Wow. It has been over a year since I last posted. I wish I could say things got better, but I don’t think I can say that.
Where I left off a year ago. I had just left the crazy job that was 30 minutes away from my house. I had moved on to a chocolate factory type restaurant. Where I was in the kitchen for 8-15 hour shifts per day. And while I was kind of enjoying it, I had to step back after only two weeks.
Turns out, my caffeine allergy extended to more than just coffee and black tea. But it also extended to chocolate. Every time the chocolate hit my skin I would break out in rashes and there were some shifts I would take 2-3 doses of Benadryl to get through the shift. I knew, that the Benadryl would not keep effect if I were to stay there long-term. So, I was on the move again.
I ended up going back to Tim’s but a new one. That was closer to my house. I had originally been hired as a full-time not in management. There was no stress involved. But I was so damaged from the last restaurants that I ended up burning out very fast. I think after a month of being at the job I was on medical leave for two weeks. I hated doing that, but my head was not in any mental place and I could not figure out why that happened.
It happened once more a few weeks later and I felt even more guilty. I kept kicking myself in the butt. But, I had been burning on low fuel for so long. I had no energy, nothing was enjoyable anymore. I was falling into a depression. This pandemic was definitely not helping, however pandemic or not I don’t think this would have changed my mental state crashing.
The thing with the pandemic, in Quebec. EVERYTHING pretty much shut down for months. I couldn’t skate or workout. I was fortunate enough that in January before everything shut down, that I got my spine injections.
And since I have a routine with my body not to flare it, I found it safer to do close to nothing. This made me think that I was helping my body, and while it was probably healing the injuries I have sustained over the years and never properly healed. I lost a lot of muscle in key parts of my body.
When things started to open up, I hit some public ice sessions and there were times I was unable to do more than 10 minutes without my body collapsing. I was not hard on myself because it had still been weeks in between sessions.
In March about two weeks before I turned 28 years old. I was having severe spine pain and shoulder pain. The shoulder pain was as if someone kept a tight grip on a pressure point in my shoulder and it would be sharp pains and go numb. I did not want to see a doctor because at that point the cases were over 1000 per day and I was being stubborn.
I had taken CBD in the past to help the pain because in the past I had been addicted to pain killers (being prescribed everything under the sun). The thing was, I ordered from someone else. Someone I was not sure if I could trust. But it was my mistake looking back on the order form, I had picked THC instead of CBD. When did I notice? Halfway through the first dose (25mg) I started to feel unwell. I remember being conscious but it was like my brain kept skipping to different parts. Like I could not explain it. I had a hang-over 3 days following that and was not able to eat properly and was just drinking sugary drinks.
From this moment I had never taken CBD or THC for that matter. But I have been back taking to pain killers because I rather risking an addiction than getting high again.
Trying to not be too attached to pain medications I started to work out. Now, with my spine it is a very touchy subject on what I can use to workout. So I decided to start with a stationary bike. I was doing 2x a day but 15 minutes at a time. This was the only way my spine would not be in too much pain. But then it started to get to a point where after I would need to take pain medication.
March 30th, became an extreme emergency and probably where everything ended up turning and becoming problematic. I had taken such a hard fall from a good two feet in the air and I smashed my ribs into the stove and I rebounded backwards and smashed my head and neck into ceramic. Finally awkwardly landing hard on my tailbone. I shattered a glass bowl into probably ten thousand pieces so along with those injuries, I was also cut up pretty bad landing on glass. I was alone. I was in shock. I did not know what to do.
Knowing how to do concussion protocols, and knowing brain injuries are the worst thing that can happen alone. That was the first thing that I checked. My ribs and back did not hurt enough. So I followed my headaches. Which surprisingly I did not have. My eyes were dilating properly. I stayed in a dark room and I had no screens. I was not overly tired. So after the two hour mark, I figured that everything was good.
I showed up that night to skate. I know, stupid move. But honestly the skate wasn’t awful. But since I was not worried about the concussion anymore the spine, neck and ribs were hurting twice as much.
I was skating around the ice and doing an easier warm-up then I would normally do and I was out of breath. I had sharp stabbing pains in my abdomen and my breathing was shallow. If I was doing a deep breath which in sports you kind of need to be able to do, it would cause so much pain I would start coughing.
My coach had sent me home, because by then I had to tell him everything that had happened. I remember spending a good hour in my car debating if I should go to the hospital or just try and make a doctors appointment.
