I ‘ve pretty much always had red hair. When I was younger it was a beautiful dark auburn red. Of course, as we age, things change and like it or not, if we wish to keep living, we must change with them. I decided very early that even though my red hair was being taken from me, I would do whatever it took to keep it red. (Thankfully my sister is a hair dresser!) Though I have often envied women who have gone from blonde to brunette and back again, I really never wanted to be one of them.
I. am. a. redhead.
My children tease me that if I ever stopped being a redhead they would never be able to find me anywhere again. My red hair definitely suits my personality, too. I am temperamental, moody and bitchy beyond belief. I am stubborn, strong- willed and “spirited”, passionate (in all senses of the word.) I have a friend from years ago who told me once that I’ve got “moxie” . (made me giggle.) and I suppose he’s right. I’m pretty mellow until you push me too far. My personality, just like my hair color, is high maintenance, too.
Naturally, given the “challenge” of thinking of “Signature” , the very first thing that came to my head ( haha) was my red hair. It is undoubtedly my signature.
I’m beyond excited. I was invited to join a tiny little group of very talented female photographers called “365 days of learning and growing .” It was started by a woman whom I both admire and respect.
I can’t wait to learn and grow with them. I tend to be an over- editor so I know that over -editing will be an all to familiar critique for me by the end of the year. But what a great journey. What a neat way to ‘perfect one’s craft!’.
Right from the start I know that I will never make it to actually posting a photo a day, my process is too cumbersome and my health isn’t always cooperative, but I am certainly going to try. Maybe a 7 photos a week?
Today our photo was “Resolutions”. I took the literal/New Year’s way out. Not the photographic Resolution interpretation.
I can’t remember ever making a resolution but I figure now’s as good a time as any to start…
and speaking of TIME…
TIME. ~to appreciate it more, to forget it about it more often, to use it more wisely, to remember to cherish every moment of it that I have been given and to be thankful for it. To enjoy the TIME I get to spend doing what I enjoy, to not complain when it’s TIME I have to spend doing things I don’t love. TIME to spend doing things for others and to remember to spend TIME doing things for myself. TIME to cherish the TIME I have left.
TIME to stop worrying and TIME to just let life happen.
My least favorite Christmas gift this year… a cold.
Can’t return it. Can’t exchange it. Can’t re-gift if. ( wouldn’t if I could.) Can’t seem to shake it, either.
When you have a chronic condition like I do, simple little things like the common cold are anything but simple. Plus, we RSD’ers seem to do everything on a grand scale. With immune systems that are already functioning out of whack , fighting a common cold can really tax our bodies. Sometimes that taxing causes our disease to “flare up” = not so much fun.
Who knows, maybe they’ll let *me* join in some reindeer games !?
Senseless tragedy in the world and people in this small little town have nothing better to do than speculate as to how much I’ve paid for my recent treat to myself.(answer a whole lot less than you can possibly imagine~!) I drive a 20 year old car and people are bent out of shape because I went and did something to make myself feel better. I have some nerve!
I wish I was as curiously involved in one tiny little modicum of other peoples’ lives as much as people seem to be ingrained in the daily happenings of mine. Over what I am wearing, what I am doing, what I’ve purchased recently. ( which is not much, actually).
It’s so odd to me that people think that once they’ve held a fundraiser to assist with your medical bills that it somehow now gives them carte blanche to judge everything and anything that you do for the rest of your life. I swear I don’t understand people. As if I make no other income, only what I gathered at the fundraiser. As if I should never do anything else again.
I’ve gotten static about the photos I’ve posted. About how much I payed Soul Imagery to take my photos… and not that it’s anyone’s business but I will answer this…I met Kevin in a photography group. I model for him. Kevin is my friend that does photography. I’m very proud of his work and I simply love to play dress up. We work very well together. He has taught me an awful lot.
Playing dress up affords me a few hours of escaping my reality.Reality with a chronic disease can sometimes really suck. It’s a reality that consists of a disease that is rated higher on the pain scale than any other disease known to man. A reality that consists of intense muscle spasms that render some of my body parts useless from time to time. A reality that makes eating difficult and digestion sometimes near to impossible. A reality that makes it too painful to sleep on my ears or to stay in one position for any length of time. The realities of my disease are too numerous to list and too upsetting for most people to read or comprehend let alone for me to even mention, so I usually don’t. And unless you are my husband, or my family or a very close friend, you won’t hear me complain, either. But because I go out of my way to look good when I leave this house, people fail to see me as sick. Let alone grasp my reality.
