Nervous But Not Worried

One week to go until my surgery (don’t worry, I’m not gonna count down each time I make a post… heh) but I’m trying to make today as “normal” and chill as possible. Trash runs tomorrow, so I’ve gotta fill the buggy and drag it to the road… then I’ve got a small stack of mail that I should probably get to… and then I wanna straighten up the living room, vacuum up all this kitty hair, etc. 😏 Normal.

I’m nervous, but I’m at ease. Nothing about “right now” is how I want it, and I plan to work to change what I can after the surgery and recover time, but the way things are right now should get me through to next Wednesday without any big chance of unintentionally triggering anxiety attacks or whatever. Right now I have to worry about me. (And I know I’ve got all my loved ones’ support, which definitely helps.)

I still haven’t told a majority of my friends. Some have learned about it through the blog here, I’ve told a small handful in a private Facebook group, but I haven’t yet figured out how to tell “everyone” in a way that won’t trigger a huge reaction. I guess that’s the point of friends though… to provide those huge reactions, since it means they care. πŸ™‚ But yeah… not today.

Today I get to pretend that it’s just like any other day.

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Oh… Yeah

Today was a good day. I have some papers that I needed to sign which also required two witnesses, so this afternoon I went over to my friend Amy’s house so she and Rick could provide some initials and signatures to help me out with that. I ended up staying there about a half hour, and we stood outside talking and looking at various projects that Rick either had been working on or planned to start working on soon… and lemme tell ya, that guy can do almost anything. πŸ’ͺ🏻😎 And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. 😏

After that I made a quick trip to the gas station in Rockbridge so I could a) fill my car with gas, b) pick up enough necessities to make it to next week, and c) grab some Burger King so I didn’t have to do any cooking tonight… all in one shot. Basically just a mini-run to keep me “good” here at the house until next week, when I intend to do a much bigger “stocking up” shopping trip before my surgery… just in case I don’t feel like leaving the house and mixing with the unwashed public for a while afterwards.

But what I actually did while I was out today isn’t the point. The point is that I did all of that stuff today without thinking about the problem with my leg at all. πŸ˜ƒ I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And as I was walking around to get ready, or over at Amy’s house, or while I was filling the car and doing my shopping… once I got home I realized that I hadn’t been limping, at least as far as I know, through any of it. 😯

I’m not going to start cheering just yet, since I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as I’ve been going through this… but yeah, it feels good to have not been nagged by pain for at least that small part of my day. I’m hoping that sitting on this giant silly yoga ball is actually making a positive impact, because I’m going to keep doing it. I’m also going to change the sheets on my bed and add that fluffy mattress topper thing that I bought a few weeks back.

I really needed something like this today. πŸ™‚ I mean, I’ve got much less on my mental agenda today than yesterday, but it really was an uplifting surprise to have (for the first time in a couple of months)Β such a span of painless walking. And the older and more broken that I get, the more that I’m learning to appreciate these small victories.

Preparation

Yesterday was a strange day. 😐 I feel good, having completed a bunch of stuff that I felt neededΒ completing, but the nature of the stuff left me feeling a little uneasy – and definitely unable to fall asleep at a normal hour. πŸ˜• Despite that, I managed to have some awesome dreams. Awesome enough to have actually woken me up every hour or so – but of course I can’t remember a single detail at the moment. 😠 I’m just lucky that they weren’t about the topic at hand yesterday.

Of course I expect my upcoming surgery to go fine, but being the type of person that I am I’ve gone into “prepare” mode – just in case it doesn’t. 😳 As part of that preparation process, I spent a good amount of time typing out letters to my cousin Jim and my ex-wife Genesee, as they would be the ones handling everything in the event that things need to be handled. Those letters are just my way of easing them into the process. (Since I was the executor for my aunt, I learned a few tips and tricks.)

