecteds. Any help is very much appreciated. As always, your prayers are very much appreciated and helpful.
Update #13 June 25, 2022
It's the end of the month and there are a couple of unexpecteds in with the bills.
The cost of moving has doubled since this started, as has the cost of rent. Rent is the only option for right now, though if I win the lottery... That said, I have come up with an idea that may work to do the move for less. Option 1 involves finding someone else to drive the truck, hiring help to load and unload, and going out and putting things in storage while I find a place to rent. Option 2 would be trickier, with carting the car behind the truck. Right now, unless someone wants' to drop $5k to cover the move by movers, going to have to go with renting a truck. I also need about $5k to cover rent, deposits, etc.
All that said, anything helps and the more that comes in means the sooner I can act. It's taken far longer than I would like, but getting as much medical cleared and dealt with was essential since my insurance won't transfer.
Thank you all again for your support! The gifts, the prayers, the support -- they have been and are essential, and appreciated more than I can say.
Update #12 June 17, 2022
I feel like we are finally coming into the home stretch. The major and most minor medical issues are dealt with for now. I'm about as set as I can be, now what I need are the funds. The economy is hurting both fundraising and the planning I had done. Rents are higher, moving is higher, fuel is higher -- and it doesn't matter. I need to get this done. I have faith that I will be guided and that which is right will be.
Your prayers and donations are crucial, and much appreciated. With your continued help, I will get moved and will be able to start a new life.
Update #11 May 25, 2022
So much for this being a down week. Late last week, I started having pain, poking sensations, and some burning in my breastbone. This was on top of the possibility I was retaining more fluids than I should. Went in for X-rays yesterday as we were concerned the plates and/or three wire sutures on the breastbone were doing something unexpected.
I'm glad to say that the X-rays showed things going well and normally. The problem is, we don't know why I'm getting those sensations or what is going on. So, in to see a doc on Friday.
On Monday, I had my last regularly scheduled cognitive therapy session. As I've said before, I was blessed in that testing has shown that I'm still above average in most areas of cognition. That said, there are some issues with short-term memory and being able to access long-term. Not surprising that some things are scrambled as God's own stun gun was effectively discharged into my version of the most powerful bio-electric computer in the known universe: the human brain and central nervous system.
I've been told that it will take about three years for the brain to heal and settle down. The therapists believe that very little has truly been lost, but that the data is a bit scrambled if you will. Most of the therapy has concentrated on coping mechanisms to help me work around those issues. As for exercising the brain, I was told my writing is the best thing I can be doing and should be doing. So, plan to see if I can get up to more than just a post a day and take on more writing tasks.
I would appreciate any prayers I can get in regards Friday and figuring out what is going on in a body that has not behaved normally since the lightning strike. Big surprise. :) Meantime, pushing on with the efforts to move and start a new life as soon as I can medically do so.
Thank you everyone for your support. I can't say thank you enough as you have kept me going while I've been out of work, and as I try to move. It is close, I think, and with your continued support I will get there.
Update #10 May 19, 2022
Since I was hit by lightning, I've felt like my health has been a descending quantum cascade. Glad to report, however, that all the samples from earlier this week came back negative, no cancer there. What may be a new cardiac issue is being monitored, the recent test and prep may be cause. Will see. Thankful for the good news. Also, thankful and grateful for the recent anonymous donations, prayers, and messages of support! Thank you! With your continued help, prayers, and support, I do have a shot at a new, and hopefully healthier, life.
Update #9 May 18, 2022
Well, what I hope will be the last major medical test/procedure is over. Waiting on some biopsy results, and we are having to monitor what could be a new cardiac issue (hopefully temporary) but I am pressing on. Your help will keep me going and get me moved to where I can heal better and faster, and actually be able to enjoy life more. Thank you all so much, and for those just tuning in, please consider helping me in my efforts to recover from a lightning strike and move to a new life!