Because I go out of my way to appear as “normal” as possible, people just don’t understand. I honestly think that some people would prefer to see me looking like death, hunched over in wheelchair, swollen, discolored and writhing in pain. To them, then I would actually *be* sick. They only see the “best” of me because that is all I allow people to see. I don’t allow people to see me at my worst.
I allow people to see me taking photographs at my childrens’ sporting events. I don’t allow people to see me the 2 or 3 days afterward that it takes for me to be able to use my hands again properly. I allow them to see me in photos but I don’t allow them to see what I look like on days I am really sick.
This week I decided I needed a change. I haven’t been feeling my best. So, because I have access to a full compliment of womanly wishes (with wonderful employee rates) where I work part time, ( it’s a hair salon), I decided I’d see if I could stand extensions. We were afraid they’d hurt or I wouldn’t be able to stand them for long, but it’s been almost a week and so far so good. Except they itch. A lot. So they may end up being short lived. Which is a shame, because I really like them, and I’d love to play dress up while I still have them.
I don’t think I will ever stop people from being in my business and I’m not sure why they feel that it’s ok to be so nosy and so judgmental. Some of my close friends think I should feel flattered that people find me that interesting. I’m not flattered. I feel sad for those nosy judgmental people. Sad because I can’t imagine what they must be lacking to be so concerned with what others are doing. Sad because if they are so interested in me, they must lead very boring lives. People like that usually only want to feel superior to you for one reason or another, be it jealousy or be it a quality that you possess that they can’t seem to cultivate. They will sit on their self made throne and judge you, but in reality you know that they are only judging you for some inadequacy they have found within themselves.
I simply have no room in my reality for people like that any more.
“In terms of days and moments lived, you’ll never again be as young as you are right now, so spend this day, the youth of your future, in a way that deflects regret. Invest in yourself. Have some fun. Do something important. Love somebody extra. In one sense, you’re just a kid, but a kid with enough years on her to know that every day is priceless. (418)”
― Victoria Moran~ Younger by the Day
Chronic conditions are tough. 12 years of this gig, well, it’s really starting to get old. Read something that upset me. Knowing the little innuendos about your disease are one thing. Seeing them in black and white are all together different. Read an article in a medical journal that my specialist wrote about my disease. Studies done and the findings. I participated in most, if not all of the studies. It felt surreal . Like I was reading about a sick person. A very sick person. A very sick person who couldn’t possibly be me. Those symptoms belonged to someone else, certainly not me. ( Though they almost all did, much to my dismay.)
Sometimes the fighting gets hard. I wish at times that instead of being the warrior, someone else could fight the war for me and I could just watch and cheer from the sidelines. But in the “Handicapped Hope Handbook” it clearly states that I will never ever allow myself to go backward. I am constantly trying to find new ways to stay motivated for the battle, to move forward.
I am restless. I have decided it is time to shake things up a bit. Changing the easiest thing to change. Myself. Hoping it will be just enough to get me back in the fight. Something new. A fresh perspective.
“Complacency is devastating”~ or so a friend of mine used to tell me.
Photo credit to a man from my old photography group named Rick.
Basketball moves fast. Very fast. Much faster then my broken lens and I were prepared to handle.
Natalia just started her High School cheering season for basketball and I thought I’d give basketball photography a go.
HAHAHAHA. Ya, no.
Indoor lighting + bad lens + fast moving sport = disaster.
However, never being one to back down from a challenge, I am going to learn how to do this by the end of the season. Not master it, mind you ( though that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? ) I am going to learn it. Goal = set.
I came home that night and spent the evening reading everything I could find on what I was doing wrong , and some of what I had done right. Bearing in mind that much of my challenge is a faulty lens.
Many thanks to my secret helper who sent me all the reading I did that night. I won’t disappoint you. I’ll get this.
Normally, I ‘d be much too vain to post photos that I’d consider anything less than good. This time, though, I thought it would be in my best interest to post my baseline. Then I can look back in a month or two and see how far I’d come. I will admit that the majority of what I shot that night was unusable. I was able to salvage a few good shots. Some of which I shared here.
