Another Less than Mantastic Health Update

Introduction

I have shared my diverse health problems last year when I was about to undergo surgery to remove what is presumed to be a cancerous lump inside my right eyeball along with sharing my inability to function normally due to a serious back and neck injury that was sustained in July 2014. Needless to say, the surgery did not go well as they were unsuccessful in removing the lump and my back/neck issues are reaching a somewhat critical moment next week along with a follow up with the cancer specialist at the end of February.

If you wish to read about these in my previous posting, feel free to read my previous post HERE.

Video commentary

—video goes here—

Eye problems

During my last regular eye check up in late 2015, my optometrist found an unusual lump on the inside of my right eyeball. I was sent to a specialist who then referred me to a cancer specialist as it was out of his scope. After further probing and examination, we agreed to remove the lump via surgery as it is most likely cancerous and testing cannot be performed without a biopsy and that cannot be done as it is inside my eye and inaccessible.

I went through with the surgery under general anesthesia and was later informed it was unsuccessful as the surgeon had difficulty pin-pointing the exact location as she did not want to make an excessive cut through my eyeball or pierce the lump (it is very small and in an awkward location). As such, I am to be monitored every few months in case it does grow and surgery needs to be reattempted.

While this is not an ideal situation and my last checkup showed no signs of growth (thus lowering the chances of it being malignant), it is only one of many health problems I face.

Back and neck problems

I have been on Long Term Disability (LTD) since July 2014 and it is not a glamorous life. I had only been working full time for under a year in the financial services industry and with any career, you tend to start out near the bottom of the earning pyramid. This is normally not too big of an issue as I was 24 at time of injury and had faith/confidence in myself to progress upwards. Sadly, LTD benefits are calculated based on your annual income thus it is very small for myself. I often wish I had at least a few years to improve my situation to at least have a more tolerable benefit along with more savings as essentially everything I had invested or saved has been lost over the course of two and a half years along with my old identity as a person.

I used to be tremendously independent and athletic along with a relatively positive outlook in life along with ample amounts of motivation. Sadly, most of that has been extinguished over time as I am often unable to walk for more than a block or two and have to rely on others for sometimes basic aspects of life.

There tends to be a horrible misconception towards people on disability as being lazy/unmotivated or faking it as pain is invisible and cannot be easily measured. However, for anyone who knew me from before, I doubt I would be labeled as any of those along with perhaps my website showcasing my determination to make something for myself while simultaneously helping others.

Presently, I am enrolled in the most advanced Pain Clinic in Western Canada and undergo a variety of treatments to find a solution to my crippling pain. For a while, I was undergoing biweekly-monthly procedures in which they would inject various chemicals directly into my spine in an attempt to block the pain on a nervous level. These treatments are done under ultrasound in order to guide the needle in the tiny spaces of my spine and is very painful as this is done without the aid of anesthetic. Depending on the area and how skilled the Radiologist is, it can be quite horrible as the best way I can describe it is feeling of paralysis. While the needle is inserted into my spine and the solution being administered, I feel a horrible crushing sensation that almost feels like suffocation from my waist down. There is a sharp sense of pressure throughout my lower extremities and I cannot move my legs, but the goal is to hopefully identify problematic areas to ideally pave the way for more invasive treatments such as burning the nerves.

Sadly, my 9 or so treatments all proved unsuccessful and while there was sometimes slight relief after a few days of elevated pain, the risks do not outweigh the benefits and has been put on hold for now.

However, this is not the worst kind of treatment I endure as Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are best described as an elaborate form of torture. I have been doing TPI for almost a year now and the general practice involves injecting a saline solution into muscles in order to forcefully release them. These needles can be up to 4 inches in length and they are fully inserted until a violent muscle spasm is induced while sometimes being left in while the muscle continues to spasm. This is then repeated all over my body ranging from my groin, inner thigh, entire back, neck, shoulders, temples, and any other area you can imagine. These needles are not to be confused acupuncture instruments as they are significantly wider and have to deliver the saline solution.

These weekly TPI procedures are somewhat bloody and leave horrible bruises all over my body that often do not heal before the next treatment along with being the most physically painful experience I will probably ever endure (the administering doctor likens the level of pain to giving birth as both involve violent muscle contractions). In fact, these muscle spasms are so violent that the needle is sometimes bent while inside me, but thankfully never break as they are designed to bend when subjected to extreme force. My uncontrollable screams can be easily heard far down the hall in the waiting room and it breaks my heart to see my mother cry after my treatment. Depending on how extensive the injections were, my functionality may not return for several days and am mostly confined to my bed or a chair while I wait for things to settle down.

In addition to these more invasive procedures, I see a Physiotherapist, a pair of Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, and group sessions for a variety of different purposes, along with potentially future psychiatrist/psychologist visits to combat my crumbling mental health. Thus, I do take offense when strangers claim I am not trying hard enough.

Now, I am well aware that Canada has universal healthcare and it is great, for probably 99% of the population. Your acute problems are covered by Medical Services Plan (MSP), walk in doctors, and ER in hospitals, but are left to fend for yourself long term. What further exasperates the financial hardship is most medical costs are tailored around insurance claims so they tend to heavily gouge you.

