Health Update Video 2

First video

Video Transcript

Update number two. The first one was at the beginning of August and honestly, there isn’t much of an update to give. Started out that in June, the first doctor told me I had carpal tunnel and an ulnar nerve compression. Then I saw my family doctor and he said that I had tendonitis, specifically tennis elbow, and possibly carpal tunnel.

Then I went to the specialist in Carpal tunnel. I did the test where they electrocute you and try to figure out which nerves are working. And at the time, he said that I had no carpal tunnel and he didn’t believe it was tendonitis, that it was myofasciitis.

I then have spent the past month trying to get an appointment with my doctor. He wanted to wait until he got the notes from the specialist. They got it last week. I got in contact with my doctor’s office and I was extended leave because I am still a lot of pain. Pretty much fingers to here hurts right now. And although physio is helping a lot, it’s not fast.

Fast forward to last week, when I went to my doctor’s office to talk to the nurse and to get things signed, I said I was really worried and needed an appointment with the doctor because this is getting ridiculous.

One person was telling me I didn’t have anything and the specialist that I didn’t have carpal tunnel and the nurse goes, “Whoa, no, no. I read the report. He says you have signs of carpal tunnel.”

I have no idea what’s going on, No idea whatsoever. Hopefully in the next week or so, my doctor will call me back, make an appointment, and we can figure this out. Because even WSIB and OHS are getting a little impatient. My work is wondering when I’m coming back. I would just like to heal and get better and get back to work.

I’m also getting a little antsy. I went from writing a thousand words a day up to like six thousand a week, to writing a thousand a month.

And that was really slow. I wrote the sereal story and even with my new ergonomic mini keyboard and everything, it’s… it’s… ah.. hard. Thankfully, the writing still flows out easily. It’s just the… The pain afterwards that is not much fun. So, unfortunately, the update is a non-update, but that’s what we have so far.

Hopefully, I’ll have more news soon and then we can proceed with an actual plan for getting better. That’s my hope. That’s what I want. I want to plan. I’d like plans, I like breaking plans, but in this case, I want to make a plan and stick to it. Hopefully I can start writing again and by the new year. That’s, that’s my big hope. If not, then I have to consider voice to text as a permanent solution and it sucks, but it’s better than nothing.

The other big thing that I’ve been doing is very slowly roasting, and with the help of my children and wife, packaging coffee. So, if you’re going to be at Ottawa Comic Con, we should have twelve flavours, including two that have never been in a convention before.

So that’s exciting. Hope to see you there. Hope that my next update is either by text or way more optimistic.

Bye.

Health Update Video August 2022

Transcript of Video

Hi!

I decided to try to record a blog post and that way I don’t have to worry about typing long blog posts; so today will be all about my health issues and how I’m doing. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’ll put a link in the comments, right HERE and you can see everything that’s been going on. 

But effectively in June, I started having massive arm pain in this part of the arm and this part of the arm, on both sides, and my doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis and possible carpal tunnel. I was scheduled to go to do some more tests for carpal tunnel specifically; I just got those last week and good news: I don’t need surgery! 

It looks like I don’t have any issues with carpal tunnel; the carpal tunnel specialist said that he thought maybe there was something muscular. 

My physio, which I’m seeing three times a week, is helping a lot. 

She’s a godsend. 

She thinks it has something to do with my ulnar nerve. 

Basically, all this is telling you more tests, more time. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been following the proper procedures and filling out workman’s compensation forms. 

Oh my gosh! 

Filling out forms when you have tendonitis hurts. Pencils, typing… 

Thank heavens for Jen. 

If it wasn’t for her, I would be having a lot of trouble right now. 

Beyond that, I am doing better. 

It’s been a month and a little bit and it’s no longer a burning, sharp pain. 

It’s now a burning ache, and if I don’t do too much, which means not going on my phone. 

too much, not typing too much, not cooking too much, not changing too many diapers, that kind of thing, I’m OK. It hurts, but I’m…

The problem gets when I’m trying to do something. 

So at the end of July I didn’t want to break my own rules and fail on the serial story, so I typed 1000 words over three or four nights and it was hard

I’m not going to be able to go back to my 3 to 5000 words a week that I used to do, and that makes me really, really sad. 

Hopefully with Physio, by the end of August, I’ll be able to do a little bit more, but until I know for sure what’s going on, I don’t know. 

I’m also really nervous about going back to work and doing document formatting, which basically means I’m doing short keys and mouse clicks for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours a day. 

And yeah, that doesn’t sound like much fun right now. 

My doctor has me going back on September 1st. 