One good thing about Quebec, is that they have Bonjour Santé. You can pay like a 5$ fee per month and get an appointment (by phone/video) with a doctor. So, while I was debating I had made one for the morning after.
Right away, I was send for X-rays on my ribs. Turns out I had a hairline fracture on two of the ribs from hitting the stove so hard.
During that time, I continued to work. I had shorter shifts. I continued to slightly work out, avoiding anything with heavy breathing and force. And also avoiding anything that could play a negative role in using the abdominal muscles.
By the fifth or sixth week I was having no pain in my ribs but my neck was still giving me problems.
With summer coming, I had restarted working with my Athletic Trainer. We were working on building an off-ice routine that I could continue if we were to lockdown again. Now, a part of this routine was working out, outside. In the sun. I had always had a problem with heat and sun, when I was 12 I had severe sun stroke in Costa Rica where I was sidelined for two days.
I never thought that the sun or heat would cause an issue. But when I started training outdoors. I got severe muscle fatigue. Severe muscle weakness and once with the trainer I had fainted. I am awaiting to see this with the doctor at the end of August (because in Quebec it takes forever to see doctors), but I don’t sweat like normal people should. I overheat until I pass out, or fall asleep. I never realized this, because inside a rink it is always cold and most of my workouts and my warmups were in the cold. The muscle fatigue I always got, I thought it had something to do with Fibromyalgia. Which now I am wondering…But this will be a continued part to the post another day.
I have been getting weird symptoms with my spine and even today. My bladder is significantly weaker lately. And a lot of the times I don’t feel like I need to go until it is an emergency. When I am on the ground and I try and stand up, I struggle. My muscles collapse and half the time I fall or I need to grab onto something to pull myself up. All this is on top of the generalized pain and swelling I am going through.
I have been in and out of Ottawa this summer getting tested and finding a full-proof plan to treat everything. We are still in the testing stages, this is the results that I have received:
-Extreme tension on the spinal cord especially L3-L-4 & Sacro joints. So this is causing a lack of communication.
Pressure = Nerves of the bladder is affected.
Function loss in lower body if not treated.
Torn ligament Stylohyoid Muscle (neck)
Neck= not C shape.
Degenerative Disease Stage 2 nearly 3 in the neck area.
It will get worse over time if not corrected.
Moderate to severe Arthritis in the neck and lower spine
Spinal cord is chocked off in the neck.
114.8% Reduction in the curve compared to normal curve.
C1- 102% difference from normal.
C2-C3 62% difference from normal.
C3-C4 190% difference from normal.
C4-C5 235% difference from Normal
C5-C6 122.5% difference from Normal.
C6-C7 22.5% difference from normal.
Only done on the hips/lower spine.
August= Will be done on Hips/Lower spine +Trunk.
No rotation in the hips.
Depending on the muscle there is between – 75-89% mobility reduction. (Normal should be at a +85-99%
Force rate on the right side of the body averages between 4.6-13.7 (exception of hip flexion of 18)
Force rate on the left side of the body averages between 4.9-14.7 (exception of hip flexion at a 16.8)
Range = Between 4-7th percentile.
Nerve Conduction study shows 68% of movement of nerves throughout the spinal cord. This causes muscle fatigue in exertion.
Left side Weight balance= 28%
Right side Weight balance= 72%
(Worsening since January of 2021/ (35 Left and 65 Right)
There will be results and a program update coming soon. I am in Ottawa as I write this, and in a few hours I have more tests and results to follow.
Where am I right now mentally?
These past three months I have started binge eating. It started with one night a week. Now I am at three nights of binging (in a row) and four nights starving. It was a cycle I took so long to break. Years in fact. And it came back and I cannot control it.
With my training program I have started talking to a nutritionist. I might end up going back to rehab to control this eating disorder. But this pandemic really did a number on me.
Finally my overall mental health fluctuates. Around my period I can be the worst person ever and have every emotion consume me. Or the other times, I am just extremely tired. Sometimes I feel the need to socialize but most of the time I am happy alone.
Being happy alone scares me for the future. I feel like if I don’t have kids or get into a relationship. I will end up dying alone. But I don’t know…
I guess this is it for now. Sorry for this long update. I am back. I don’t think I will be posting 10 times a week but I will be more active.
The reason for this long wait before this update. I was embarrassed by my health and how it is fluctuating so much. This pandemic has really been negative as much as positive. But I did realize something. I have so many people who follow me that this is helping. And even if my story can help them or any new people coming around. I am grateful to still be sharing my story.