This level of gouging is widespread as the clinics often presume an insurance provider will pick up the tab, but that is not always the case. My LDT provider only pays out the tiny monthly benefit as they are no longer interested in trying to pay for additional treatments (they did for a period of time but I believe they lost interest when they did not work and have had my case manager changed probably 5 times now). As such, my slim resources are already overextended and there is too much month left over at the end of the money.

To make matters worse, the Pain Specialist who oversees my treatment tells me all of this is not working and that there is one major procedure left and then it is simply acceptance for pain-filled life. This news came in early January and it is never a pleasant experience to be told your life could be somewhat over at the age of 27, or at least the life I used to know long ago.

Lidocaine Infusion

The final proposed treatment is Lidocaine Infusion and essentially involves me being hooked up to a machine for several hours and having an anesthetic continuously pumped through my bloodstream. The goal is to hopefully reset/numb my entire nervous system so I can attempt to move and function with a diminished perception of pain. It will ideally enable me to begin to move like a normal person again while continuing my other therapies. The main benefit is the diminished pain, but it does not work in every individual and often requires repeated infusions long term.

Now, the hospital/public health system does offer this procedure; however, there is a 3 year wait list and I have only been on it for about 8-9 months and there is no hope of enough cancellations to expedite the process.

Thankfully, the pain clinic I am enrolled in is the only facility in my Province that offers this service, but is private pay only. Due to this exclusivity/scarcity of this service, they wish to charge an exorbitant amount of money for a 5 hour infusion.

capture

Now, $1,800 is for a single treatment, there is no refund if it fails or has to be stopped prematurely due to a health complication. So this is essentially a massive gamble of 4.5 months worth of food for something that MAY work and has the strong probability of requiring many follow up treatments.

I have inquired into the sheer cost of this procedure and they cite nurses, equipment maintenance, and College Accreditation as the Lidocaine itself is rather inexpensive.

However, doing some research, a private nurse would cost perhaps around $50/hour and this procedure requires at least 2 to be present so the numbers simply don’t add up and it is a massive cash grab from the desperate. I am well aware that monetizing the disabled is a lucrative industry as we lack options and often times hope, but I am tired of suffering to simply pay for someone’s salary.

I am well aware that $1,800 may not be a tremendous amount for some individuals, but for myself, it is a monstrous sum as my monthly benefit does not even come close to covering this amount. However, I still plan to go through with this on February 21st as taking the chance now is better than waiting another 2.5 years as if I am able to get better, I can begin to rebuild my life.

I know that crowd-funding websites such as GoFundMe are utilized for life-threatening medical expenses and donation goals on Twitch for the more fun/happy things like a new PC, recording equipment, etc. and I am not sure how to place my situation.

While not life threatening (barring bad news from the cancer specialist), I am not doing well. My life is on a slow decline and it is challenging to watch my peers succeed and fulfill their dreams while I struggle to walk to the bathroom without excessive pain. This is probably why I am loathe to share anything about my personal life as it will probably come across as negative and angry.

It can be hard to figuratively put yourself in my shoes (or anyone else’s), but my life is mostly filled with pain and continued suffering with no freedom to pursue activities outside of PAD or this website. I do not know how to properly introduce myself at family functions when meeting extended relatives or family friends. I am not sure as to who I am as I lack an identity and that is something hard to cope with as most people attribute their sense of belonging to their marital/family status, hobbies, friends, or occupation.

How can you help

AdBlocker

For the past several months I have been averaging over 10,000 website views every day (passed 2.4 million total now) and if each of those visitors disabled/white listed me for AdBlocker, it could make a difference from a monetization point of view. Granted 10,000 is small when compared to the most heavily viewed websites on the internet, but even if I could squeeze out an extra fifty dollars, it would make a massive difference in the long run. The same applies to my YT YouTube channel (700,000+ views now) and Twitch Twitch, but due to the sheer size of the internet, it is hard to make even a small income stream as there are channels that pull in millions of views per video.

Amazon/Twitch Prime

Many people are subscribed to Amazon or Twitch Prime and this actually allows you one free subscription to a Twitch streamer of your choice that renews every month. While the subscription revenue may appear small, it is simply a numbers game for me as I do reach thousands of people. You can find my Twitch Twitch Channel  by clicking the link and clicking the subscribe button and selecting Amazon/Twitch Prime.

Additional help

While the above two methods are amazing and can be done at no expense to yourself, other readers have asked about a more direct avenue of support.

Presently, my PayPal is linked through my Twitch stream in order allow you to leave a personalized message. I still receive the same amount of money, but the optional message is nicer.

I have also decided to make my donation goal on my Twitch Twitch my first Lidocaine treatment cost so you can keep track of my progress there.

Patreon

download Patreon is essentially a GoFundMe to support content creators (such as musicians, artists, etc.) on a monthly basis and is probably more suitable for what I do here. I have been tinkering away on my Paetron page for a few weeks now, but should probably ask for more user input as to how to better structure the reward tiers and any input/feedback is greatly appreciated.

Conclusion

I have always believed in a practice of transparency and simply wanted to share my life situation as events are beginning to escalate in the next few weeks and it may or may not have a negative impact on my content creation in the short term.

Reading over all of this makes me aware just how frustrated/angry I am at my own situation, but putting my thoughts down into text has been surprisingly therapeutic. While my problems are unique, it does not invalidate any of your own struggles and I wish to simply vent and share my situation with the people who I feel close to.