I’m hoping that I’ll be OK to do that. 

I’m hoping my work will be OK with giving me a little bit more leeway in getting my stuff done. I have no idea what’s going to happen and it’s kind of scary. 

Right now, I am concentrating on the things that I can control. 

Those being slowly, carefully, roasting coffee for Ottawa Comic Con. It’s going to be the first convention, that’s going to be in September, the first convention that we actually get to sell at since COVID started and I’m terrified

Not only because I’ve heard so many stories of people getting sick at Montreal Comic Con and other conventions, but also because I have no idea if roasting and preparing for a month… Like, so much stock is going to be sold, or if we’re going to leave with a negative… I’m just hoping to make back our table. 

That’s my basic goal. 

We’ll see; and I guess my other big goal is not to get sick. On that front, Pegasus has gotten his first shot at the end of July. We’re hoping to get the next one by the end of August, early September, so that he’s covered when we go to Comic Con. 

He’s not coming with us, but if we’re going to bring anything back, which is always a possibility, I don’t want him to catch this thing after 2 1/2 years! Gah. 

So back to the health stuff. 

My doctor gets back on Tuesday, which is tomorrow when you guys are watching this, and hopefully he’ll have some sort of diagnosis for me or another series of tests, which I have a feeling I’m going to be doing a lot of those in the future, which sucks. 

And I really miss typing. 

It’s my stress relief. Even like just basic typing is my stress relief. 

I was really enjoying the stress relief of playing ukulele, but I… I’ve barely touched it. 

Although I did dust, literally dust, the ukulele the other day just because it looked sad. 

All that to say that I am nervous but I’m getting better and I am trying to prepare for Comic Con, so hopefully my doctor will be able to fix things, and my physio will help me fix things and I can get back to writing novels.

Speaking of novels, check out Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers

Well, I hope you’ve had an enjoyable time learning about my pain. [Fake sobbing]

I hope you’ve learned a little bit about what’s going on, and I hope to see you at Ottawa Comic Con.

Bye.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Stress

***TL:DR I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Posts will be shorter and I might be doing some repeats. Guest Posts appreciated.***

Hello,

I’ve been a fool. Since February, my work has been fairly busy and regular. It’s a lot of short keys, typing, and mouse work. I’ve been having pain in my hands for a while now.

I wrote about it for the Spoonie Author’s Network. At the time, the Doctor thought it was the same arthritis that was in my big toes. After a year of tests he eliminated that option. We thought it was maybe tendinitis and he sent me to physio.

My prescription for physio was written in February 2020. I didn’t make it. I didn’t want to risk getting my children sick and was experiencing long covid. A few weeks turned into a few months and then a few years.

The pain came and went, but was usually worse when my hands were cold. So I didn’t worry. I kept thinking, “I’ll see my doctor about it when the pandemic is over.”

Fast forward to last November and I noticed my arms getting numb when I slept. (I sleep on my sides and it was the ones that I didn’t sleep on that went numb.) The pain got worse around Christmas, but got better after 2 weeks off.

Then we went into report season at work and I started writing a new book. So my days looked like this: Work 8 hours, Ukulele practice 15-45 minutes, and then 1-2 hours writing, formatting, etc. I’m also the primary diaper changer in the family… so… yeah.

The pain got worse and worse and I just kept thinking, “I’ll see my doctor about it when the pandemic is over.” and, “It’ll get better when I have less clicky work.”

Then Monday, I was told by my bosses that I had to come into the physical building of work. The meeting was tense and I won’t lie, I felt attacked. We’re so close to an infant vaccine for Pegasus… I asked if I could wait until September and they refused. “Isolating is a choice we made. Coming in to work is my responsibility.” That’s a paraphrase, but arg. I’m still angry.

I’m not sure what I did during that meeting to myself, but after, my pain in my arms and hands went from a 5 (Interrupts some activities) to 8 (Hard to do anything) the pain has been fluctuating from 6-8 since.

I made an appointment with my doctor, but he couldn’t see me until a week later. I was in tears as I tried to figure out what to do. I eventually decided to go to the after-hours clinic and saw a wonderful doctor. He diagnosed me with confidence after asking some insightful questions. He gave me two weeks off work, tests for my family doctor, and a prescription for splints to sleep with. Now it’s a waiting game. I’m seeing my doctor next week and so far, after 3-4 days, I’m still in a lot of pain. This post is taking forever to write, but I’m taking lots of breaks.

I’m worried that my reticence to see the doctor will result in permanent damage. It shouldn’t have taken a level 8 pain or my bosses showing how little they care about me to make me listen to my body and get help. The moment the pain started to increase, I should have made appointments.

