So basically I could absolutely murder Madison. Do you know what she fucking did? SHE E-MAILED ERIC CALDERONE AND TOLD HIM I’M AN OBSESSIVE SUPER FAN AND THAT IT WOULD MAKE MY CHRISTMAS TO GET AN E-MAIL FROM HIM. She said I would FAINT if I received said e-mail. She said I listen to his songs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She also grossly exaggerated my health issues because she misunderstood when Blake told her to “play up” the health issue, not thinking Erock would even read her e-mail. Well he DID! And yesterday when I woke up at 3am, I checked my e-mail and lo & behold, there are TWO e-mails from him, one a letter and one a link to a file sharing site so I could download his EP for free.
Is that not the most embarrassing thing ever? It’s REALLY hard to embarrass me, but Madison succeeded admirably, not because of the fan stuff, but because me, being extremely honest, I now had to e-mail him back and tell him that Madison basically lied to get a response from him and that made me feel like shit. Before I get to my response, here’s what he e-mailed me:
Nice guy, right? And I think he was kind of maybe excited about this whole thing because he also e-mailed Madison just to tell her to tell me to check my e-mail, which put a lump in my stomach because I didn’t know what to say to him.
So I stewed about it all day. My friend Robert gave me a good foundation to work with so I just spent all day trying to build on that in my head. I also had no idea what to suggest as a possible song for Eric to cover because his e-mail sounded like maybe that might be an option and while I thought of a bunch of stuff over the past few months, my mind was a total blank when basically asked. Blake and I discussed it when he came home from work and I decided that I would e-mail Eric when I woke up this morning. First thing. Here’s what I sent…it’s…long… :o/
Hey there Eric,
I cannot thank you enough for your kind message. My daughter is right that
I love your work (to a ridiculous degree), but I fear she may have
exaggerated our situation to invoke a response from you and I’m a little
embarrassed about it. Madison is 13 and when her dad suggested she “play
up the sickness angle” as a TOTAL JOKE, not knowing she actually would
e-mail you or that you’d even see her e-mail, she took that to mean
But the thing is, I *am* sick, I’ve had a really really hard road, I
really did come close to dying this summer due to pancreatitis and things
aren’t so great these days as a result. This e-mail is probably going to
be pretty long, but I feel like I should tell you the TRUTH behind what
Madison said and you can decide whether or not I’m deserving of your kind
At the end of June I woke up one day with the worst pain imaginable in my
stomach, to the point where I could barely even breathe. I was supposed to
work that morning but I was in way too much pain so I told my boss
something was wrong and that I couldn’t work right now as I was going to
have to go to the hospital because I knew something wasn’t right. As I was
doing this, Madison took her little brother, Wes (age 8) to school and
then ran back home to help me. By the time she got home, I could barely
talk or breathe or function, my husband was at work in Toronto (which is
about 2 hours away) and he’d CARPOOLED to work, so he couldn’t just come
home and take me to the hospital, so Madison called 911 and then called a
family friend to come meet us at the hospital.
In the ambulance, I threw up and was in immense pain, but they got me to
the hospital in more or less one piece, and when I got to the emergency
room, they immediately hooked me up to an IV and fed me morphine and then
they gave me a CAT scan and an x-ray and they came to the conclusion that
it was pancreatitis. Pancreatitis only occurs for two reasons: alcohol and
gallstones. I don’t drink, so in my case it was a rogue gallstone that had
lodged in my common bile duct (which is shared between the gallbladder and
the pancreas), which made my pancreas inflame. They said that pancreatitis
goes two ways: it either clears up really fast or it goes south really
fast. The treatment for pancreatitis is basically starvation. If you don’t
eat anything, the pancreas doesn’t have to process anything, so by
starving yourself, you give the pancreas a rest and the inflammation goes
down, so that’s what they decided to do.
While all this was going on, my husband, Blake, took a subway, then a bus,
then a cab to where his car was parked and THEN he got to the hospital. It
took him like, 6 hours to get there. Meanwhile, our family friend, Ronny,
had taken Madison back home and they picked Wes up from school on the way
and Ronny just looked after them until Blake got home from the hospital.
At about 10:30pm, Blake got a frantic call from the hospital saying that
he had to come now because they didn’t know if I was going to make it
through the night. Remember when I said that pancreatitis could go south
really fast? Well that’s what happened to me.