Thank you for your time, understanding and compassion,

Mantastic (Jonathan)

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95 thoughts on “Another Less than Mantastic Health Update”

  1. I clicked “Like” on your post to let you know I read it, not to indicate I actually like it, because it’s definitely stinky. I will pray for you, Jonathan, and see what I can put together financially to help you out. I wish I had the time to get to know you in person… there are many times I wish I could just hang out or chat with you, and not just about PAD. I’m sure there are many others like me.

    Keep up the good fight… I find a good indicator of a man’s character is maintaining a good attitude in the face of adversity, and while I know behind the scenes is its own story, what you -do- share with the PAD community is way more positive than it has any right to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for always being a supportive reader frontendchaos =)

      You are almost always the first to leave a positive and constructive comment on nearly every article and am sometimes amazed by your speed and diligence (I also remember you like being first XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never felt so bad for a person in my life. Keep fighting the hard fight man, you deserve everything you have even if life isn’t nice to you. You are a true inspiration to us all and I hope the lidocaine helps put an end to your suffering.
    Much love, stay positive, and keep fighting man

    Like

  3. I just want you to know that I view your website and YouTube videos every day hoping for more of your new and exciting content. Unfortunately, a post about past and further declining health issues is one that is never easy to read. However, it gives myself and others insight as to your current state, and I truly wish you nothing but the best of luck. Having access to this website sounds like a blessing for you as an outlet, and an opportunity for others who enjoy your work to give back, and I hope it remains that way. We love what you do Mantastic. Thank you for all that you do for the community. Stay strong, and best of luck to you and through your future endeavours.
    -bizquickz

    Like

    1. This website has been invaluable in helping maintain a sense of purpose and possibly identity. There is a certain joy that comes from helping people with no ulterior motive outside of researching the components of PAD more for myself. I never could have imagined I could reach this many people and being able to write about content at my own pace (and at any time) has been amazing.

      Regardless, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me

      Like

  4. aw, damn….good luck with your treatment, and stay positive. I’m really sorry that I can’t do much else but wish for your success. Know that the pad community supports you, though! Best wishes

    Like

  5. Ahhhhh I’m so sorry to hear of all of that… I personally have been seeing a therapist for depression for almost 4 months now, but I have use of my four limbs with a healthy body and a (physically) painless life (unless I get injured). I can’t even begin to imagine or understand how difficult it must be for you with long term disability, and reading this almost brought me to tears. If the pain in my heart I feel reading this post is even just 0.1% of what you must endure every day, then you really are such a brave and strong person, you and your mother both.

    I love the content you have been creating and as soon as I have landed myself a job I have already planned to support you as faithfully as I can. The health care system in American is in absolute shambles and while Canada’s is slightly better, growing up in a country where health care never seems to be a priority of our government has always made me want to support anyone else I know and admire through their own health-related trials because no matter how giving a government is, health care just is always such a monster that nobody can control, and never seems to be on the same side as those who need it the most.

    Keeping you in my prayers for the infusion treatment to work a miracle, even if the odds don’t stack.

    Like

    1. Thank you for your continued support and activity foxwaffles =)

      You are one of my favourite comment-ies as you always contribute something positive to the conversation and I dearly hope your therapist visits have been beneficial.

      I know you like to utilize your artistic talent and I do hope you continue to do so =)

      Like

      1. ahhh thank youuuu ;v; When I first saw the blog through the teambuilding links you posted I thought it was the coolest blog ever, at that point I was only actively following setsupad’s blog but you tackle a lot of topics and discussion that is far more practically applicable as opposed to his more high end/luxury discussions for the hardcore and heavy IAP players and with a casual tone that’s easy and fun to read.

        I have a few art projects swirling around in my brain and I’d like to do Twitch streaming myself…. I have plans for building up my deviantART, YouTube, Twitch, Tumblr, and maybe in the future make a Patreon page, so we’ll see :’) I’m doing much better than last spring semester already, but it still feels like there’s a long way left to go sometimes

        Like

        1. Well I am glad to hear you are progressing, every raindrop raises the sea 😉

          You should definitely looking to streaming creative as not only will it boost your confidence, but it will give you practice performing under pressure. Plus, it is a lot of fun!

          Like

      2. I’m sorry to hear this. I hope you get better soon! All of your work and dedication has helped make me into a much better playing in PAD! Best Wishes

        Like

  6. As a fellow disabled person, I want to say thank you for bring so vulnerable. I want you to say thank you for the content you create and the ways you have positively impacted my life for sure. I want to say that it’s fucked up how the works charges disabled folks for living and I’ll commit to disabling ad blocker and subscribing to you on twitch prime. You deserve better, and if you ever need someone to vent to, I’m happy to listen.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reaching out LW and I am glad I have been able to be a positive force in your life =)

      Also, thank you for disabling ad blocker and Twitch Prime, it means a lot and hopefully others follow suit for at least ad blocker =D

      Like

  7. I have several reason to be in debt with you: your useful posts/strategies, your advices, your videos… your work helped me a lot in PAD, and first i would like to thank you for all of this. I’m a subscriber of your channel via prime and i don’t have adblock, but i wish i could do more for you. In a way, i am relate to your situation, since i suffer a psicological problem that prevents me to live “normally” or “like the other peoples”. And i really understand what you say: since the problem is not tangible or visible, it can’t be understood by the other peoples. A lesson that i learned though is that the most important thing is your awaraness of the problem and the fact that you are doing your best in your situation. You have already a great “weight” to carry on your own, don’t add the other’s. And from what i read and from the work you put everyday in this site and in the others activity, i think that you are really an admirable person.
    So i wish you all the best and think that your are not alone!
    We are all with you!

