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Andrea Needs Medical Expense Help!
$500 raised
10% of $5k goal
7 contributors
4 Years running
I have an immediate and pressing need for help covering the cost of a stack of unfilled prescriptions - any help, small or large, is so much appreciated! Now for the "back story": Many of you are already familiar with my story, but not ...

I have an immediate and pressing need for help covering the cost of a stack of unfilled prescriptions - any help, small or large, is so much appreciated!

Now for the "back story":

Many of you are already familiar with my story, but not everyone - and there are some updates! I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (aka Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA) in 2012 after a six year "discovery process". Shortly thereafter was also diagnosed with Autoimmune Hypothryoidism, Vitamin D Deficiency (worse than it sounds!), and Fibromyalgia. My last doctor also suspects Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (an overlap of several connective tissue autoimmune diseases, commonly such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Scleroderma) - but I have not been able to be tested for that yet.

To boot, my spine is also "falling apart" - largely due to the RA - at last count (last Cervical MRI was just about a year ago, last Lumbar MRI was over two years ago), I have five herniated discs - one in my lumbar spine (likely the cause of my bilateral sciatica.. most people get in one leg, lucky me has it in both!), one in my thoracic spine (mid spine) that is compresing the spinal nerve, and three in my cervical spine - two of which are compressing the spinal nerve. My cervical spine is also loosing its natural curvature, and I have what is called "compromise of the neural foramina", which in layman's terms means I have bony growths and other issues that reduce the space for nerves exiting my spine, thus causing them to be compressed as well. All the nerve compression causes significant neuropathy issues... such as pain, numbness and tingling in all my extremeties, cervicogenic headaches (which feel almost exactly like migraines, just a different cause), and more.

There are other symptoms and issues that may point to other diseases or conditions... lately I've been experiencing an odd form of vertigo - odd because it's not so much the dizziness one usually expects from vertigo, more like the floor is bouncing up and down - rather disconcerting, and it is triggered almost every time I bend down, and things like lying down do not alleviate it.

Along with all this comes chronic fatigue, mental issues such as "brainfog" (somewhat akin to how your head feels with a nasty hangover... many things defy comprehension and feels like your brain is filled with, well, fog!), as well as memory loss and other problems with cognitive function.

All this makes working and earning a living very tricky. I am a self-employed graphic artist and webdesigner... between being unable to sit for more than a few minutes without extreme pain and the cognitive issues, my ability to get work done has suffered greatly. Another aspect of my health issues and common issue with autoimmune diseases is that you have no idea how you feel and what you will be capable of from day to day - or even hour to hour. Making plans is very tricky and often have to be cancelled!

I also live with chronic pain - every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month... you get my point! It takes a large toll. I no longer remember what it's like to be pain free.

At this particular moment I could really use some help towards covering the cost of prescriptions. Without going into all the lengthy details (though I am more than happy to upon request), I'll just say I have rotten luck when it comes to health insurance. Right now I am waiting to be accepted by Medicaid (didn't plan on having to sign up just as the entire country was switching to the new ACA system... which appears to have completely overloaded Medicaid in my current state... submitted my application in December!)

Meanwhile, I am paying for my prescriptions - the ones I need to function on any kind of reasonable degree - out of pocket. They aren't cheap - depending on the month (I do not have to take every medication every day), they run me anywhere between $150 - $500, not incuding one very helpful medication as it costs $500+/month alone - simply not possible. And the money spent on prescriptions has to come from somewhere, so other parts of the budget suffer greatly!

I've also really been wanting to try some alternative therapies. While they do not do anything to prevent or slow down the distruction of joints and other internal organs, etc. (RA has no cure), they may help considerably with symptoms. I've heard great things about accupuncture, need to start some kind of gentle exercise like yoga or water aerobics... There are also numerous beneficial supplements, as well as certain diets.

Once I'm finally accepted by Medicaid, prescription costs will go down, but there will be co-pays - and I'll need to see numerous doctors/specialists - rheumatologist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, etc., as well as obtain numberous scans such as MRIs.

