4am: Brain No Worky

It’s approaching 4am and I’m wide awake… yet I’m still in a decent mood. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ Didn’t hurt too much today, and that’s even including the stress of a doctor appointment – which will normally get my shoulder shakin’ and affecting everything else around it like a row of dominos falling down. πŸ™„ So, yeah, I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but I’ll take it.

I’m sure the biggest part of it is the nap I had in the afternoon, and then just the fact that I got this particular medical appointment out of the way. πŸ˜• I’m not done there… I mean, I do have to go back in a month, but at least for now it’s behind me. But you know how it is when you’ve got “known” shit wrong with you. 😣😟 Lots of monitoring, lots of testing, and a reasonable level of concern when labs come back showing anything other than normal. Nothing has changed in regards to my next radiation treatment deal, so the five-second way of describing things is to just say that I’m fine. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ»

But nah, tonight is nice. 😊 No calls, no runnin’ to be done, not messing with any chores, watching random YouTube stuffs, and not having to worry about anything for tomorrow. I think I’ve got exactly a week before I’m due to see my workers comp doctor, and other than the stress of trying to get that spinal injection approved, it should be pretty typical. πŸ™‚ So tonight is kind of a bubble where I don’t have to worry about or think about any of the “meh” stuff, other than writing about it here.

I’ve still got the front door open, since we’re having our first night time thunderstorms. πŸ˜ƒ I didn’t even realize weather was coming, but we’ve had lightning and thunder that rattled the windows tonight, much to the cats’ dismay. πŸ™€πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But I love the sounds and the smell of the rain… it’s just peaceful, in all of its rowdiness.

As I continue this entry, I’m realizing that I don’t remember why I even started it. πŸ€”πŸ˜„ I thought I had something specific to talk about, but other than the medical stuff… nothing is popping into my thoughts now. I’ve just been chilling with the beasts, watching episode after episode of The Dukes of Hazzard tonight and throughout the past week… and, surprisingly, it holds up pretty well. πŸ€ͺ 0️1️ πŸš—πŸš“ Better than Knight Rider, even though I still like that one too. So, yeah, if I remember what was important enough to bring up the site at 4am, perhaps I’ll come back and let you know. 😏

Meanwhile, for my sake, let’s hope that I can sleep in today. Six hours would be fine. 😊🀞🏻

Clear Creek

l slept like shit last night, but woke up with most of my recent pains mysteriously absent. I was thinking about how I could therefore use the day to catch up on some chores, or I could get my ass out of the house and do something “normal” for once. I mean, I do… it just feels like every trip out of the house is for an obligation rather than just a ride or road trip to whatever or wherever. But yeah, obviously I chose the ride through the woods…

There’s nothing amazing in these dash cam clips… it’s just the entire road along clear creek is so pretty, it’s hard to not be impressed by whatever is coming around the next corner. There were actually several folks out hiking and riding bikes, and a few cars at the swimming spot… although for fishing versus swimming.

I woke up pretty late in the day, so even though it’s evening I’ve still got a handful of hours left where I might be good for something, so I’ll probably still click a few light chores off the list. I actually started doing that yesterday, since I was feeling a little bit better… and honestly, even though it sorta doesn’t matter, it does make me feel better when the place isn’t cluttered, where I don’t feel like a helpless slob.

Slightly Less Bitchy

I did get a bit of a reprieve again today. Somehow I was able to keep my headache from fully showing up for almost the entire day, and only had to fuss around re: my neck and arm. Now that it’s late again, of course it’s creeping up on me in time for when I’ll be wanting to go to sleep – but hey, the way things have been, I’ll take it today.

And since the headache wasn’t hounding me, that let me use the phone and laptop a little more, so I was able to get caught up with some messages and people that I had been putting off for a bit. It probably helped that I didn’t open up the curtains in the living room until early evening… because man was it sunny out today. Looked like a good day to have done something, but there’ll be plenty of those this spring and summer.

