First week at work


I was worried about going back to work. I’m not sure why, I think it was just because I was feeling fatigued and low energy. I had nothing to worry about, my manager is super understanding and I still remember what I’m doing. Two things that made this much less stressful then it could have been.

It also helps that everyone else took some vacation over December so my projects were slowed down.

I took my last dose of the heart pills Wednesday morning and spent yesterday compulsively checking my heart rate on my phone. It was a little elevated (maybe from me stressing about it?) but still within the norm.

Overall, it’s been a good week. Let’s hope today continues the trend.

Stay safe and be kind,


Health Update November 2023


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!


Health Update – July 2023

Hello family, friends, and fans,

In short, my health is improving but not awesome.


First lets address the bowel issues.

In June I said:

My mysterious illness where I have bowel cramps, fever, aches and pains, and weakness; came back again. I think it might be allergy and / or overdoing it related. I’m not sure. I went to the ER in 2018 for it and they found nothing, I saw my family doctor and he did blood and feces testing and he found nothing, I saw a virtual doctor and he told me I was fat. My family doctor said we’d deal with it if it happens often, but I’m not sure what that can be defined as. It only happens once or twice a year.

That came back and hit me like a truck. Some of the worst pain I’ve had since COVID, hard to breathe, fatigue, aches and pains everywhere, fever of 102-103F, and mind fog. It hit me on the Monday night of last week and I’m still dealing with the fatigue and some minor bowel issues.

I still think it’s a combination of allergies and stress. I had hung out with a few cats, outdoors, and I also went swiming (I have had mild allergies to bromine and chlorine since I was a kid.) My google-ing (yeah I know google isn’t a doctor) seems to think it’s my body thinking I ate allergens and going extra and attacking.


As I mentioned in my June Update, I’ve been doing physio with the Ottawa Workers Network, through WSIB. In June, I said my pain was at 6-7 out of 10. I’d say it’s closer to a 5-6 now. I’m hoping the change is because of treatment and not just because I’ve been off more than working the past few weeks.

I’d say that for the past month my pain is ever-present but manageable. Which was the WSIBs goal.

I had my last treatment and assessment on Tuesday. I’ll have a follow up on Monday to talk to the elbow/shoulder surgeon and it’s expected I’ll be discharged and cleared for a full work schedule.

The numbness in my arms has gone down but isn’t gone completely.

The numbness in my face has gotten worse.

The vision in my left eye is about the same,, but I’m getting more shadows and having a hard time with my night vision from that eye.

I’m still getting dizzy spells that feel like vertigo. Like the whole world tilts sideways.


My Occupational Therapist says that the clumsiness is due to the injury screwing over my spacial perception.

As for the inability to know how much I’m gripping and dropping things, she says it’s a combination of that and a side effect of my mild carpal tunnel.


I have an MRI today in Kingston and hopefully it’ll help figure out what the problem is. I hope it’s clear, but I also want to know.

Overall AKA TL:DR

I’m doing a little better but I’m worried about the root cause. MRI should help eliminate the worst case scenarios.

Stay safe and be kind,


Health Update June 2023

Hello family, friends, and fans,

A lot and very little has happened since my April update.

Let’s start with good news. I have a date for my MRI on July 14th. I also have a date to go with (Jen will be driving me. With two kids you must take whatever you can as a date.)

What’s Going on with Treatment

It looks like my time with the OWN treatment team will be ending in mid July. I’ve been doing exercises to strengthen the muscles, physiotherapy to loosen the muscles, and some therapy to think about muscles.

The therapy has been helping the most, stress relief and permission to be selfish and self care are good. I’ve also been given some techniques to control my emotional spirals and overreactions.

The exercises and physio have been maybe helping. I have better control of my fine motor skills and my physio says my muscles are looser. They’re going to give me a home routine.

We’re also working towards getting me back to full time work instead of my old schedule of 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.

How am I Feeling

My pain is steady. That sounds bad, but it’s actually a good thing. I’m not experiencing any massive flares. I’m still at a 6-7 pain level, but no more jumping to 8 and feeling sick.

The numbness in my arms, hands, and face are still there and haven’t changed. The vision problems I’m having with my left eye are still there. I’ve had a couple of really scary vertigo episodes where it felt like the entire planet shifted 90 degrees. Not fun.

My mysterious illness where I have bowel cramps, fever, aches and pains, and weakness; came back again. I think it might be allergy and / or overdoing it related. I’m not sure. I went to the ER in 2018 for it and they found nothing, I saw my family doctor and he did blood and feces testing and he found nothing, I saw a virtual doctor and he told me I was fat. My family doctor said we’d deal with it if it happens often, but I’m not sure what that can be defined as. It only happens once or twice a year.

Now we wait and see what the MRI says. WSIB will be washing their hands of me in July and I’ll be doing what I can to manage the pain. They say that my body is reacting well and that the pain will reduce over time. I hope they’re right.