There is also the very likely proability that I will need back surgery - perhaps a couple. Given my heath issues and the potential complexity of the surgeries, recovery can take up to a year and a half, with an initial couple of months of not being able to do much of anything. Needless to say, that will be very rough financially - I probably won't be able to do pretty much any work for awhile - and will likely need some hired assistance. Medicaid may help pay for some in home health care if needed, but I'm pretty sure they won't cover things like hiring someone to clean the houe now and then! It'll be rough - but the chance is there it will reduce my pain levels considerably, and restore my ability to do many things.

Along the lines of work/better providing for myself (as I'm growing tired of needing to ask for assistance!), I am working on restructuring my business and somewhat changing its nature so that it better fits with my abilities and the difficulty of relying on being able to do certain things on a regular basis. Grown out of my extreme sensitivities to most things chemical in nature, I've been producing my own salves, lotions, deoderant, cleaning supplies and more from all natural ingredients. It's something I really enjoy and think it would make a great business. However, there are some funds involved - business licenses, product testing and insurance - and the costs of initial materials, packaging and promotions.

So while my immediate need is for prescription assistance - at the moment I have around $250 worth of unfilled prescriptions - there are other concurrent needs, and more that will arrise in the future.

I am so very grateful to everyone who has helped me in the past for their generosity, and humbly ask for the blessing of additional assistance - as well as help passing along my message. Please consider sharing my story with your friends on Facebook or anywhere else you feel appropriate!

I am also more than happy to offer what I can in return - happy to provide design and web work (so long as it's not a immediately pressing request, though don't hesitate to ask even if it is - if I'm having an "up" day, I just might be able to accomodate.. and I'll aways be honest as to what I feel I'm capable of!). Or if you are interested in some of my body products... I'm not yet insured, so please don't sue me ;) though I assure you, their all natural nature makes them very safe - and they are self-tested by a very chemical sensitive individual!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and in advance for anything you might be able to spare - no donation is too small (or too large, for that matter!).

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$10 USD
Handmade Creative Thank You Card
  • 1 claimed
I love to create, making a handmade card (could be drawn, painted, collage, etc.) for you would also bring me great pleasure!
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$25 USD
4oz All Natural Body Scrub and Thank You Card
  • 0 claimed
As mentioned in my fundraiser description, I make all my own all natural body products, including various facial and body scrubs. I will email you upon receiving your donation to find out your preferences and/or if you have any allergy or sensitivity issues. I really enjoy tailoring such items for each individual! You will also receive a handmade thank you card as described in the $10 Perk!
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$50 USD
All Natural Body Scrub & Salve/Lotion & Card
  • 0 claimed
Receive one of my all natural body or facial scrubs and a salve or lotion (see the description for the $50 perk for more info). I will email you after receiving your donation to inquire about your preferences, and whether you have any allergies or sensitivities. I will also send you a handmade thank you card, as described in the $10 perk.
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$100 USD
8x10 Photo Print, Body Scrub & Lotion/Salve, Card
  • 0 claimed
I am also a photographer, and people seem to like my prints! After receiving your donation, I will send you a link to prints to choose from! Also included are one of my all-natural body scrubs and a salve or lotion (see description for the $50 perk) and a handmade thank you card (see description for the $10 perk).
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$250 USD
Original Artwork, Photo Print, Scrub/Salve, Card
  • 0 claimed
I will create an original piece of art just for you! Once I receive your donation, I'll email you with some general ideas to get an idea of what your preferences are, and then I'll get to work! See the $100 Perk for the Photo Print Info, the $50 Perk for the Scrub and Salve info, and the $10 perk for the handmade thank you card info!
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$500 USD
You name it! (And all the other perks!)
  • 0 claimed
This is actually for all donations fo $500 and up... Well, we'll just have to figure this one out! You deserve something truly special! Out of my range of abilities, I'm sure we can find something you would enjoy or need (or both) - design or web work, artwork, etc.! Plus you'll receive all the lower level donation perks!
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