Update #8 May 9, 2022
Since the campaign has stalled, I did not move by the end of last month. That looks to have been a good thing, as some specialized therapy sessions finally were approved by my insurance and are underway. I've also seen a wide variety of doctors and am getting checked out stem to stern for everything from cancer onwards. While I have one more outpatient test/checkup with sedation to go, so far everything has been looking good. We do finally seem to have the BP in an acceptable range, and most of my bloodwork looks good.
Provided this next test shows clear, I really would like to move as soon as possible. If you can help, please know that it is very much needed and appreciated. It has not been fun to be out of work this long, much less not being able to do all I would normally do. With continued work, I will be able to bounce back physically and otherwise. Your help will let me do that.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Thank you to everyone who does donate. With your help, I can build a new life.
Oh Joy April 7, 2022
I've had to update things a bit after today's visit to the dentist. Seems at some point I chomped down hard enough to break some previous dental work. No way to fix it, a crown is needed and guess what insurance doesn't cover... There is other work on top of that, but some of it needs to be put off until after I move. Could have happened when I got hit by lightning, could have happened after, and it's possible that when I was hit and locked up it did enough damage that it didn't take much later.
Any and all help appreciated! I really do want to move ASAP, and with your help and prayers, I will. Thank you.
End Of The Month? April 5, 2022
My goal was to be on the move by the end of this month. Thanks to a couple of things, it is now a real possibility.
One of the things making it a possibility is that we may finally have the blood pressure coming under control. Instead of me running around in the 175-189/99 (or higher) range, we have it consistently under 140/90 and may even be on track to a consistent 110 (or less)/80 range. Jury is still out on that, but it is nice to not have to worry about stroking out. At one point, before the open-heart surgery, it was well above 200/100. The only good news from all this is that I likely don't have any aneurysms simply because if I did, they would have already blown.
Sadly, we may not get to do the cognitive therapy that we would like to do. Insurance turned down the first application for it, but there apparently was an option for the provider to appeal. Would love to do at least some of it...
I was very lucky on several fronts, particularly on the cognitive side. There was no physical damage. While there are some cognitive issues, they seem mostly to be in one area and while some of the data is scrambled, so to speak, a lot of it should shake out over the next three years. Getting on out West will help with that, since the weather changes do have an effect on more than just the body.
The warmer, dry climate will help body and mind. Everything helps, and with your help and prayers, we can push this along and get me on out of here.
Home Stretch In Sight March 22, 2022
The location is set, and as fast as the last part of this campaign is raised, the move will begin. A little extra won\'t hurt, as the estimate to move appears to have doubled over the initial -- even with as little as I have to move. It\'s not like I have any furniture other than the bed, and most of what I have to move is what I have to have to live.
And, if we can raise the remaining money, it would not come at a better time. Where I am living is experiencing flooding problems suddenly. We had a problem last year, but it appeared to have been fixed and there were no problems until a couple of weeks ago when we flooded once again. This time, it got up into the room I rent, and while it thankfully did little damage to my gear, the landlord did jack to help me get the water out of the room and carpet. Just caught it trying to flood again, and we think it\'s under control but clearly there\'s a problem as the rain has not been that heavy.
Not to mention that all the weather changes are locking me up. Makes it hard to do anything, and more than ever I miss being out West. As I said, the destination is set and with your help I can get on out there. I wish I could move myself, but the reality is I can\'t do the physical part. I want to, and in my mind I still think I can; but, the fact is just getting the groceries in from the car can be an adventure. I\'ve been told that things will improve, but it takes time, like months to a year.
We are still working some medical issues, but there is a plan for them in the move as well.
Please help me get out West. Then maybe I can get better a bit faster, and with a lot less pain and related delights.
Lurching Back To My Feet. Sorta. February 28, 2022
Well, it has been interesting since the last update. I think that\'s the right word for things.
