A Condensed Version of our Story Before November
Many do not know that the neurological issues did not just hit Sarah in late November/December. Sarah has had multiple issues with her health including her brain and nervous system. It appears in the video many have seen that the bad part of her health “suddenly hit.” If you haven’t seen the video, click here.
Even though she’s had health issues for years, she started feeling even more miserably sick in late ’12 when one of her jobs began. I (her husband, then fiancé) was wondering what was happening with her. She would barely talk which was highly unusual. We usually couldn’t go out because she was so fatigued and had increased chronic pain.
What happened to the carefree woman I fell in love with? What happened with our quality time spent over tea and deep conversation? It just wan’t there. It was silenced for some reason. I’m a guy so it took me awhile to figure out it was her health. 😕
Her boss saw what she was enduring health wise and felt for her. I’m sure no one knew at the time what was going on because she “looked fine.” Only those who spent a lot of time with her knew that she was becoming more ill. Her boss was trying to help her find another job because he respectfully cared for her. It was thought that her work at the time was making her decline in health and that a different job would save her health. She did get another job, but she declined in health even more rapidly.
Wedding Bells….and White Picket Fences?
Her funky walking, wheezing, then collapsing began. This happened just a month before our wedding. We both thought she would do better after the wedding. I talked about the “white picket fence” dreams and that everything would be so much better once we were married.
Sarah was running off of pure adrenaline. She told me later she was “running off of the mantra, ‘as long as I make it to wedding, I will be okay. At least I have a week off to rest on my honeymoon. That will help.’” Her adrenaline crashed after the wedding.
She finally hit the point where she knew she had to quit with a number of people helping to make that decision- including those in the medical field. There was no other option.
Beforehand she was sleeping when she wasn’t working, she began having daily chest pains, it was difficult for her to talk on the phone at times at work because she couldn’t breathe, and she felt like she wasn’t doing her work up to snuff because of her health. She felt like it wasn’t fair to the company (a good company at that) to have an employee who was “there” but not fully there.
Sarah believed all she had to do to get well was:
Get some treatments from her doctor
Recover (This is something Sarah could not check off her list)
One of her doctors told her she shouldn’t work outside the home again. Every time she worked, her health would go downhill.
The words devastated her. I think that’s normal for a twenty something. You have dreams of a career since you were a kid, but they couldn’t be lived out as you wanted.
She slightly improved by quitting work, making even more measures to make the house chemical free since she is so sensitive to chemicals for multiple reasons, and getting IV treatments from an Internal Medicine doctor. The treatments were few and far between due to lack of finances. We exhausted options for her to obtain wellness through whatever avenue we could find at the time with our finances.
On My End- Where There was an End
My job was axed. I tried multiple ways to gain a job, everything ‘they’ say to do. I was continuously applying online, showing up to workplaces in person, emailing managers of companies, networking…you name it. I would get responses from many saying “your resume` is impressive, but we are not hiring at the moment, we will certainly keep your resume` on file though.”
My own health was going downhill but we didn’t know why. Sarah says it’s funny because most people were asking about my health at the time since I didn’t look like my normal self, but not about her health. She could cover herself up with a makeup and a smile. I wasn’t as fortunate. Sarah was really worried about me because she had never seen me like this before. She would cry at times, thinking it was somehow her fault.
We had to live with Sarah’s parents out of necessity. Even they were not fairing well. Sarah’s dad would sacrifice what little they had in the fridge to his wife who was working very part time who was also attempting to find work.
This is a life none of us expected.
I tried to get day labor at the time, but even they said they didn’t need workers. I was willing to hold up a sign outside…anything to bring in money. At this time, our savings went down to nothing. I was desperate. We were on food stamps, but it wasn’t enough to cover the expense of food. We barely ate.
Sarah hadn’t been able to get proper medical care that she needed for many months. She was dwindling in health. Her body was becoming more fragile to the point where every time she went out, she became sick. Her very taxed immune system could not endure trips outside of a controlled environment which was a major upset to both of us. “You don’t know what you have until it is taken away from you ” was very true in this season.
For better or worse- CHECK, things became worse
Richer or poorer- CHECK, we became poorer
In sickness and in health- CHECK, we had the sickness thing down
To love and to cherish as long as you both shall live CHECK- this is one we would gladly put a mark by
There’s More to the Story Than What Most People Know
I finally found a very part time temp job that paid minimum wage doing very labor intensive tasks. Two banquet sized tables fell on my foot. Unfortunately, I was at a job that didn’t truly care about the people. At the time this happened they just said “be careful in the future.” I went to urgent care where they x-rayed my foot.
After work found out about the results, they said I couldn’t come back to work unless I had a doctor’s note approving me for work. Since I was a sub-contractor, I couldn’t deal with the company directly. I had to go to a temp agency manager who barely spoke English and seemed to be hiring illegal immigrants for the very job I was working.
He was always “unable to reach” to pay future medical expenses for me to even have future follow-up appointments.
Worker’s Comp wouldn’t go through. I even wrote a letter to the governor. I was jumping through as many hoops possible just to get a job back that only paid minimum wage, required continual fast paced manual labor that would have been much easier for me to do a year or so beforehand but for reasons unknown, it became very hard for me to handle, yet I was still willing. (I had worked a manual labor job just a year before.)
Added to the list was the suspicions that the work place was hiring illegal immigrants through the temp agency I was under, this was also a company that treated their subordinates very poorly. (Some treated me like trash and called me “stupid” in their own native language. One guy I worked with was on trial previously for the suspected murder of his wife.)
I was still willing to jump through these hoops.
I would do anything I could to support Sarah. Shampoo was considered a luxury we couldn’t afford. She was barely eating because we couldn’t afford to eat. We didn’t have the money to pay for her very needed but expensive prescriptions and we couldn’t afford a doctor. Her body was in very fragile shape.
It was only a matter of time before her body crashed.