Another friend of mine has been putting up with more aches and pains than usual, so maybe there’s something to that idea that it’s the weather affecting us as much as anything. And after that I took a look at the 10-day forecast, and although probably half of the days are gonna be at least partially rainy, we aren’t going to have the crazy low temps at night like we had this past week. Hoping that’ll help me out some, of course.

But I think the cats are getting used to the fact that I’m gonna be laying flat on the floor for some extended periods of time now, since they no longer came sniffin’ around me today, full of concern. πŸ™€πŸ˜…πŸ˜Ώ They still prefer me to be in the recliner though, so they can assume their lazy positions with me as well. So yeah, today was just a little bit better than the several days before it, but even that little improvement is a big deal right now. And thanks to Dad reminding me, I pulled out the TENs unit that my friend Jim gave me, since they always work great for at least some additional temporary relief.

I Need To Bitch

I think it’s been about 15 years now since I had the surgery on my neck. And whenever I can, and whenever it is true, I try to reassure the people that care about me that I’m doing alright with everything. But I sure have been having some longer spells lately where I can no longer say that’s true. My most recent MRI confirms some definite reasons why I could be feeling how I’m feeling, but I’m hoping that maybe the changing seasons and weather has as much to do with it as anything else.

But I’m sitting here awake at 4am, trying to finish off day number three of constant neck pain, constant shoulder pain, and constant splitting headache. I had one good day before this spell, but before that it was pretty much the same. I’m doing all the things… tylenol, heating pad, resting my eyes, aleve, ice pack, hot shower, and always taking it easy on myself. It’s just not working like it’s supposed to, like it used to. At least not right now.

After a few days in a row of this shit, your brain has a way of wandering… of wondering if this is the time where things don’t go back to normal. If this is my new normal.

Meh… I don’t feel good, so that’s just what’s coming out of my fingers tonight. I know I’ve still got an appointment with my doctor this coming week, and we’ll go over the results of my lab work and do whatever we need to do there. Then the week after that I have my monthly appointment with Dr Walter, and if workers comp hasn’t approved the spinal injection therapy by then we might have to start considering alternate plans until the lawyers get done doing their thing. Because I’m not going to just take “no” for an answer.

Today has been a shit show though. I woke up in an okay mood, but my headache was already letting me know that it was coming. Then on top of that, my normal shitty shoulder pain decided to branch out – also becoming my new shitty “entire left arm” pain, which also hasn’t gone away yet. So I just sat as still as I could, then I laid down in front of the heater and stayed as still as I could, and tried to sleep away as much of the day / pain that I could. Headache was bad enough that it was making me nauseous, so not only was today “stay still” but it was also “and stop using your eyes.”

The heater did help me sleep though, for better or worse. I mean, it did what I wanted it to do, in giving me a break from the oush… but like I said, it’s now 4am and look where I am. (HINT: It isn’t in bed.) And unlike a lot of other times, when a middle-of-the-day nap would actually help out by time I woke up, today has just been waking up in the same amount of shitty pain as when I nodded off. I don’t want people to misinterpret this, but it makes it sorta disappointing to wake up, as I’m sure you can imagine.

I’m still feeling woozy, but I don’t know if it is from the headache or because I haven’t eaten anything all day. I’ll probably look in the kitchen and see what I can grab that doesn’t require any effort and see if that helps out. I already took my evening meds hours ago, with no sign of getting sleepy yet, but I’ll put on one of my favorite longform YouTube essays and see if it can help me sack out like it often does.

3am Experiment

I keep trying to find ways to convince the cats that they can relax around each other. Both of them like to play, albeit at separate times. Both of them like being the attacker, both of them like playing the victim. But getting them to just be calm and relaxed right next to each other, it isn’t really happening yet.