They won’t even get those letters unless the situation calls for it, so that allowed me to be a little more free with what I said… but for the most part it was just explaining my will, explaining my wishes when it came to my personal belongings, explaining a good deal about how the process will go, and what they will need to do to keep things moving along, hopefully without too many hiccups and at a reasonable pace. 😎 It’s a lot to ask of someone, so I also made sure that my appreciation was made super clear.

But between the several pages that I wrote for Mongo, and then the three pages that I wrote for Gen… I was just doing a whole lot of thinking about a topic that nobody wants to have to think about. It wasn’t all bad… in fact, a lot of the thinking that I did was about good memories, good times, good things with family and friends, etc. 😊 Oh, and I’m up to 19 separate audio recordings when it comes to the little archive of messages that I’m recording for people to have and listen to after I’m gone… which, like I said, I don’t anticipate happening for a good long while. πŸ™‚ I’m actually really enjoying doing that.

Don’t take this the wrong way. 🀨 All of this preparation is just being done out of necessity, and it’s something that any responsible person would want to do before a major surgery. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ It can just really mess with your head when you end up dwelling on the topic for too long. I’m still good though, and I know everyone that loves me has my back. 😏 I’m still optimistic about this surgery, I’m gonna get through it, and then whatever is next is next. One step at a time.

Abundance Of Caution

We’re down to about a week-and-a-half before my surgery. 😳 And let me tell you, I’ve been dealing with some serious anxiety issues since the beginning of this past week – and I’m finding it hard to shake. πŸ˜₯ I’m right on the edge, always, and the slightest thing will push me over into labored breathing, chest pains, dizziness, etc. 😟 So while it might make me “difficult” in some people’s minds between now and my surgery, I’ve got to do whatever it takes to keep my anxiety levels low, or at least unchanged if I’m still managing to hang on to being okay.

It’s kind of embarrassing, but I honestly need to keep myself in a mental health bubble for the next 10 days. πŸ˜’ I don’t want anything to happen that will risk me not being able to have the surgery when scheduled, and going to the ER for a panic attack with severe chest pains probably wouldn’t help that cause. πŸ˜• Now, I am gonna tell the doctors and surgeon everything that I’ve experienced up to that point, before I go in, because I absolutely want them to know… but yeah, right now is not the time for me to deal with anything that I don’t absolutely need to deal with.

Cassi helped with that over the past couple of days. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ I went and got her on Thursday after she got off work, because she had two days off in a row and wanted to spend them here with me. ☺ We never figured out how to make our “couple” relationship work, but boy are we good at being each other’s “person” in times of need. And it’s because neither of us need much… just the distraction from our respective lives that’s somehow provided by just being in each other’s presence.

As for what we did over those two days… there’s really not much to talk about. We just plop down in the living room, turn on Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, and just sit with each other and watch, talk, eat mac and cheese… heh… just “normal” stuff that doesn’t add to the anxiety. The only times it got a little rough for both of us was when one of the episodes would be about thyroids or cancer and the results. Probably shouldn’t have watched those particular episodes, but it’s also good to think about everything realistically, all of the potential outcomes – and letting myself cry a little bit and be scared with her… it was much better than doing that same thing by myself. πŸ™‚

So yeah, the last couple of days were really nice, and really needed… and today, well, I’m calling it “a day off” since I don’t intend to do much (if any) communicating with anyone, and instead focus on things that I just personally need to do before it’s time for my surgery. 😊 The doctors and surgeon haven’t give me any reason to worry about the surgery. None. But you know how it is… you still wanna kinda get things in order, just to give yourself that peace of mind. And doing that sorta thing makes me feel better… makes me feel productive, which is something I always aim for.

Mood is good… I’m hangin’ in there.

The Predator In The Predator

Another day, another celebrity scandal. This time it is with the movie “The Predator” and the director, Shane Black. It seems that Shane hired a friend of his for a bit part, one in which he was acting with only Olivia Munn, and that friend is actually a registered sex offender. πŸ˜• The crime was an incident several years ago where he was sending sexually inappropriate things to a minor via email. For this he was charged, convicted, and did time in jail. The worst part is that Black didn’t inform the other actors in the movie, to give them a chance to say whether they would or would not work with someone on the sex offender registry.

