Long COVID?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I swear I’ll get back to writing about writing and how cute my kids are soon.

Two years ago, my family and I went to Disney World. Baby Pegasus, at 7 months, got sick. He had a moderate fever and we were leaving that day.

As I was playing with him, he sneezed into my mouth. Parenting is sooo glamorous.

Sick baby Pegasus lying on the floor asleep

We did what we thought was best and took him home as fast as I we could. At the airport, we gave him crushed up tylenol and hoped for the best.

I started feeling off on the plane. By the time we got home, I had chills, aches, and a fever too. We visited the clinic and the doctor said that both of our lungs were clear and to keep an eye out for trouble breathing. She said, “Even if it’s the new virus, we don’t have the testing to check.”

Jen and Dragon had mild fevers, but nothing else.

The next few days were a blur of pain and half sleep. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t have the kids snuggle me without pain in my chest. Everything hurt like I’d sprained it. Nothing I’ve ever experienced compared to the amount of constant pain. (Keep in mind that I once needed to have my throat lanced from a blister caused by strep throat.)

I was so weak that I couldn’t make coffee. That sounds like a joke, but I have a point. When I recovered enough to try and restart my normal routine, I started making myself coffee. I didn’t like the taste. It was warm and mildly sweet, but there was nothing else there. I tried to make it stronger and couldn’t tell.

In retrospect, I should have come to the conclusion that I’d caught COVID, but things were stressful and I was going back to work after my parental leave. I assumed I just needed to get my taste for it back. I also remember at that time, that I only really enjoyed salty or spicy food because it was all I could taste.

Father and son knocked out and feeling terrible.

Over the past two years I’ve noticed a few things about myself:

  • I am easily irritable
  • It’s harder to catch my breath
  • I started having trouble sleeping even when exhausted
  • I’m always tired
  • I’m always fatigued
  • I have a harder time concentrating
  • I forget stuff
  • I constantly have a headache

I thought it was the baby not sleeping, the stress of a worldwide pandemic, or returning to work.

Looking back through I see that some of those things have been getting better. I can now taste coffee although it does taste different. Even though it smells the same, it feels like weird Berenstain Bears Effect. The fatigue is getting better. I used to be able to do one thing a day and I’d be wiped. Showering would destroy all my energy and now it’s back to making me feel better.

I still have a lot of the other issues, the fatigue combined with insomnia is hardest to deal with. It makes me hate going to sleep. I also wake up in all kinds of pain.

So… I guess I have long COVID, and according to my doctor, there’s nothing I can do about it. Thankfully I work from home and have an amazing family.

My big worry is if it affected the kids. How the hell do you tell if it affected a 3yo or 7mo? They’ve changed so much that there’s no real way to tell. It seems like they’re fine and I really hope they don’t suffer any long-term effects.

Hopefully, with full vaccination and some common sense we can avoid this happening to them because I’m telling you, it sucks. I feel like I’ve aged twenty years.

Very serious faces from father and Pegasus

When someone tells you, “It’s just a cold” or “We should just get it over with,” they’re wrong. Get vaccinated, wash your hands, wear a mask, and don’t get it if you can avoid it.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Horsefeathers and Freedom

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Currently there’s a large caravan of truckers going to protest on Parliament Hill. This vocal minority (I mean that. The trucker’s union and the vast majority of truckers don’t agree with them) is also associated with with some scary right wing activists, some of whom are calling for violence.

They are protesting because they believe it’s their right to not be vaccinated and not follow public health recommendations. Basically they are anti-vaxx, anti-mask, and anti-passport.

Images with words that read, “A convoy of nurses, doctors and health care workers are going to work and they have been every day. Support that!”

They are calling this a Freedom Protest.

I want my freedom back.

The freedom to go grocery shopping without worrying that some asshat will spread a deadly virus.

The freedom to send my child to school with proper health measures, ventilation, and knowing that their classmates will be protected by medical science.

The freedom to not worry about my friends and family who are already sick getting something that could kill them.

The freedom to not worry about getting hurt and not being seen at the hospital because the medical community is understaffed, underpaid, overworked, and swamped by chucklefucks who refuse a completely safe vaccine.

The freedom to fly and travel without being needlessly exposed to diseases.

I am so fucking tired of explaining that it’s not normal that we’ve lost THOUSANDS of people to this virus, that the vaccine is safe, and that the effects of long covid are devastating.

I am tired of explaining to entitled, whiny, and selfish people that we live in a society and it’s all our responsibilities to take care of each other. Those that can’t be vaccinated or who could die from this disease because they are already sick are NOT expendable.

