Health Update April 2024

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

I haven’t written an update since January because I’m still waiting on some results. However, there are some things I can tell you.

How’s my body doing

Heart

I wore a heart monitor for three days and despite what the RSV did while I was sick, my heart is back to normal. My heart rate is still a little high but within normal ranges.

Arms

My arms still hurt, pretty much all the time, but it’s manageable with exercise and stretching. I’ve only needed to put muscle cream on my arms once this year.

Face and left eye

Still numb and still having vision issues. It gets worse if I spend a lot of time concentrating or sitting in a computer chair.

Tests

MRI

I did an MRI of my head, neck, and back. I have an appointment with the neuro-etymologist in June. He might talk to me about it or I might have to wait for the MS doctor in July.

I saw the results but it’s in Medical-jargon and I’m not sure. It seems that there’s a UBO (Unidentified bright object) behind my left eye but according to the internet that could be a bug in the test.

It also say that I have no sign of, “demyelinating disease”.

Lastly it says that I have, “Multilevel degenerative changes within the cervical spine causing various degrees of spinal canal foraminal stenosis, worse at the c5-c6.” Which the internet tells me is a “narrowing that happens in certain places around the nerves that come out of your spinal cord”.

But again, this is my quick googling and not anything official from a doctor.

Vision Tests

I have a few repeat tests for eyes in June and a few to test for MS (unscheduled – doctor wanted to see MRI first).

Allergies

I have bad allergies. In 2007 I woke up feeling super weak and forced myself out of bed. The exertion burst the veins in my eyes. I got an appointment with an allergist and was tested and put on shots. They really helped.

After 5 years, I was told that they wouldn’t help me more and that if my symptoms worsened after 5 years to come see the allergist again.

In 2019, my allergies got really bad and I started getting what I call Allergy Attacks. My bowels cramp, and I get weak, and it takes about a week to recover. I didn’t realize it was allergies that caused it until last year.

I really felt it in 2020 but pushed it off.

I finally broke two weeks ago and contacted my allergist. Unfortunately after 10 years you need a new referral.

Long story short, I have an appointment with my family doctor on Wednesday to talk about allergies.

Colds

Last, and certainly most frustrating, are head colds. I’ve now had 4 since January and I’m pretty tired of blowing my nose and coughing.

I feel better today then I have in a while but I’m still sniffling and coughing. The whole thing is made worse combined with allergies. (And no, going outside and eating dirt will not help strengthen my immune system.)

Conclusion

I’m doing okay and I have leads to what might be wrong with me. Hopefully the doctors can narrow it down and I can start treating whatever it is to make sure it doesn’t get worse.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Health Update November 2023

Hello,

It’s been a year now since I returned to work and a year and a half since I hurt my arms.

Good News

My arms are staying steady. They almost always hurt, but not enough to affect my quality of life much. I’m mostly doing my exercises and massages and it’s helping. Some days are worse than others, but overall significantly better than I was this time last year. Maybe it was muscle strain and stress.

My doctor sent me to get an MRI. The MRI showed no signs of brain cancer or Multiple Sclerosis. Which is a good thing.

Bad News

The MRI did show something on my left ocular nerve. Combined with the numbness in my face, loss of vision in my left eye, left temple migraine, and vertigo; the doctor made a referral to a neuro-opthamologist with the eye institute.

I had my first set of tests today and will have more in the coming months. They also want to do a targeted MRI for the ocular nerve.


At least they believe me and are trying to figure out what’s wrong.

That’s about all I have, I hope your health improves or stays awesome!

Éric

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