So Olivia Munn did what most anyone would do when they found out, including contacting the studio to express her anger about being kept in the dark and pushing for her scene with this man to be removed from the movie before it was released. πŸ‘πŸ» They didn’t respond immediately, likely talking with the editors and figuring out how they could do it without affecting the movie – but what she wanted ended up happeningΒ and the scene was cut. Even if you think that people who have “served their time” deserve another shot at what they want to do for a career, it’s hard to argue that the way the director kept this information from Munn and the others wasn’t wrong.

At that point you’d think the matter would have been considered settled, or at least placed on pause while the actors do promotion for the movie, which is due to be released in the next week or two. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But despite the studio having her back and altering the movie, it appears that Munn is still mad – because she’s continuing to talk about the incident in multiple interviews. 🀨 Her co-stars have been with her for a few of them, and some of them have put out statements obviously condemning sexual predators and supporting Munn… but those same co-stars are now being attacked by the predictable social justice mob because they’re allegedly not supportive of Olivia Munn. πŸ™„

They’re all men, and of course they’re now being called every name in the book. Think about it. πŸ€” They’re actors hired for a movie, they did their part, they are proud of their work, and they want to do these media events to hype their movie as intended. The director, completely beyond the actors’ control or knowledge, hired a sex offender, so now they’ve all been dropped into the lion’s den when it comes to people waiting for and expecting a reaction or statement.

As other celebrities have learned, and as these actors are learning now – there’s no correct answer you can give when it comes to something like this. 😠 Even if you stand on the table and scream how much you hate sex offenders and can’t believe the director would hire one, there’s still gonna be a huge group of folks who will attack you for not giving reformed criminals a second chance. You bigot.

So, since Munn decided that she was going to continue talking about the controversy at whatever press appearances she had for the movie, the rest of the cast decided that they would not be joining her. Probably because they didn’t see the point in attending movie hype interviews where they couldn’t hype their movie. Also, like I said, Munn’s original problem/complaint had been solved, so it isn’t as if she is actively fighting for something that requires her co-stars’ support. And that’s what they’re being attacked for… for not supporting Munn as she rehashes her original complaint. πŸ˜’ She has every right to complain about whatever she wants, but why should the rest of the cast feel obligated to follow her around and nod their heads in agreement, when they had as much to do with hiring the guy as Olivia Munn did? (ie: none)

Most of the negative things that I’ve read regarding Munn aren’t talking about how she wanted (and got) the scene cut where she unknowingly acted opposite a sexual predator. People generally understand that. What people don’t understand is why she’s handling this in a way that seems designed to torpedo the success of this movie. She’s still upset at the director, even going so far as to not accept his public apology, and is now trying to damage him and the studio financially. 😐 Hear me out…

Munn’s original complaint was legit. Her request for the scene to be removed was reasonable, and the director and studio obliged and did just that. Now, during the press events, she could have done the traditional interviews, focusing on the film, with the other actors there as well, also focusing on the movie… but that’s not what she’s doing. She has chosen to go on at length about that controversy, which is her right – but if her co-stars don’t want to take on that burden as well, you can’t blame them. Especially when she’s doing everything in a way that tarnishes the movie, surrounds it in drama, and likely reduces its potential for success. Those co-stars worked just as hard as she did, so you could understand them being upset at how she’s doing this.

And the thing is, I’m all for her making her point. If she wants to make people aware that Hollywood still has icky directors and icky producers that hire icky people, then she has a perfect example here and she should run with it… but not days before the movie that they all worked so hard on opens. πŸ˜’ The director and studio fixed the immediate problem, so there is nothing further she needs to “fight for” regarding this particular movie – so she should get out there and do the traditional promotional press that actors and actresses are expected to do. No harm would have come from waiting. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone had to bite their tongue and support a movie that they weren’t particularly proud of, but she has chosen to make it “a thing” right now, when it will hurt everyone the most.