There is hope. For every loud-mouthed schnook there are hundreds or thousands of reasonable people. It may seem that as a society are are more and more polarized, but it’s mostly the small minority of angry loudmouths who are “full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Focus and too much of it

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m a very focused person. Probably not in the way you’re thinking. I’m not particularly goal oriented. If I were, I wouldn’t need my new year’s goals. I’m not going to make any lists of hot up-and-coming business people.

What I do have is an inability to let something go until it’s done or I’ve given up. Currently, I’m fighting with a smart light fixture that refuses to be smart. It’s consumed my thoughts and my actions. So much so, that I couldn’t think of anything else to write.

This focusing is super helpful when I’m working on a project or writing a novel. It pushes me and I can use it to get over the slumps. It isn’t, however, useful when I have no control over the situation. It’s also very unhelpful when I have other things to do.

The satisfaction of being done with the subject of the focus is great and long lasting. But it’s not always fun and can lead to me being grumpy or distracted until I finish or fix the issue.

The Endless Fight by the Awkward Yeti
Mildly relevant in that when I’m very focused, I feel like my brain and heart are fighting.

I’m told this is a trait of both ADHD and Autism. I’ve never been diagnosed with either, but the more I read about it, the more I’m confused and wondering if I may have one, the other, or both.

I’ve developed tricks and habits to make sure the focus isn’t detrimental to my health or those around me, but it’s stressful.

There are different levels of focus, of course. The light fixture thing is something I don’t want to have to worry about any more so it’s more immediate. Writing a book is easier and less frustrating in its pull.

I’m fine and I’m not asking for help. I just needed to vent and let you know that if you feel the same, you’re not alone.

I’ve always been this way, but I’ve started to recognize it more in the past year or so. The lack of commute, activities, and other larger distractions have given me time to be more introspective.

Hopefully that’s a good thing.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Please, sir, I want some vaccine

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Ontario government said that this week (Week of May 17) the over 30 year olds would be able to book their vaccine.

Unlike most responsible people, I tried first thing at 7am after rolling out of bed. No coffee, no breakfast, not even my morning washroom usage.

Things went fantastically well. (I should have known it was too easy.) I booked an appointment for me and then I tried to book for my wife. She’s only 1.5 years younger so it should have been just as easy… right?

Nope.

She wasn’t eligible. So I tried my info again and I wasn’t eligible.

So now I had an appointment when I wasn’t supposed to and couldn’t get one for my wife.

What do I do? I called the provincial hotline. They were closed. I waited until they were supposed to be open. Sat through 5 minutes of information, pressed the buttons, was put on hold and the system hung up on me. It happened twice more and then I got to talk to a person.

The nice man at the call centre didn’t know how I got an appointment; we think I clicked something that I shouldn’t have. So he cancelled my appointment. I asked when I’d be eligible and he said he didn’t know.

Now I have no appointment and spent a stressful morning.

I’m sure this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the week will go. (Why do I hear boss music?)

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Stand aside Mos Eisley Spaceport, you’ve got some competition. Yes, I mean Facebook, although the internet at large is quite bad.

Please, no advice is required.

Over the past week I’ve been procrastinating taking breaks from editing by reading my news feed. Here’s a short list of things that I’ve read that have made me wonder if Ultron was being too generous:

  • Defending a celebrity who’s been accused of sexual assault with the incel call to arms, “Innocent until proven guilty.”
  • Same person and same post then doing self promotion for their product.
  • People telling disabled people to call ahead or just wait outside because it’s too expensive to make things accessible. (I personally think there should be a government subsidy to make these things accessible and not bankrupt businesses, but I’m a deluded socialist.)
  • That there’s some sort of shame in watching films with Closed Captioning. (I took media communications and I had 4 separate professors; film, music, feminism, and advertising encourage us to use CC as often as possible to catch all the details of what was happening and intended.)
  • Someone posting a poem on a writers group comparing men to vagabond ships and women to the anchors that keep them from straying. (This devolved into him saying I was too argumentative and was headed for divorce, followed by being called a fairy, and being told I was going to hell.)

And that’s not even mentioning all the Anti-vaxx pro-plague comments on every Covid-19 post.

So this week I’ve been called:

  • Anti-Business
  • Communist (Starting to think this isn’t an insult.)
  • Fairy (Definitely not an insult. Fear my sparkling wrath.)
  • Unable to love
  • Headed for divorce (my wife laughed at this. She practically guffawed. It was adorable.)
  • Going to hell
  • Child abuser (because I want my kids immunized)
  • Snowflake
  • Tru-anon cultist
  • MeToo Groupie
  • Anti-law
  • Pitchfork carrying mob
  • A Shill (BTW Big-Pharma, Liberal Party, NDP, Big-Agriculture, #MeToo, and disabled community, I’m still waiting on those e-transfers.)

