Dear gentle readers, I’ve done everything I know how to get through my challenges by myself. But now I’m in a bind that I can’t get out of on my own in time and it feels suicidal not to come clean about my situation and ask for help.
My problem is my 16-year-old car died in July. My plan for replacing it involved selling the two shares of Apple stock that I own due to having purchased one share the week that Steve Jobs was fired, plus selling some stuff on eBay (a mix of possessions and an item I thought I could get wholesale and sell at a profit). The eBay part of the plan fell through. A bunch of unexpected bills cropped up. Now I can either replace my old car, which was so unsafe I’ve already sold it to a junkyard, or cover the rest of the month — but not both.
The car dealer was in my father’s Boy Scout troop as a teen in the 1960′s, when my younger brother was alive and Dad took his scout troop hiking and canoeing in the wilderness. This was extremely rare in those days, but my father was raised to camping having spent his summers in his teens camping in Yosemite. All of the men who belonged to my father’s scout troop as boys and got to go on those expeditions still marvel at their luck and the influence my father had on their lives. That is why the dealer let me sign a post-dated check in July to replace my deathtrap with an eight-year-old car he had in stock after I proved I’d sent my Apple share certificate off for sale. So I have the car, I just can’t keep it unless I can cover that check.
I need to raise $1200. Please click the “Donate” button below and help me if you can.
My experience since becoming a fiscal conservative in 2008 is that conservatives will help others but want to know their money is going to someone who works hard and will make the most of every opportunity put in their hands.
So, for the first time, I’m going to explain the magnitude of the challenges I’ve faced. A lot of people in similar circumstances either kill themselves or go on disability. Or they die — I have been a caregiver for dying loved ones since 1984, a job so demanding that about 30 percent of long term caregivers die before the loved one they’re caring for. And in 2003, I was dying because my obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) had gone undiagnosed for decades. In 2004, when I was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia, a rare and deadly condition with no cure, my sleep doctor told me he had never seen anyone who got as close to death as I did from OSA in 2003 recover enough to get their life back. This is because OSA causes hypoxic brain damage that affects executive function and working memory. Nevertheless, I made it my goal to get well, create a career and prosper.
Here’s a list of my health challenges, in order of diagnosis:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (1995)
- Depression (1999)
- General anxiety disorder (1999)
- Obstructive sleep apnea (2003), which caused hypoxic brain damage affecting my executive function and working memory
- Idiopathic hypersomnia (2004)
- Obesity (my weight shot up in the 1990′s due to 1-5).
I also have a touch of arthritis but it is controlled by ibuprofen. For several years I had tachyarrhthymia, with a resting heart rate in the 120′s, and asthma, which caused a chronic, racking cough, but those went away over time after I started CPAP therapy in 2004 for my obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy also greatly reduced my joint and muscle pain and stopped my chronic migraine headaches.
Regarding the obesity, my top weight was 217 pounds in April 2003. CPAP therapy also resulted in a fairly effortless loss of 10-15 pounds. In 2010, thanks to Instapundit and the rest of the right blogosphere coming to my aid when a dental emergency for my father meant we weren’t going to make the mortgage, there was enough money for me to see an oncologist-gynecologist and get a sonogram to determine the pain around my right ovary was due to obesity. I didn’t have cancer or need a hysterectomy, as I had feared.
Also thanks to my donors, I was able to follow the doctor’s orders to lose weight by buying a Bodybugg armband and wrist display. I’ve used them over the last two years to lose another 65 pounds, bringing my total weight loss to 80 pounds. One of the coolest ways I have to track my weight loss is photos of me with Andrew Breitbart — I’ll write a post with them soon.
In addition to losing weight, I’ve gotten much more fit. I did my first 5K in June and now can jog a 5K (3.1 miles) easily in hilly terrain.
