A gentleman from the Daily Press suggested today’s prompt of “This Is Your Life“. Then they added a question followed by a statement:”If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. ”
Considering How Screwed Up My Life Has been This Far…
Less than a year after marrying the man of my dreams, was devastated by a diagnoses of multiple sclerosis. He stood by me even after the diagnoses was confirmed. Has continued to help me survive with it for 20 years!
Has not been all roses and rainbows, though. We started out living in Missouri where we both had decent enough jobs. Both were not profitable, had to pay off my student loans after all! Got a job offer that required us to move to upper Illinois. Was sort of my dream job as a network engineer. Just think, I would be in charge of telling data where to go and how to get there for a living! Paid really well, too.
We did not want to continue living in the Chicago-metro area for the rest of our lives, though. Got myself transferred to a different branch of the company located in the Denver, Colorado metro area. Got an appointment with a neurologist there. He got me started on Avonex to help counteract the disease from taking away my abilities to live.
Got to go skiing for the first time with my husband our first Christmas there. He was used to cross country skiing, down hill skiing wasn’t that different. I was a green grass ski bunny in my skiing ignorance. After living for a year in a crappy apartment there, we tried buying an older home in Aurora.
Started making improvements to the house little by little. Invested in a bunch of Craftsman tools. Power tools were my thing. Drooled over them every time I entered the Sears store. Contracted to get our windows replaced at a discount by allowing the company to advertise the improvements on our front yard. There was no air conditioning in the house, so we had a swamp cooler installed on the roof. With two mortgages on the house, things started feeling tight.
Made friends with the neighbors around the cul-de-sac where we lived. My employer was starting to have problems with finances. I found another networking company to work for in the area. The new company didn’t keep the promises they made during my interview. I did not want to have to travel more than two hours each way to get to and from my job sites. They wanted my to work far south of Colorado Springs on a contract they had secured there. I refused. They had me do busy work, so I started looking for a new job on the side.
Found a job at a Rhythms Netconnections as a layer three engineer. (That means I told data where to go and how to get there!) Had great fun working on the site. Noticed that things were starting to go down hill as far as the company was concerned after a few months working there. Had been investing in the company’s stocks by having a portion of my salary being diverted to the company. We were not allowed to withdraw our stocks when we needed to be able to have access to our money.
They started limiting the services we provided to our customers by changing what networking options were available. We had to change our layer three customers over to a crappier layer two service. Instead of controlling routing, the customer’s services to a site were either on or off. This was no longer my dream job. I was working on their third shift team. We were told the entire company had to report at 9 AM one morning regardless of whether we were scheduled to work that day or not.
We were divided into two groups. The group I was in was told to go over to the other side of the building. We waited there for around a half hour before we were told that our services were no longer needed with this company. They gave us papers explaining our severance packages, and then we were escorted out of the building.
Went home to file for unemployment for the first time in my life. Had two mortgages with limited income coming in from my severance package. Started looking for a job. There were none to be found in my field of work. After more than a year of searching, landed a contract job for the Department of Homeland Security about August of 2003. Did not have to report to the site until later that year.
Once we started working full time on site, managed to get my shift changed to third shift since that was what my husband was working at the time. Never did actually obtain the clearance that was needed to give me access to the country’s routers due to my lack of clearance. Somehow manage to become the third shift manager. (Remember, we are talking about our national security?) Still had no clearance, but was in charge!
My husband decided he wanted to purchase a bar back in Wisconsin. So I resigned my position on contract. He found us a house there to purchase. I started packing our home up the best I could. We contracted a moving company to relocate our belongings for us. The moving truck came and took everything with them and left us our sleeping bags and a suitcase of our clothes.
We said good bye to our neighbors and drove away to resettle in WI. When we got to our new house, it was not what I was expecting. Much smaller and on a main highway! December is not a pleasant time to move to WI. Am very allergic to smoke. The house was heated by a wood burning heater in the basement. No one lived close by with which to talk to on a day to day basis. Got really lonely out there. The woods had wolves that lived in them and frequently came up to our back door. There was a bear that liked to scratch itself on a tree near the house.
There was a herd of deer that would feed in our back yard area. Wild life was not scarce in our area. Bobcats would climb on top of the garage. Had a bobcat kitten come up to the front window once.
Since my income no longer was coming in, had to take a job at the only place hiring in the area. Working there caused me to try to commit suicide. Called a friend to say good bye one last time. She got the state police to knock on my front door. They took me away to a hospital.
After several days was released from the hospital to my husband. We filed for bankruptcy due to all the bills that had been accumulated. After that, we relocated to southern Illinois where my deceased grandparents used to live. Was not a good retreat. Felt like we were crawling back with our tails between our legs in shame.
My husband was able to secure work in a neighboring town in the retail business. He started rebuilding our finances. Applied for Medicare Disability Income, due to the fact I was no longer able to walk. After a little over a year we managed to move back to where we first met in Missouri. My income from medicare started to be dependable.
He had transferred his position where he worked in IL to a different site in MO. The MO site didn’t suite his style, so he transferred to a different section of town’s site. That one worked a little better for him. Got an electric wheelchair through medicare. He traded in my car to get a van so we could move my wheelchair if we needed to change our current location.
He got fed up with MO, so he wanted to relocate to Minnesota to be closer to his parents. They claimed to have found a handicap accessible apartment complex for us to live in. (Have no idea where they got the impression it was accessible from!) Never been in a more inaccessible building in my life!
Tried moving down to a lower floor, still inaccessible. Was stuck living there for close to seven long drawn out years. Once we had accumulated enough money for a decent down payment on a house, we started looking. In August of 2004, we started purchasing an older home in St. Paul. There are still many things that need to be improved, but we will get it done eventually!
Please help fight my disease
The medicine my neurologist has me on for my multiple sclerosis is called Tysabri. Trying to find the actual cost on the internet is impossible. I remember when I first started on it , the amount the facility tried charging me was well over $2500. There was no way my husband and I could afford that every 28 days! Biogen (manufacturing drug company) has been helping us with some of the cost of the drug, but will not continue helping indefinitely. So I have started a Go Fund Me campaign. To contribute to the fund, click on the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/zfabhdes
All help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your generosity!
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