Many people have asked what I do with my life whether I am a student, employed, or a secret agent spy. Sadly, I am not a secret agent spy and I haven’t been a student for a number of years nor am I employed. This post will contain virtually no Puzzle and Dragons content aside from a cleverly veiled reference here or there and I mostly want to share what is going on in my life currently as it will be having an effect on the next few days/weeks to come.
I graduated from a well respected University and began working shortly after and actually discovered Puzzle and Dragons while reading a newspaper as there was an article describing the biggest mobile game in the world. I thought I would give it a shot and turns out I love it. Fast forward a year to July, 2014 when I suffered a serious back injury while playing soccer. I went to the ER and was discharged a few hours later with no notable damage to my spine/hard tissue and was told I should heal relatively quickly as I am both young and in good physical health.
So I took a few days off to see if things would settle down; however, my pain and lack of mobility only worsened to the point where I could barely stand and certain movements would induce nausea and dizziness. I then went on Long Term Disability (LTD) and the main problem with LTD is that it is based on your previous year’s employment income and I had only been working for 8-9 months and as with anyone starting out in a new career (for me it was Financial Advising), it takes time to become well established and my benefit is very small. I do live in Vancouver, Canada where free Health Care does exist; however, health care mostly works for individuals who are reasonably healthy and for people in my situation it means horrendous wait times and a lack of services. Thus, a large portion of my meager benefits goes to funding my treatment/medication as no longer have employment benefits and Health Care only covers very basic services.
I have spent numerous time in a variety of Pain Clinics (they do not sell pain, but attempt to treat/manage it), doctors, specialists, chiropractors, physiotherapists. I have pretty much seen them all and I am currently enrolled in perhaps the best Pain Clinic in Vancouver. My current treatment involves a lot of needles and additional pain. Now, I am not talking about tiny acupuncture needles, but instead, I am subjected to up to 2-inch syringe needles being repeatedly being injected into my neck, shoulders, abdomen, back, groin, buttocks, and legs. This practice is also known as Trigger Point Injections and I also receive some Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). This process is excruciating to say the least and my screams can be easily heard in the waiting room. These are done on a 1-2x a week schedule and the recovery time varies from a few days to almost a week. I sometimes jest that I am doing a pin-cushion impersonation or that I become a hedgehog which are much cuter. In addition, I am also undergoing injections into my spine under ultrasound guidance to hopefully find the location of where the pain is coming from. However, it is pretty much a game of shooting in the dark as they have to test numerous places and so far it has been 4 misses.
My prognosis is improving slightly as I do have a bit more stamina (still worse than 10/min), but the doctors are running out of options and I may have to live with chronic pain for the rest of my life. The last option available is a procedure called Lidocaine Infusion which essentially floods my entire blood stream with a local anesthetic in hopes of resetting my nervous system and stopping the sensation of pain. Unfortunately, the wait time through the public health care system is 2-3 years and private costs thousands of dollars per treatment and there is no refund if it does not work.
Things couldn’t get worse, right?
Unfortunately for me, I am in a continuous state of rolling 3-stars out of the REM as my optometrist found an unusual lump inside my right eye at the end of last year. After seeing a few specialists I end up in the office of one of the leading experts in Ophthalmology who specializes in cancer of the eye. It was then determined that the lump should not be there and it is very very likely cancerous. Sadly, due to the location (inside the eyeball), a biopsy cannot be readily performed and instead I will be undergoing surgery on Thursday, September 8th as a means to both remove the lump and determine whether it is malignant or benign (finding out what it is will determine if radiation is necessary etc.). I believe she is the only surgeon in the entire province who performs this operation and it is quite a rare procedure overall.
The lump rests at the front of my eye below my cornea on the inside and should not impact vision in the long run. The operation will have the surgeon imagine a square where the lump is and cut along 3 of the four edges creating a flap for a trapdoor. She would then remove the lump and a small margin of the surrounding tissue, close the trapdoor. and sew it shut. This would result in no loss in eyeball surface area and instead leave me with a thinner section of the wall itself. However, due to the stitching required, it will cause extra tension on the eye itself and could result in blurred vision for a few months. There is also a strong possibility I would have to be hospitalized over night pending my progress post-surgery.
Where does this leave me
Either one of these health problems is enough for a lifetime; however, facing both at the same time is challenging at best. It is tough to watch my peers go out and live their lives/fulfil their dreams while I am left to ponder my existence and struggle to hold it together.
I know there will be more hurdles to overcome in the next few days and I will be missing for a brief period of time as I adjust to my new vision and fight of the remnants of general anesthesia.
Future of Mantastic PAD
I am grateful having made Mantastic PAD as it is the only good thing to come out of all of these past 26+ months. I started in mid October, 2015 and have gone from receiving a couple hundred views a day to the 6,500+ from the previous month.
I am actually very close to achieving over 1 million views on my site (should happen by Saturday or so). I fully intend to continue providing entertainment and guidance for all things Puzzle and Dragons related. I originally started this website as a means to help other players and provide a creative outlet for my own PAD addiction.
My hope is to return to at least a modest state of health and resume my content creation whether it be through my YouTube channel, Streaming, or guide writing. You can follow me on my various social media platforms by clicking the links below:
|Mantastic Social Media|
So once again, this is not a final goodbye, but more of a be right back. I will try my best to reply to comments, but there may be delay during the next few days.
Your support during this very challenging time is greatly appreciated and I feel a closer connection to this community than any other I am a part of. Support can come in the form of visiting my site as well as sharing my content on the various Facebook groups, Reddit, or within your own peer circle. I have tried to monetize my website; however, it only pays pennies per thousands of views, but turning off AdBlocker should help.
In addition, if you do wish to help via a monetary contribution, it would be greatly appreciated as I am facing a long uphill battle this next month. The PayPal icon will link you to my twitch donation page which allows you to leave a message; however, I would also like you to leave a comment below so I can have a means to thank you directly.
Once again, thank you for your time and understanding.