    Sincerely Carlo

    P.s. Sorry for my bad english, i am italian, but is not an escuse 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you think your English is bad, wait until you see my Italian 😉 I admire anyone who can speak more than one language and am even more grateful you took the time to write this out!

      As for disabling Ad Blocker and Twitch Prime, they play a significant role, remember, I have over 10k views a day so it all adds up (slowly) over time! I do hope your own struggles are able to be kept in check and I hope I can continue to make a positive impact on your life moving forward =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ciao Luca, credo chela comunità di PAD in italia stia crescendo pian piano. Certo non è popolare quanto altri giochi, ma inizio a vedere diversi @ita fra i nickname degli altri utenti in game 🙂
        Un saluto, Carlo.

        Like

        1. Anche a me pare di vedere qualche nick italianeggiante di tanto in tanto.
          Ti lascio il mio ID (748,149,260 – gioco prevalentemente Aizen e Krishna, anche da non-IAP ho avuto la fortuna di trovarli e assemblare un paio di team decenti) se vuoi aggiungermi, magari capita di scambiare qualche parola con le mail in game anziché scrivere qua dove mi pare poco cortese visto che ci capiamo solo noi due. 🙂

          Like

  8. Very sorry to hear this. With all due respect to the doctors that you are seeing, have you considered instead visiting a well known private clinic such as the Mayo Clinic (there are others)? Medicine is more art than science and perhaps that money would be better spent seeing some of the world’s best experts rather than embarking on a risky and potentially unhelpful “hail mary”?

    Like

    1. Well I have gone through countless different specialists and am currently in the best pain clinic in probably western canada. All the resources on pain come out of here so there is no one higher to go to (at least in this province). People travel to see these specialists so I am not sure where to turn to and venturing into the States would probably cost even more and may not yield new results.

      Like

  9. Incredibly honest and open post.
    You’ve got my positivty, prayers, thoughts, and probably some money.

    One idea: have you looked into lidocaine infusions in other nations?

    Like

    1. Thank you for your support Skyler =)

      As for other countries, I do not think it would be cheaper once you factor in travel/accommodation into the equation as they should also have those similar fixed costs =(

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel so badly for you. I know I don’t know your case, but have the doctors examined all possible causes? The pain sounds awful, and from your description they’re treating the symptom without finding the cause. Neuralgia due to shingles? Inflammation? Dural ectasia related or unrelated to Marfan? Is there tissue damage or was there an accident that preceded this? I do hope they’re doing all they can to find the cause and not just stringing you along with expensive treatments. Just be sure to advocate for yourself. Keep on keeping on.

    Like

    1. The problem with pain is that it is actually a poorly researched topic. Perhaps it has less funding as it is “invisible” but I have seen countless specialists and duplicates of some to try and receive an honest opinion.

      For example, the first neurologist dismissed me after 3 minutes, barely taking a look because it was only 2-3 months after the injury and I still looked physically fit and young. The most recent one actually examined me thoroughly and concluded there was no neurlogical damage. However, my current doctor informs me that that conclusion is both right and wrong. Neurologists test to see if a single travels through your leg when subjected to a stimulus and it worked for me. BUT, you can akin this to a working telephone line, but no one is calling. The technician simply tests to see if there is a dial tone, but no one is ever calling.

      Other tests have come back negative for anything out of the ordinary and there is no hard tissue damage although my muscle groups are constantly under stress and in a state of tension which does cause asymmetry for my pelvis and that is partially what the needles try to address.

      Inflammation is a known contribute to pain and I have made dietary changes to compensate. It did not reduce my pain, but I did manage to lose some unneeded body fat =)

      Like

  11. You inspire me – you inspire me. I pray to God you will see definite improvement and start to recover.

    I’m glad to see that you have decided to take the leap and will try to do my part to help.

    Like

  12. I come to your site daily. I love your writing and deep analysis of PAD. You do an amazing job sharing your passion for the game and turning it into something that is approachable, even for beginners.

    I was excited to see the new evolutions for Balboas and Odins released today, and looked forward to your post. You really have done great work and set a standard for having your posts mostly together literally right at launch day. This is just another thing you do that is extremely impressive. I was initially disappointed to see this post today wasn’t a grodin/balboa post.

    My disappointment was quickly thrown out.

    I have the utmost respect for you. Know that no matter how limited you are and how dark the world seems, your strength and character have shown through. It takes intense bravery to share real pain and strife with loved ones; let alone be this open on the most open of platforms. Pulling back the curtain and showing the real man behind mantastic is touching and honestly something I don’t think I would have the bravery to do.

    I am currently second hand dealing with a loved one in a similar situation. It is a terrifying feeling when doctor after doctor are stumped by your problems. The longer it lasts the darker and more corrupt the world seems to become as every answer skyrockets in exorbitant cost. We have been staring down at the same precipice of pain or food for years now.

    Find your bridge to cross that valley.

