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So it's been a few months since I posted about my young relative. Honestly, not much is better. She has kept working and continues to feed her son and keep him going to school and healthy. Just keeping that going is a huge accomplishment.

Let's see. In somewhat chronological order (it started out as stream of consciousness, but made no sense that way...)

She was the maid of honor at her sister's wedding in September. That took a ton of energy that she really didn't have, but she was determined to be "normal" and do what sisters do at weddings. The hotel and trip to the wedding location were paid for by other family members who also took them to Disney as long as they were there. She used a motorized scooter while there, and I'm glad the family was able to find a way for her to fully participate. Anyway, that took a ton of time and attention, all for a good cause, but didn't leave her in a better situation overall.

Her new job is going well enough that they asked her to leave the front office and instead be a paraeducator for a couple of special needs kids in the school. She loves it. In the midst of all her pain and upset (see below), the one way I could get her voice and emotions to shift was to get her talking about the awesome things -- and the challenging things -- those kids have been doing. In one case, she was downright celebratory when one of them read a whole story to her himself after working up to it for a week.

Financially, my work to help her apply for SNAP and TANF ended up hurting her. The next step was to gather and send back documentation -- bank statements and pay stubs. Which she did, but apparently not within the time required. So she got a letter saying that she had been denied -- and that her son's Medicaid had been revoked as well. She reapplied as soon as she realized what had happened, got a welcome letter from Anthem... and then got a letter from the state saying that she had been denied because she had not provided documentation in time. In this case, she says, she is certain she never even got a request for documentation. She had asked to just go in to an office and provide documentation in person, but they told her it was better to do it over the phone. Ugh. So freaking frustrating. I can't tell where the errors are, and from this distance (500+ miles) can't just run over to her house and help her get it done.

And if that isn't bad enough, her endometriosis is just devastatingly bad. She had another surgery just before winter break, timed to allow her to have as much recovery time as possible while losing as little work time as possible. Major abdominal surgery, as you might imagine, is no easy recovery. And -- the endometriosis was even worse than the last time. She was really upset about that. She had planned to have the doctor take out one of her ovaries because of cysts on that ovary that made everything worse. (I am no expert in this, so may have some of the details wrong.) He also took out her appendix because of how badly it was affected. And untwisted her colon, which had twisted on itself. And a variety of other things.

Two weeks later, she is starting to sound a little more like herself, but man, that was a bad time. She also chose to spend the holidays mostly by herself recovering, though plenty of family showed up to spend time with her as well. She said she didn't want to see anyone, which I suspect is true. I also suspect that grief and depression are factors -- perhaps unavoidably when you are 24 and your body has so thoroughly betrayed you.

So that's the update. Not a lot good there, except that she sound better today than she did when we saw her over the holidays.

ThyPeace, worries. And will just keep trying to help as much as I can.

She's going to make calls tomorrow to see if she can figure it out, but man, this is hard stuff.

In the meantime
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