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Monday, 29 August 2011

Help For Krafty Karen

Please read the whole post some of it is Karen`s  own words

A crafting friend that I have been chatting to for a few years on the crafter companion forum is in need of some help.
This Is Karen( Krafty Karen)
She is in constant pain over the last few years and it is getting worse, I and the other girls on Crafters Companion Forum have heard about Karen s struggle to get doctors to listen to and believe in her symptoms and send her for testing.
She once said they made her feel as if it was all in her head and her imagination, well a year ago after Karen collapsed she found herself I hospital and finally the tests were being done.
Well she was given a diagnosis, and thought this is it ,help is on the way at last.
A year later she is still in constant pain .

I meet up with Karen a month ago while I was holidaying near her home, she invited both my husband and I to come and meet at her home for Coffee.
Meeting Karen was like meeting a long lost friend, and her kids were wonderful and polite( she has 5 ranging from 15 to 3)
While visiting I could see for myself how much pain Karen was in ,every movement caused her pain, her husband and oldest daughter are helping Karen with the younger kids and everyday life.
Karen was saying that any day soon she would be going to see her pain management consultant and that she would be having an Epidural in her neck that would help a lot with the pain and her mobility .

Well last week Karen phoned the hospital to find out that her pain management consultant has gone onto long term sick leave and all his waiting lists have been cancelled., She is devastated by this news.

I noticed that this week Karen has been listing lots of her crafting items for sale on E bay.
I also know that crafting has been Karen s escape thought all this trouble .
I asked her why she was selling her stuff.
Karen feels that the only option left open to her is to go to see a private consultant and is trying to raise funds for her fees.
That why she is selling her much loved crafting Items

This weeks I asked Karen for the first time about her illness, in depth, what it was and what were the problems it caused.

Here are Karen s own words As she Emailed to me a few days ago

I have Degeneration of the C spine... (My neck) The disks which are damaged by change so far are;-

C4/5 C5/6 C6/7. I also have narrowing to the Exit Foramina which is causing root nerve compression - all of this causes a whole host of nasties for me, not least of which is the pins & needles, numbness to my limbs, loss of use and weakness to my arm, hand, and leg. Black outs, dizzy spells, headaches, loss of vision to my right eye and so many other problems they are too many to mention here.

The biggest thing I live with day to day is the sheer level of constant pain. The pain I have is in my neck, my shoulders, my arm, partly in my back, and in my leg too.

I also get a lot of pain to the back of my skull because of the problems with my neck. I suffer from paralyses and have good and bad days with this.

I also suffer from something called Complicated Migraine, which causes separate issues of it's own, but this is being managed with medication. But it does mean that I am unable to take normal analgesic or over the counter pain relief.

So I go day to day without any pain relief at all.

I have been waiting for such a long time for an Epidural injection in my neck, to give me some relief to my symptoms, which the hospital have just put back - and I am now on an "active waiting list" - I am still awaiting a referral to a London Spinal Specialist - I have been waiting for this referral for a long time now, and again, this appointment keeps getting knocked back.

I am currently trying to raise the funds to visit a private consultant, so that I can get some straight, honest, unbiased answers on exactly what my problem is and what my options are for getting it sorted out., I also want to be able to have the Epidural done if I can raise enough money for this.
I am so desperate to be able to do things with my children again. The worst thing this summer has not been having one single day out with my kiddies. It's made me feel like I've failed them some how.

It is now two and a half years since these symptoms started, and a year since my diagnosis and I am still right at square one for getting any help. I am still suffering daily with no pain relief. I am still fighting to see the right consultant who is willing to help me and give me an honest answer with regards to what procedure is needed.

The only consultant who was honest enough to tell me my neck is in really bad shape, and that I need to go to London, and that I will need a series of operations in my lifetime, has just taken long term sick leave. He was my pain management consultant, and this is the reason why I have now been knocked back yet again, and I am now still waiting for my long awaited Epidural in my neck..
This is why I have been selling some of my crafting stuff in the hope of raising some funds to go and see a private consultant.

The thought of waiting maybe another year to be seen is unbearable 

It seems to just go round and round and round in circles until I am right back where I started hun..

Well I just felt so angry on Karen s behalf and felt the need to do something.

This where I was wondering if you lovely crafters out there would be willing to help.

