Thursday, November 22, 2012

Write Mess

How is it that I can think all day, talk all day, and constantly post around 1/5 of the amount that I’d like to?

I’m starting to get lethargic.  I get home from work around 5 or 5:30, and want to do absolutely nothing until I go to bed.  I usually just end up in front of the TV, but really I don’t even want to do that.  It’s not even that I don’t have stuff to do.  I’ve got a job interview to prep for – it’s a couple of weeks away but there’s some planning involved.  I’ve got a couple of books on leadership & management styles that I want to get through.  I’ve even got SAILING books that I’m not reading.
I think it’s partially due to the early sunset now. I’m getting into hibernation mode.

Health-wise I’m back up to nearly 100%. 
I’m not getting my drivers license back for the foreseeable future, but that’s not TOO bad.  We live downtown, don’t own a car, and we don’t have children.  We rent a car for a weekend every couple of months, but that’s about it.  I guess Wife will have to drive from now on.  I could get it back if I followed the regimen of medication, but my neurologist agrees with my not taking pills.  They double or triple suicidal tendencies (and I’m already a risky one), have other nasty side effects, and I’d have to take them for around 15 years to qualify.  Not at all worth a possible license renewal in my mid 50s.

I can still sail, I can still ride my bicycle, I can still be a chauffeur-driven passenger.  I’ll get by.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I’m back at work today.  I really don't want to be here, but I can’t afford to stay home without pay.  Plus, my neck is now at around 90%.  And I brought my neck brace to work, in case I need it.

While I don’t particularly like my walk to work, this morning was interesting.  I saw a transport truck (18-wheeler for you country types) going the wrong way down one-way Richmond St, while the driver talked into his phone.  About 3 seconds later a couple of police cars confronted him, lights flashing.  I hope they charge him with everything they can – a truck must be 10 times as dangerous as a car…

Also on the weekend, I bought more fish for my aquarium.  Now along with the 6 Dwarf Spotted Danios, I’ve got 4 Peppered Cory Cats.  They’re pretty spastic and never stop moving or playing.  It was funny to watch the Danios, who had the tank to themselves for a month, get used to the newcomers.  They went from uncharacteristically wandering around the aquarium as they were alone, to schooling – roaming the tank as a gang.  There’s no aggression, but you can see confusion as one Danio will try to play with a Cory and then realize that it’s not his kin and rush away back to the group.  And with all the extra motion in the tank, the cats have started to watch.  That appeals to my sick “coliseum” tendencies.
I'm really enjoying these fish, but it's still a surprise interest for me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weak Week

Ah, there it goes again.  Another week has flown by.

Last Tuesday I got up and walked to work.  As I sat at my desk, I nearly passed out from the neck pain.  I sent a quick email to my boss saying that I'd shown up (she's a late starter), but was leaving.
I went to a local walk-in clinic and saw a really helpful doctor.  He prodded and pressed at my back, neck, and shoulders, coming up with a diagnosis quickly.
The ER doctor at St. Mike's ignored my neck injury, focussing on my brain.  The neurologist ignored my neck injury, focussing on my brain.  The clinic doctor diagnosed whiplash.  I had been walking around in ridiculous pain for 12 days with untreated WHIPLASH!  He sent me to an Xray clinic, just to be sure that there was no spinal damage.  He also gave me a prescription for some anti-inflamatories.  As the inflamation decreased, so would the pain.  When I asked about mobility, he agreed that I should stay home for the week and move as little as possible.  Taking the strain off my head and neck would speed up the recovery.
So I took the week off and have been lying in bed (and on the couch) watching endless (and mindless) TV.

I had plans.  I meant to read the "leadership skills" ebook that I bought in preparation for an upcoming job interview.  I meant to update my resume in preparation for the interview.  I meant to study for my one remaining sailing exam.  Did I do any of these?  Nope.  Instead I became extremely lethargic and did nothing.

It might have been the right decision - i'm feeling pretty good and will be going back to work tomorrow.  I have to - getting Short Term Disability coverage for this will be nearly impossible.  According to my insurance company, I have to be off 10 days before eligibility.  When I asked the clinic doctor about filling out any necessary forms, he told me that the neurologist would be more suitable and he wouldn't.  Also, he suggested I take the week off, not two.  Why would the neurologist be involved with my neck???  Utter bs.  Besides, gambling 10 days' pay on the off chance that a ton of effort might get me covered?  That's too big of a gamble, and I wish I'd known the requirements before the injury.  I feel like my company is stealing from me.  I've been told for years that there's this safety net.  And perhaps it's there with a longer term injury that's more obvious.  However, for neck injury that heals quickly WITH ABSENCE FROM WORK, there's nothing to help.

Overall I'm pretty positive.  I'm getting better and that's what is most important. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Seizure Aftermath

Monday morning.  God I hate these.
My shoulder and neck are still messed up.  My pain breakdown seems to be 30% dull ache, 30% gone, and 40% agony.  It really hasn’t been a pleasant ten days since my seizure.  My lip has healed, the bumps and bruises on my head have disappeared, and I can eat without much pain in my jaw.  Just the neck and shoulder whenever I move my head…

Wife made me an appoint with a masseuse on Saturday morning.  We were hoping that she could ease the muscle pain, as I’m positive that’s all the problem is.  $100 and 1 hour later, I felt exactly as I did before walking in.  Shit.

I told my boss that I’d had a seizure and wasn’t sleeping due to the neck pain.  She told me that she’d take it easy on me, understanding that I just can’t work properly when I’m exhausted and in pain.  It’s been a week now, and I think the sympathy is gone.  Impatience is all that’s left.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I have no sick days left for 2012.  I get 8 days per calendar year, and they don’t carry over to the next.  In the decade I’ve worked here, I’ve never used more than 3 or 4.  This time I’ve used them all.  I don’t get any leeway for past performance.  This means that I’m coming into work every day and doing a lackluster job, simply because I have to be here or I don’t get paid.

Later this afternoon, I have an appointment with a neurologist.  I assume we’ll be talking about meds I won’t take, and what will happen with my drivers license.  In the late 90s, it was suspended for a year because of these seizures.   My family doctor went to the MTO tribunal and recommended that I get it back.  He had known me for 20 years, and vouched for me, saying I’d get warning of the fits, pull the car over and yank out the keys.  He has now retired and I haven’t seen him in a decade.  He won’t be helping me this time.  It may not get suspended, as I only drive 5 or 6 times a year.  Chances of me having a rare seizure during the rare time I’m behind the wheel are extremely unlikely.  But he might not want to take the risk, and I can understand that.  Then, I might lose it for a year.  Or I might lose it permanently because of my 20-year history of idiopathic seizures and reluctance to medicate.  I tried meds before, and nearly committed suicide.  Apparently most anti-convulsants either double or triple the likelihood of this, and I don’t need the help!

I have no idea what happened to the last few days.  On Friday night I went to see the “Designing Bond” exhibit at the TIFF building.  Saturday was the massage, watching Seven Psychopaths with Wife, and going out to the pub with a friend.  Sunday I cleaned the squalor from the house in preparation for company last night.  The weekend flew by, and I feel like it’s Friday and I’m ready for a weekend.