I never thought I would be sick, much less dealing with a chronic illness.
You see, I've never been seriously ill before, then one day everything changed. I suddenly started running to the bathroom - A LOT. I thought it was strange and that perhaps I had caught some sort of bug. I waited patiently to feel better, but I continued to get worse. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. I had no control of my bowels. I couldn't eat. I was having blood loss every time I went to the bathroom. I was going to the bathroom 10-20 times a day. I began fevering regularly - at times over 105 degrees. My body was covered in painful sores. I was struggling with the effects of malnutrition. My muscles and joints hurt so bad that I could barely walk. I started using a cane to get around. The physical pain was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Before I knew it, I was hospitalized and having my first Colonoscopy; with many more to come.
After going through all these unexplainable issues, I received life changing news: I had been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
The life I once knew, was over. At the time, I was in my mid- thirties; I had been healthy up until this point. Now, with no warning, I was living with a chronic illness. I couldn't make sense of it! I was overwhelmed and scared. I didn't know what my life was going to look like? So many things ran through my mind: "How will I work? How will I pay for this? Who will help take care of me?" I pulled myself together and thought: "I'll do whatever it takes". And so, began my journey with pharmaceutical drugs... Lots of them!
My Gastroenterologist started me on multiple oral medications and when those didn't work, he put me on high doses of steroids. This went on for years! The drugs would only temporarily manage my symptoms and bring with it a barrage of side effects. A major flareup was usually just around the corner and back to the hospital I would go. After years of this, my gastroenterologist decided to put me on an infusion drug called Remicade. I would go to the chemotherapy clinic every 4 weeks and the infusion lasted 4-6 hours. These treatments were very difficult. I felt like I had been run over by a truck and it would take me days to recover. I always had an underlying feeling that I was doing more harm than good. But, I was desperate and willing to do anything - I just wanted to be able to function again.
The treatments and the disease seemed to rule my life. I just wanted to be "normal" and not the "sick" one. The Remicade started taking a significant toll on my body. It is an immune suppressant drug, so on top of my illness, I was constantly getting sick. Pneumonia, 3-6 months of Bronchitis every year, infections in my fingers and toes, a mass started to form on my liver and a tumor began to develop in my breast. I knew I couldn't keep this up! Four years after taking my first infusion of Remicade, my body began rejecting the drug. This was a HUGE crossroad for me! I knew the pharmaceutical drugs were creating significant issues that I could no longer ignore. The drugs were suppressing my symptoms, but were not healing my body. After months of research and prayer; I knew that continuing on with more drugs was not the answer.
Which leads me to my life today; I am thrilled to tell you that I am off ALL pharmaceutical drugs. This year, (Summer 2018) I needed to take a 3-month unpaid medical leave from work to rest and to allow my body to do a reset. I was on bed rest for over a month while the toxic waste and residue from all the drugs started to leave my body. It was very difficult - physically, financially, and emotionally - but worth it!
Now that I am off all pharmaceutical drugs; my next, and FINAL STEP OF HEALING, is to receive full time care at a health care facility in Santa Rosa, CA. - True North Health Center - https://www.healthpromoting.com
I have a bed reserved October 29, 2018 for 6 weeks. The objective is to heal my digestive track, which will allow me to absorb nutrients and digest food properly. One of the doctors explained my condition as follows: "Imagine falling and tearing up your elbow. If you were to care for the injured area, your body would heal itself. However, if you were to grind your infected elbow into gravel three times a day, it would never heal". He said, this is the case with my digestive track. Every time I eat, I experience pain and difficult side effects, including infection. My body needs a complete rest from digestion, in order to fully heal. Once this has been accomplished, the slow and careful process of reintroducing food will begin. At True North Health Center, all of this will be supervised by a medical staff of 18 physicians and 52 staff members. I will be in the best of care!
Unfortunately, my insurance will not cover my stay. If I'm not taking drugs or having surgery, frustratingly, my insurance will not cover it. I have spent all of my savings while being off of work and I am not generating enough income to replenish the deficit. Therefore, I am unable to fund the final care I need - my stay at the care facility.
I am a single woman and this process has been extremely trying, to say the least. I have never been one to ask for help or money. Not being able to physically function, let alone the financial burden the illness has caused me, has made life more than difficult. It tears me apart, but I need help. It is with a heavy heart that I humbly ask for your financial contribution to help me receive the care I need.
The wonderful group of people at EfundYourHealth heard my story and have taken me on as a part of their nonprofit efforts. Every dollar that is contributed to my medical fund will be matched (up to $2500) by the organization. They manage the funds and allocate them to be used for the approved care at True North Health Center.
If you, or anyone you know, is able to contribute to my medical fund, I would be more than grateful. I am passionate and determined to finish this race, to restore my health, and to finally get back to my life. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I will keep all those that contribute up to date on my journey of healing, while I am at True North Health Center. I can't thank you enough! XOXO Lori