As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with some pretty severe medical challenges for the last several years, after a brush with death from my first-ever anaphylactic reaction to latex on Christmas 2011.
I have now “died” (stopped breathing, heart stopped) twice in just the last few weeks and have been hospitalized 3 separate times since March 28. My latex allergy is now so severe that I cannot even be in a building with latex – no party stores (latex balloons), have to avoid certain aisles of CVS that have rubber rain boots (most rubber contains latex), and I am allergic to the Gold building of WHS, which I believe has rubber-laid stairs. The reaction is so extreme that an epi-pen no longer works!
My hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin – opposite of diabetes) has gotten so bad that I now have hypoglycemic seizures at least 3 times a month and need an intramuscular injection of glucose to be revived. I also have the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis and am in incredible pain on a daily basis from RA, carpal tunnel syndrome, an old wrist injury, a dance-related knee injury, severe scoliosis, and also FOUR different GI disorders.
It has been suggested that I get a service dog. Jill and I will be going to AZ next week to adopt a dog who will hopefully ultimately be trained to become my service dog! That was the other surprise that I mentioned a couple weeks ago!!
The training will unfortunately take 6 months to a year and will cost $10,000-$20,000! The dog will be sent to PA for several weeks at a time and will be trained to sniff out latex in unfamiliar locations, detect hormonal changes caused by hypoglycemia, and sense changes in energy that may indicate a seizure aura. How cool is that?!
We also just installed a home mobile alert device that will send EMS at the push of a button. (Think – “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”) It will also work with a GPS tracker NATIONWIDE and can send help to my GPS coordinates anywhere in the country! It stinks to have to need that, but it gives me a great sense of security and independence!
I will still hopefully be able to go to work unattended. I am still working at the Chowder House, as I am able. I thankfully have several employees who are willing to cover my shifts when I’m ill. I have taken a break from substitute teaching for the entire month of April, but hope to maybe pick up a few gigs in May. I’m still coaching the middle school dance team, for only an hour and a half, 3 days a week.
Due to the extreme costs of training the dog, and also my ever-increasing medical bills (thankfully much of which is covered by insurance, but not everything!) I will be doing some online fundraising and also a couple BBQs and local fundraising events this summer. My goal is to raise $15,000-20,000 by August! Why August, you ask? Our dog will turn one in August, which is the age at which dogs can begin service dog training.
I have created a FB page to raise anaphylactic allergy awareness and support for my fundraising. I’d also like to begin my fundraising with this site! Please rest assured that every penny will go toward covering the cost of medical bills and service dog training.
– See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/jenny-pi-s-get-well-soon-and-service-dog-fund/164469#sthash.dzq1vgMD.dpuf