Hello, my name is Colby Marks. I am 36, presently married, although due to all the financial stress that we are facing, that might change. I have 2 children. I am living in a suburb of Houston, in a house that I bought in 2012 as part of getting a new position with my employer. The house is one of the things at risk of us losing, but I’ll explain in a bit. Prior to moving here, I worked out of Alaska, in the oil and gas industry, and still do. We moved here so that I no longer would have to spend so much time away from home. And for a bout 4 years it was pretty awesome. Then the oil industry tanked in 20015, and I was laid off. The severance package was ok. The smart thing to do at the time was sell the house, and live somewhere cheaper, or move back to Louisiana, but that didn’t happen. As a result, I also had to drain what I had in retirement until we landed back on our feet. Ended up back with my original company in 2017 working in West Texas. And ended up being farmed out back to Alaska for about 9 months. Started back in West Texas around September 2018.Between that time and December, I know now, the first signs that something wasn’t ok with me started popping up. I’ve always had anxiety issues since I was 18, but they were getting increasingly worse for no reason. At the start of November, I started getting numbness in both feet, sometimes with a needle sensation. One day when I wa picking my son up from school, my left foot just kind of stopped working, I guess it was more like my ankle, and I fell in the parking lot. I blamed it on the shoes I had on and my son had a laugh. The numbness had started to go up my left leg, and I would sometimes have it in my left arm as well. I went see my doctor who ordered blood work, and at the time said I needed more vitamin D. I followed her directions with the vitamins, and it seemed to help for a while. I went out to a rig on the 17th on November, the night before my baby girl’s birthday. I worked through Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that I would be able to have a decent amount of time at home, and by decent according to my boss, that would have been 7 to 10 days, max. So I also requested to use my vacation time to take a trip with my family. During this time I noticed I was aching more and hurting in places that normally didn’t hurt, along with anxiety, and now stomach issues, as well as my hair falling out. After returning from the trip, both of my kids started having GI issues, but the doctors didn’t see anything o concern. I on the other hand, was hurting more, causing me to do less, and started affecting my sleep. I went back to my doctor, who referred me to a rheumatologist. He ordered more blood work and chest Xrays. The blood work showed that I had antibodies that people with Lupus have, my iron was low, and also thyroid antibodies. The chest xray made him think I also had emphysema. I wa referred to an Endocrinologist and Pulmonologist, and walked out of that visit with a diagnosis of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder, which is apparently what they say when at the time, you don’t have enough symptoms or markers for Lupus, there are 11, and you need 4 to join that club. At the time I only had 3, although at other times I had 4 or 5. Either way the treatment was the same, Plaquenil, an anti-malarial drug. Crappy thing about it, is that with some people it can take up to 6 months to fully work. Which I had that bad luck. Right before all this, I requested and was put on paid medical leave, which starts at 100% of my pay, and every 5/6 weeks drops 20%, which is part of why I am in the boat I’m in now. But I will get back to that in a minute. The endocrinologist said that for now, my thyroids were functioning properly, but at some point they will cause my to have hypo/hyper thyroidism. What concerned him was my prolactin levels, for which he put me on a medication for women trying to get pregnant, which by the way if you read the side effects for men, is quite funny. When I left that day he said that if that doesn’t work, he wants to MRI my head, because the only cause would bea tumor. So I was even more of a mess for about a month, when I found out the medication leveled my hormones out. I forgot to mention that I also have high blood pressure, which wasn’t being controlled very well during this with medication, so I was also sent to a cardiologist. Who added a medication, did an EKG, and ordered a stress test. The test came out fime, and the medication eventually did it’s job. The lung doctor had tests done in his office, after which he had me go and do a similar test at the hospital. Where I found out my lungs function or process CO2 properly, but my airways are restricted. I suspected something, because prior to all of this, I jogged frequently amd did 1/2 marathons, but at this point I was easily winded. Auto-immune diseases can attack specific organs, so that is why they were checking everything. But my lungs have not gotten any worse. After that, it was wait for the Plaquenil to work, or try something new, unless I started having organ issues. By now it was end of March, start of April. I was still hurting, a lot. Mostly in my knees, hips, neck, and legs. Not sleeping well, GI issues, and anxiety which caused me to isolate myself and barely speak to neighbors, but also drove a wedge between my wife and I. By the end of April is when we started falling behind with finances. Right before the start of all this, I got a truck, which I could afford easily at the time, but is no longer the case.I was barely able to come up with enough money to stop the repossession a little more than a week ago. Symptoms were not improving all that much, and I was to stay on leave. June came, and I was feeling better, and the plan was for me to go back to work the middle of July. At this point I was experiencing pain in my groin that was the same as the pain I experienced when I had a hernia, which was followed by surgery. I thought it best to get it looked at, since I was about to return to work, which requires a lot of heavy lifting. She sent me back to the same surgeon. He said there was now hernia, but wanted me to see a specialist. And also said I could go back to work, but on restricted duty. I sent in that paperwork, to which my employer replied that they cannot accommodate the restrictions in place, and that I could return once they were removed. The surgeon said that the specialist would have to clear me. The specialist couldn’t see me until last Friday, August 30, 2019. My paid leave turned into unpaid leave on August 2nd. Prior to that, I was told to fill out paperwork for long term disability in case this very thing were to happen. That paperwork still hasn’t been process, because of doctors dropping the ball with paperwork, as per the insurance company. So I haven’t had any income since August 9th, which was already way less than normal, and we are now living off of my wife’s salary as a teacher. I was approved to return to work this week, but haven’t gotten any phone calls or emails, about when and where. I am more than 3 months behind on my truck note, which is $603/month, and they are back to trying to get it again. I’ve also not been able to pay for insurance, so that has been cancelled. We are 2 months behind on the mortgage, which $2042/month. Owe $350 to the electric company, over $200 on the water. A few hundred dollars on credit card minimum payments. That doesn’t include gas for our vehicles, groceries, or money for the kids school activities. It is a very sad day when you’re at home with your daughter, and she has a friend over, and she asks you to go get grapes, and you tell her that you cant, so she starts looking in her piggy bank and purse. The stress that’s been added to our marriage is beyond words, hell our whole life. And I haven’t even mentioned that I am not 100% sure I will physically be able to do my job, and the anxiety it’s causing me, but I will do what has to be done. I just don’t want my kids to have to see someone towing my truck, turning the lights off, or kicking us out of the house. There are also unpaid medical bill, and short term loans that I stupidly took out thinking it would be a solution. I will be uploading bills soon,just trying to think of the easiest and most efficient way to upload that much. I will also upload copies of the lab results, if needed. I’m asking for $8,000 total, might need closer to 10,000…but I can barely stand the fact that it has come to this.So if there is anyone that can hep, I would be forever grateful. And for anyone who isn’t, if you’re making good money, or any money really, be smart with it.