I know my lens won’t fix itself so it’s up to me to do the best I can with the handicap of the broken lens.
I figure, in a way, my camera and I are a bit alike. We both have handicaps that I have to learn how to work around. And so far, though at times they both frustrate the dickens out of me, neither one has really managed to get the best of me. Yet.
The countdown to K has begun! My Philadelphia Freedom as I have come to call it is waiting for me.
19 days til my next treatment. The closer I get the harder things get for me. It gets harder to get out of bed. It gets harder to eat, harder to move. It gets harder to function basically. I get so very tired so quickly. So I wait. I wait for the world to become more accepting of people who are “sick but don’t look it” . I wait for understanding from friends and family who can’t see my invisible disease or my swollen *insert whatever internal organ you chose here*. I wait for the world to become more tolerant of those who are different from each other and I wait for a cure. I guess you could say I am “waiting on the world to change.”
“Nerve-mber” our fearless leader has chosen to call it. In honor of how RSD/CRPS destroys our nervous system. It is our responsibility to continue to raise awareness of this disease in order to educate the public, each other, even medical professionals and hopefully to someday find a cure. To that end, I share the following… in the meantime, I wait.
That blog ( above) contains the best description (ever) that I have found of what dysautonomia is , written by another CRPS suffer. What *is dysautonomia* you ask? Just more joyful issues that some of us with CRPS have to deal with. (copied from Elle and the Auto Gnome) these issues are due to our faulty Autonomic Nervous Systems. These issues are also some of the reasons why I get so very irritated when people say ” WOW. You look great, you certainly don’t look sick.” And though I truly appreciate the compliment, as I do go to great lengths for my (vain)self and for the sake of my family, my children to make certain I *don’t* look sick, I wish I knew what sick was supposed to look like. Or how you could see all these things in someone. The closer I get to my treatment, the harder these symptoms seem to be to deal with. Thankfully I don’t have all of them. As Elle’s blog mentions, not all of us have every one. Thank heavens. But many of us have many of them. I was trying to think of what I would consider to be the worst affliction and I really can’t.
Far worse for me than any of these symptoms is the lack of understanding that surrounds those of us who suffer. Far worse for me than any of these horrible things mentioned below is watching my fellow RSD friends die due to the ignorance and lack of knowledge of the world around me.
Tachycardia (very fast heart-rate)
Bradycardia (slow heart-rate)
Chest pain or discomfort
Dangerously low blood pressure
Sudden drops and irregularities in blood pressure (as a result of inappropriate dilation and contraction of blood vessels)
Blood pooling (on standing up the blood vessels do not constrict as they should, gravity naturally causes the blood to then pool in the legs, reducing returning blood flow to the heart).
Trouble staying upright (orthostatic intolerance)
Weakness and excessive fatigue (not the same as depression. Minor activities can lead to extreme exhaustion)
Fatigue after reading or concentrating
Heaviness of lower limbs
Slurred speech (aphasia)
Cognitive impairment – memory problems
Cognitive impairment – ‘brain fog’
Cognitive impairment – comprehension difficulty & confusion (understanding individual words but not making full sense of the overall concepts or context of the words in a sentence)
Cognitive impairment – concentration, losing focus when conversation takes an unexpected turn
Cognitive impairment – speech disturbances (inability to finish a sentence, losing train of thought)
Cognitive impairment – memory
Cognitive impairment – word recall
Intelligence normal when blood flow is sufficiently normal
Adrenaline issues with over-activation of ‘fight or flight’ mode
Exercise intolerance and syncope
Gastrointestinal problems [DINET says these are very common] (including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, diahorrea, abdominal discomfort)
Bladder related issues (e.g. overactive, neurogenic – lacking control, different at night)
Blood sugar issues
Pupil dilation issues
Nausea, sometimes vomiting, bloating
Needing more sleep to function
Blurred, tunnelled or dimmed vision
Migraines and headaches
Inability to regulate body temperature
Cold hands and feet
Joint or muscle aches
Myofascial (muscle) pain
Neuropathic pain (amplified pain signals to the brain)
Tremulousness (tremors, shaky etc)
Sexual dysfunction (impotence, loss of libido, dry or retrograde ejaculation)
Generally feeling unwell on a daily basis (severity of symptoms can vary day-to-day)
Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), also known as myofacial pain dysfunction, and Costen’s syndrome (can include stiffness, pain, headaches, ear pain, tinnitus, neck pain, bite problems, clicking sounds, restricted jaw motion or locked jaws)
Panic attacks – induced by faulty ANS responses (including dyspnea – breathlessness, palpitations, chest pains and discomfort, sensation of being choked or smothered, dizzness/vertigo/unsteadyness, paresthesias – abnormal skin sensations e.g. burning/prickling/itching/tingling with no apparent physical cause, hots and cold flashes/sweating/faintness, trembling/shaking, fear of dying/going crazy/uncontrolled behaviour)
~ waiting ( not so patiently) on the world to change.