My financial challenges have come from items 2 through 5. I work very hard to think positively, but feelings of hopelessness and helplessness from the depression can grip me. The anxiety disorder complicates those situations because I get so frightened that I am too paralyzed to do anything because I can’t figure out what to do. Frankly, I think these problems will be cured by getting the skills and tools to succeed in my career as a writer and in my own business. I don’t need medication or pity. I need to create success. In the new direction for my blog, which I will explain soon, I will write about the exercises I am doing to cope with these blockers.
Regarding the hypoxic brain damage, I cobbled together my own program to try to heal myself and recover my abilities. That’s why I started to play to bassoon again in 2003. I started growing heirloom tomatoes in 2004 and joined a gym in 2007. I didn’t know the scope of my problem until the spring of 2010 when, suddenly, it was like the lights went back on in my brain. Mental images — the vision of tasks I wanted to accomplish — would pop into my mind when I wanted to plan something. Not only could I suddenly see the mental images of the steps of accomplishing a goal, I also could remember the steps to achieve my goals and pace myself to various milestones of my day — such as breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime.
Things really began to take off in the spring of 2011 when I learned about light and melatonin. I realized that neither blogging nor caregiving require me to get much sunlight and I never went out of doors in the early morning. Morning walks — now morning jogs — became an important part of managing my idiopathic hypersomnia.
This year I’ve discovered doctors and treatments that I think will heal me enough of the hypersomnia and brain damage that I will be able to work and support myself. Getting over my current hurdle of $1200 for my car will give me a foundation for generating the money to do this.
Unfortunately, I had a heartbreaking setback in February. Thanks to a link from Instapundit, generous conservative donors sent me to CPAC. I had a blast there and met people I really needed to meet. I also was in the right places at the right times so that HuffPo, Mediaite and Gawker collectively had their attacks on Andrew Breitbart and Steven Crowder blow up in their faces. I was joyful and brimming with posts that I still want to write, even if they are no longer timely. However, I came back home from CPAC so sleep-deprived that the next day I fell asleep sitting up in a chair several times while I was monitoring my father. I must have had several very long apneas during these mini-naps because by the end of the day, the light in my brain had gone out and there was only darkness and fog where my organizing ability, working memory and picturing power of the mind had been. I was devastated. I had no idea whether I could get well again, or, if I could, how long it would take. That’s why I’ve hardly written since CPAC. I had to put my attention on getting my health back.
I was still in darkness and fog in May when I forgot that I was making ghee and got involved in researching garden questions online. When I finally smelled smoke and saw two feet of flames coming up from the pot, thanks to my brain fog I forgot everything I knew about putting out grease fires, ignored the fire extinguishers in arm’s reach and got second degree burns that required an ambulance ride to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center.
Thankfully, in June the light began to dawn again. And this week I had an amazing breakthrough and got through a mountain of bills and mail clutter that has had me stumped for months. Now I feel like I can make it. I don’t think I could write this post asking for help if I hadn’t had that breakthrough to make me feel like I could ask people to invest in me and be able to make them proud and happy when they did.
Going forward, I have to put my attention on making money through a successful career that I can launch while continuing to care for my father. (I can’t work outside the home because I can’t leave my father alone for more than a few hours at a time.) Blogging is part of my plan to do that — I want to find my tribe. I’m also going to be writing about the system I am using to set and achieve my objectives and to clear my blockers — the habit patterns I have that obstruct my success.
Please, dear gentle readers, be sure to check in often from now on — and to join me! This is the new direction for my blog. Right now the best way for me to write about the glories of fiscal conservatism is to show with my own life how it gives me the chance to come back from death’s door, overcome seemingly incurable health conditions, pay off a terrifying amount of debt and taxes, and prosper — even after spending most of my life caring for dying loved ones, despite being extremely socially isolated, with no health insurance or savings, at the age of 58.
This is my moment of commitment, dear gentle readers. God willing, the Providence will move:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
(W.H. Murray and Goethe: Usually the whole quote is attributed to Goethe.)
Please donate — it is urgent that I raise $1200 by Monday, August 13, to be able to keep my car. I thank everyone in advance, both for kind donations and for kind thoughts.