Karen has designed a few kits for sale at paper creator stores.
She is very modest lady and I did not know that she was doing this until a few days ago, She said its to keep her mind of her pain and designing has been a bit of a life saver for her this last year.
Well her kits are lovely and are available at paper creator stores,
I emailed Debbie at the PC store and she told me that Karen gets paid for every kit that is sold..( a few I have included in this post)
Well a light bulb went off in my head( it does not happen very often ROFL).
What a great way to raise funds for Karen s treatment.
If you buy a kit or two it will all go to Karen s private Consultant fund and get her the help she needs ASAP.
If you are feeling really generous how about buying the whole set,
This way we are all helping a fellow crafter in need and have a few lovely card kits to play with as well.
So please click on these links and take a look and help if you can.
These links will take you to Karen s Designs.
There are two site you can order from ether, Karen has a few extra kits to choose from on the USA site

Uk site
USA Site
These are the links to Karen s designs
The 5 kits shown on paper creator site and 9 kits shown on Paper crafts site.
If you are looking at the stores side bar to find Karen s kits they are listed under the title
"Karen works alongside the Crafty Gals and uses the Crafty Gals EXLCUSIVES logo at the two stores."
It would also be great if you could post some links about this onto your blogs , face book pages and forums that you visit.

Lots have emailed me asking for a donate button to be set up, for those who are not crafter`s but would still like to help.
I have added one at the top of my page in the side bar

If you do buy one of Karen s kits, I am sure she would just love it if you popped over to her blog and left her a link so that she could come see your cards.
That would be a sure way to help her feel better
This is Karen s blog, Some of you in crafting land may already know her.
Please pop over and say hello, she could do with your support,

Karen never moans Just gets on with it.
Well Lets all help Karen s Children Get their Mummy Back.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help and support



  1. wow I can't imagine what it must be like to be in constant pain every day....lets hope she gets some relief soon. I fell in love with the pirate card so off to get one and probably some more as well
    hugs and best wishes

  2. What a lovely, thoughtful post Wendy - and funnily enough I was just looking at Karen's blog this morning!! I'm off to check out the Paper Creator site now - I'm sure I'll be able to find something to buy LOL!
    I really do wish Karen all the best - I had to have major surgery and radiotherapy following cancer diagnosis and years later, I still get alot of pain in my neck and back, so I know to a small extent what Karen is going through - but luckily, I'm on pain medication so I know what a difference this can make to your life. Sending love and hugs, Marie xxxx

  3. Oh wendy .. about time!! I will be sure to post, and to buy xx Thanks for letting the cat out the bag ( Karen you are a naughty one!)

  4. Lol girls you're all stars. And Wendy I'm speechless. Thank you so very, very much honey. I truly don't know what to say honey. But thank you so very, very much

  5. I have posted this on my blog Wendy thanks for starting this off xx

  6. Wendy, I take my hat off to you for doing this. I must admit that I had to reach for the tissues. Thanks for posting the link, off to have a look, loved the mouse card. Through the CC forum I feel I known Karen a long time.

  7. I'm off to buy them now Wendy and will post about it too x

  8. I'm happy to help Wendy, I no all about pain! There is no help available for me.
    I hope Karen gets the help she needs. I will post a link on my blog. xx Jan

  9. What a fabulous idea,I bought the set last night and I am so glad I did, I suffer headaches every day,and that's bad enough, I really don't know how Karen copes with the constant pain.

    Julie xx

  10. Wendy, you are a star. It's such a great idea and I hope everyone will have a go. I will defo.

    i will also mail karen again and see if she will, this time, accept my offer and come in France for an appointment. Cheaper and quicker than in UK.

    Hugs xx

  11. Hi Wendy,
    Came here via Ali's blog. I am on the Digi Doodle Shop DT with Karen and know what a lovely lady she is. I have posted about her on my blog with a link back here and hopefully this will help raise the much needed funds.
    Denise xx

  12. How nice of you to let us know about Karen, l can't imagine what pain she is going through and to be doing it without help, truly an amazing lady, l will be calling on the paper creator site and hopefully l will be inspired as hopefully many more will be so that we can all do our bit for her thank you for sharing this:) Sandra H

  13. Thank you for posting this...Karen is on my design team and just a love to work with. I will be linking your post on my blog.

  14. Oh Wendy this is a GORGEOUS post. I'm leave close enough to Karen and managed to see her few times and seen her how brave she is and what pain she is in. I'll be happily buing few kits to help. I never knew she designs though lol
    I'll spread the word too

  15. Wendy what a sweet and thoughtful lady you are. I could not imagine living in that much constant pain. You're wonderful and I am off to look!

