Health Update end of November

Hello Friends and Readers,

As you’ve read, I’ve had a few health issues of late. Long story short, I have some sort of injury to my arms. It’s been painful and limiting since June.

To catch up, here’s my first health update,  here’s my second health update,  here’s the one from Septemberhere’s the update from October, and here’s the update for early November.

My doctor finally sent my files to WSIB. (Suspiciously after Jen had a talk with him during Dragon’s physical appointment.) That’s the good news.

Back in 2020 or 2019 I went to see the doctor about my hands hurting. They ache when the weather changes and it’s anoying and hurts, but wasn’t getting worse with use. (Thankfully, since I wrote 4 novels and finished one afterwards) He did some x-rays and couldn’t find anything wrong, so he sent me to physio. I got the referral in early 2020 and when the pandemic hit, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

That’s all in my medical history and someone or something flagged it as needing to be assessed with WSIB. So they need to decide if the pain in my hands is the same thing as the pain in my arms.

WSIB rules say that workplace injuries have to be declared within 6 months. In other words, if they decide this is the same thing, they’re cutting me loose and saying good luck.

Assuming everything goes well, it’ll be a week for them to decide it’s a different injury and then another week to decide if I get sent to their clinic.

Best case scenario, I’ll get to see a WSIB doctor in the new year… worst case I need to go through my family doctor and we’re talking 6-18 months to see a neurologist.

My pain is averaging a 7 or 8 most days and the tingling and numbness in my arms has spread to the shoulders. On my left side, it’s affecting my face. It feels like the muscle has fallen asleep.

The hardest part is at night. With painkillers and voltaren, I still wake up every 20-30 minutes because of the pain.

I’m tired, I’m in pain, and it’s getting worse every week. I’m not sure how much longer I can go at this pace, but I’m trying my best to cooperate with WSIB in hopes that I can see a doctor soon.

I’m feeling really defeated…

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Stress relief with an arm injury

Hello Readers,

My biggest stress relievers before my injury were playing video games, making pretty noises on the ukulele, reading, writing, and baking.

All of those use your arms.

I was able to make some adjustments and still bake. I have an excellent helper and a wonderful new mixer. I can even write in small bursts or with text to speech.

I can read on my kobo if I prop it on some pillows. However, reading outside the house is near impossible without hurting my neck. I definitely can’t read when I’m getting physio. My wonderful wife recomended I listen to an audiobook.

We owned the Percy Jackson series so I listened to those and they were great. I then discovered the AMAZING selection of audiobooks available at the Ottawa Public Library. I’m really impressed with their selection.

Audiobooks have been a massive help in relaxing while at work. I’m currently supposed to work 20 minutes and then rest for 30. I do my stretches and listen to my audiobooks. It’s relaxing and means I’m not holding my phone or figiting too much.

So yes, Yay for audiobooks! And double yay for the OPL!

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Health Update Early November

Hello Friends and Readers,

As you’ve read, I’ve had a few health issues of late. Long story short, I have some sort of injury to my arms. It’s been painful and limiting since June.

To catch up, here’s my first health update,  here’s my second health update,  here’s the one from September, and here’s the update from October.

I was on WSIB health leave until early November.

My doctor filled out the WSIB forms and then gave me a letter saying I should not be going back to work. The letter used the words “completely disabled”. He also recomended I see a neurologist.

WSIB ignored the letter because they said to be completely disabled I’d have to practically be unable to move. So based of the forms he sent in and the forms my physio filled in, WSIB declared I was ready to go back to work.

I had a back to work meeting on Monday the 31st of October and started work on Wednesday the 2nd of November. I had hoped for more time to prepare and heal. I had a massive meltdown and freakout (sorry Jen) and then did the only thing I could, I prepared to go back to work.

My physio recomended I get the WSIB doctors to have a look at me. (I didn’t even know they had their own doctors.)

My back to work plan had me working 30 minutes then taking a break for 30. After a week, they changed it to 20 minutes work and 30 minutes break since my symptoms have gotten worse.

Now it’s been 2 weeks of work (a week of 3 days and a week of 4) and as (I’m sure) everyone expected, I’ve gotten worse.

  • Pain has jumped and it make it hard to concentrate during the day and sleep at night.
  • The numbness has spread from the underside of my left pinky to the bottom three fingers up to my shoulder. On my right, it’s just my forearm and elbow. It’s not a complete loss of sensation, more like pins and needles meets white noise and burning.
  • Weakness in my arms is worse. I’m having trouble lifting things with only one hand. Hanging clothes, putting dishes in the top cabinets, or getting the milk pitcher out of the fridge.
  • Loss of fine motor control. My fingers get stiff and react slowly. Sometimes I’m trying to click my ergonomic mouse and I double click or have trouble getting the pointer to where I want it.

I can minimize the pain with the work breaks, voltaren, and advil, but the symptoms are still getting worse. I’m hoping with the three day weekend and some rest, I’ll be better by Monday.

I called WSIB last Friday (November 4th) to see where we were at with the neurologist or their doctors. Turns out they can’t do anything until my doctor sends them my medical history and a referral. Also, if I go through my doctor, I might get denied since I’m on WSIB. I left a long message with the nurse at my doctor’s office on Monday (November 7th) and I haven’t heard anything. I will call WSIB back on Monday to see where we’re at with that.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much I can do but wait for WSIB. This pace has been hard and I haven’t done a full 5 day week yet. I’m not sure how long I can keep going and I’m worried I’m hurting myself more.

Hopefully I’ll have better update later in the month. Hopefully I can see a specialist before the end of the year. (Please let me be optimistic. I need the hope.)

Thanks for reading,

Éric