So that’s what I think people are complaining about. That she’s taking an issue that was resolved, and now she’s amplifying it in interviews and on social media in a way that’s harmful to the movie, the director, the other actors, etc. She could have still promoted the movie, or even not done interviews if that’s what she’d prefer, and just waited for the movie to get through its first few weeks where the most of its money will be made. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The facts wouldn’t change, the issue would still be there, and she would still have plenty of media outlets that would be happy to hear her out, just as social media would do. In fact, that would earn her more respect – having stood up for herself during the shoot, gotten the studio to make changes, went out and gritted her teeth and supported the movie and her co-stars, and then she could have blasted out the “behind the scenes / yeah, but you didn’t know…” for everyone to see, hear, or read – and likely agree with.

I’m not sure why Olivia Munn, making statements on the issue, requires all of her co-stars to be there with her or somehow “support her” more than they already have. What more does she need “support” with? She’s a strong woman and she’s doing fine alerting everyone to what happened on her own. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Her co-stars just didn’t feel like getting wrapped up in drama, so the SJW mob has written them off as monsters, just as bad as the RSO, just as bad as the director, just as bad as the studio. πŸ˜’ And the ones that are reaffirming their support for her… they’re still being attacked as being too late, too disingenuous, too lacking, etc. The same way that Munn won’t accept Black’s apology, the SJW mob will not accept anything supportive that her co-stars say. They want her co-stars to offer those sentiments, but only so they can attack them for it. 😠

A whole slew of people who want to be mad about something, like spiders waiting for a vibration in their web – and then when they get it they won’t let go. πŸ˜” It feels too good to them. Every single co-star of hers could come forward with a genuine, heartfelt show of support – even if they’ve already shown support before it got as big as it is now – and the mob would still swarm on them, wrap them up in their webs, and suck the life out of them for as long as possible. 😏 Miserable people who only feel good by making other people miserable, whether they truly deserve it or not. 😟 And, sadly, they believe their outbursts, attacks, and twitter rants actually do something to improve the thing that they’re upset about. “I’M FURIOUS. I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE. I’M A GOOD PERSON.”Β πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ


Wow… heh… this was way longer than I expected it to be. πŸ˜… I never really know until the words start pouring out of my brain and through my fingers, how long some of these impassioned rants will be. It really helps with my anxiety right now, as well as keeping my brain focused on “other stuff” and distracted from the stuff around here… 😳 so just know that when I pop off with some seemingly random posts like this now and then, there’s probably more than the obvious reason behind it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜

Gimp Limp Pain Cane

I had my one-month followup with the chiropractor today, and despite me still having some hiccups in the performance and reliability of my right leg – he’s still impressed with the progress since I initially went in, nearly unable to walk. The biggest improvement, of course, is that the problem is only rarely in my back anymore. (All of this is “knock on wood” by the way…) He says that the problems that I’m noticing with my leg can still likely be improved upon – and he convinced me that I really do need that inflatable yoga/rehabilitation ball, even if I can’t do many of the “standard” exercises due to my gimpy left shoulder.

He says that even just sitting on the ball as I watch TV or work on the computer would help. It makes sense, in the same way that you can feel all sorts of little muscles working and correcting your balance if you try to stand on one leg as someone pushes against you – that’s what the muscles in my leg and lower back will be doing as I maintain my balance on the ball. So, he’s sold me on giving that a try for a while… much better than the “real” exercises did, which caused me to accidentally jack up my shoulder by over-doing it on my first attempt.

