UPDATE May 3rd, 2018: I'm having my first surgery June 7th!!!!!!!! I am so grateful! This will be a long and arduous recovery process and I will have to take a month off work. As a full-time performer (yes even still with the injury) that is absolutely terrifying! If you have any bit to spare it would truly help!
Hello! Well, here we are. My name is Jeez Loueez and I am a full-time traveling entertainer, producer, and instructor based in Chicago. I'm a life-long dancer who has been fortunate to survive as a self-employed artist in the performance arts for most of my adult life. Unfortunately, I do not currently have health insurance though I have applied for it several times. Being a self-employed artists has it perks, but I would be remiss if I didn't say it's been a difficult road and one that does not allow for much error or emergencies.
On October 15th I suffered a severe knee injury in Berlin while on my last day of my first European tour. Since then I have been in immense pain daily, am unable to walk without the aid of crutches, and have had to cancel performances and classes that couldn't be modified. Needless to say, dancing is out of the question and the next couple of months of my personal and professional life are up in the air.
I have been to multiple emergency rooms and have been tirelessly researching my options for the past couple of weeks. Because I'm not insured, it has been extremely difficult to navigate the health care system or to be taken seriously. My injury has not improved and I fear that I've torn something and need further care and a proper diagnosis so that I can begin the process of a healthy and quick recovery.
Cook County has given mean MRI appointment on January 6th, which is an extremely long time to wait for answers and care given the nature of my job and, what I feel is, the severity of my injury.
While I am striving to keep as much work as I can during this time, unfortunately there are movement classes and dance-heavy gigs that I will have to cancel. I have also spent an immense amount of money on Uber rides to and from doctors appointments and obligations and anticipate that it will only grow since I'm immobile for an undetermined amount of time.
I've found a place that can get me an MRI this upcoming Monday, and I will have to pay out of pocket. All funds raised will go towards the MRI, seeing a primary care physician on Wednesday, the medical bills from the emergency rooms, and assisting with my personal finances (rent, food, utilities) while I head down the road to recovery.
Thank you so much for listening and reading. I have had so much support and assistance these past couple of weeks (and my whole life honestly), and I'm extremely grateful for those of you who have contributed in a myriad of ways thus far. This situation has left me feeling extremely lost and unsure of what's to come. I have lived my life on the stage and have danced my way to where I am, and the thought (and reality) of not being able to do that without a full recovery has been heavy on my heart and mind.