There is a lot of pain and this world in this world, but there is also a lot of love. If you feel so inclined, please share some of your love with someone who could really use it. One starfish at a time, right?
Two years ago Eric went into surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem. Needless to say the surgery did not go as we had hoped and he was paralyzed from the neck down. He is on a vent and requires help with movement so his muscles don't atrophy. With help we would like to get him a quadriciser that would greatly help him in movement and motivation.
Eric Arvin is one of my literary heroes and a huge reason I am a published author. He is also pure and simply a good, kind, and beautiful soul. Please take a moment to help in any and every way you can. Thank you so much! Brandon
Most of you know Patrick Wendling-Markwell (author name, Jason Nichols), and his husband, Rondal Markwell. If any of you are familiar with Jason’s writings, then you know he wrote a semi-autobiographical novel titled ‘Shattered Soul’, which describes horrors growing up that I can’t even begin to imagine. I’m going to share a story with you that Rondal wrote, and then I’m going to ask for your help. I believe in these men, my heart breaks for what they’ve endured, and I know that we can help them to reach their goals and get the treatment needed for Patrick to be healthy.
Back in 2010 my husband, Patrick, underwent many tests and procedures to determine whether or not he would need surgery. For years, Patrick has suffered from insomnia, snoring so severe he woke himself up, excessive nasal drainage, massive amounts of mucus, severe asthma attacks, bad hay fever, and severe sleep apnea. It turned out he had to have surgery, so in 2011 he had what is known as a UPPP - Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (a surgical procedure used to remove tissue and/or remodel tissue in the throat. Tissues which may typically be removed include: tonsils, and adenoids and tissues which are typically remodeled include: the uvula, the soft palate, and the pharynx)
He was supposed to have the full procedure done, but as we found out in January of 2015, not everything was done as they said had happened. Through new doctors, several things came to light. We have to move to a much warmer climate at sea level elevation and preferably salty air. Hawai'i was the best bet, but Patrick is allergic to a mold that is native to Hawai'i only and in the air there so we had to go with other choices. After trying to figure out many choices, ranging from New Orleans, to the East Coast to various places in Florida, we have finally decided on Saint Petersburg, FL and it is actually fairly cheap to live there. We made the decision to look at moving. However, we hit a few snags along the way.
I was at a good job in Denver and they switched things around, causing me to drop in pay from $29 an hour to $15.75 an hour and we could no longer afford our rent, especially since in December of 2014 Patrick broke two ribs and had to quit his job, which was a very physical job. We put all of our stuff in storage and I got a new job back out over the road in an 18 wheeler and Patrick and the dogs came with me. After a couple months of sitting for up to 3 days at a time for one customer, we realized we weren't going to make it. Patrick needed to have his first of three surgeries by the end of February of 2016. As a truck driver, I get paid by the mile. So, I switched companies. Better miles and pay, but when the insurance finally kicked in, we realized it was worthless. Patrick takes a multitude of pills to keep him healthy and the new insurance won't cover them, much less my own meds. Altogether, we would have to pay nearly $4,000 a month out of pocket to get the meds, and not even the prescription discount program cards would help us. In fact, the insurance won't even cover his surgeries.
After a dermatologist visit back in 2012, the company billed our insurance and got paid, leaving us with a bill that we couldn't pay right away and less than three weeks after submitting the bill to us, they sent it to collections. The collections guy happens to be a lawyer and the day he got it, he took it straight to court and filed suit against us and ended up being awarded a garnishment against my paychecks. So now, every paycheck, we have to pay that, plus a car payment, auto insurance, our storage bill, phone bill, etc... By the time all is said and done, we have maybe $100 left over to eat off of, including paying for dog food for our two dogs, Nero and Fritz.
I have found a new company, but with truck companies you have to live in the hiring area. The new company is there in Florida and will get me home every weekend and allow me to be home with him for his surgeries and recoveries. He needs three total surgeries over the course of a year. However, because of everything that has happened and we are now completely broke and have no means of saving because the new worthless insurance is $250 every paycheck, plus the garnishment and all the other bills, we wouldn't be able to move until the end of this year, maybe into the beginning of next year.
Patrick is quickly deteriorating in his health and tries not to talk about it. However, he sleeps maybe 2-4 hours a day, if that. Sits up in the front of the truck at night while I sleep because we can't fit on the bunk together comfortably and he writes at night while I am not driving. However, these past couple of weeks he can't focus on writing because he is too exhausted and the cold saps his energy and we are constantly moving up and down in elevation. He gets ugly migraines dealing with the cold and elevation. He blows his nose about 50 times a day, and his eyes actually bug out of his head a little and have to be pushed back in. They are sunken in and black underneath. He has gained a lot of weight and can't get it to come off because exercising causes him to have severe asthma attacks. Snot even pushes out of his tear ducts when he blows his nose. He is coughing up huge amounts of phlegm and vomits stomach acid a few times a week. When he does manage to sleep, I have to monitor him because he will stop breathing in his sleep and though he no longer snores while he sleeps because of the first surgery, he now makes a horrible rattling sound from his throat. If he rolls over onto his back, he starts suffocating.
We are now at the point where we eat only cans of cold soup or ravioli or get hot water from the coffee machines in the truck stops to pour over the cup of Ramen soup things. Or we eat those little 6 packs of crackers with cheese or peanut butter in them. On occasion we have enough left over to get us a decent meal from in the truck stop, but they gouge you on prices and the food is normally junk food or fast food, but at least it is hot. Patrick stays as lively as he can while online, but he's really not doing that well anymore and his spirits are way down. He is feeling depressive and he can't even get out of the truck in any area where the cold is too bad because it stops his breathing, so he has to be extremely desperate to use the bathroom before he risks it and has to bundle up so much he can barely move and it takes a little while because he has to undo it all and do it all back up, all for a simple bathroom break.
I am tired and can't do this alone any longer. I feel trapped and no matter what I do we don't seem to be getting closer to our goal, but instead further from it and I'm left with a constant feeling of helplessness. We need to get to Florida and start on with this new company so my new insurance, which is far better, will get him in to his new doctors finally and get him his first of three surgeries. So, basically I am asking for help to get us moved to a better climate for Patrick to get the medical attention he needs, but it isn't cheap and if we try to save it all ourselves right now, we wouldn't get there until January, maybe even later, of 2017.
We need to get back to Denver and get our stuff and move to FL. Once there, we will get into a new place and get him settled and I will go to orientation for my new job and get back out on the road immediately. So, if any of you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. I really hate having to ask for help, but I need to this time for my husband's sake. Otherwise, things are only going to get worse for him. I know it seems like we are asking for a lot, but moving expenses and health expenses and everything else these days are no longer as cheap as they once were. At this point, anything will help.
As you can see, their situation is dire. I am asking for our community, our tribe, to help in whatever manner you can. If you can spare a donation, that would be wonderful, if not, please share this and get it out to as many people as possible. Any one of us could be in their situation due to bad luck, bad insurance companies, and health problems not within our control.
Let’s come together and help one of our own.