When I sleep in the recliner, “the routine” requires that both of them eventually end up sleeping on or near me somehow, even if only for a little while before finding their final sleeping location. This is their requirement, not mine. So over the past few nights I’ve slowly been changing what I allow them to do, taking them out of their “separated” comfort zone, and putting them a little closer to each other than either of them want.

As you click through the images below, you’ll see Maven looking at Maggie like “And what the eff do you think you’re doing here?” followed by Maggie just trying to go to sleep, much to Maven’s annoyance, before she decides to make the best of it and try to fall asleep.

But then Maggie decides she’s not gonna teeter on the edge of the foot rest, so she rolls over and takes up a bigger, more comfortable space. And again, Maggie gets the “Are you effing kidding me?” look from Bubba… even though Maggie has already stopped caring at this point… so Maven gives in again, accepting the situation… as long as she can keep her feet in Maggie’s back to keep her at a distance. 😏😊

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Typical sleep pattern last night, asleep around 4am, awake around noon, and despite feeling pretty beat up today I still woke up in a decent mood because of the dream that I had right before waking up. It’s one with a theme that I’ve experienced probably more than a dozen times over the years… where me and my Final Markdown boss, Armand, are meeting up to set up a new store. This morning’s dream featured a location that was brand new to me this time, but the feeling was the same.

When I worked for him, there were actually two different times when I put in my notice and left… only for him to call me back a few weeks or months later to see if I could come back in and help him out. And each time it was due to the store either changing locations, or because he was setting up an additional store somewhere else. In fact, it may have been three times that it happened that way.

I think it’s just that lingering feeling, even still today, of being “counted on” for something like that. He could have hired some new shlubs, but he knew that not only did I know my stuff, whether it was behind the scenes store stuff or actually running register and taking care of the money and such. Especially because he wasn’t a particularly easy man to please. But when me and Will were working together, we ran a tight ship. Armand unfortunately passed away several years ago, at only 54 years of age… I haven’t checked on any Will or any of the other employees in quite a while.

There’s actually a fictional would-be store location that these dreams usually revolve around, but last night Armand was upping his game and had rented out a much larger warehouse, in preparation to make a Final Markdown wholesale club. He was moving at a brisk walk around the place, pointing out this and that to the new employees, and I would walk along as they would ask me follow-up questions, as to not bother the boss.

After he got all of the new hires working on what they were supposed to be working on, he and I headed to an unfinished area of the building and started talking about how many times we had done this routine. I even joked about how every time he needed a new store set up, he wouldn’t be able to do it if I wasn’t there… reminding him how I started at one store, moved to the next, then the next, etc. And as we talked he of course let down his “boss man” face that was meant to intimidate the n00bs, and we continued to just joke around as we planned the next phase.

I wouldn’t mind having this dream repeat again, except at the more often used fictional location that I’m more familiar with. If I sat with my iPad, I’m pretty sure I could even draw blueprints to that building, I’ve “been there” so many times. I mean, not only have I “worked” in that location, but I have spent enough time there that I’ve even taken breaks which allowed me to explore some of the lesser-used back rooms off of the warehouse and retail floor space. I can see it so clearly…

Premium

When I let my former URL expire a while back, I really didn’t think too much about it. It’s been a long while since I’ve been active enough in my photography or other activities, to where I really cared about driving people to my site anymore… but this morning I decided to log on to GoDaddy to see how much it would cost to get it back if I wanted it. When a domain expires through them, it is automatically and immediately re-registered by someone… I believe it is an affiliated company of theirs… but get this. They say that rubbertoe.com is a “Premium Domain” and have a price tag of $5499 on it. πŸ˜³πŸ˜…πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ They can fuck right off with that.

I have no idea how they’d get the idea that anyone would pony up that kind of money for that particular domain name, especially since I still own squirtman.com and have had almost zero interest from anyone when it comes to unloading it. And which do you think would be more likely to be a used on a profitable site? But yeah… that gave me a pretty good chuckle, especially since there are so many alternatives that I could use which I could register for the standard fifteen bucks a year or whatever it is.