I stopped by CVS because I figured I could get some bread, pop, and chips at the same time as grabbing a cane and one of those balls… but of course they don’t stock them. (Next stop, Amazon) I guess it’s more rehab or exercise than “medical” but I thought for sure they’d have a few. I did grab a more practical and size-appropriate cane though, since the wooden one that I won at the fair years ago (and it was one of the “real” ones) is just too tall for the way that I need to use it. So that’ll help during the moments when I still need one.

But my leg… he said everything is still fine, and I shouldn’t feel any urgent need to bring it up with my family doctor yet. I mean, I could, obviously, but he reassured me that there’s nothing going on there that I need to be overly concerned about. And he’s probably right with everything he told me… it’s just that everyone wants to snap their fingers and be better, and sometimes things just take way longer than you expect.

Alright, gonna try to hit the sack early again tonight. I got plenty of sleep last night, probably from being worn out from all the crap that I was nervous about that day, so I’m gonna see if I can make it two in a row. Had some good conversation with friends today, lots of things that made me forget about things for large part of the day, so I’m hoping to get a little more of that tomorrow. G’night, all.

Wringer

Pardon the length of this entry, but yesterday was kinda tough, basically as I anticipated. Anxiety had me up most of the night, so I ended up doing all this stuff on only three hours of sleep – but at least that meant I was awake at dawn, so I could just hop up and start getting ready instead of grumbling at my multiple alarms squawking at me every two minutes until I rise and shine.

From 8am until 12.5pm I was doing “something medical.” 😐 Starting with my monthly neck doctor appointment, where we also covered my upcoming surgery, some of the medications that I might have to start taking because of it, and how they should or shouldn’t react with whatever meds I’m getting from him for my fusion spot, nerve damage, and grumpy muscles in the area. πŸ˜³πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. πŸ’‰ I already had this done a little over a month ago, but they not only wanted to get the most current results, but there were also specific tests that they needed that weren’t in my other test. I volunteered my right arm, and the girl did her best… I mean, she hit the biggest vein available there, but for some reason it was only spitting a little bit of blood – and it was definitely not enough to fill the three vials needed. 😯 My left arm ended up being successful, and of course now I look like a junkie with two big bruises on each elbow-pit. 😏

Next was theΒ electrocardiogram, which actually didn’t take that long due to it (thankfully) not including stress testing or anything like that. Just the normal dozen-or-so electrical leads, a few minutes of holding really still, and on to the next. πŸ™‚ But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. πŸ˜₯

Since they’re going to have to manipulate my head quite a bit while they’re working on my neck, and since they’re aware of the C5-C7 fusion, they had to take a crapload of x-rays while my head and neck were in extremely stretched, compressed, or otherwise super-uncomfortable positions. ☒😣 I do my best each day to not move my head in all of the ways that I had to do for those x-rays, so my neck was fucked after everything was said and done. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So not only will my surgery site be painful, but the ways they are gonna have to move my huge lump-of-a-head around while I’m under anesthesia… let’s just say that I’m really not looking forward to how that area’s gonna be feeling when I wake up.

I almost wasn’t able to complete all the scans that they needed, since one of them (while standing) was given with the instructions of “Put both of your arms straight up, directly over your head.” 😧 If there was a bar or something above my head I could have done it with little issue, but the only way I could do it without my left arm shaking was to get the arm up there, then actually lean against the plate/target of the x-ray machine to basically jam it up there in that position. πŸ˜¬πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The fella doing it was really patient and understanding, and after reviewing them he said that the results should be fine, including that one which I thought would be pretty uncertain.

And I know, to a healthy person that all probably doesn’t sound like much… but man was I worn out after everything was done. πŸ˜“ Between the lack of sleep, the multiple stops, the blood loss… heh, the painful x-rays, and then my leg jumping around between “fine” and “omg stop” heh… I was just thankful that I was able to knock all of that stuff out in one day, along with being able to just go home and recover at my own pace. πŸ˜” It’s all good though… all of this stuff is now done with a couple weeks to spare, so I’m just happy to keep everything on track.