Hello, thank you so much for taking a look at my post.
My name is Kathleen, I am 53 years old and I live in a small town in Illinois.
Until 2020 I was living with my mother as her caregiver until I went into heart failure in November of that year.
My heart refraction rate was at 20, dangerously low.
As a result I returned from the hospital with temporal lobe epilepsy, clinical depression and severe daily anxiety.
Before I went into heart failure I was also suffering from caregiver burnout and depression. I spent several years taking care of my mothers needs in an isolated area and with very little help or support.
Because of family size, geography and family dynamics I had to handle household bills, shopping and all other responsibilities as well as my recuperation from heart failure and my state of mind by myself after I left the hospital.
I didn’t understand my new symptoms, the clinical depression crushed me, the constant anxiety was unbearable and the level of medical care in my area tends to be lacking.
My brother took my mother into his home after my heart failure episode and I was on my own in a very rural area outside of a small town in the middle of winter.
My mother’s home was in disrepair, very cold in the winter and the reverse mortgage company my mother went through was sending threatening foreclosure notices over parts of the property that needed to be cleaned up.
My seizures, my mental health struggles and the situation with the house and the foreclosure threats made my recuperation attempts a very, very painful, lonely and terrifying journey.
During this very difficult recovery I realized that I was completely ignorant about how much housing costs had gone up and was shocked to see how high the cost of apartments had gone up whereas before, rents were pretty reasonable.
And shocked that there a lot fewer apartments available than in years past.
As a caregiver who had not been able to work outside of the home except for a couple of local part-time jobs, I was suddenly very sick, dealing with mental health issues, alone and trying to navigate the very, very limited job market during a tough time of year.
I came to find out that although local housing costs had gone up local employers were still generally offering $11.00 to $12.00 an hour in wages.
The distance between where I was living and larger towns was pretty difficult to drive. It didn’t matter, though, because employers in surrounding towns were also generally offering $11 to $12 dollars an hour in wages.
Still learning to handle the epilepsy symptoms and learning how to handle and cope with my clinical depression I finally found a third shift stocking job at our local Super Walmart in November of 2021 that paid the only decent hourly wage.
I also managed to find an apartment. It was one of the few apartments available and I pay a high rent plus all utilities. Including water.
I had a little nest egg and combined with my pay from Walmart I was able to hang on financially.
The hours and conditions were tough. But I enjoyed the people I worked with, it helped to be able to have company as far as my co-workers and I liked the people I worked for.
I was with the job until June 2022.
However, I was still battling temporal lobe epilepsy, clinical depression and severe anxiety.
By June of this year, 2022, the combination of the job’s hours, the months-long lack of sleep, the physical strength it took to do the job, the heavy workload and the physical and mental health symptoms I was dealing with had all taken their toll.
Daytime is the worst time for me as far as symptoms go and I had a lot of trouble getting the sleep I needed during the day in order to work third shift because during the day I would always wake shaking violently and with my mind racing with anxiety and fear.
Not being able to rest during the day and dealing with those conditions is rough on someone who depends on a third shift job.
In June 2022 I left the job in order to give my brain a chance to rest and hopefully start to heal.
In my mind I was hoping my situation would somehow change, that I’d find someone to share expenses with, start to fully recover physically and mentally and that hopefully my break would be short-lived.
Walmart still owed me a couple of paychecks and I still had a bit of my nest egg left.
I cut back my expenses and I cut back on my use of utilities as much as humanly possible.
I went the entire summer without using air conditioning, worked strategies in order to limit my water usage, walked around at night with a flashlight and using the light from my tablet, never turned on the overhead lights but instead used nightlights in a couple of key rooms and my microwave became my only cooking tool.
In addition to all of this I was having a very tough road as far as developing some kind of sleep schedule and trying to treat and cope with my seizures and my mental health struggles.
I believe our local Walmart – one of the very few local places that offers any kind of living wage – started hiring again in August of 2020 and I set about getting my third shift job back and was so relieved when the manager I worked for said that she would gladly hire me again.
But, Walmart has since changed their policies and due to confusion over some issues about my departure I am still waiting to hear if I can have the job that even comes close to covering your housing, food, fuel and other needs.
I look for jobs every day. But it’s the same story. Most of them are part-time, most pay between $12 and $11 dollars per hour and I’m not qualified for the other types of jobs that pay a more livable wage.
I have three months left on my lease. I cannot afford to stay in this apartment and I don’t know where I’m going to go next.
Because of the way the timing worked out as far being able to find a job and then find this apartment, my lease ends on December 31.
As it stands; I’m still struggling to get my old job back while continuing to look for another job, I still struggle every single day with temporal lobe epilepsy, clinical depression and anxiety, my money supply is dwindling and I will be broke and homeless in the dead of winter with nowhere to go and with no one to turn to.
I am basically facing oblivion by the end of December (maybe sooner if I don’t have an income to rely on soon).
I hope this explains why I titled this post, Alone, Sick and Terrified.
I have been alone, sick and terrified for the past two years and I don’t know what to do or who to turn to.
I’m trying build a sense of direction as far as what my next move will be and what kind of job my symptoms can handle.
Having some kind of financial breathing room and some sense of financial security won’t solve everything but it would give me the ability to help my situation and a much, much needed sense of reassurance.
I would be so grateful and so humbled if those reading this page and my post would be able to help me, I would greatly, greatly appreciate any financial assistance that you would be able to offer me.
I’m sorry that I did not provide a photo.
There’s something about being able to put a face with a name.
But I must have done something to the camera in a past life because the camera truly hates me.
I don’t have any recent photos of myself and I wanted to make my post available to the public as soon as possible.
You can trust that I’m able to verify myself, my identity, my background and my situation.
Thanks very, very much for reading my request for help and with every ounce of my being, thank you so much for any financial assistance that you can offer.
It would truly mean so much to me.