    You are human, frustration and anger are only natural. Use any outlet you can and hold onto the positive things in you. It’s cliche, but things eventually will work out. When they do, the strength inside you will be able to shine through the other aspects of life beyond this incredible website you run.

    Best of luck.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the kind words nosaj =)

      I have found writing to be a beneficial outlet as it is something that I can do in my limited physical capacity and is able to be done at any given time for as long or short as bearable. It allows me to chip away at any given project at my own pace and preemptive planning and now templates helps with writing topics in a timely manner.

      I really do appreciate you reaching out to me and sharing a bit of your own struggles. It is reassuring to know I am not alone =)

      Like

  13. I too have enjoyed your site and videos since I started getting into PAD. I find your articles much more helpful and insightful than many other sites. I am very sorry to here about the suffering you continue to go thru, and I am sure you are expressing only a small part of the truth when it comes to the pain and the loss of “Quality of Life”. Please continue to fight, and remember to be thankful for what abundance you do have (love of family, friends, all of us readers and subscribers who are with you in spirit). It takes a strong man to focus on the good when so much is going wrong, and I will be sending as much positive energy and healing as I can spare your way for as long as you need it.

    Like

  14. I’ve only been reading / watching your content for about a month, but I have really enjoyed it and it has rekindled my interest in PAD.
    I’m very sorry to hear about your health struggles. That is a lot to deal with. I’m glad you mentioned the possibility of therapy in the future- many people underestimate the mental toll of chronic illness and pain. I’d highly recommend pursuing that. Therapy has done a lot of good for me, and many people I know. It can be really good to have a trained professional to talk to about this kind of thing.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts, and hope for the best outcomes. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to send $10 a month your way through the Patreon, and am happy to do so. I hope it helps.

    Best wishes, and thanks for everything you do for the PAD community despite your circumstances (and happy puzzling!).

    -Cadwr

    Like

    1. Thank you for reaching out to me and supporting me Cadwr, it means the world to me =)

      As for the mental health professionals, I have had exposure to a few over the past 2.5 years through various programs and have not found them helpful yet as my mental health problems stem from physical pain, not psychological issues. Perhaps I am stubborn, but I strongly believe that if the pain goes away, my mental state will improve. It is not something that can be rationalized nor medicated and I feel that the doctors so far have been unequipted to deal with a young individual in chronic pain as it is really rare (last clinic placed 19-29 year olds as <1% of total population in their highest level pain management program)

      However, this can also be partially because I have not found the right person. I need to find a time to see my family doctor to do the referral through my local university where I will be able to seek treatment for free at least

      Like

  15. Hi mantastic, im sorry to hear all that but please know that you have a lot of people praying for your recovery, myself included, and we all hope your life takes a turn for the good, i know that in times of need the best one person can have is support from friends and family so don’t give up fighting, everything will go well, I live in a 3rd world country so money here isnt as much as in america but i’ll try to get a bit of money to support your cause

    stay strong

    Like

    1. Just you reaching out means a great deal to me German and you can always disable ad blocker for my site and that does make a dramatic difference in the long run.

      Again, thank you for your kind words =)

      Like

  16. Hi Mantastic,

    I’ve been a reader of your site since I started PaD in June of last year. I dropped a few bucks in the hat to help, I figured the money would be put to better use for your treatments as opposed to going towards another bunch Mels on the Heroine REM hoping for that Meridionalis. I’m a big fan of the site and what you do for the PaD community. I hope that you have a speedy recovery, and wish you the best of luck in all things!

    Like

  17. Hope u get well soon.
    i’m yr fan club and follw u since dec2016
    I return to this Awesome PAD coz of u
    u read yr review and Krishna Build from u that help me ton of boost
    rank250 on dec2016 and today my Rank is 550
    i give u credit for that
    luv u Mantastic

    Like

  18. I’m super sorry to read this Mantastic! I’ve been a long time lurker of your posts and never commented but you deserve to know how much respect I have for you. I’ve always thought you had a positive, eager to help way of writing which is enjoyable to read (in contrast to Setsu, not to bash him, who takes on a more cynical approach). That you have health issues and can be so frustrated, yet seem so happy and energetic in your posts, must really take strength.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reaching out thesudanman =)

      I try to embrace the whole Mantastic persona to better cope and to better help other players. Having two different writing styles is helpful overall for the PAD community as it does present two different, but valid perspectives

      Like

  19. Gosh I wasn’t aware of your serious health concerns until now. Stay strong Jonathan, strive to have a positive outlook. You have contributed so much to this community and have had such a great impact on so many players, including me. Focus on the positives ok? Happy puzzling!

    Like

  20. Jonathan,

    I am very sorry to hear of your physical woes. I come from a background of both physical and medical problems that have come close to killing me a good number of times. I have been extremely fortunate that my body has had the ability to adapt in ways it probably shouldn’t be able to do, but that still doesn’t stop all the pain, and sometimes it takes over and all I can do is grin and bare it. Yet through all of that, I can still function, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine that, while it could shift that way, losing that as you have.

    Your content here has always been so positive and delightful and I find myself coming to your page and youtube channel often to check out your thoughts on the game more than any other. I would never have guessed by your very positive disposition in your content that your life had taken such a bad turn and the every day minutia that we all take for granted is a challenge for you. I can’t stop crying just thinking about it.