^ A collage I made of some of favorite moments from my first 10 day Inpatient Ketamine Infusions, April 2010. As luck would have it, my little (though much bigger) brother was in Philadelphia at the same time on business- got to see him for the first time in yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrs. Didn’t remember it too much sadly 😦 Two AMAZINGLY generous , selfless women ( who also both have RSD!) Heather and Susie flew in from their respective states, Rhode Island and Texas at their own expenses to help me through my infusions. Susie took the first week, Heather took the second. My first friend in this life- Scotty also lives in Philly and I got to spend some time with him ! My mom and dad were with me off and on. Mom mostly on, dad mostly off. My sisters stopped in and my family (bottom center) stopped in over Natalia’s sectional weekend which I got to watch via webcam- the gym skyped me in ( got special permission) because I wasn’t allowed to be there during treatment and it broke my heart. I had never missed any of her competitions prior to that. My husband and my children were not with me during my 10 day. I only saw them that day and again at the end of my infusions. We did skype several times during my treatments when I was lucid enough for conversations. Though Natalia will tell a completely different story.
That first round of infusions was made possible by the kindness of my facebook friends, friends in this incredible community , people from my churches ( old and new ) and yes, even strangers. The money from those fundraisers carried me through to this year. I turned a few special treatments away. But basically, we made it work. And I am so very grateful.
Hope for Hope basket bingo was held yesterday. I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that go along with being on the receiving end of something like that-a charity event of that magnitude. How do you even begin to thank the people involved in helping to keep you “in the game” for the next year or two ? for the countless hours of work involved in organizing something like that? The blood, the sweat and yes, the tears. (though most of the tears were mine!)
To my delight, my event was like a long overdue high school reunion. Most of the people who came out to support me were friends from my high school days, some old friends from church and family of course, and some friends of my parents that I hadn’t seen in quite a number of years. It was like “going home”.
I was overwhelmed with the generosity of local merchants and especially my baseball family, Berkshire Baseball who went above and beyond for myself and my family.
I am still trying to digest it all.
The organizers of my event, Trinity’s Helping Hands, were even generous enough to allow me to save the leftover beverages and non perishables to take to the event that I help out with in a few weeks called “The Cups of Compassion” for the homeless people in the city of Reading ( I blogged about that previously.)
Though I still have mixed feelings about having allowed my father to have spearheaded this for me, I felt a little bit better after remembering something I read rather recently. I shared it as a status on my facebook yesterday. It’s from a book that a friend of mine wrote. His name is Dan Clouser. Dan is the president of Berkshire Baseball and one of the most generous people I have had the good fortune to meet in this lifetime. Mr C is a neat man. He is generally quiet and very unassuming. But his smile and laughter are so contagious. His book is called ” The Beauty of A Diamond ~ Through the Eyes of a Coach.” It is a must read for parents, coaches, players, heck, for human beings in general.
Anyway, it goes something like this ~ “The important thing to understand is that everyone in this world has been helped by someone along the way. No one here can simply go it alone. We may try from time to time, but we all depend on someone along the way. The sooner we all understand that, the world will be a much better place.” ~ Dan Clouser The Beauty of a Diamond , through the eyes of a coach
Yesterday was a very long day, physically and emotionally. As I (literally) crawled into my bed, I fluffed my pillows and got distracted by a lovely bright red ladybug. I always seem to find them on “special” days….. Or, perhaps, they find me. ❤
Sometimes , when you have a chronic condition, you have to make choices on what gets your energy for your hour, your day, your week. There’s been something written about this that’s circled the globe a few times called “The Spoon Theory” ~ I use it when I have to explain to my new friends or even to reiterate to family why I sometimes can’t do more than a certain amount of things in one day. Why sometimes choosing to take a shower and straighten my hair means I can’t drive later that day. Or why driving and running errands means I won’t be cooking later that evening. I just sometimes run out of spoons. I was afraid today was going to be one of those days. My family often ‘forgets’ that I am sick. Which is fine with me, because I sometimes do, too. And there are many times that I would just like to forget , as well. Though there are many , many times that I wish I *could* just forget.