I didn’t want to let my family down, I didn’t want to let myself down, and I didn’t want to let my work down. It was foolish! Work doesn’t care about me, they never really have, family only want me to be healthy, and I’m more disappointed now than if I had been treated earlier.

Expect this blog to have shorter posts (this took most of a day with breaks). I’ll let you know what happens.

At least I’m getting a lot of snuggles.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

I’m Fat and so is Trump

Hello Internet,

I’m fat. I’ve been considered morbidly obese since seventh grade. Here I am at my thinnest and best shape of 200lbs and 220lbs:

The left (200lbs) was taken in 2003 and the right (220lbs) in 2005. The difference in weight could have been mostly hair.

My entire life I have seen people like me be one of three things: Villain, Weirdo, and Dork. These were the roles I could play in society and my role models were comedians (John Candy).

There were three universal truths about being fat:

1. You were messy, smelly, or gross.

To this day I am obsessively clean about eating and hygiene. I’m struck with terror at the idea of being messy with food in front of people or having BO.

2. You Love fast food.

I watched my mother (who weighed 300-400lbs for most of my life) struggle with this constantly. She wanted to be healthy but being poor meant it was easier to buy frozen and fast food. I still marvel at the privilege inherent in people who hate veggies. Fresh veggies are better than candy to me and growing up they were a rare treat. Now I try to follow a diet from the keto pure diet reviews I found.

That being said I do love me some McDonalds and A&W.

3. You were lazy / it’s your fault

Oh this is the reason so many people have eating disorders, Yo-Yo diet, or try dangerous things. Sometimes you’re just fat and sometimes you need to balance the need to lose weight and the time/money it would take to lose.

Hey advice person, let me stop you right there. I am perfectly healthy. My blood glucose, cholesterol, etc are better than most men half my age. Other than arthritis, allergies, and IBS; I’m fine. Also keep your chia/coconut/superfood to yourself.

Trump

I don’t hate Trump; I loathe him. His entire being, especially his presidency, is an assault to common sense, humanity, and decency. His treatment of minorities, the economy, and the English language are horrifying.

He’s also fat and likes fast food. We have that in common.

The disgusting thing about Trump serving fast food to a bunch of athletes is that he served them 2-3 hour old, cold, fast food. He could have commissioned a bunch of fast food trucks to show up and it would have been quirky. Instead he pre-ordered a bunch of food and as it cooled he gave a nonsensical speech.

His weight, ass, belly, flab, etc. do not represent his worth, or lack thereof, as a human being. His actions and words represent his monstrosity.

Please stop making fun of him for his fatness. Every time you associate causation between his being fat and his repugnant behaviour you tell me, and children who look like me, that we’re no better than Trump.

Fat is not a representation of worth. I am not inherently bad because of a number on a scale.

Stop mocking and associating Trump’s weight with his worth.

The living personification of capitalism and hate has given you a plethora of material to mock.

I’m fat and so is Trump. Our size doesn’t make us twins and the fact that we have that in common means absolutely nothing.

Be kind,

Éric

Real Conspiracies

X-Files themed button. Now available for commission.
X-Files themed button.
Now available for commission.

On Tuesday I talked about Conspiracy Theories. Today lets discuss real ones. The real conspiracies fuel our natural want to see patterns and be special.

Most of the real life conspiracies are based on not wanting to change the way we do things or products of advertising.

Take Multivitamins for example. They’re not bad for you but they’re not important. This is multivitamins and vitamin boosts. This doesn’t mean Folic Acid for pregnancy, vitamin D for SAD, or Iron for Anemia is bad. When recommended by a doctor they’re great.

Or take bottled water. Many people think it’s better than tap water and the companies selling them certainly want you to think that, but on average they’re not.

These are just a few examples of “real” conspiracies. They are not controlled by a giant body, but by people who want to be rich. There’s no giant Water Bottle Industry conspiracy to make our tap water less safe. That’s caused by human greed, poor management, poor regulation, and stupidity.

How to Avoid Being Duped

There are little conspiracies all over. From wanting the last cookie, to wanting you to BUY OUR COFFEE everyone has an angle or something they want from someone else.

If you want to test if a conspiracy is real or not remember to ask the most important question: Why?

Why would they perpetrate this hoax? Why would they control the world? Why would they try to control humanity with the contrails from planes?

From there, do your research and find out how it could be true. Apply the David Robert Grimes Method. It states that a conspiracy is less likely to succeed, the more people who are involved. Find credible sources and think critically.