I’m not saying I’m perfect and always right, but I try to follow simple rules. Listen to the victims, listen to those affected/minorities, listen to science, and listen credible sources.

I’ve been called on internalized toxic opinions and I’m trying to grow.

If your first reaction is to get defensive when someone asks for help, you should maybe check why and re-evaluate your opinion.

It might be time to lessen my social media scrolling for a while and find another way to procrastinate take breaks from editing.

Stay safe and stay kind,

Éric

My Kids are cute…

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My kids are so freaking cute. Seriously look at this:

I’m not boasting, I’m trying to remind myself.

Pegasus is teething his second set of molars so that means more wake-ups and lots of screaming. Dragon is not dealing well with the lack of routine during March break… Basically the two of them have been screaming and being difficult.

I have a headache, Jen has a headache, the kids ache, and I think we’re all looking forward to getting back to a “regular” routine. Normally, I’d have taken them to the park or shopping or maybe even to a museum but *shrugs* Covid.

Next week, I turn back on my work computer, Dragon and Jen go back to doing school and Pegasus goes back to climbing me and trying to help with my work. It sounds soothing and exausting.

This will pass, every day Pegasus starts to talk more and by Christmas we’ll have mini sentences. Dragon is learning more and more words, letters, and sounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year she’s reading. That’ll be nice.

My kids are loud, they are very touchy, and those are things I’ll miss, but sometimes it’s all a little too much. It’s important to remember that they are adorable and I love them lots and lots.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Ups and Downs

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m having a hard week. Winter feels interminable, we’re at the start of the third wave, vaccines are being distributed by a disorganized Flash (from Zootopia, not DC), and people are starting to discuss the possibility that maybe under 10 years of age kids don’t need a vaccine. Thankfully the medical community is pushing for it, but without public and government pushing, how long will it be?

I’m not comfortable exposing my children to Covid. Even though the chances are low that they get any serious side effects, I’m not willing to risk it.

Quarantine has its ups and downs; I’m currently experiencing a down. It’s been a hard week preceded by a hard weekend. Right now I want to curl into a ball and binge-watch Stargate SG1.

With time and patience it’ll get better, but right now I’m angry, frustrated, and just tired. I look forward to watching this thing (gestures around wildly at everything) from the future and being glad it’s over.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make myself another coffee and hope it wakes me up and de-grumps me.

Enjoy this adorable picture of Pegasus stuck inside a chair.

Picture of the almost 20 month Pegasus stuck in a patio chair and giving me an annoyed look.
The chair is a metaphor…

Be safe and be kind,

Éric

Took two days off

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Taking time off while in lockdown is odd. I took two days off cause I was feeling a little frayed and poor work paid for it. Came back to 50+ emails. Poor boss that had to cover for me.

My days consist of watching Adrien while working and doing house stuff. On breaks, I’ll try to write or edit. It’s exhausting.

My two days off were pretty much a writing marathon trying to get chapter 15 of The Untitled Mystery Book Project finished. It was in my head and I needed to get it out.

Unfortunately, I also crashed physically. Full migraine, nausea, aches, and weakness. It’s like I just needed to get that chapter out and then my body said, “You’re not going to rest unless I force you.” So the weekend was painful. I hate migraines, I lost all peripheral vision on my left side for two days and every time the kids shrieked, I just saw red-ish static.

I’m feeling better today and the time off was restful, but taking time off with the kids home and lockdown going on is hard. At least I didn’t have a full social calendar.

It’s also why I forgot to prepare a post for today until just now.

All said and done, what you should take from this is that with me finishing chapter 15 and Jen finishing 16 we’re at 16/26, which is 2 chapters away from the end of the second act and that means we’re 2/3’s done. YAY.

Writing with Jen has been awesome, but that’s another post.

Be safe and be kind,

Éric

Busy busy busy

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m working on a new writing project and it seems to have taken over a large portion of my brain. In order to free up my brainspace I’ve been trying to write. Not easy with all my other responsibilities but I’ll make it work.

It’s really exciting and a little different then what I normally do, but so far it’s great.

Now I really need to go finish the last hundred or so words of this chapter.

Have this cute picture of Dragon building Maleficent the Snowperson.

Be safe and be kind

Éric