I had lunch today with my parents and 2 amazing women from Blue Cross. They brought a giant basket filled with goodies for the Chinese Auction at my upcoming benefit. But more importantly, they brought themselves.
Getting to the lunch was challenge of the day #2. I had already showered (challenge #1) and skipped the hair straightening because I knew I had to drive. Driving is not easy for me for many reasons. I’ll spare you those. So into the car I go. I am currently driving a 1995 Volvo. It does not have working air conditioning. Understand that I am completely grateful to have a car at all. Having no air is not a big deal for most healthy people. It is usually just considered an inconvenience. For me it is like asking for trouble. Here comes challenge #2. Moving air hurts me. And I can’t really expect healthy people to understand that. Wind hurts.Fans hurt. If you ever had a toothache maybe you can understand. Picture a giant full body exposed tooth. And the wind blowing against it. It’s *kinda* like that. Or an open wound. And not only does the wind from those rolled down windows hurt me, the noise that it makes is beyond painful.( I had mentioned in a previous blog that my nervous system interprets some (most) noises as pain.)My body also does not do well at regulating extreme temperatures so leaving the windows up and just toughing it out is not an option either. I would boil. But off I went.
By the time I arrived at the restaurant 20 minutes later I was not a happy girl. I was in pain. Lots of pain. Seeing my parents always helps me to forget that a bit. I’ve got amazing parents. They are kind, generous, loving people. They are still so very in love after 45 years. My father has been battling severe heart disease since his late 30’s- and my mom , diabetes. They have taught me how to fight. How to be brave. And I know that seeing me sick hurts them. So I smile as hard as I can when I am with them. I don’t ever want to be the cause of more pain for them.
Challenge #3. Chairs. Wood chairs. I shift, shuffle, get up and down an awful lot.
Challenge #4 Temperature of the restaurant. It’s cold in here. I brought a jacket. I’m already wearing a cami and a sweater. ( I couldn’t over dress because of the car….). I also always have soft socks and gloves in my handbag. Don’t worry, they get switched and washed often. Usually when I have to bust the socks out I pray no one can see under the table. After 12 years I’ve gotten less vain about this, but I’m still vain.
Challenge #5 what to eat. My immune system has changed so much since I’ve gotten sick and since I began treatment. I was never really a big meat eater now I am allergic to shellfish and nuts. Plus I have a lot of weird food hang ups. ( that’s a whole other , oddly entertaining blog). My digestive system has been affected by my disease so I have to be really careful with what I eat.
Challenge #6 As we said our good byes outside I heard the telltale whistle of the train. the restaurant was right next to railroad tracks. the noise! the vibrations! I thanked our generous guests and hugged and kissed my parents and got in my car as fast as I possibly could. ( which isn’t really fast).
Challenge #7 Back in the non air conditioned car for Challenge #8 more driving.
REMEDY: Picked Nick up from school and my day got immediately better. My son’s smile can turn my worst day around in a flash. His dimple! I needed it today like a drug addict needs their fix. But he was leaving me .. so it would be only a momentary high.
I need down time every day or I get pretty crabby. And a crabby Hope is not someone you want to know. ( ask my kids). But it didn’t look like I was going to get any today. Not even 15 minutes. I was heading straight to crabbyville -in the fast lane.
Challenge #9/10 back to the car, back to the drive.
REMEDY: My Natalia. have you ever met someone who is so effervescent that their mere presence changes the whole essence of a room? That’s my Natalia.
I know she can sense when I am over the edge. I know she can tell when I have reached my limit. She always has this ‘way’ of just being able to push me , to help me make it a little bit further. Today was no exception. We were driving home from dropping Nick off. She found a song she liked, turned up the radio , pushed the sunroof back and stuck her hands out and started dancing them around in the wind. It was just so silly looking . So carefree. So her.