  16. Karen is so lucky to have some one like you as a friend I totally understand where she is coming from as I am in the same situation but with a different diagnosis and everyone I have seen I have had to fight for yet if I could afford to go private I may well on the way to recovery in 12-18 months although I wouldn't get back to how I was before I can't understand why her pain management has been put on hold though I know things are dofferent depending where you are but there should be more than one consultant and surely they can share the load I never the consultant that is named on my letter when I go (have injections in my temples) any way unfortunately funds are tight for me too but please pass on my best wishes to her and I am thinking of her
    Jacki xx

  17. A fantastic idea Wendy !
    Sending love and best wishes to Karen, and hope this helps to get the treatment you deserve xx

  18. hi wendy

    have put a link on my blog page - - think
    that such a great idea for karen xxx

  19. Wendy - I'm just off to Paper Creator to see what I can find to buy! :o) Thanks for sharing this so we all can do something positive and tangible to help Karen other than being a friend through the CC Forum. Hugs, Helen xxx

  20. Wendy - thanks for sharing this info. This is something positive we can all do to help Karen. I've put a link to your blog and to the 2 e-stores on my Blog. I'm just off to the US site to buy the wedding card :o) Hugs Helen xxx

  21. Wendy, can you also send me a link to Karen's EBay page? Thank you for being such a good person!

  22. I will definitely be buying Karen's kits! Too cute! Now (hint) it would be nice to see donation buttons on blogs since there's only so many kits that can be bought, and it would give us a chance to donate whenever possible.

  23. Thanks for flagging this Wendy - do you or karen mind if I repost this onto my site?


    PS just HAD to go along and buy the kits! Now, wouldnt it be fabby if some designers offered to do some exclusive images to raise money for Karen?

  24. I am going to buy some kits too. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and know what it's like to have constant pain, mine is nowhere nearly as bad as Karens but i know how it makes you feel.

    I hope you raise plenty Karen, Good luck with the treatment.

    Mary xx

  25. What a lovely thing you're doing Wendy! I know Karen from a lot of groups and have followed her story for a long time! I will go and see if I can by some kit's too! Also post a link on my blog back to this post!
    Hugs, Elenor

  26. Wendy, what a star of a friend you are, doing this. It's brilliant. Having a chronic condition myself, and having been through some pretty unpleasant experiences with doctors, but at least not suffering the pain that Karen endures, I can empathise with her. She must be feeling so desperate! I'm off to have a look now, and whatever happens I'll be contributing something towards her getting a private consultation. Nobody should be made to wait when they are in such severe pain, and also have dependents. Thanks again for your efforts on her behalf!

  27. Wendy, this is a lovely thing to do.

    I have been over & purchased some kits before replying to this post. I will put a post on my blog by the weekend & a link in my side bar too x

    Do you think I should use Karens picture or one of her card kits to spread the word ? I will do a link to your blog so fellow bloggers can read all the info x

    hugs sally x

  28. Thank You! My heart goes to her. I'd love to talk to her as I have Sjogrens and have faced some similiar experiences. I'll check out her blog and her kits. Edwina Brown

  29. I'm going over to purchase some kits! I can understand what she is dealing with as I have degenerative osteoarthritis & fibromyalgia. I hope this will help add to her fund to visit the private physician!! Good Luck, Karen & thanks Wendy for being such a good friend to her!! Will keep you in my prayers!!! Debbie

  30. My prayers are with you. I hope you get some relief from the pain.

  31. Wendy, Thank you for posting about Karen. She is a great and lovely person and loved by all of us at The Outlawz and I just bought one of each kit! God bless you for posting and Karen your in my prayers sweetie, Love ya! Hugz, Colleen

  32. Hello Wendy,
    Thank you for helping Karen, she deserves her her friendships such as yours. I was thinking if it could be possible for a donation button if anyone would like to donate a small amount it would all mount up. Don't want to upset Karen but many folks would like to help Karen out in other ways too. A PayPal button would do the trick...
    What a fabulous post but as I know you Wendy, I know you are a kind and generous lady who couldn't just sit down and ignore someone's pain...
    Bless you sweetheart...
    Love ~ Lady Anne xx

  33. Thank you for taking this initiative Wendy....
    It is awful to live in such pain every dat.
    I went over and bought som kits... hope many of us will do so...
    Good luck

  34. You're doing a lovely thing for Karen, Wendy. I know Karen from a couple of groups and have just received a lovely birthday card from her. Will help in any way I can. :)

  35. Wow I'm in awe of all these wonderful comments. Thank you all. So much.xx
    Jacq glad the card finally got there sweety.xx

  36. Hi Wendy - how good of you to highlight Karen's problems. I can totally relate as I have similar symptoms following spinal biopsies due to cancer and ended up thinking it was all in my mind until I had scans, epidurals and steroid injections. If she manages to get enough money to see the consultant privately then she can go back on the NHS list for treatment. I've just bought four of her kits and am delighted to be able to give my help in such a small way.

