I had a near death experience and it changed…

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

I’m feeling much better and all my doctor’s appointments have gone well. I still have heart, brain, eye, and various other tests to go through, but besides that I’m good.

I was told on December 8th that if I had waited before going to the hospital, I would have either had a stroke or a heart attack. Effectively, I was one bad decision away from death.

In case you weren’t following, I was hospitalized on December 8th with an extremely high heart rate and irregular heartbeat due to a really bad case of RSV. I had been sick for five days and was dehydrated, malnourished, and had developed mild pneumonia. I had trouble breathing and was coughing up quarter-sized chunks of cranberry-red gunk.

As I lay there waiting for the medication to control my heart or for death to take me, I thought to myself that this was a pivotal moment, I would never be the same. Because, that’s what happens… right?

I wish I could say I had some great epiphany about life, the universe, and everything, but I didn’t. Sure I longed to hug my wife and children, I wanted to write more, and I was sad at all the things I might miss in my family (blood and found), but none of that is new or revelatory.

I knew I had a good life and wonderful people in it before I got sick and I still know it after. Despite some physical and mental health issues, I’m a lucky man.

One big thing I need to say is how touched I am by all my friends and family who reached out to Jen and offered to help. I knew I had awesome people in my life, but I was still surprised by how awesome (and that was just a few that knew what was happening).

I guess in the end, I had a near death experience and it changed very little, but helped me appreciate the life, family, and friends that I have.

Thank you!

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric

New year, Still Recovering

Hello family, friends, and fans;

It’s been a month, give or take, since I was hospitalized with RSV. Read more about it in a previous post.

Bad news is that I’m still coughing and still have a leaky nose. My voice is still off and I can barely hit medium notes. On top of that I’m still not at full energy, I’m having trouble standing/walking for more then a half hour without feeling faint. I’m still very dizzy but that is a side effect of the pills they gave me for my heart.

Good news is that I’ve got more energy then I did, I don’t need naps anymore. I am able and okay with writing. I can think clearly most of the time and I should be fine to work from home next week.

Unrelated to the RSV, I still have numbness in my face and pressure in my left temple. My wrists and arms are not bad, which is nice.

I have an appointment with the MS clinic next week, an internal specialist in 2 weeks, and the heart institute in March. Hopefully one of them will help with the long term stuff and hopefully the RSV leftover symtoms will go away.

Thanks for following and hope you have a healthy new year.

Éric

Éric’s 2024 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello 2024,

I want you to know that I’m watching you closely and I think you need to be the “rebel” year where everything goes well for everyone. I think we all need one year to rest and have nice things happen.

I took 2023 off from making Resolutions because of my arm injury. I’ve improved significantly, and then in December 2023, I almost died from RSV.

The combination made me realize that I need to strive to improve and give myself goals. These resolutions aren’t cheap promises; they are things I want to do.

1. Write a serial story.

This is year 11 of me writing 1000 words a month for a serial story. I’m very proud of them and think they’ve helped me think on my feet.

I’m not sure what this year’s will be but I’m going to write 1000 words per month, and if I miss a month I have to write an extra chapter.

2. Finish Speaker of the Rebel Sun

I’ve been working on stories involving Hal the Sun Speaker and others in his universe for almost 11 years. I have 63000 words in a compilation book and I just need the big ending. I had planned on it being the serial story, but I’m not sure if 12000 words will be enough to tie everything together and end the series.

Either way, I’d like to have this done and ready for submission by the end of the year.

3. Finish Fanatics! Inevitable Honeymoon Crashers

Jen and I have been working on this one since early November and we’re a good 6 chapters in. Between health and life, it’s going slower than we’d like but it’s still moving. I’d love to see this done by July but I’ll be happy by end of year.

4. Clean up FADDS and continue the re-skin towards making the Aetherverse the default setting.

I’d like to get FADDS published sometime in the next decade. The rules are almost there and it just needs some cleaning up and re-skinning to set it in the Aetherverse. It’s the perfect combination since it has elements of fantasy, urban, sci-fi, and horror.

5. Play more Ukulele and Bass

I haven’t played in over a month because I’ve been too sick and dizzy but I’d like to get back into it. It’s a great way of relaxing.

