A special thank u for all of you who follow my blog and social media platforms. It means so much to me and my goal and purpose is to Advocate for patient care, help for families and friends who may be struggling caring for a mesh patient and I am doing humanitarian efforts and support to helping with resources here in my area.
I am still doing an investigation into programs here in my county. It’s been really difficult to get help because we are not completely homeless.
This sets us up for even more challenges such as:
Phone service: free under Obama phone program, Food, we get an amount per month, and there are some food banks here in Stockton, however right now we don’t have a vehicle available to go to these places. Cable isn’t a necessity, but we have free antenna access for the basic channels. One of the programs I have found is that we can get a portion of our PG&E bill paid through a program with PG&E, but that also involves needing a vehicle and going to a few different places to get all the paper work or trying to get a ride to get it all done, everything is a paper process of papers. If you Dial 211 in our county m-f during normal business hours, you can call a representative from our county programs and they can go over options with you.
I am realizing more and more each day that there is nothing I can do about the mesh left inside me right now, so I am trying to keep an upbeat attitude, this doesn’t always work but when it does, it helps me pass the time while having a little fun. I know it’s a dream car but hey “Can’t a girl dream?”.
I still can’t understand it all, it’s a very confusing feeling to not be able to deal with Chronic Pain or be able to just make it through a day getting something done. This leads into my next topic I wanted to highlight on… I am going to say the “F” word, not the one I hear to much of, its the one that affects us everyday, where we live, how we eat, the kind of clothes we wear, what schools our kids go to, what we can do for our kids, etc…
AFTERTHOUGHT INSERT…… I had a benefit through my employer called “LONG TERM DISABILITY” or LTD. It’s a very complicated process where the LTD insurance company needs doctor documents every 6 months, (hard to do when you are dealing with random doctors at the county clinic), then you have your county wanting doctor documents. Well, somehow LTD insurance company had a really hard time communicating with the records department at the county hospital that they discontinued my benefit. This is where I messed up, I didn’t appeal. I had a chance for the 6 months following to extend my benefit and because they canceled my claim, (knowing I’m disabled), I was pretty much forced to apply for California State Benefits, (also known as welfare). I literally went from having it all from barely surviving and it feels like hell as I watch my former life disappear and now I am where I am at in my life. Destroyed….
It’s Finances, how are we living? How has having a Mesh Implant impacted our lives regarding money.. (in a future blog I will get more into specific on personal stories of how I had a stable life that I worked hard for, then I watched it all fall apart, all because of this medical device and I was easily able to go out to dinner with my family if I wanted to), it’s over a almost 10 year journey so I cannot tell you everything right now), it will become clearer as we go along.
So first I want to point out that I was starting to write this blog, I didn’t intend to discuss finances because it definitely is a sensitive subject to most of us I am sure. I see nothing but Lawyer AD’s and support groups (which I love), it’s hard not to talk about it though, I personally had a great career, my own car, money. I have close to 20 years of call center experience as a supervisor in customer service and also working large contracts working as a recovery specialist at a major company.
I went to college and graduated now having two degree’s. I started working at 15 1/2years old and continued to work up until this Transvaginal Mesh Implant started to cause such devastating side effects and the pain is real. I hurt all the time and can’t seem to find anything to help it unless I seek out care at an Emergency Room at a hospital and/or wait to see my regular doctor, which is becoming hard due to wait times it can take up to 6 weeks to get in, resting mostly at home so I don’t hurt myself.
So I get up and walk about the house, or take Romeo on a little walk, but my pain levels have been really high the last couple of weeks, making it such a challenge.
Onto what I would like to share with you regarding finances… what to expect if this happens to you. I know laws different State to State, so this is for the county of San Joaquin.
What happens when you no longer can work and you have to wait on the Social Security Department to process your request. I asked myself what could I do to help support my family while I am waiting? I was on state disability for a little over a year and once that ran out, then I could apply for Social Security Disability, then you have to wait to get denied (I was told a large percentage always gets denied first), then I filed my appeal and retained counsel. It took another year and a few months to get a court date. I have been to court and I am still waiting but in the mean time, I had no choice, I had to apply for our State Assistance program. I swore to myself that I would never do this unless I had no other choices available. The guilt that comes with this is so overwhelming, I still am having a hard time coping with it. That this mesh stole my future, my kid’s future, it’s really devastating.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to speed up the process and it feels like I am in a long state of limbo while I am waiting for their answer by mail or a call from my Attorney. My attorney went over testimony from doctors, including my history of my TVM nightmare, 3 medical insurance companies, everything which is a lot to go through and says it looks good but of course there is never a guarantee. For someone who suffers anxiety and depression from it doesn’t help.
The funds our family receives doesn’t even cover basic needs like the items listed above. then what about toiletries items and things that are not covered by the Cal Fresh program. We have somehow made it this far, we pray everyday for a miracle. In my family I was the primary income, so when this happened, life really hit us hard. One positive that has come from all of this, is that with sacrifice comes humbling. You don’t realize what you have to live without, until you can’t have it anymore. Life’s little pleasures, like just being able to drive. Annual Tags with vehicle, it just seems to never end and there was no way I could do anything about it. So I am not sure where the lesson is other than, I used to have it all, and just like that, I lost it all.
Now I want to help patients who are struggling like me, that it’s not the worst thing what we are facing and to be humbled, caring, and humane to everyone I meet. See I used to live a completely different life. Things have really changed. It shows that one decision changed how my family is living… the paper to appeal with the LTD insurance company. Had I done it, or knew how to do it, my income could very well be manageable. Where I had our family covered until my Permanent disability went through. I discovered this benefit in a Package sent to me within a few days of my resignation with my company.
Life has a funny way of doing this, (not really funny), it’s so frustrating…so I am going to try to dance in the rain and enjoy the roller coaster, even when I feel like giving up. Although this is a scary journey, unknown what the rest this mesh will do to me, I know that everything will somehow work out, not sure how, but I believe it will.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Sunday evening.
M. Hedgcoth, co founder of westcoastmeshfighter, #wearestrongertogether, #tvmwarriorandsurvivor, #westcoastmeshfighter