I have Arnold-Chiari Malformation Syndrome. I underwent 18 brain surgeries during an eight-year period. I still suffer from chronic headaches. I am also hypothyroid, and am on several medications to manage both conditions.
I am married to a teacher, and we have two boys, one of whom also has Arnold-Chiari Malformation Syndrome and suffers from headaches. A couple of years ago, my husband had a Strep infection which got into his blood stream and sent him into septic shock. He nearly died. He was hospitalized for a week, and was out of work for a month. He still has many side effects from the impact that the serious illness on his body.
I am on disability and Medicare, but my parents assist us in maintaining my old Blue Cross policy as a secondary insurance because we know that, with a Pre-existing Condition, I would never again be approved for insurance were I to ever be deemed “no longer disabled”. Due to our limited finances, and also due to our family’s excessive medical bills, my boys are on Medicaid. Any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid would SERIOUSLY impact our family!
I also received all of my reproductive care and birth control from Planned Parenthood from the age of 16 to about 22. If I had not done so, I very likely would have become a teenage mother. I owe a lot to them for providing me with necessary, compassionate, affordable care at a time when no one else would. I am extremely concerned about the recent Republican efforts to defund them.
Lastly, I am a firm believer in climate change, and a strong supporter of environmental conservation. The moves that the new President has already taken to increase offshore drilling and to decrease the reach of our EPA greatly concern me. As a double-major in Marine Science and Biology in college, I learned a lot about how delicate our world can be, and how important it is that we take steps to protect it.
I pray for wisdom for our new leaders, and for strength for those of us fighting to protect the things which are so important to us.