When Blake got to the hospital, I wasn’t breathing on my own and they were
trying to insert a central line, which is a big IV in the neck. Our little
local hospital basically couldn’t deal with what was going in with me, my
respiratory system was crashing fast, and the bigger hospital closest to
us couldn’t either, so they loaded me up in an ambulance and drove me to a
big, scary hospital in Toronto called St. Mike’s, which is a pretty big
fucking deal. Like, you know if someone is at St. Mike’s, they’re knocking
on death’s door.
I don’t remember St. Mike’s though, because I spent from June 25th-July
25th completely unconscious. I was intibated, which means I had a
breathing tube down my throat because I couldn’t breathe on my own, and I
was tied down and sedated because I kept trying to pull the breathing tube
out. This is apparently instinct and everyone does it, except in my case,
I succeeded more often than not. This is me after removing my breathing
tubes. I was proud of myself (I was pretty drugged up) for removing it so
I asked Blake to take a picture: http://www.wildrumpusday.com/Tubeless.jpg
This is me in the ICU: http://wildrumpusday.com/icu.jpg
When I was in the ICU at St. Mike’s, they wouldn’t let me eat or drink
anything because the pancreas had to rest. Instead, I was fed through a
tube in my nose that bypassed my stomach and went straight to…actually
I’m not even sure, I just know that it bypassed the digestive system to
give the pancreas a rest. I had this feeding tube until mid-August. Also
while I was in the ICU, they said I was probably the sickest person there,
which is pretty scary considering where I was. They said that 70% of
people who were as sick as I was, died, so Madison wasn’t far off when she
said that 1 in 5 died.
With pancreatitis, there is often an issue with fluid building up in the
body and this fluid compresses the lungs, making breathing extremely
difficult and in my case, almost impossible and fatal. At the time I got
sick, I weighed probably between 150-160 lbs but with all the fluid that
was collecting in my body, I weighed 220 lbs. On July 5th, they had to do
something drastic to save my life, so what they did was cut me right up
the middle of my belly to extract this fluid. Right off the top, they
extracted 4 litres of fluid, which is TWO big bottles of pop worth! I’m
not sure how they did it, but they continued collecting fluid through this
big wound in my belly until the swelling in my body went down
considerably, then they dressed the wound with something called a “vac”,
which is this foam that is covered by plastic and then a vacuum is
attached to the middle of it and fluid is sucked through the vacuum and
collected in a little canister which they hooked at the end of my bed. I
would have this dressing until the beginning of October, changed every
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
During this time, my kidneys failed so I had to have dialysis. They didn’t
know why they failed, they just did and then 2 weeks later, they just
started working again. The body is weird, man, we know so little about how
At the end of July, on the 25th, I had improved enough that I could be
moved to a hospital closer to home, so I was transferred by ambulance to
Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Barrie, Ontario, which is about 45
minutes from our house. I would be put in the ICU of course, and since I
had no recollection of ANYTHING that happened at St. Mike’s, when I woke
up in RVH and Blake and my mom told me everything that had happened and
that I’d missed an entire month of my life, I just cried. I still cry even
thinking about it because it was just so goddamn scary and my mom and
Blake and my kids went through so much, not knowing if they were going to
get a call one day saying that I’d passed away.
So in the ICU at RVH I still had the feeding tube, although this one went
straight into my stomach, and I had the vac dressing on my abdominal wound
and I had a trache, which I’m going to explain in case you don’t know what
it is: A tracheotomy is when they punch a hole through your throat and
hook it up to oxygen because you can’t breathe on your own. The one that I
had initially at RVH didn’t allow me to speak, so I had to mouth my
questions to Blake and my mom, about what had happened at St. Mike’s. I
was so drugged up that I couldn’t write (see an example of an attempt at
writing here: http://www.wildrumpusday.com/SunnyPage.jpg), so that wasn’t
an option either. Eventually they would put in place two other traches,
one that allowed me to speak like an android and then one that allowed me
to speak normally, and then none at all.
When I was first at RVH, they wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything, but
after a while they took the feeding tube out of my nose and allowed me to
eat things that were a pudding consistency because since I hadn’t eaten
anything in so long,there was a danger of choking. I couldn’t even have
water because it was too liquid.After a while of that, they did a test to
see if I could swallow solid foods and they found that I could so solid
foods were added to the menu, which I was grateful for. They also gave me
all the water and Coke I could drink.