  37. Hello Wendy, I have tried to leave a comment on Karen's blog but to no avail. Please pass on my very best to her, I wish her well with her task in raising sufficient funds to pay for private treatment, which she should not have to do. She should 'put her pride in her pocket' and accept what all the generous folk are doing to help her. I know she must get very frustrated that she cannot do the little things with her children. Time will heal her and she can then do all these things. I wish her well and Gods blessings on her. My thoughts and prayers are with her. I have purchased her cards and hope that my small contribution with those of so many more will help towards her goal. Much love to you for your help towards this and to Karen and her family.....Ursula XXXXX

  38. Have downloaded Karen's fabulous kits and will spread the word. Thanks for putting us in the picture Wendy and I just hope enough money can be raised to get Karen some much needed relief. xxx

  39. I find myself whining about my pains. This really makes my pain much less and not worthy of compliant. Hang in there Karen. Thanks Wendy for letting us help, besides ordering a few kits I will add Karen to my prayers. Hugs...

  40. You are a beautiful friend. I have chronic pain but it doesn't begin to compare to this. Thank you for the opportunity to help by buying these adorable kits. I will be praying for relief for Karen.

  41. I will happily buy some kits and not out of charity- they are beautiful! I do think however think that Karen should contact the head of her PCT and also her MP. If she does this and implies that she is going to be loud in speaking out against her situation,I think she will find that she will miraculously get an NHS appointment (also on the letter to the PCT write that a copy has been sent to the MP). I was told that the paediatric physio had left and there was no physio for my daughter (who had just had an op). I sent a letter to the Head of the PCT CC'd to my MP and the day after it was received a physio was found (albeit an adult physio!) The "problem", with private consultants is they will send you for every test going and that is very expensive, especially if it involves MRI's etc.Wishing Karen all the luck in the world XXX

  42. WOW! What a great post. And you are so precious to want to help Karen. She is one FABULOUS lady!
    I have been praying for her for a LONG time!!!!
    Thanks for the chance to help her.

  43. Thanks for posting.. I hope you dont mind I have posted on both of my blogs.. I also purchased 7 of her cards.. I hope that she gets what she needs.. Love her work..

  44. I'm a newbie to the BC forums and Cougar. Stumbled across this post trying to follow everyone on the blog list from the forum. My heart goes out to Karen. Here's what I've posted on my blog to help spread the word about the kits:

    I will also post on my social network that has over 100 followers. Thanks Wendy for sharing Karen's story and her beautiful kits with us.

    I'm off to buy a kit or two or three or so. My prayers are with Karen and I am praying for swift relief from the pain. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

  45. Hi, I have just read most of your post about Karen and can relate to alot of it. My problems aren't as bad as Karens but on a similar line. I have found an answer to my problems in the hands of Sarah - she's a physio at Leeds Physio Clinic, 01132457800. I've been in constant pain for 15 years and in the 18 months I've been seeing Sarah my pain has been reduced so much that I can now do volunteer work at my local craft shop. She really is magic hands. Please could you pass this on. Thanks Julie

  46. Money is tight for us, as I'm recovering from cancer, but you are both in my prayers. I am getting a lot of help from pain from NES. It's a natural thing, and it makes the body heal. I don't know HOW it works, I just know THAT it works. There are practitioners all over the world for this, and I even think it originated in England..... Maybe something to try in the meantime? You're a good friend, and if I could, I would donate but for now, I will put a link on my blog for you.

  47. Hi Wendy, I hope you see this post! I have already donated to Karens fundraiser personally, but my new blog challenge which starts tomorrow is going to have a pledge a card button on it and I have 30 cards pledged already. I felt that this was maybe another way that those who can't afford to donate can get involved and donate indirectly. All the cards will be sold at a table top as soon as I have enough of them and then the proceeds will go via the donate button for you.
    Woo x (Also Wendy)


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