Stay safe and be kind,


Random Updates from Éric

Hello family, friends, and fans,

Some weeks are hard. This was one of those weeks. I’ve been working through a lot of emotions. Among them is the fact that I’m still in pain. I know that a new physio for two weeks isn’t going to fix everything, but I was secretly hoping.

Let’s break this down into categories:


I’m currently finishing the longest running project I’ve ever had (started in 2016) and I’m really hoping to be done by summer. It’s going slowly, mostly because of pain, and I worry it’s crap but at least I’m having fun writing it.

Family Life

I’m trying my best to be a good father and a good husband. I know that I haven’t always been perfect; I’m a little whiny and I over explain and analyze everything but I’m trying. This week I’ve felt like I’m not enough and that’s really frustrating.


I have a similar issue at work. I think it’s time for me to find something new. I’m fairly certain that within a year, my position will be cut and after 15 years, it’s time to do something new. The problem with that is because of my health issues and lack of return to full time work, it’s not easy for me to convince anyone to hire me. So I feel a little trapped.


I’m seeing a team consisting of a physiotherapist, kinesiologist, and occupational therapist. They are trying to help me get back to work.

While they’re doing that, I have an MRI for my head, neck, and back set up for mid July.


My father’s birthday was earlier this month. He passed away at the age of 47 from brain cancer.

He was 40 when he was diagnosed. Considering my health issues, it’s hard for me not to worry about this year. (I’m turning 40 in July.)

It’s one of the reasons I’m really glad that I got that MRI. At the very least we’ll know something. The MRI should be able to detect brain lesions from MS or brain tumours. Hopefully there’s nothing to find.

Mental Health

With all of the above I’m struggling, but my occupational therapist is helping me find coping mechanisms and to rationalize instead of spiralling. That part is helping and I’m trying to be kind to myself.

How have you been?

Be kind and stay safe,


Health Update 2 Steps forward 1 back

Hello Everyone,

Since my last update I’ve started physio, exercises, and occupational therapy. It’s only been a week, but it feels like a lot of effort for little gain. I’m going to continue because at least it’s completely covered by WSIB. The people are nice but everything feels fast.

I saw a pain doctor. He was rushed and said I should continue what I’m doing and gave me some exercises that are the same as the kinesiologist has been doing. I’m glad he didn’t give me any pills. I’m already dealing with a lot of mind fog, I don’t want to deal with any more.

I had called my doctor to try and talk to him about MS and I managed to get an appointment. He said I had a lot of the symptoms but that the neurologist should have caught it. (Same guy who told me I was too young and should just ignore it.) However since I have the symptoms he has referred me to get an MRI. It’ll image my brain, neck, and back to make sure. This should help diagnose MS or any form of cancer.

My father died of brain cancer and my grandmother of leukemia, so I’m trying not to panic at the idea.

Reality Sucks, or Yes, I am disabled

I’m starting to come to the realization that I’m disabled.

My energy levels, lung capacity, and overall strength have never fully recovered from covid in February 2020. I’m told it’ll get better, but it’s a slow process.

Add to that the dizziness and fatigue I’ve been feeling since last year and it means I’m not in good shape or feeling well. In short, I’m disabled.

It’s frustrating me because I am physically able to do almost anything I need to but I start getting tired and pained quickly. If I push myself too far, I start to get dizzy and clumsy. Just setting up my backyard, with lots of help from the kids, left me feeling horrible for two days after. Headache, inability to think, pain everywhere, short of breath, fatigue, and extra pain in my arms.

I’ve been experiencing something similar with picketing but that’s a different post.

Accepting that I’m disabled means I need to start finding my limits and living inside them. Once I know what’s wrong, I can hopefully work up to increasing activity. For now, I’ll have to be extra careful with gardening.

So that’s my update, it’s all over the place but I’m okay and things are moving. Let’s hope it’s in the right direction.


Health Update March 2023


It’s been almost two months since I updated you. It hasn’t been a particularly enlightening two months.

I did finally get an appointment for the specialty clinic. That appointment went well; I have an awesome occupational therapist and doctor who are in charge of my case. The doctor, unfortunately, is an elbow surgeon who’s not quite sure why WSIB has referred me to him, but he’s willing to send me to specialists and tests.

They sent me to a Neurologist. I was really excited to finally see one. He did the exact same test that the carpal tunnel doctor did back in August. He says I have a little bit of carpel tunnel in my wrists, but that shouldn’t be bothering me. There’s no indication that my nerves are damaged or that they’ve had any issues at all.

He ended the exam saying that I was too young to worry about it and that if it were up to him he’d say to forget all this WSIB stuff and just go back to my normal routine and then added that the whole thing was ridiculous.

When I asked him about the numbness in my face he said, “That’s nothing. Ignore it.”

I was disheartened and angry. I’m not sure if he thought I was faking or that I was exaggerating my pain, but it was really condescending.

