After his workplace accident. He's been home from the hospital since Wednesday. He's doing ok. Is pretty much staying in the recliner day and night. Has a Dr appt next Monday to check the leg. Has an ultrasound coming up to check his shoulder, had an x ray today that showed his shoulder is separated, but need to know if there is other damage such as torn rotator cuff. Will know more after Dr appt and ultrasound.
Pat's humor is holding strong....We are seeing about having a wing of the hospital named after us since we seem to be here so much.
Some of the bruising from Karls accident
Can you help Pat and Karl?
If you know Pat you know she loves nothing more than to spend time with her Grand Babies, her Kids, her Mom, and to volunteer with children. Sadly, that has been taken from her in this season of life.
Earlier this year Pat was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus affects so many different organs, and has a wide range of signs and symptoms. These symptoms may come and go, and different symptoms may appear at different times during the disease. The most common symptoms are extreme fatigue, headaches, painful swollen joints, fever, anemia, swelling in feet, legs and around eyes. Pain in the chest, butterfly rash on face, sensitivity to light, hair loss, abnormal blood clotting, fingers turning white or blue when cold (Raynaud’s syndrome) and other symptoms. In short, Lupus attacks the whole body.
As you can see the steroids are taking a toll on Pat.
In the process of the diagnosis, Pat has been hospitalized 7 times since the beginning of the year. She has been diagnosed with stage 4 renal failure, steroid induced diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease and Sjogren’s syndrome, and has now developed an ulcer, probably from the steroids. She is currently dealing with the pain of shingles, and multiple pulmonary embolisms, part of one lung damaged from the lack of blood flow to the lung. She's had much swelling of her face, legs and feet due to the heavy dose of steroids that she is on, the feet and leg swelling is making it very difficult and painful for her to walk. When she can walk, she has energy for very short distances only and needs to stop and rest every 50-75 feet, so she takes things very slowly. The smallest of tasks that we all take for granted are exhausting for Pat now. The large tasks like Dr. visits can cause a flare that will incapacitate her for days or weeks. There is NO CURE for lupus, but we are hoping for remission.
Pat wrote this recently: What Lupus Has Stolen From Me
1. Health. I don’t know from day to day if I will be well or sick. Losing the ability to plan for events in my life without knowing if I must cancel. When I am not feeling well my instinct is to just push through and do it anyway. I am learning I can’t do that, as I add stress to my body, leading to a flare, taking me out of commission for anywhere from 2 days to weeks.
2. I have lost the energy to tend my garden. Last year I canned over 50 pints of green beans, a dozen quarts of pickled beans, over 75 pints of applesauce, and did multiple jams with my daughter. I did all of this while working 40 hours a week. I also had flowers to tend around my house. What I love most is making things beautiful. I can do none of that now.
3. My love language is "acts of service". I can no longer give these as I used to, to my family and co-workers. I am now on the receiving end of acts of service. While still working, I couldn't walk down the stairs or down the hallway to do the necessary activities of my job, and my lovely coworkers would do it for me. At home, I can’t negotiate the stairs so my family does the up and downs for me. I can’t bend over for long so cleaning below hip level is not possible. I can’t mop floors, clean up high, or prepare meals that take a lot of time on my feet. I plan my steps from my chair to other rooms, looking to see what else I can take to that room to save steps.
4. I've lost a job that I loved, customers I loved to serve, and coworkers I enjoyed being with.
5. I've lost my body to a new shape due to steroids.
6. I've lost my identity. People (even family) don't recognize me anymore. Steroids have caused fat deposits in my face causing me to lose my facial expressions. Even my eyebrows and mouth no longer function as they used to. My granddaughter has difficulty knowing if I'm upset now or not. I want my grandkids to remember the fun Gramma I used to be, loving to laugh and play.
7. Because of the pain, I experience daily I struggle with maintaining a positive outlook. I've lost the ability to help myself, to have hope on many days, to be emotionally strong (I cry a lot...mostly when I'm alone).
8. I've lost life as it used to be. I am struggling to find my new normal. I'm not liking the “new normal” so much, but it is what it is for now. I'm hoping for remission so I can have some of my old normal back.
9. My family has lost the wife, mom and gramma they used to know.
10. I've lost my self-worth on most days, though I still know in my heart of hearts I am a daughter of the King...and my worth to Him is greater than I could ever imagine or understand.
What I have gained: (so far)
1. I have gained patience with myself, an understanding that God still has a purpose for me here on earth
2. I have an understanding of how much I am loved by Him and those around me
3. A realization that my house does not have to be perfectly clean for people to come into it. (Not something I was ever that great at anyway).
4. A realization that God is carrying me through this because I have lost my ability to walk this difficult path.
Most days I want to throw in the towel and just quit altogether. God is my ONLY hope.
Pat has had lots of swelling and pain in her legs and feet making it difficult for her to walk
Pat has applied for SSDI, and was approved, but no benefits will come in for another few months, meanwhile the hospital and Doctor bills are mounting. You can imagine how high the hospital bills will be after 7 hospital stays. We are hoping that we can raise enough to relieve the financial stress created by the need to quit working, and to help with the medical bills already coming.These things weigh heaving on the mind and if we can reduce that stress, hopefully Pat can rest and recover.
Would you be willing to help? If you can do anything, it would be much appreciated.
Help us get Pat back to what she loves.
***I have contacted Pat and Karl’s bank and you can make deposits directly to them if you prefer. You can stop at any branch of WECU and deposit to Patricia and Karl Schouten. You DO NOT need their account number but you MUST have the correct spelling of their names. Remember Schouten is a tricky one to spell…=) ***
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE WHO KNOWS AND LOVES PAT AND KARL
- Arlene Watts
- John and Barbara Sturdivant
- Wendy Bacon-Allex
Organizer and beneficiary
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