    You may not realize it, and I know it may not have been your intention necessarily, but the vulnerability that you have shown us all here is incredibly inspirational (and not just in the world of PAD =]). If you can go out of your way to do the things you do and keep that level of composure and positive manner in the physical condition you are in, just, I can’t even describe how inspirational that is.

    I wish to say so much more to you, but I am finding myself at a loss for words at this moment. I wish nothing but the best for you and I hope your procedure works out. Ketamine has had a good amount of success in helping with nerve problems. And it may not mean a lot coming from a complete stranger, but I have a really good pair of ears if you ever want to pour into them.

    Best wishes,
    Jacob

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your own struggle Jacob. It means a lot to me knowing that I am not alone and even though we may not share the exact same problems, it is good to hear you are able to persevere.

      I am glad to be a positive force in the PAD community as well as being able to bring joy to other people’s lives. I dearly hope next week’s procedure is successful and I can transfer the skills I have learned here to other mediums

      Like

  21. Sorry to hear about the rough time you’re having, Jonathan. I have chronic back problems and have been through many treatments… I’ve just had to accept that I’m always going to be in pain. I hope that is not the case for you. I have issues with depression as well and it is resistant to even uncommon treatments; the trouble with pain and mental illness, as you’ve said, is that people have trouble with the intangibility of it. I have disabled adblock on your site, as I do visit it often. I’m already subscribed w/amazon prime. I’m only one person but I’ll do what I can, as I cannot afford to donate cash.

    Like

    1. Your own support is amazing enough and it was fun to play an Arena 1 run with you on stream a week or so ago =)

      I hope you are able to find some relief for your own struggles and look forward to seeing you on stream again!

      Like

  22. Very sorry to hear that your medical problems continue. I thoroughly enjoy your PAD content and credit you for inspiring me to try the second one shot challenge and subsequently arena.

    I don’t have time to spend on Twitch or YouTube so a subscription would go unused. AdBlock is not really a thing for me so I guess that helps a bit when I visit this site.

    A way to make one-time donations would work best for me personally.

    Maybe GungHo would be willing to help?

    –Bruce

    Like

    1. Thank you for reaching out Bruce and I am glad you have had AdBlocker disabled as it does make a difference from long term/consistent viewers, everything helps =)

      Also, I am glad I have managed to inspire you in your pad journeys and hope you continue to progress!

      Like

  23. I watch your twitch streams all the time starting from about a year ago. Your attitude when streaming is so postive that for anyone that doesn’t know your current situation, it would be impossible to tell. Be strong Jonathan. My birthday is on the 21st and all I want for it is for my favorite Youtuber to feel no pain and continue doing what he loves. I’ll be praying for you every step of the way.

    Like

  24. Hi! Longtime reader, first-time commenter here. I just want to add a note of appreciation for all you do. I play PAD with my kid (which means I kind of have an alt account where I have to keep all the pretty and cute cards regardless of their value). I have really valued your advice and commentary as both realistic and entertaining. So much that the conversation at my house usually goes:
    Me, “I think there’s a (Godfest or whatever) today.”
    Her, “Let’s see what Mantastic thinks we should do.”
    Or, “Does Mantastic say this is a good monster or should I sell it?”
    Thanks to you, I beat my first Descends (Hera, on the easy list, but still)!
    Anyway, we are really saddened to hear about your pain and worry, but happy you have PAD and all these good folks, too. We will pitch in on your goal if I can figure out how to do the Twitch thing.
    PS, I’m a mental health provider, and I want to validate your thought that working with the right therapist helps. Find someone whose judgment you trust and you believe you can work with. It makes a lot of difference. Good luck!

    Like

    1. Thank you duckyloki for taking the time to comment here =)

      I am thrilled to hear that you and your daughter love pad and enjoy my content!

      I am now recovering from the Lidocaine this morning and mostly wanted to reply to these comment and will have the other side effects calm down in the next few days to decide my next move

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Hi Mantastic,

    I’ve been a lurker on your posts for a few months now, but I had not felt complelled to comment or anything of the sort until now. I have always found your information incredibly useful (especially when reviewing cards like Ra Dragon or DAthena!), and I realize I do refer to this quite frequently. I also say that my local friends refer to you on the regular.

    I cannot possibly begin to imagine how taxing your experiences have been. However, I do very much understand your position. It clearly has been an emotional, physical, and social roller coaster for you.

    I’m sure by now you are aware that your online community loves you and supports you very much. Your information and dedication is invaluable. You pour your heart into this.

    I believe that your dedication to PAD and the community you have helped develop is very much part of who you are! I understand going through drastic life changes can leave you feeling inadequate, with loss of identity and independence, and frustrated, among a slew of other emotions. But despite your limitations, you have showed thousands of people your resilience through what you have crafted here. Even if your increased dedication to PAD was a result of your condition, and despite of *all* the challenges you have faced, you took the opportunity to make something of yourself. By creating and expanding on your identity through here.

    Before you opened up about your health conditions I only knew you as Mantastic. I did not know of 27 y/o Johnathan, and I never would have guessed your story even if I tried. After you have shared your posts, you are still Mantastic to me, but quite frankly I feel an increased admiration for you. Admiration because, despite everything that is going on, you are here – being a major contributor to a mobile game that is vastly growing (and will continue to grow!).