I’m sure I’ve got the old URL watermarked onto some of my old YouTube videos and maybe even some of my older photos, but in general I never really pimped my site like most people would. It was just a more convenient word that would allow friends, family, etc to get at my site a little more quickly and memorably. So I dunno, if something happens and I actually get more active and end up with some accumulating stuff that I’m excited to share, I’d consider getting another similar URL for another couple of years, but the ol’ rubbertoe.com moniker is definitely long gone.

Had trouble getting to sleep last night. Headache was getting me pretty good, then I bit down on something the wrong way and it lit up my mouf where my one broken toof is located… and I thought for sure that it would mean an emergency dental appointment today when I woke up. But with the help of store-brand toof numbing goo, “mouth sore” (eww) mouthwash, and some Tylenol – I woke up without any of it being a bother. I’m still gonna get that dentist appointment made soon, but at least I didn’t have to jump through any hoops for a same day visit.

But while my headache and mouf were okay when I woke up, my shoulder/neck and knees sure weren’t happy. Weather went from summer to winter over the course of 48 hours, and my knees in particular weren’t impressed with the cold and flurries today. Headache tried sneaking up on my earlier, and I can still feel it lurking and waiting, but I took a mid-day break and closed my eyes for long enough to keep it at bay. So yeah, a pretty gray, cold, boring, meh sorta day. I’m always at my best in the early-to-mid evening though, so there may still be some good that I can squeeze out of the day just yet.

Return To The Scene

I’ve had some crazy vivid dreams over the past 24 hours. In a way I love it, for reasons that I will describe here shortly, but it also absolutely clobbered any good sleep that I could have gotten last night. But having said that, I’m still gonna try to do it again tonight if I can pull it off. Maybe just not all night this time.

After getting home from my blood draw the other day, a bit later in the afternoon I took a nap where I was only just barely asleep, and that allowed me to do some lucid dreaming. That’s where you’re aware that you are dreaming and can make decisions and take actions in a conscious way, which can possibly make things a whole lot more fun. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can say “Okay, I know I’m dreaming, so I’m going to fly like Superman now.” because your dream may still have parameters that you’re not able to change on that sorta scale.

But that lucid dreaming session… I can’t remember a damn thing about it. Almost doesn’t make sense, that I can remember that I was in control, but then can’t recall the scenario, but yeah… and that leads into the vivid dreams that I had last night, which unfortunately ended up the same way – with me being unable to retain any of the details.

It sucks, because I do remember that each time I’d wake up I would be reacting in my head about how kewl that dream just was, and that I should try my best to remember it in the morning… but then as soon as I’d fall asleep and have the next dream, it’s like a memory card writing over itself with the newest data replacing the old. Bogus.

I do remember why I wanted to remember these dreams though. It’s because almost every one of them was one in which I was re-visiting a “dream location” from a former dream or series of dreams. That’s one of my most favorite abilities when it comes to dreaming… having some locations which I’ve visited only a couple times, but other locations that have been “regulars” in my dreams from as far back as when I was a kid.

I know that it doesn’t sound legit, not being able to recall a single specific memory of what locations I dreamed about last night – while still knowing that I had multiple “return locations” from the past… but I don’t know what to tell you. Like I said, each time I would be startled awake, in a good way, I’d be temporarily geeked about seeing (whatever) place again, but then I’d quickly fall back to sleep. But I was only sleeping like 20 minutes to a half hour at a time, and despite having the kewl dreams, as it got into 2am… 3am… 4am… it was starting to get old. Maybe that’s part of why I wasn’t able to hold on to any of ’em.

But my silly ass is gonna try again tonight, at least for the first time falling asleep and maybe the second time as well, if one of them ends up waking me up again. It’s just too neat of a feeling to pass up, and I don’t have anything on the agenda tomorrow anyway.