Terrible Tummies & A Request

Hello, hello out there. This is a post that I've really not wanted to make, but I think it's at the point that I have to now. My health for the past year has been, quite honestly, horrific. I can barely leave the house due to pain and energy levels, I can barely eat and when I do it's painful - it's been really difficult and effected pretty much every area of my life. There had never been a time in my life before where I resigned myself to not be able to do something, and these days, my whole life is surrounded by things I cannot do. We don't have, and can't afford, insurance right now, although hopefully that'll change in the next few months. Until then, we've actually found a doctor in the area that could help! My husband wrote a really sweet note on Facebook summarizing everything, and giving a great overview about our steps going forward, I'll let him tell it best:
Gwen has been dealing with a severe, undiagnosed gastrointestinal disorder for the past year.  It causes immense pain and distress, and has led to her being unable to eat most foods, and completely unable to work.  We've come to adapt to it but it's a struggle on a daily basis to make sure that she gets the nutrients she needs, and to manage the pain whatever way we can to make it so she can be productive and actually enjoy her days.

We had been pursuing medical help in Phoenix through the Maricopa Integrated Health Service, but were met with over-worked, skeptical doctors and increasing healthcare costs.  At the end of the process, we were met with a $2,600.00 price tag for a diagnostic procedure, with no insurance and no options for financing.  Facing this exorbitant price, we resolved to let treatment wait until we found insurance or some way to make it happen.

We moved to Tucson in January, and while here have been searching long for a gastroenterologist who would be compassionate, capable, and flexible enough to work with our financial needs.  Coming off a tip from a local community of sufferers of various gastrointestinal disorders, we were referred to Mesquite Gastroenterology.  Specifically to a Dr. Charles J. Sanner, a gastroenterologist who has been in the industry for decades, and has developed a reputation for his understanding of his patients. This is exactly who Gwen needs.

I've contacted their office and found that we can get a diagnosis for $900.00, of which only $475.00 is due up front (initial consultation fees and doctors fees for the procedure itself).
This is where this post reaches its point.  We could reach that $475.00 within a few months, if everything else around here stays fine.  However, Gwen's pain is immediate, and very real.  A few months is more achievable than "the distant future", but it remains an agonizing wait. 

We're looking for help in meeting those initial costs.  Nobody is obliged to help or donate, and I don't expect anybody to.  If you read this post, and move on without even considering a donation - that's fine!  We're still friends, I have no question that you care.  Until recently, I was completely unemployed and I know that money can be tight and even when you have a bit extra, it's hard to spend it in the abstract.

As I said, there is no pressure. We'll get Gwen treated in the end, no matter what. What any donation from you is doing, is helping her reach a resolution faster. 

Once Gwen has a diagnosis, we can:
a) Start applying for disability status, allowing her to receive benefits as she is unable to work.  We have been living on one income between the two of us, and we make it work but it's a stretch and there's many things that we need that we've been unable to get because of it.  Disability helps both of us, and frees Gwen from financial stresses so that we can both pursue school, and she can continue developing her (rather awesome) crafts;

b) Use that disability status to get Gwen medicaid coverage, which will completely alleviate the need to ask for money like this in the first place, and means that we can get medicine and ongoing care; and the most importantly

c) Get Gwen medicine and ongoing care.  Right now, we don't know what's wrong with her.  There's a few things her symptoms resemble, but it's presumptive to assume what they are for purposes of treatment without having a valid medical opinion backing us up.  What she does have now is intense pain that I don't want her living with any longer than she has to.

If you want to donate, on either Gwen's or my own behalf, to help her get treatment, you can do so to her paypal account, cookiefaerie@gmail.com.  This is ongoing, and I'll be posting updates as we begin or conclude treatment, so if you can't donate now but want to, you can donate later.  It's okay.  Donations now are cool too though, don't forget about us guys! 

Please share this post if there's anybody else who you think may want to help a stranger, the wife of a friend of a friend, or if you just plain feel like it. Either way, I appreciate you reading through this post and at the very least, thinking of us and Gwen's well-being.

