Friday, April 22, 2016
I've learned that gratitude is a vitally essential component to healing from illness.
For the next few weeks it's my job to find creative ways to be grateful for you.
I posted something on Instagram a day or two ago on how paying for my Lyme treatment has left us broke, as it does almost everyone who is faced with this insidious, painful, cruel disease.
As a freelancer, I pay 500$ a month for an insurance policy that does not cover my condition.
Insurance does not cover Chronic Lyme because the CDC does not recognize it as a treatable condition. My husband works full time as a teacher, but because his school has less than 50 employees, they are not obligated to provide benefits to their workers. Like me, David pays an exorbitant amount every month for private insurance.
This disease is relentlessly complicated and incredibly expensive- thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars for doctor visits, alternative therapy, pain management therapy, supplements, medication, medication to cover the side effects of the other medication. The cost has crushed us, but we refuse to accept that this potentially degenerative condition is untreatable. There are effective treatments- they are cutting edge, experimental, and expensive.
I've been thinking lately about a creative way to help raise money to help pay for my recovery. I am four months into what should be a year or more of intensive antibiotics. It's made me feel a lot better so far, but my recovery has reached a plateau, which I was warned could happen. My neurological issues have not improved, including diminished eyesight, muscle tremors, cognitive impairment and severe neuropathy pain.
My doctors are now recommending a treatment called Pulsed Electro Magnetic Frequency. It is a 30 hour treatment spread out over ten weeks. They have seen this method, PEMF, drastically change the course for people with illnesses that present neurologically, as mine has. The cost, unfortunately, is prohibitive. Three thousand six hundred dollars, on top of what we are already paying and already owe, is impossible. What we find the most daunting about this situation is the longer you wait to treat, the harder it becomes. Permanent brain damage is a very real possibility.
So, back to my brainstorming over what I could offer in return for donations. Yesterday I realized: there is no one thing that would appeal to everyone who is kind enough (and able!) to donate (and please note that I understand that there are many, many of us who are not in a position to donate) - so instead of trying to invent a one-size-fits-all thank you, I'll just ask you!
If you donate to my treatment fund by clicking here or on the yellow button at the top of the page, Paypal makes your email available to me. I will contact you via email, and we can discuss what would give your day the brightest little spark of joy as a thank you. Yesterday, after a few donations came in, I wandered around town with my best friend (and was out of the house for three hours! A record for me lately!) and browsed around for tokens of appreciation: gemstones, little packets of coffee, silver and gold bird banners, prints of mountains and funky camper vans, stackable brass rings...all sorts of things, all local to Asheville.
Of course, I can also offer any print you'd like from my collection of travel and landscape photos (I will post them next week) or homemade sea glass pendants from freshly picked sea glass, even essential oil and flower petal infused bath salts and other organic beauty products I make myself.
And finally, every gift comes with a hand written thank you letter. And as you know if you've donated to The Wilder Coast before....I really fill up that card! I guess I have a lot to say.
This photo was taken of me yesterday, during my time browsing about town feeling incredibly grateful. My mom says that I look that happiest she's seen my since I got sick....and I was.
Thank you. And if you're not in the position or mood to donate, the next best thing you can do for me? Is to read my blog. It helps to tell my story....it helps make everything better.
(If you would like to donate from your mobile phone, click here.)