The migration help I was promised with the computer did not materialize, so moving from what was a state-of-the-art 32-bit processor and system in 2007 to a 64-bit processor system today has been slow. On the good news front, what I can do on the new computer has allowed me to prune things off the old system. As of right now, have it where I can use it for very slow photo/video work, and critical software that won\'t go over to the new system. New system requires buying all new versions of that software, and I don\'t see that happening within the current budget especially since some software places don\'t see moving up such a leap as an upgrade...
Last Thursday, I ended up having to have my landlord drive me to the ER that\'s about a block or so away. Not heart issues, thankfully, but something new out of the blue: diverticulitis. Nope, no sign on my last two colonoscopies. Given that I just had open heart with almost zero pain, if you had told me this would hurt 8-9 times worse (even worse than the gall bladder attacks that led to mine being removed), I might have laughed. Not so much any more.
So, back behind again but trying to catch up. I had my first solid food since Thursday morning today, and so far, so good. More soon, and Bless You All for the prayers and help! I can\'t tell you how much I appreciate both.
Halfway There February 21, 2022
Sorry for the lack of updates, but there have been computer issues and more health issues that hit on top of this site getting hacked. The good news is, progress has been made on health and computer, as well as some other joys. The site is back up, and things are moving along. In fact, I was able to make my trip to the Southwest and came back with a most interesting job offer: dressing in 1880s clothing and sharing history and more with visitors. I\'m seriously considering it, though I am also working on some more traditional employment opportunities as well. The other nice thing about the trip, aside from how good I felt while in the Southwest, is that I was able to eliminate some places from consideration, find a couple of new possibilities, and get the information that will let me refine things down so that I may can move in as little as six weeks -- with your continued help. I will have to hire movers, as recent events have reinforced that I can\'t do the move myself.
Thank you all for your support and prayers! I can\'t tell you how much both are appreciated.
Wow. Thank You! January 15, 2022
Since Sarah kindly gave this a push at Instapundit, things have taken off. I\'ve already thanked her in private, but do so again here in public. It\'s not easy asking for help, and to get the response her posts have driven is a bit overwhelming. I know each of you have gotten the automated thank you, but I am going to do my best to thank everyone again.
Progress is being made. Somewhere, I mentioned the need for an orthopedic mattress. It is being delivered in the next few days. Thanks to you, I was able to go try two versions of the mattress, and the one that works best for me will be delivered in a couple of days. I\'m caught up on bills and getting ahead where I can. In fact, on a recurring bill I was able to make a change that will reduce my monthly bill.
I\'m now starting to look at heading out to the SW. I\'ve got some medical appointments coming up that can\'t be missed. In fact, two of them we tried to get set up back in August (!!!) and while they won\'t show more immediate effects on the brain, they may give us some clues if there are long-term effects building from the lightning strike. Worth knowing, and worth having the baseline. Also, I\'m now wearing a heart monitor and I may end up doing a geek post on my little snitch as it is rather neat. Especially if you\'ve ever dealt with its ancestor. I haven\'t, but know people who did have the wear the old big box. Instead, I\'m wearing something about the size of a matchbox that is water resistant enough I can shower. My skin does not like the patch to which it is attached, but if it gets us answers...
Again, my thanks to everyone who has donated and is donating. My thanks to all who are spreading the word. A huge Thank You to all who are praying as prayers are very much appreciated. Onwards!
First Update January 7, 2022
Huge thanks to the first, very generous, donor! I\'m still hoping to get to travel to the Southwest around the end of the month, if the funds are available. I\'m also still hoping to be cleared to return to work in February, but the office visit on Tuesday of this week included an abnormal ECG, so I will be wearing a monitor for a few weeks starting as soon as it arrives. Rehab is going well overall, though my stamina is not yet where I would like it to be. It will take time, I know, but... For taking the time to read this, my thanks! For contributing, thank you! For taking the time for a prayer, thank you! The road to recovery from both the lightning strike and the open heart surgery is a long one. Thank you for helping make it a better and smoother one.
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