This kills me to do this, but I find myself back in crisis mode again and need urgent help to get through a little while longer. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a terrible degenerative arthritic condition that attacks my spine, hips, ribs, and where the spine joins the pelvis. Unfortunately, the diagnosis came twenty years too late (following years of misdiagnosis), and I also suffered a lot of damage to my spine that cannot be repaired. The condition leaves me in pain almost all the time, sometimes worse than others, and results in horrific spasms where I literally break my own back and damage my ribs. It leaves me unable to sit in regular chairs for long periods of time; I’m left with a permanent twenty-eight degree bend to my spine (adult onset Scoliosis), my neck is collapsed in, and I’m more than three inches shorter than I was three years ago – all compression in my abdomen, the rest of me is still proportional to my original height. I take medications to control some aspects of the condition, each with their own side effects, and weekly injections to reprogram my immune system to not attack me, which also compromises my immune system, leaving me vulnerable to sickness, and even cancer, but without the injections, I suffer the unbearable pain and disability.
My hospitalizations, limited mobility, and other issues related to my condition cost me my twenty-five year career in television and film, which I had sacrificed my whole life for. My family refused to accept the reality of my condition, became abusive, and forced me to walk away from them, so I could deal with my situation without unnecessary added drama. I had to shut down my house, sell almost everything I owned, everything I had worked my whole life to build up. In June, I had to sell my car. I’ve struggled to get companies to hire me, despite peoples’ expectation that benevolent companies are more than happy to hire the disabled. Of course, none of them will say it has anything to do with my disability, so there isn’t more I can do. As I struggle to get on to full time Disability, I have had big victories, like learning to walk again over seven months; and have achieved small victories, getting on MediCal for example to relieve some of my medical stress, but it’s been a much longer, and much more difficult road than I expected.
This past month, not only did I not get much work, but I also took a couple of financial gut punches (I’ve been struggling to get above water since April), which brings me to this point. I’m once again in crisis mode, rent is past due, my landlady is freaking out, making threats, and I have other things caving in on me. I had a great meeting yesterday, which seems might result in at least some regular work through football season, but it won’t even start until September, if it happens. I don’t know what else to do, and close friends keep telling me to suck it up and ask for help, before just packing it all in and calling it a day. I’m trying; I’m trying so hard.
As always, any help is appreciated, and I’m so sorry for even asking. I’m just trying to get across the finish line and to the point where I don’t need help any more.