The nice elbow doctor and occupational therapist had scheduled an MRI for my neck, but with the Neurologist saying that I don’t have any nerve damage, they canceled it.

The downside to the clinic is that I only get appointments every 6 weeks. My next one is early April and hopefully they won’t be as dismissive as the Neurologist.

Unfortunately, I’m still in a lot of pain and it’s not getting better. My face is still numb and it aches a little when I work too long. I also find the vision in my left eye gets worse when I overdo it.

Between the pain, the clumsiness, and the numbness in my face, I’m starting to suspect MS. When I had an optometrist appointment in December, he said he couldn’t get my left eye to be as clear. I asked him about the numbness and that I sometimes got blurry vision in my left eye. He said that it couldn’t be nerves and that it’s possibly a side effect of fatigue. He said the only thing he knew that would affect my eye and not be seen in his tests was MS.

I’d hoped the Neurologist would have been able to test for that, but he didn’t.

MS is a scary prospect, but I’d rather find out than not know. There are plenty of other options; Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and some much scarier, like ALS or cancer.

So a lot happened, but nothing new was discovered. Let’s hope this is just another step to figuring it out.

Stay safe and be kind,


Things I Didn’t Know About Pain


I thought I understood what pain does. I mean I have two tattoos, been scratched by a baby, and am really clumsy. Joking aside, I’ve had pain before. I’ve broken my ankle, sprained both several times, pulled a muscle in my leg, and have had a neck injury.

However, there are things I didn’t understand about long term pain and how it eats at your mental health and quality of life. Three things have really surprised me.

First, I’ve noticed that my anxiety, executive dysfunction, agoraphobia, RSD, and aversion to change have all been really hard to deal with the past few months. It wasn’t until last week after a stressful work day (that shouldn’t have been that bad) that I realized that the constant pain is amplifying the rest of my issues.

Second, I’ve found the oscillation between hope and despair to be really exhausting mentally and physically. From worrying that the pain and loss of mobility in my arms is permanent and only going to get worse to making plans for when this will be over and I’m back to normal. Hopefully this will get better once I’m allowed to see a doctor.

Third, I had never thought of how the pain would lead to a lack of sleep. It wakes me up two to five times a night and I don’t sleep well when I do. On really bad nights, despite the Voltaren and Advil, I lie awake and barely sleep. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 2-3 hours straight since last June.

The combination of the three means that I’m constantly tired, everything feels like a large task, and life feels more dramatic.

The worst part is feeling like I’m failing myself and my family.

I’m supposed to hear from WSIB this week with a decision on my care. Hopefully, things will get better after that.

Sorry for the sad post. No help needed, just love.

Stay Safe and Be Kind,


New schedule

Things have changed a little bit on our blog.

Travelling TARDIS has shifted from Wednesday to Tuesday/Thursday, because the Guitar Updates have stopped. I felt like they were getting super repetitive this summer, and I wasn’t enjoying writing them any more.

Movie Reviews, for now, are on Wednesday.

And I’ve taken over writing some of the Monday/Friday blog posts because Éric, despite the doctor’s orders, has been forced back to work by WSIB. He started on November 2nd, which is when I am writing this.

With him physically at work for the first time since Pegasus was born, things have changed rather drastically at home.

For one thing, we adults have started going to bed an hour earlier (so 11pm instead of midnight, although we probably should be aiming for 10pm) because we are getting up at 6am instead of 7:30am.

Since the bulk of my writing was being done at night after the kids went to bed, I need to figure out a new way of writing. So far today, I’ve been writing on my phone during the day, in between reading books to my son, while remotely supervising Dragon’s virtual school. It’s been working fairly well, but I’m at a point in the book where words flow easily. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep the momentum when it’s a point where I’m struggling.

I’m also now responsible for the kids for the entire day, waking them up, getting all three meals (because Éric isn’t home until 6pm), and tonight he’s grocery shopping, so I’ll be putting them to bed by myself as well. I recognize my privilege that I haven’t had to do this since the beginning. It’s still hard.

And I miss my husband.

Fortunately? for COVID, his office is still doing 3 days at home, so I’m only by myself for 2 days of the week, but those 2 days feel interminable.

However, the kids have been very good so far (separately, since Dragon was in the basement and Pegasus was with me) today, so I’m counting that as a win.

Apparently, saying “I know Papa doesn’t do it like this, but Papa isn’t here today, so work with me here” is working. So far.

Wish us luck.

A new health update from Éric on how he feels working against his doctor’s orders will be coming soonish. It really depends on how bad his pain is when he finishes work.

No NaNoWriMo

Nobody in our house is doing NaNoWriMo this year. Éric because of his arms, and me because I don’t want or need the pressure that comes from that. Plus, I’m still in the middle of one of my ghost writing novels. I can’t stop that one and I don’t have the energy to write two at once.


We wish everyone who is attempting to write their novel this month lots of luck and good writing.

You can do it!