Beware Buzzwords

Buzzwords are by far the most dangerous form of conspiracy. They sound good but are vague and never tell the whole truth. They are dangerous if you believe them unconditionally.

Some of the best examples of dangerous buzzwords are found in health. Superfoods, Toxins, Cleanse and Natural are some extremely common buzzwords that literally mean nothing.

A superfood isn’t from Krypton, but something that has higher than normal vitamin content. That’s it. It’s not a cure for cancer, not a cure for the common cold, not a cure for damage. Just a food that’s good for you.

A toxin is “a poisonous substance and especially one that is produced by a living thing” So unless you are eating jellyfish, the chances that your food is filled with toxins is highly unlikely. Everything that goes into your body might have poisons in it, probably in minute amounts. Nature has a way for you to detox that isn’t only free, but easy. It’s called your LIVER.

Cleanses are a way to detox your body. As slang for “Stop eating unhealthily” it makes sense. Of course fake doctors and idiots have commercialised it into something that is dangerous. Let’s make something clear: You can’t eat unhealthily and then “cleanse” to make yourself healthy again. That’s not how our bodies work. These detox cleanse diets aren’t healthy. They are fads that stress your body more than they help. They are the emotionally crippled children of the weight loss fad diets. You don’t need to know the garcinia side effects. Eat healthy regularly and you’ll feel better. Don’t pretend you’re Bacchus and think eating only soup for a month will repair damage.

Natural is a word that has such a vague meaning that it could mean anything. Nightshade is completely natural, as is the box jellyfish, but eating them can hurt you. Using Natural as a word to mean safe is ignorant of how we live our lives and of science. I’ve seen Natural on everything from bacon to tomatoes. It literally means whatever the advertiser wants it to mean.

Conclusion

When you’re trying to figure out what’s real:

  • Think critically about what you do and why you do it.
  • If someone tells you you’re wrong, ask why.
  • Do some research before you believe what your crazy (insert relative) tells you about a miracle product.
  • Remember that we as a species are flawed.

For me I like to follow a few general rules:

  • Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
  • Occam’s Razor: The simplest answer is usually the right one.

And of course

 

What are your least favourite Real Conspiracies?

Later Days,

Éric

Conspiracies

Watching the American elections and the rise to power of certain candidates it’s easy to believe that there’s more going on than we see. Maybe a shadowy organization that’s pulling the strings? Evil lizard overlords? Big Pharma? Big Oil? Big Publishing? Landru?

There have been more conspiracy theories than I can name but most of them take Occam’s Razor and toss it out the window. (Insert unshaved conspiracy nut joke here)

I LOVE conspiracy theories, not because I think they’re real but because they are entertaining stories. If you truly think that one organization has guided the history and politics of humanity for the past three hundred years, you have way more faith in humanity than I do. The problem with most of these grand conspiracy theories is the belief that we as a species are capable of keeping secrets.

Take the Moon Landing Hoax; in most variations they faked the moon landing by using Hollywood tricks. We’re talking about an industry that has trouble keeping its movie trailers from leaking. The idea that the proof has so perfectly been destroyed is ludicrous.

Not that I could convince anyone who believes in it. They will misconstrue and misunderstand to the point of believing whatever they want. There are people who believe that the world is flat. Despite all the evidence.

Why are Conspiracy Theories so compelling?

I’m not going into the pathology of mental health and conspiracy theories. That’s a whole other discussion.

I think the answer is simply patterns. We, as humans, are obsessed with patterns. We find them in everything, even when they don’t exist. Seeing shapes in clouds or bathroom tiles seems far off from thinking we live on a planet that’s 5000 years old, flat, and ruled by a secret society of atheistic Lizard-Men but it’s not as far as you think.

Think of the restaurant you dislike the most (no not the one with poor social values) but the one you’ve been to 2-3 times and had bad food or bad service every time. We all have one and we all avoid that restaurant because we assume that they’re always that bad. (I mean terrible not just bad.) We assume that everyone else is wrong when they say the restaurant is ok. So who’s wrong? If the restaurant is still in business there’s a good chance we are.

At this point we have to either accept that our 2-3 experiences are only a miniscule number in a larger series. If the restaurant is open 7 days a week and sees an average of 50 customers a day that’s 18,200 customers per year. So our 3 experiences represent 0.0016% of visits that year.

Or we can assume that it was purposefully done to us. The owners of the restaurant don’t like us.

In the science-ish conclusion we aren’t special, we’re a miniscule example. In the Conspiracy, we’re not only special but persecuted. Naturally, we would prefer to believe we’re important.

 

What are your favourite Conspiracies?

Later Days,

Éric