Catch up on whats been happening

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in blog | 2 comments

Catch up on whats been happening

Its been a trying year for a lot of people…it seems like everyone I know and everyone they know are facing challenges beyond what we thought we could handle. All I can do is share my story. Hence the blog. Now, I confess up front I know not what a blog even is. Seems like a diary to share with friends? Im not so up to date on the web lingo, form or process. I’m not a writer…thats why I draw!   But let me share my story best I can.

I was born a poor black….no.

Lets start last year, in this most recent chapter of my life…
I was living in Taos NM w/ my wonderful husband Keith and our 2 dogs monkey and monster. We lived in an earthship, an old mechanics garage, and too many other places for the 5 years there. I mostly worked as a gallery director, really doing my best to help the local artists sell their art to the passers by.

I got a call from my mother in Tucson in August saying she was diagnosed with cancer. Keith and I immediately began looking for jobs and a place to live in Tucson. It seemed a path opened up quickly for us. I got a job at a Theatre Company andKeith got a job as a independent contractor with Direct TV. We moved to Tucson by the end of August. Soon after arriving my Mom was in the hospital getting things removed that really shouldn’t be removed. (innards of importance) The Cancer soon entered her blood stream and she died suddenly in mid December. The job I had at the theatre had not been what I had hoped. It was originally supposed to be full time with benefits.

Being a struggling non-profit, the penny pinching made it a job w/ no benefits and really difficult hours…so I found a job at B E Aerospace. A wonderful place. Huge and slick. I was in the painting department. Painting the inside of airplanes for British Air, Lufthansa, and many of the super high end jets. shiny and gold. I was brought on as a temp and after just a week they told me they wanted to bring me on full time. I just need to wait a few weeks. Their benefit package was almost 100% coverage and they had asked me if I would be interested in transferring to Ireland because they needed painters there. It seemed like things were turning around for us and everything would be peachy and dreamy.

Since February I noticed my body doing odd things…my foot would drop while I was walking. My legs wouldn’t do what I told them. I couldn’t run. I was in the road and a car was coming, when I tried to run I fell. Something was wrong but I didn’t know what.

I had been trying to get help from the government so I could get an MRI. Financially I was told MRI’s are $1200-$1500 without insurance. January a new law began in Arizona that unless you have children you cannot get assistance. I told them I’m not going to have a baby to get an MRI!

it was May, my knee had been bothering me for a couple months, I thought maybe I pulled a muscle and started wearing a brace. Then my balance started to go. I could walk straight and in narrow walkways I would stumble. I noticed at work a few people looking at me sideways, like I was drinking at lunch…In one week my right hand started to weaken. Quite a bit each day. I was dropping everything. I couldn’t type or use a mouse and I was trying to hide it and compensate by using my left hand. My boss noticed and commented it just might be tendonitis. By Friday of that week I could not use my right hand at all…and worse yet my left hand was quickly following the same progression.

I got in to see a doctor a general practitioner, who although very sweet and quite possibly a brilliant doctor could barely speak or understand english. After a long difficult visit where he was trying to get me in the emergency room and I was telling him I had no insurance and just need and MRI…I finally got him to convince his nurse to call around for a neurologist. Myself I was able to get an appointment 2 months from then. What I knew about MS (which I suspected I had) the progression could not be reversed only stopped. So I knew waiting 2 months at the rate I had lost my hands I would most likely be in a wheelchair or worse by the time I got in to see a neurologist to get an MRI. Luckily there was a headache specialist Neurologist that could see me the next day. As soon as she looked at me she admitted me to the hospital where I spent the week getting MRI’s, a Spinal Tap and Steroids. They told e I would be admitted directly into a physical therapy facility for recovery for a couple weeks, then the mood changed drastically when they found out I didn’t have insurance. As soon as they finished the spinal tap I was discharged and told to have someone come and bring me home. No explanation.

It’s really not in my nature to ask for help. In fact, I try to stay pretty private about lousy things that happen because I don’t want to bum people out or burden anyone. But I don’t know why I did it…Maybe it was being so overwhelmed and fearful. i simply posted on Facebook that I was in the hospital and they found i had lesions and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I can’t tell you the overwhelming response I got from friends and even strangers!
Friends created fundraising sites for donations, ideas springing up for benefit concerts and shows! So much Love and Comforting e-mails and posts. I never gave Facebook much notice but WOW. It linked me to a network of overwhelming Love and support that I never would have known existed otherwise.
I realized for the first time in my life how NOT ALONE I really am. What an incredible gift I had been given!  I was truly lifted from the depths of oozy yuk to a place of hope and strength and just a knowing that everything would be fine.