I still had the vac dressing, which got changed every Monday, Wednesday
and Friday and one day I convinced a nurse to take a picture of the wound
with my cell phone. Here it is if you want to see it, but I’m warning you
that it’s pretty gross and graphic:
I was (and still am) on a LOT of drugs, including high dosages of
morphine, so a lot of my hospital time is pretty much a blur, but two
weeks after being transferred to RVH’s ICU, they moved me to a general
surgery floor because I had improved so much. This was a very good, very
surprising thing because at St. Mike’s they said I wouldn’t be out of the
hospital until Christmas, but I sure showed them! The problem though, was
that I couldn’t walk. I hadn’t used my legs in almost 2 months so I had to
re-learn how to walk, which was a long, really frustrating process. I had
to walk with a walker on wheels until mid-October.
Finally on August 25th (I don’t know what it is with hospital personnel
and the 25th of the month), they let me go home. It was almost 2 months to
the day of when Madison had called 911 and I was eager to go home. Once
home, a nurse would come to the house every other day to change my vac
dressing and to make sure I was doing okay.
The vac dressing came off around the beginning of October (I think), which
was fantastic because it really sucked carrying around a canister of fluid
everywhere you went, especially since I kept dropping the unit and almost
broke it many times.
When they cut me open though, they cut through the muscles of my abdomen
so now they’re herniated and my guts are all out of place and swollen. I
get crazy stomach pain because of this, which is why I’m still on the
morphine. These pictures are what my stomach looks like now because of the
surgery, but I’m warning you (again) that these ones are semi-nude and not
safe for work:
http://www.sunnycrittenden.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7910 I basically
look like I’m 6 months pregnant and I need surgery to fix it but it’s a
waiting game because I also have cysts on my pancreas because of the
pancreatitis and I have to go BACK to St. Mike’s to have a surgeon drain
those cysts before my surgeon up here can fix my stomach. Right now we’re
waiting for a bed at the hospital so they can run some tests on me and
then do the cyst-draining procedure. Very soon after that, I’ll be able to
have my “big surgery” to fix my guts, which I’m really scared about
because I’m going to be in a lot of pain afterward and there’s going to be
a long recovery time when it’s all over. I’m also going to have to stay in
the hospital during most of the recovery and they’re saying that that’ll
be around 2 weeks. :o(
During this whole ordeal, I lost my job. I was a customer service
representative for a website, working from home, and it was a pretty
cherry job. Technically I was a sub-contractor (from another country, no
less) so it was perfectly legal for them to replace me and I don’t blame
them, they needed someone to fill in the gaps that were missing because of
my absence, but at the same time, we are now down to only living on
Blake’s income and that’s almost impossible. We’re putting groceries on
credit cards because we truly cannot afford them otherwise. We’re going
into debt pretty fast and it’s really really scary.
To make matters worse, due to poor nutrition (because my guts are so
screwed up, until recently I would throw up just about anything I put
down, so essentially I was bulimic), my hair started falling out. A LOT.
Here’s a pic:
The good news though, is that my wound is healing really well. Up until a
couple of weeks ago, a nurse would come every day to clean the wound and
change the dressing, but now Blake does that every other day and a nurse,
named Siske, comes Monday, Wednesday and Friday to also clean the wound
and change the dressing and just to make sure that it’s healing okay. We
had a setback a few weeks ago where the new tissue started breaking down
due to too much moisture, but that seems to have been corrected by using
different material to dress the wound. Here’s a big of what it looks like
now, that weird bit on the right is actually my BELLYBUTTON. They’re going
to build me a new bellybutton when I have my big surgery because my old
one is so messed up:
Believe it or not, this is a REALLY REALLY condensed version of everything
that happened, but I’m trying to keep it as brief as possible so I don’t
waste your time. Sorry this is so long. :o/
Here’s me just before Christmas, after putting on about 10 lbs because I
stopped throwing everything up:
SO, things are improving, I’m just really waiting to have these two
surgeries so I can go on with my life. I’ve been extremely depressed and
my psychiatrist thinks I have post traumatic stress disorder because of
everything I went through and I don’t disagree with that.