Let's get that tummy fixed!

So, there you have it. We're trying to help offset the costs of my initial procedure, $475.00, and really, any help you could give would be amazing. A couple dollars really helps! I set up a Donate button that'll remain here, so if you'd like to help but need some time, you have it ♥

Thank you for reading this, everyone. I feel terrible interrupting your gorgeous feeds of quilts with news of an unruly tummy! And asking for donations besides. But honestly, it's come to this point. When all of this started last July, I thought it'd be over within a few months, and instead it's consumed my life. On the other hand, if I hadn't been too sick to work, I might never have re-discovered how much I love sewing, or never have found this wonderful community ♥ By the way, I'll be destashing a lot of craft supplies I no longer use on Etsy, and possibly some clothes and etc on eBay to help raise some funds too, so keep an eye out for that as well! I'd also love to make custom items or do some graphic design or digital coloring work in exchange - just get in touch with me! Please, have a great weekend, and I'll be sure to update you on the happier, prettier things I've been making really soon c:

Scrap-Bee-Licious ♥ September Queen

What? Me? In my first bee? Say it isn't so! Now, most of you might be thinking this is coming out of nowhere - it is! Our bee started last month, but I just haven't been blogging anything that's been going on :( I'll be catching up this month though, from old blog hop comments I haven't left to responding to comments here - it is still going to happen! Just super late! (Honestly, my heath has been a real barrier for me this past month, but that's a post for another day) If, instead, however, you're wondering why I was first on the bee list, it's because I got an email notification, read the words "blog hop" and "scrap bee" and ran to the computer to send my email confirmation. :| Um, needless to say, I'm excited!! Bees seem like so much fun, and I've been slightly hesitant to join one since it's all new to me. I don't really want to risk disappointing anyone, you know? Well, a bee of mostly newer bee members and a lot of people with a forgiving nature seem to be in this one, so I think it'll all be ok ♥

So, now, then. The block! I did think about this, but honestly not very hard. I could've gone with a new block for a totally new quilt, but I have to be that person that knows you've all made this before and so it's a safe bet...for a quilt I already have in progress and don't know when I would have the stash to finish...

Yes, the Scrappy Trip Along!! No additions, changes, or adulterations, just the original thing ♥

Hey, I know everyone'll know how to make it, and it's the type of quilt so suited for multiple people's stashes! No rules on fabrics really, but I did want to share how I sort of compose my fabric choices for each block so you can sort of see how my creative process has been working on this quilt so far. That might help guide your choices a little bit!

I have a sort of silly habit of wanting "themes" for all my blocks. I do this fairly often, actually, although usually I think that it's subtle enough that no one notices but me, ha :) So far, I've done one of all one fabric line (Posy), one cool-colored florals with a pop of orange, I have eclectic, modern brights, a sort of picnicy thing, old fashioned florals and...uhh...well the last one doesn't really have a theme I guess haha. European holiday? Anyway, for me it sort of adds a layer of fun to selecting fabrics; not only should they coordinate but also if they fit the theme that's like bonus points!

I think this mosaic gives a good sample of the fabrics I've used so far, the feel I'm getting from it, and a good overall sense of my fabric taste! I tend not to use too many super dark fabrics, or too many solids. I don't usually go for traditional types of fabrics, either. Besides that, just have fun and if you want, include some sort of theme. I'm planning on doing an all-pink block soon, and probably another nature/woodsy one. I wanted this quilt to be sort of commemorative of my stash, and now a little bit of yours, too! I'll probably end up adding a few more blocks to it from my stash after the end of the month, since it's grown a bit since the last time I made some of these, and have a really giant, awesome, scrap-bee quilt ♥♥

Since I know I've been a bit vague about fabric choices & whatnot, if you have any questions or concerns or anything, please feel free to let me know! I'm usually around, even though I haven't been posting recently (again, I will be posting an August-Recap at some point. I can't believe it's been a full month, my goodness). I can't wait to see what you guys put together, oh my gosh!! ♥