How did I get here? My life seemed to be going pretty good and then bam 💥 I’m almost homeless.
Well, a series of bad luck happened. I lost my paying job at a veterinary hospital five days post op of having ligament surgery on my right ankle.
See, I was working and my right knee kept giving out and I’d fall. Turns out I had a meniscus tear in my knee, along with severe osteoarthritis. And because I needed surgery on my knee, my right calf muscle also needed ‘stretching’ which is called a gastroc release . The surgeon cuts the muscle so it’ll lengthen, allowing me to flex my foot easier.
I was in physical therapy doing the exercises for my knee and calf muscle, my right ankle hurt badly. I told the physical therapist that I think I just ruptured my ligament in my ankle. She said that there was no way this could have happened.
Another trip to my orthopedist, and yes, I did in fact rupture the ligament in my right ankle. Sigh.
I told my work that I could walk around in an ankle splint and could get back to work sooner. My supervisor told me it was OK. I’d have my job when I became 100% again and to go ahead with the surgery.
Ha! Five days later, I received the call that my work terminated me with an opportunity to reapply.
Living Off 401k Funds
So, now I was back on disability, no chance for unemployment benefits until I healed from my 3 surgeries on my right leg. By the time the disability ran out, so did my unemployment benefits that I never was able to collect. (You only have a certain time frame to collect unemployment.)
I do not recommend collecting money from your 401k retirement plan. First, the state and federal take way too much of the cut, and secondly, there are other ways to collect money that I should have looked into.
But that’s neither here nor now.
So, I delved into my 401k funds and tried to build a website to sell my jewelry.
My Mom Dies
This is by far the worst pain I’ve ever suffered. She wasn’t just my mom, she was my best friend. (Which I’m sure is the relationship most daughters have with their mothers.) At least I was able to spend more time with her. And I was able to give her her medicine through her IV because I was unemployed and also felt comfortable doing this.
I was also able to plan my mom’s funeral and help my dad save about $5k. (Funeral homes want you to buy their caskets which are marked up incredibly, and cemeteries want you to use certain funeral homes of which they get a cut from.)
Having my home burnt to the ground by an arsonist definitely doesn’t help. My home had all of my business stuff in it too. I also lost my cat due to this fire and so many of my belongings. I literally evacuated with the clothes on my back and my six other animals- 3 cats and 3 dogs.
Funds Are Gone
So, now I have no money, both of my knees are going (need partial knee replacements on both knees,) and I only have experience as a veterinary technician. Crap!
I’m looking into receiving social security benefits (this is a long process all in itself and if I’m not accepted, I need to appeal.) This could take anywhere from months to years.
So, I’m wondering what I should do in my present situation. I need money, but cannot work as I don’t have the skills to work in an office with multi phone lines. A sit down job would be ideal but sitting for long periods of time also hurts my knees.
Not Giving Up
With the last amount of my money, I just bought a pair of waterproof shoes as it’s raining in these mountains. I also bought a tarp for the RV I’m living in because the window leaks. I’m still waiting for medi-cal to kick in (it’s been six months now,) and I’m waiting for food stamps.
I have type II bipolar disorder and need to be on my medications to stay mentally stable. Living with this mental illness is also an arduous “hike” all on its own. I have to make sure I get enough sleep and stay focused on one problem at a time, otherwise I get overwhelmed and depression sets in.
Keeping the Faith
Having my faith in Jesus helps tremendously. I know that He went through a lot more than me. I know He’s always by my side, and will be my crutch when I stumble on this life’s path. He’ll catch me when I fall.