When the pandemic first began, I was truly lucky to have a job that I was an essential worker, but I had to take life very precautious, and mindful because I had a very round son at him who was at the time around 4 months old. I work with the public and I knew it was risky but I had to pay bills and keeps my family happy. Then, my elderly fam there who had currently been taking care of my elderly mother who has multiple medical issues, including a massive stroke only a few years prior. But my father was still at this time about being strong for us and continuing to help my mom, even though he was silently suffering. It ended up being a dire need for my father to have major back surgery and the only person available to be there to take care of my family was of course me. Instead of working my normal full 20 hours a week plus lunch tips, I had to take a leave of absence for FMLA, which means nothing to a family owned business. So I am now currently working one day a week, I don’t have anyone to watch my son but me or my mother, and my mother was getting more tired and sick and now my father was forced to use a walker or wheel chair, to even get up to walk short distances. I have never seen either of my parents in this type of physical agobagony.
Now that my hours had been but at work, I applied for partial unemployment to help me catch up on bills for myself and my family. I was denied unemployment and to make things work I was stating up days and nights, alert for my parents, But also using what ingredients I could find in our cabinets to make homemade baby food and since my baby, was 3 weeks early. I am so overwhelmed at this point, I slept less and less from trying to make money, my bank account went into the negative and I couldn’t keep up anymore. I was working one day a week, barely making any money and I had to still care for my elderly parents and young son, keeping myself as was smart and cautious of everything I did from those moments on to avoid getting sick. In 2016 I ended up being sepsis in the hospital with an infection in my spine which later caused me to completely stop working because I had a very delicate and sick body, and it took me years to get my stamina back up so that I could work and eventually pay off my $300,000 in medical costs (including the cost of physical Therapy and my meds and my specialist doctors since I also started having seizures and after many tests, it turns out that I am epileptic . Thankfully I did not have a young child then and Covid had not become the pandemic that it is today.
So after all of my mental and medical health problems In my life, I eventually had a beautiful baby boy and his grandparents on his dads side lived all the way in Mississippi, so I was working one day a week, with a negative balance in the bank and I’m struggling to take care of myself and my family. The stimulus check helped for the time being but now I am in even more debt, my father can get around better so I picked up as many hours as so could at work but I can’t get myself out of this hole. I’m afraid everyday so will spread Covid to my parents or son because of working with the public, but I have to work. I’m in dire need of financial help to get my medical bills and utilities and food paid for so that I can get out of the hole and start saving money. This is my last resort, I do not come from a wealthy family or make enough to survive and I am thankful to now be on Medicaid, but that doesn’t cover my bills from my previous years when I almost died and then had back surgery at the age of 28. It’s physically hard for me to work but I do it because I have to, I still take my dad and mom to all of their doctor appointments and in between I see my son and the debt haunts me. I’m afraid I will never be able to buy groceries again or end up bankrupt, which I do not want to do at the age of 33. My parents and my son and the rest of the family need me to survive, and I can barely take care of myself.