6. Work weekly on my magical café

My wife and kids gave me a build your own thing (Christmas 2022) and it’s wonderful but takes a lot of tiny details. I asked for it and I think I was overly ambitious. I got frustrated and didn’t keep going but I’d like to finish it.

7. Read at least 10 books

I’m slowly working on letting myself read for pleasure. It’s been hard since COVID, and I’ve felt like it’s a selfish thing. I need to get over that and read for fun.

8. Be kind to myself

I’ve been really hard on myself the past few years, concentrating on what I couldn’t do instead of what I did. I’ve felt a little like a failure despite quantitative proof to the opposite. I need to be nicer to myself.

9. Find time for more

I need to find a few minutes everyday where I relax and take time for myself. I’ve been doing that more in the past month since if I didn’t, I’d collapse and it’s helping emotionally as well as physically.

10. Restart posting JenEric Movie Reviews

December 2nd was the last movie I managed to review. Unfortunately, with getting sick it’s taken a back seat. Both watching and reviewing. I’d like to restart hopefully by February and stick to a weekly schedule, but we’ll see.


I think this is a good set of goals, ambitious without being unreasonable.

What are your goals this year?

Éric

RSV and I

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

Sometime in the end of November, Dragon got sick again with her third cold. It quickly passed to Pegasus and to my mother-in-law. Jen and I were mysteriously unaffected.

Then I got a tickle in my throat and HUNGRY. As long as I can remember, when I start a non-vomiting cold, I get ridiculously hungry. Maybe my body is trying to get things ready for a bad cold.

By Saturday December 2nd, I was sick. I had trouble eating, moving, and talking. I tried to drink water as much as possible. Soon it was getting hard for me to breathe and both kids were still feeling it. We saw our family doctor on the 5th and I was prescribed a puffer and tests. Jen had a tickle by that point.

My nights were spent coughing and trying to force air into my lungs. In the Thursday as I was about to get a chest x-ray, my watch beeped and said something like, “You’re at rest and your heart rate just jumped, are you okay?”

Friday the 8th, I was sitting on the couch feeling my heart beat fast and not able to catch my breath. Finally Jen said, “Maybe you should go to the hospital?”

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to leave my house and comfort, but my chest hurt. Jen called 911.

The ambulance took me to the Civic hospital where we found out:

  • My heart rate was 230 (normal resting is around 80-90)
  • I was dehydrated (probably from not being able to eat much, diarrhea, and fever)
  • I had low potassium, sodium, and magnesium
  • I had no vitamin D (doctors used the words “impossible” and “weird” more than I like about this)
  • I had a mild urinary tract infection

All of which was being caused by severe case of RSV and mild pneumonia.

At the hospital, they tried to shock my heart back into normal rhythm (twice) but it didn’t work. They gave me an IV with multiple medicines to help bring my heart rate down and by Saturday afternoon it was in the low 100’s.

Art by Dragon that was brought to the hospital in a care package along with some clothes and toiletries.

The rest of the weekend was spent coughing, hooked up to machines, and eating way too much crushed ice. The hospital staff took amazing care of me and I would be dead right now if not for them.

I was released on Monday, with pills that would control my heart rate, vitamin D supplements, and a plan to look in on me. They assure me the heart rate won’t be an issue once I get over the cold and I’ll be back to normal. (There was a hiccup with one of my IV sites getting infected, but I’m on antibiotics now.)

Now I need to recover. I’m still sick with RSV. I have no voice, my nose leaks, I’m coughing all night, I feel weak and dizzy. Several times I’ve worried about collapsing ,but I’m getting stronger.

Jen really stepped up and even through her own sickness (much shorter and milder than the rest of ours thankfully) made sure the kids and house were taken care of. I’m really proud of her.

We had a lot of support. My in-laws have been stalwart helpers, drivers, and kid herders. We also have amazing friends and neighbours who checked in and made sure we were okay. Thank you!

My work has also been super understanding and accommodating.

As of this writing (Thursday evening) I still have but a whisper for a voice and I’m easily tired, not to mention coughing, but I do feel better. It’s going to be a long, slow recovery for me.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric