kill: (follow the day)
( Jul. 24th, 2009 04:23 pm)
Since many people have helped me in my time of need, and I have been so touched and surprised by the power of the Internet and its users to help people, I am posting this in the hopes that someone may be able to help one of the worthiest people I have ever known. Betsy ([ profile] bizetsy) and I met on LJ and used to work in the same building downtown, many years ago when I was at Internap. (Some long-time readers may remember our coffee-break adventures at Tully's that involved sugar-y frozen drinks and made-up songs.) She and her husband, another old friend of mine, met at my 24th birthday party. We haven't been in close touch in a long while, though I always read what's up with her with great and fond interest. Betsy is truly an incredible woman - a funny, charming, grade-school teacher with a killer wardrobe and beautiful tattoos, whose smile would light up a whole city block.

Anyway, she has been struggling for a while and needs help now and I can't think of anyone more deserving of it. Here is what she posted today:

Dear everyone,

I apologize earnestly for my mass message; my energy is in such short supply that I have been unable to speak to most of you for quite a while. I hope that you are well and happy. I have very important news to share, and a request for help.

* I have been diagnosed with several serious, and at this time, incurable, diseases.
* I have 2 neurological diseases: POTS and orthostatic intolerance. Both are types of dysautonomia: the breakdown of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls ALL major functioning body systems: respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, reproductive, etc. My cases are severe.
* I also have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury/brain damage from my April 07 car accident (when you are hit by a semi going 80, it doesn't work out in a small car's favor).
* I have multiple severe sleeping disorders. I am told I get about 3% of the rest of an average person. This means that if I sleep 8 hours, it's like you sleeping for 20 minutes. This makes it very hard for me to heal when I get other maladies.
* Along with this, I have a severe case of fibromyalgia.
* I have been rated 100% completely disabled by multiple doctors

I have a team of doctors searching for further understanding as to my poor health, as well, as I might have more illnesses. On a very good day, I can run a small errand or attend one activity. On a bad day, I am confined to my bed and must crawl to use the bathroom. I have had many more bad days than good lately, and have been almost totally confined to my apartment for the past months, going from dehydration to two kidney infections as well as dealing with effects of trying new, risky medications to attempt to decrease my dangerous symptoms. My infections got so severe that one of my drugs was a chemo drug; I have lost weight, lots of hair, and lots of lunches. (Bad humor attempt)

The good news is that these diseases are chronic rather than deadly; I am alive. I went from Fulbright scholar, teacher, and full-time graduate student to someone who can't walk sometimes. BUT, like I said, I am alive. I see grace and goodness in many small things that I ignored before. I am seeing a world-renowned rheumatologist on Bryan's insurance, and he has diagnosed more in the last 2 months than I had learned from many other doctors in 2 years.

The bad news is that so far, I have received not a penny in disability, social security, unemployment, or any other type of compensation in almost 11 months. I am told the wait on this is between 1-3 more years, and that for some cases, it takes 7 or more. Short term disability rejected my initial claim and I have to appeal (I am told this is pretty standard diversion.) I am being as proactive as my disability allows, but there is only so quickly that the government moves. I spend NO excess money: I do not go out to eat, buy clothing or get hair cuts or anything that is not mandatory. I only buy essential healthy groceries (at very low cost based on researching sales, coupons, rebates, etc.). Other than that, my money goes to doctors and medications. I had a savings account, emergency fund, everything you're supposed to do. Bryan has done everything he can to help me, but the medical bills--my medications alone are over $1,000 a month. Add testing, doctor visits, treatments, , on top of our very frugal living costs, are just too much for one salary to bear.

My money is gone. My credit card debt has reached a place I can not pay. I have $75 in my life, and I owe over $25,000 in medical bills (mostly on my credit cards) at this time. I promise you that I have watched every penny. However, my savings is gone. It is hard for me to ask, as I believe my place on this planet is to help others. I realized I needed to ask you this when I have had to cut down my medication doses and avoid new appointments because I can not afford them. That is dangerous. So, I now humbly ask for your assistance.

If you can make a donation of any size, I would be very grateful. If you wish, I will give you an itemized note of exactly where your money is going. I stretch every penny and promise I would not waste anything. If you can donate, please click here:

If you have no money to send but can send good wishes, thoughts, prayers--whatever your belief system is--I would very much appreciate that, too.

In return, I am setting up a website called to show people how I routinely get savings of 75% and more on groceries and home essentials (the only money I have spent for months), to try to help you and others. I will post as I am able.

Please feel free to re-post this in your journal.

Thank you so much for your time. My love to you all.

Thanks for reading, y'all.


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