    Sure… Introducing yourself as Mantastic (and all that you do, have done, and continue to do) is a rather unconventional way of introducing yourself to your family IRL. But unconventional is not bad, it is different. And different is *unique*.

    Johnathan, thank you for all that you do. I will forward this to my friends.

    P.S. I realized I hadn’t suscribed to your YouTube channel… That is no longer the case.

    🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me SolracZe, it means a lot to know I have viewers who care.

      Your words are touching and helps make light of my situation by rethinking certain aspects of my life. I know that different can be unique, but I do not think I have crossed that bridge yet as I do not want this to be the only defining feature as its not even able to pay for my medical expenses (outside of external donations) so a part of me feels like it is not necessarily worth sharing. Still an internal struggle, but hopefully as I continue to produce meaningful content, I feel a strongest sense of accomplishment

      Regardless, thank you for sharing your thoughts and I do greatly appreciate them

      Like

      1. What you say regarding this being your only defining feature and how you feel about that given your situation makes sense. Heck, even in an ordinary situation the idea of having only one defining feature is tough. Especially when you had goals/milestones in mind before all of this… So I certainly get you.

        If anything part of my comment was to provide you with a different perspective… and it seems like it did, to some extent.

        One good thing about crossing bridges, despite overwhelming circumstances, is that we can often set our own pace even when it may not seem like it. With those bridges you take as long as you can and as long as you need. However, it is extremely difficult to take things “one step at a time,” especially when you see your peers and their progress… But it’s not impossible! Sometimes, when we feel we have lost total control of our lives because of future concerns, that even when we are at our lowest, we still have some control of our lives.

        One trick that helps me cope when I am in a difficult situation: Breathe. Take a deep breath. Control your inhale and your exhale. No matter how much life seems out of hand your breathing is one of the things you will almost always have complete control over. This helps me orient myself to the “here and now.” It helps me think “You do what you can at the pace that you need to.” However, I do reiterate that it is easier said than done; but it certainly is a possibility.

        There is one thing I do want to add that might be in the similar vein to my previous comments: When most people talk about themselves they usually share their accomplishments. You very rarely see someone in their absolute worst/weakest because often times people are afraid of their image being seen negatively (just as you mentioned the reason why you loathe sharing this situation with others)…

        Letting your walls come down, letting yourself be vulnearable to an audience of thousands, because in the end you did take a risk and chose to share your experiences… Yo. That speaks volumes of you. Whether or not you realize that, it really does. I think people appreciate you even more because of your transparency. You know, despite taking the risk of being seen as negative due to your experiences, I don’t see you in a negative light. If it sounds repetitive to my previous comments it’s because I really *do* believe this; and I cannot possibly be the only one.

        I can only think of the song “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper… Because in the midst of the darkness you true colors shone through. I would recommend listening in your free time.

        Like

        1. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate and extend upon your previous comment SolracZe =) It is touching to know that others care for me and about my situation

          As for many of your recommendations, I already religiously practice various mindfulness and breathing exercising along with meditation.

          It has been a beneficial experience sharing my problems in a public manner as it has allowed me to consolidate my thoughts.

          As for the True Colours song, it often comes up on my Twitch streams so I am familiar with it =)

          Like

  26. It wasn’t much, but I subscribed and donated a bit. You’ve been so considerate to the PAD community’s needs and have been making useful, entertaining content. Stay strong!

    Like

  27. Hey Mantastic,

    I fully empathize the situation you are in. It takes a great deal of strength to go through the adversities that you are going through, nevermind still keeping relatively positive and even taking the time to help complete strangers with their PAD expertise.

    Your knowledge and enthusiasm for PAD is felt through all corners of the globe (eg. I’m from Australia), and I truly appreciate any/all help/advice that you provide.

    My best mate lost his fight to chronic pain a few years back, but I’m hoping that you receive whatever help you need to progress forwards and upwards to a painfree and productive life.

    If you ever need an anonymous person to talk to, I’m sure there’d be plenty of people out there that would be happy to lend an ear… myself included..

    I’ve had serious health hiccups over my life, so hopefully I can offer some support..

    All the best.

    Simon

    Like

    1. Thank you Simon for reaching out to me and sharing a bit about your own life. I am thrilled to hear that my content has achieved a global reach and I hope to continue to provide entertaining and insightful content moving forward =)

      Like

  28. Mantastic/Jonathan,

    It’s heartbreaking to read about the struggles you’ve endured and it seems will continue to endure. While I can’t say anything that can make the pain you experience go away, I just want to say that your PAD content isn’t just educational for me, but also entertainment. I catch up on the meta when I’m eating breakfast in the morning and watch your playthroughs during my lunch breaks.

    I can’t reiterate how pivotal of a person you are in not only my PAD experience, but also my daily life.

    Best of luck and please keep us all updated!

    ~Jason

    Like

  29. Hi Mantastic,

    I’ve been reading your content for longer than I’ve been commenting, and you’ve helped me quite a bit at improving my game. Thanks to you, my PAD game has improved to the point that I went into the latest one-shot challenge completely blind and beat it (though I had to stone once at Lucifer because I’m still not fast at combo-ing).

