My life has been in turmoil since December 2016, and it seems that no matter how hard I work, how much I assist others, and how much energy I spend trying to fix things – I just cannot catch a break.
In December 2016, I developed bronchitis. It didn’t seem to be a severe case, just mildly short of breath and cough. One evening, I noticed I was very wheezy, and it was getting harder to inhale. I used my inhaler, to no avail. I asked my husband to call an ambulance for me, as it was getting extremely hard to breathe. I do not remember much after asking him to make this call, and I woke up 4 days later with a tube down my throat, breathing for me. Acute respiratory failure with hypoxia and hypercapnia brought on by the bronchitis. I was in ICU for a week, then a step-down unit for another week. I was taken off of work until the second week of January.
February 2017. I was back at work, and took a second job to help pay for my medical bills. I was working a long shift, 7am – 11pm. My husband brought the kids to my job to bring dinner. My son told me his chest hurt a little, but he felt fine. He had asthma, so I told him to use his inhaler as a precaution. When I got home at 11:30pm, he was awake waiting for me. He again told me his chest was bothering him, but that he was tired and ready for bed. My son went into an asthma attack just a few minutes later. He was using his nebulizer, but it didn’t seem to be working. We called 911, and my son passed out while my husband was on the call. He stopped breathing. CPR was not working. His heart stopped. The paramedics brought his heart beat back, but he could not breath on his own. Life flight to children’s hospital, he was declared brain dead – caused by the flu shutting down his lungs. He wasn’t even sick! He had no symptoms, and chest discomfort was normal with my asthmatic child.
We donated his organs, and had him cremated. My son was 9 years old. Did you know that you cannot bring home the ashes of a loved one until the service is paid in full? I didn’t until I was told I couldn’t bring him home. I went back to work too soon after losing him, because all I wanted was to bring my baby boy home. It took too long, but he is home with us and we paid off the funeral home.
May 2018 – Received a certified letter from the state. There is lead in the siding of our home, and we are given a walk through by the health department to determine where else the lead may be. All window sills, door jambs, and several walls needed replaced. Daughter tested normal for lead – no elevated levels at all. Applied for grant funding for abatement – do not qualify until roof is replaced, as it is considered structural damage. Given the ok to make replacements ourselves.
Replaced several walls, bit by bit. Painted sills and jambs with Lead Defender Paint. Turned in proof of our progress. Was told all is good, no worries from the state.
December 2018/January 2019 – severe storms tear up the roof, leading to several leaks. Frozen water lines break, immediate repairs were handled with what little we had in our savings. Patched what we could, tarped the rest. Inspections for water damage/mold are good – thankfully.
May 2019 – received a letter that the state will be taking general attorney action to remove me from my home unless the lead abatement is finished. The inside has been cleared. We cannot afford the outside requirements. No contractor will touch the siding unless the roof is repaired. Got several quotes. No community block grants in my area to assist with costs. No savings left. Borrowing from my 401K was denied. With the roof and siding needing replaced/abated, the property value isn’t enough to obtain a home equity loan. We saved for 5 years and purchased the home with cash, but now cannot find a lender to obtain a mortgage until those two things are replaced/abated (which is what we wanted the mortgage loan for!) Hospital bills keep coming in that are too much to keep up with, several have gone to default and are wrecking my credit, personal loans are being turned down because of the ratings.
This is the only home my son knew. He was born here. Grew up here. Took his first steps in the dining room. Slept here. Died here. This home is so much more than just an old house. I am again working two jobs, and doing personal shopping as a third when I am not at one of those jobs. I cannot save enough money in enough time to get these things fixed before the state forces me out of the home I own. I have attached the approved estimate from the lead certified contractor (cropped out my address).
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this.