But enough about that, let’s talk about you! YES, I am a huge fan, Madison
didn’t really exaggerate that point (although I don’t listen to your songs
24/7 like she let on, but I do listen to some of them often). My favourite
pieces of your work are Rolling in the Deep and Skyrim, but I also loved
your rendition of My Little Pony. I thought Skyrim was SO well done that
that’s the one everyone in this house now knows by heart because I listen
to it so much.
I feel strange about using the word “fan” to describe the people who read
my blog too. I’ve had a website with a blog since 2000 and while it’s
nowhere near as popular as your YouTube channel, I do have a lot of
fan-like people. Instead of “fans” though, I just call most of them
“friends” because it’s easier when talking to other people about them.
Then again, I communicate with my fans probably more than you do because
of the nature of a blog, so it’s different for me than it is for you. You
also probably get bombarded with e-mails, if the comments on your videos
are any indication. :o) I hope you’re enjoying your fame, you deserve it!
I’ve been giving a LOT of thought over the past few months as to what I’d
like to see you do next and I think I’ve narrowed it down.
First, I think doing the Pixies could be phenomenal if you could pull it
off, but I’m not sure they could really be translated into metal very
well. My next idea (and my favourite band) was Hole, but sadly, I don’t
think your audience would appreciate that very much considering most of
them are boys who probably buy into the whole “Courtney killed Kurt” thing
(don’t even get me started on that) and if you did Hole then your cred
would probably go down. As much as I think Hole would be awesome, I
understand the reasons behind not doing it.
So, are you ready? Here are my big ideas as to what you should do next:
I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to hear a metal version of Hazy Shade
of Winter by the Bangles. I know it’s a cover (can’t remember who did it
originally at the moment) but their version, in my opinion, is the best
version and I think it could be really well done as metal.
My second idea was Atlas by Battles because I think that could be really
interesting as metal too.
My third idea is a band you’ve probably never heard of (but should) called
Mother Mother. They’re Canadian. Their song Polynesia could be really well
done as metal as well, I think.
Speaking of metal, I used to be basically the mascot for a Canadian indie
metal band, called Scratching Post, when I was in my early 20’s. I would
run around at their shows in a pair of panties with their logo on them,
and big boots and a Scratching Post t-shirt. Pics of that are here:
I just thought you’d think that as funny. :o)
Anyway, I’ve monopolized enough of your time (again, I am SO sorry this is
so long! future e-mails will not be this long, I promise!) and I thank you
again for your kind e-mail and the EP. That was very very nice of you. I
also apologize on behalf of Madison for exaggerating so much. She’s young.
I hope you had a good Christmas (or whatever you celebrate!) and an even
better New Year.
PS. Just in case you wanted to, you can post this e-mail, or parts of it,
wherever you want. :o)
Like I said, I tried to keep it as short as possible, but it IS kind of a long story, especially when you have to explain so many things, like a tracheotomy. (Damn, I meant to also include a pic of the trache scar. Oops. Speaking of which, is it normal for a scar to hurt? I’ve never had a scar hurt before and this one really does.) Also I’m just a really verbose person and this is partly why I don’t like replying to e-mails; every reply takes me like, an hour to type out, even if it’s for something really simple. I think that’s partly why I blog. If I’m going to take an hour to write so much to just ONE person, I might as well post it publicly so everyone can see it and I save time. I hate it when someone I haven’t heard from in a while asks me what I’ve been up to like they’re so special I’m going to write a response just for them. Read the fucking blog! And if you don’t have the time to follow along or go back and read what you’ve missed then leave me alone and just follow along when you do have the time. My time’s precious too, y’know.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic and eerily enough, Eric’s version of the Skyrim theme just came on iTunes. I swear sometimes iTunes is psychic. Ghost in the machine!
Madison’s been spoken to about lying to get what you want, even if you think it’s for a good cause. I think this was a pretty minor offence because she really just exaggerated things that were true, but there’s still a lesson to be learned here. Do I think Eric will e-mail me back? I dunno. It probably won’t be for a few days if he does, I would guess, because it’ll probably take him that long to read my e-mail haha
So this is what’s been happening in Sunnyland over the past 48 hours. Now you know. And now I’m going to go stuff my face with waffles.
Expect a picture post later because the cat was being weird last night. Oh also? I slept like, 8 hours last night. In a row. This is pretty much unheard of these days. Okay. Waffles.