    Anyway, there’s not much more I can say that wouldn’t just be rehashing what the rest of my fellow Mantastic supporters already said, but I want to regardless. Your content is A+ and fun. I’m normally checking this very site for updates every other day. I don’t usually have time for Twitch, but I’m subscribed to your channel on Youtube and I’ve never used Adblock. I have mad respect for you, bro, and I only hope that things begin to get better for you. As someone who has helped spread fun and joy to thousands of people, you certainly deserve all the good fortune. Keep being Mantastic!

    Like

    1. Well I am glad you reached out to me Akromakroma. I am glad you enjoy my content and that your pad game is progressing as well =)

      Thank you for your support and kind words, it means a lot to me

      Like

  30. Hi Mantastic, after reading this article and finding out about your situation for the first time, I’ve been compelled to make a wordpress to reach out to you. I really admire all the work and love you put into the things you do for the PaD community. Every other day and week, I’d look for your videos on YouTube or posts on Facebook; it’s become a habit! Your bravery has really moved me. It takes a lot of courage to talk about personal matters like these and persistence to remain so positive despite the situation. I should add that even seeking a therapist calls for bravery as well, and I’m glad that you’re looking into it.

    I was not conscious of my adblocker before, but now that it has been brought to my attention, I’ve disabled it to try to pitch in. My thoughts are with you, Mantastic. Never forget that the community will be there with you irregardless of the situation. Even though PaD is only a game, you’ve made differences in our daily lives.

    Like

    1. Thank you minniemause for your kind words and for reaching out to me.

      I found writing this to be a great release for a large chunk of my pent up frustration.

      I am thrilled to hear you use my content on a regular basis and to know that I am helping more people than I could have ever imagined. Finally, I greatly appreciate you disabling AdBlocker, it all adds up and thank you for this

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I always enjoy and look forward to your videos and posts. You’ve got a very good perspective on things, so just do your best to keep as focused and optimistic as you can despite the difficulties. I know that can sound dismissive of the actual struggle, but I am confident that you will understand that it is meant for encouragement. It is always best for all of our mental health to keep our hopes up and that plays a role in physical recovery as well.

    All that said, my wife and I wish you the best of luck today in your next efforts and beyond.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reaching out to me Dariden and for your kind words and encouragement. I tolerated the treatment well but need to be carefully monitored for 24h and then take it very easy for 48h as I am horribly dizzy and fatigued. Took a break from napping to reply =)

      Like

  32. Wow. like WTF wow. Serious heavy shit. I can only imagine some of the stuff you’re going through. I’ve had a spinal injection before, but that was child’s play compared to what I just read.

    The reason I watch your Youtube vids and read your posts is because they’re very positive and always show excitement about PAD. It’s a lot harder to stay excited about this game when you started out in the Ama/Odin days. You help a lot of people stay vested in this game. Every time i see a gap in posts or vids I figure this guy must be a busybody. Little did i know…

    I’m always gonna allow ads to run from your wordpress site, but I’m a little late to the Twitch game. Best wishes. Hope we hear good news from you soon.

    Like

    1. Thank you Bob for reaching out and disabling as adblocker as it does add up over time. I’ll try my best to continue producing content but in very disoriented atm so comments are hard

      Like

  33. Big fan!! So sorry for your struggles. 😦 Thank you for your transparency and courage – you have helped people today!! (I’m on a Mac … do I have AdBlocker, or is that a PC thing?)

    Like

  34. Hey Jon/Man,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate to it in many different ways (except for the pain).
    I have been disabled (epilepsy) for nearly a decade and absolutely know how much it sucks going from a vibrant independent life to having to rely on others and having a much more limited existence.
    I get the whole social awkwardness thing as well especially with family or others I see but not necessarily that often. All I can say to that is be true to yourself. White lies can be okay to improve the mood but beyond that well I firmly believe we get back what we project into this world. I got back exactly all the wrong people and into a few ugly situations due to this.
    Anyway enough about me, I hope your appointment went well. I know all about the pain injections secondhand from a friend who has RSD and does the ketamine. No longer will I complain about having to inject myself in the thigh with B12.
    This site is fantastic. Before I discovered it I was languishing along barely even liking this game despite knowing I had the potential to be really good at it. You helped renew my interest immensely. I really needed the visual of seeing someone play the game well and explain things properly and thoughtfully.

    One last thing in my ramblings… As I am also disabled and became so at quite an early age (27) myself my income is basically at the bottom of the disability totem pole so I can’t help financially except offer this. One way I earned money over the past several years is at royalgames.com (formerly king.com). The site is basically dying but there is still some money to be made (if you aren’t there already).You really seem to know your shit when it comes to PAD and that is half the battle playing games. The other being go, go, go or think, think, think. Just stick to the progressives there, there still is about 20-30 games that people remain fairly actively playing out of the wasteland of 100 or so that exist.

    Hoping for the best for ya.
    SD

    Like

  35. Thank you for reaching out to me SD and for sharing a bit about your personal life and struggles.

    I have a tendancy to not really go out into the outside world much and when I do, I often remain quiet and simply ask others questions as no one is ever unhappy talking about themselves. Not the greatest strategy, but it does work and prevents the need to lie etc

    My procedure did go well and I am experiencing a modest reduction in baseline pain levels so I am remaining cautiously optimistic

    I am glad to have been able to rekindle and enhance your PAD experience and am happy to hear you are flourishing PAD-wise!

    I have been exploring ways to monetize my website or other mediums and hopefully with the launch of Patreon, things will turn around

    Like

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