~And with that, I wasn’t thinking about my pain.I was thinking about how lucky I was. How lucky I am. And there isn’t any other place I’d rather be or any other person I’d rather be.
“You know, it feels good to be alive.”
* I did not write this looking for sympathy. I just want people to be a bit more understanding of others. A bit more tolerant. Just because someone “looks good” doesn’t mean they feel good.
And as I go to hit “publish” on this, I know that there are typos. Grammatical, punctuation and others. But it is late and my eyes aren’t working together any more – another Challenge. Almost forgot about that one.
I have always told my children, you never know what sort of day someone has had until the point that they have met with you. Give them the benefit of the doubt and if they are a bit grumpy , perhaps show them just a little bit more kindness. Kindness is one of the few things that are still free.
“Fauxtographer” ~ have you heard that one yet? I have .
People are silly.
A couple of years ago I was a candidate for an experimental treatment which my insurance did not cover. At the time, I was using forearm crutches daily and occasionally a wheelchair. The pain from my disease was off the charts. This treatment, IV Ketamine infusions, offered a potential reduction in my symptoms. But it came at a huge cost. When some good friends, family and community heard about my opportunity, they rallied around me and instantly began fundraising for “Hope for Hope”. I felt so blessed. So lucky, So humbled.
I was fortunate enough to have had those events raise enough to carry me through quite a few trips to Philly and back. My husband and I have had to use a pile of savings to cover a few treatments that I’ve had too, all in the hopes of me having some sort of semblance of a “normal ” life. The good news is, it’s working. I haven’t had to walk with assistive devices since I began my treatments. My pain levels are usually tolerable and things are under control for the most part.
Sadly, there are a select few people who “donate” to a cause for show or for the reason of feeling entitled to something or truly, I’m not quite sure why. I was raised to give of yourself even when you have nothing to give. And I have done so at every opportunity. Yet ever since my fundraisers, people have treated myself, my children and family differently. They question what my children wear, where they go, what they do. Same holds true for me.
One precocious young girl said to my daughter in middle school a year or so ago ” Wow, you got new shoes? Didn’t we have to have a fundraiser for your mom like a year ago?” People comment on the fact that my children play sports. Or the fact that they go out with their friends. They question where “their $20” went. It is very difficult for me at times to bite my tongue.
So when my brother called this past winter offering my children and I an all expense paid vacation to fly out to his wedding in South Dakota over the 4th of July, I was hesitant. Very very hesitant. I knew what was coming. The questions, the snide comments.. the looks. I’m so proud of my baby brother, he does quite well for himself. His now wife is also very successful. The fact that they could fly our entire family out to spend a week with them and house us all was beyond a generous gift and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up for myself and the children.
Our very first family vacation in over 10 years came at a terrible time. It was the peak of Legion Baseball season~My “Summer Love”- The Oley Topton Patriots. My family takes their athletic commitments very seriously. Missing a week would be unprecedented for a Distasio. And I was truly enamored with this team. They were in the fast lane to a championship I was certain.
Sure enough, the minute I announced that we would be heading west, the comments started. “Oh, you’re going on vacation? How’s that possible”… as if it were anyone else’s business…
Though I was apprehensive, that week in South Dakota turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. I had really never traveled before. I had coffee on the patio with my sisters in the morning and dinner with my parents and the whole extended family in the evenings. It had been years since “the James Gang” was all together! The scenery was breathtaking. The creatures were beyond things I’d seen here in PA. The food and family were everything I’d hoped they would be. I even climbed a rock. Me. “the disabled housewife”. Who knew?
Why am I sharing all this? Stop and think before you speak , people. If you don’t want to give of yourself, don’t. If you question peoples motives/ genuineness, then don’t be a part of something. No one wants to live their lives feeling like they owe you explanations for every single thing they do, particularly if they are already sick. It’s just added stress they simply don’t need.
My father is in the process of organizing another “Hope for Hope”. God love him, he did it without even asking me. I initially told him I didn’t want any parts of it. Then our car died….. and in trying to fix/ get a new one I couldn’t even book my next treatment. Not that it’s any of anyone’s business.
Then someone said to me ” maybe you could use Hope for Hope for a new car.”
I can assure you my funds went for my care and well being. They are all gone now.