Dear Beloved Community--
2012 has been a year of nightmares and miracles. I’ve skated closer to the edge of endurance than at any other time, in a life of many times more catastrophic events than the law of averages would dole out to any one person. This fall and winter, I’ve experienced more intense physical pain than ever before, more despair, more fear, more concentrated and outrageous medical abuse. And people from all over this country and several others, many of whom I have never met, have sent me money to help me get through it, to safely detoxify and withdraw from prescribed narcotics in spite of severe environmental illness, an inherited liver condition and epilepsy, all of which put many conventional resources beyond my reach.
The money I was given has paid for two months of round the clock attendant care, which I need because of the unusual and sometimes dangerous ways my body reacts, and the risk of extreme reactions when I’m alone with my 82 year old papa who doesn’t do very well in medical emergencies. It has paid for me to try out a host of possible medications, many of which didn’t work, and some of which worked wonders. When I developed a sudden and severe reactivity to almost all food, that made every mealtime terrifying, it paid for my $200-per-consult integrative medicine doctor to suggest the costly immunoglobulin supplement that finally calmed my immune system down so I could eat without struggling to breathe.
It’s paid for Abram Ojure to make acupuncture house calls, to bring severe pain under control, strengthen atrophied muscles, and help restore appetite when I was wasting away, so that after two months of wearing diapers because I couldn’t move two feet to sit on a commode, I can now walk downstairs to the kitchen and prepare a meal, and for Steven Daniel whose Quantum Technique drains trauma from my throat, dissolving nausea so I can swallow.
There were times when I didn’t see any hope at all and the possibility that I would die of this didn’t seem so bad, and then an email from PayPal would tell me that long time friends had sent me $1000 dollars with their love, or that a stranger who read my book Remedios on the subway one day, published a blog insisting that supporting me was a necessity and building a donations campaign to help her readers do so, or that a disabled and chronically sick member of the same online group where I go for support, a person living on inadequate disability checks and food stamps, was moved, comforted, inspired by my writings on illness, found a way to donate five dollars, and did. I have no doubt that that money, and the love and compassion and solidarity that brought it to me, saved my sanity, and quite possibly my life—and although the love continues to flow, the money is about to run out.
I’ve used up my savings, stretched family resources to the limit, and spent the generosity of friends and strangers and I’m still more than two months from the end of the ordeal. I must gather the wherewithal to get me through two to three more months of unpredictable drug withdrawal and the possibility of seizures, of chiropractic treatments I can finally, just barely, tolerate to reposition my bulging spinal discs so that when the opiates are gone the pain will be, too, of $127 tubes of topical ibuprofen that bypasses my struggling liver to reduce inflammation exactly where it’s needed, and a host of other bottles and jars-- tinctures that calm the pinched and raging nerves in my legs or reduce the skin-crawling and shivering of withdrawal, $60 bottles of glutathione in the only form in which I can absorb it, to support my challenged liver through the double trial of drugs and detoxification, anti-inflammatory substances like ubiquinol and isoquercetin, powdery scoops of IgG2000DF also known as Immunolin, that gets my immune system stable enough so I can both eat and breathe—and the care of a team of attendants that keep me clean, nourished, medicated, supported, informed, and advocated for.
I have to reach out once again to the web of people who have sustained me, and ask them for more, ask their—your—help to get down the last stretch of this road, and all the way home, to the place where my writing desk waits for me, and I can return to telling the stories that need telling, spinning headlines of sorrow into poetry of hope, binding us together for the work of healing our world. (Here my most vigilant friends remind me that my life is worth sustaining even if I never write another word, that I’m asking you to just help me live, that I don’t have to earn the right to ask by promising you books, so I don’t promise you books—just my aliveness.)
If you are able to give more, to give again, to reach out farther into your networks, deeper into your pockets, then please do. The easiest way for me to receive is still through PayPal, with my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient.
Thank you with all my heart,
Aurora Levins Morales
Aurora Levins Morales is a disabled and chronically ill, community supported writer, historian, artist and activist. It takes a village to keep her blogs coming. To become part of the village it takes, donate here.
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