Hi, my name is Katherine. I am a 56 year old special education teacher, or at least I was until March 1st of this year. On this date I was asked to resign my position from work. I understood why I was asked this.
For two years I had been experiencing very frequent headaches. I would have constant headaches. There was literally not a day go by that I didn’t have one. It began to take a toll on me physically and professionally. I began to miss work on a weekly basis and many times 2 days a week.
I was seeing my doctor and tried several different medications. Nothing worked. I was reffered to a neurologist, and again more med changes.
Not muched helped and I finally decided to ask work for a medical leave of absence. This was in December 2016. I was granted it under the Family Medical Leave Act. I was fortunate that at this time I belonged to the school districts sick leave bank. I applied for this and was granted sick leave bank. What this did was to provide pay to me 10 days after my regular sick leave ran out. Sick leave bank got me through the rest of the school year with decent finances. My monthly pay was reduced by almost half, but with what my partner made we were ok.
Let’s move forward to the start of this school year (2017-18) I started off the year with hopes of the daily headache and pain being manageable. After the first 8 weeks this did not happen. I was continuing to miss 1 or 2 days a week. On these days I would hardly get out of bed. My whole body hurt to move. I had burned through my allotment of sick days by the beginning of October 2017.
During this time I did start to see a pain management doctor and this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He was the first doctor that wanted to get to the cause of the headaches and pain and not just have me try a different med. He ordered a MRI on my head and neck. My neck is in bad shape and could be contributing to the headaches and most definitely to the body pain. He wanted me to see a neurologist that he knew. So, off to another doctor. This new doctor did change the migraine onset medication, and I am thankful. Far less side effects with this one. She also wanted to do Botox shots. I was hesitant, but I needed something to work. This is around December 2018. What little bit of a contract I had with school was running out. My bring home pay was less than a thousand dollars. I knew that eventually it and my insurance would stop.
At the end of April I felt for the first time my treatment plan was on the right track. I was hoping i would be ready for work in the fall of 2018, but my district did not want to hold my position and asked me to resign. I understood why but it devastated me. I now have no money or insurance. I had to take out a loan on my 401 to help get me through. Well, that money is all but gone and I am beginning to feel desperate. I will be selling my car that I love to no have a car payment. I have cancelled satellite tv and streem most everything.
I am at the embarrassing point that I need to ask for help with monthly bills until I can get back to work or get approved for temporary disability.
I humbly ask for any help that can be given. Thank you, Katherine