Monday, December 22, 2014

A Personal Call for Help

Karine with our daughter, in matching
winter jammies.
This is a different kind of post. Next week we might have some semblance of a year-end wrap up, but for now I'll beg your indulgence on a personal matter. There are times in which everyone's life can be difficult; for me and my family, this is one of those times. It's a time when we need your help. Let me first tell you why, and then what you can do. Don't worry, later in the week I'll be back to literature, writing, and AV technology. This is the one bit of my personal life I need to share.

I don't speak about it much because it isn't my story about which to speak, but my wife, Karine, has suffered from very serious back trouble - to some degree or other -  for three decades now. What's hard to wrap my head around is that her pain goes from moderate to severe to completely debilitating, but it's always there. Think about that for a moment if, like me, you're fortunate enough to be blessed with good health. She is always in pain. Always. On good days it hurts; on bad days she can barely get out of bed, if she can at all. As of late, there have been more bad days than good.

Remember the post-a-day Nightmare Fuel series I was writing in October before I just vanished the last week? That was a string of bad days to the point that she couldn't walk our son from the car to his room at preschool. Over the past months, there have been more "can't walk anywhere" days and fewer days when it just hurts. We're reached a point at which we need a solution. That solution is going ot have to be surgery. 

This isn't going to be the kind of surgery one recovers from quickly; Karine is going to need to have nearly her entire spine fused. What does that mean? It means her back won't bend anymore. It means that it's been so curved and being stretched so straight that she'll end up nearly two inches taller. In terms of time, it's at least six hours of surgery. A week in the hospital. Months away from work.
Mother and Child

That's a big part of our challenge. Karine is a clinical psychologist with her own practice, and one of the few who takes insurance. Each day, she drives a two-hour round trip to her office, spends hours helping people deal with their life issues, drives back. She does this in constant pain, she does it on her own. She is her own office manager, scheduler, marketer. It's a lot.

ANd now she needs help.

Working independently means not only having no paid sick leave, but in addition to the mortgage there's an office rent that won't go away. In addition to the co-pays and out of pocket expenses for the surgery, we're facing months of lost income plus all of the little extra expenses one never thinks of until they get there, from big things like physical therapy and visiting nurses to small ones like wide-angle mirrors for the car because she won't be able to turn and look behind her anymore.

We need your help.

I've set up crowdfunding for this at Give Forward. If you've enjoyed my ramblings here, if the story moves you, and if you can, any help would be appreciated. If you can't give, feel free to reshare and boost the signal.

On a final note, this isn't really about me, although it effects me and our family; it's about Karine and the hopes that, after a difficult year, she can wake up without the pain. It would be a big change, perhaps too big for us even to hope for. But that's the goal; it's about someone beautiful and kind and special whose presence in my life has made me a better person. If you've enjoyed my company, if you like the person you see on these pages here, then she is the one you need to thank.

Any support, from money to reshares to words of encouragement - is appreciated.

We have difficult times ahead of us. I need your help.

Thank you.

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