Me? You Sure About That?

Another big part of my yesterday and the day before was spent trying to help a friend who’s going through some serious shit. ๐Ÿ˜ข Granted, if you’ve read many of my posts here, you’ll already know that I’ve got plenty of acquaintances, friends, and family that are going through their own personalized flavor of shit at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜• Some worse than others, some where I can help, and some where all I can do is just listen, try to understand, and hope and pray for the best. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But man, this person’s state of mind over the past two days… let’s just say that it was very concerning. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

(I know this person doesn’t read my blog, nor does anyone that really know this person, so even though I’m sorta putting their business out here… it’s not something that will affect them, and even if they knew, I think they’d actually be okay with me posting about it anonymously like this. They know how I am… how a lot of times, processing my thoughts on the site here is just how I have to do things if I want to attempt to clear my brain of all the clutter…)

I am glad that I have people in my life who feel like I’m the right person to open up to, even when the topic is something as serious as it was… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ but I am so not the right person to be able to handle something like that right now. I mean, I did… because I had to… but not without getting completely emotionally drainedย (and actually physically ill from the stress of the conversation) and realizing how little I could do about any of their problems. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿคข But despite that, of course I’m glad that they turned to me… even if I was essentially helpless and basically only able to listen and talk things through with them.

The hardest thing about the drawn out text conversation was that as they’d mention this thing, the next thing, the thing after that… I could absolutely understand how the weight of all of those things piling up on them, seemingly all at once, could push them (or anybody, for that matter…) to the point where they’d just be ready to give up. ๐Ÿ˜ข It’s scary because it’s hard to know if you’re making a difference with what you say, when in the back of your mind, it’s like “Wow, yeah… I get it.”

But at least for now, I feel like our conversations helped. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Enough so that I might be able to sleep sometime tonight, and I’m finally able to eat something and keep it down. And I’m not saying that to give anyone any crap. If someone feels like their last resort is reaching out to someone, they do so knowing that it’s not going to be an easy conversation for either side, and that the person they are talking to cares enough about them that they’re going to get pretty messed up by the whole thing as well. ๐Ÿ˜• But as stressful as it is to be on the receiving end of that sort of conversation, I just know that I can only pray that someone would be willing to be that person for me if I ever felt like I’d run out of reasons to keep going.

I dunno, I just had to post this. ๐Ÿค” Often times I still feel like people, in general, who know me… they’ve got this mental image of what I’m like, what my days are like, and that it usually falls somewhere between lazy” / “boring” / “uneventful” / “a little stressful” / “what’s he complaining about nowheh ๐Ÿ˜ย Sometimes I wish that they could spend a couple days in my head… to know how things reallyย can be. And as I typed that…ย just now realizing it, that’s probably what all of us want – even the people who feel like everything is crashing down around them… we just want someone to know, to try to understand, to realize that there’s so, so much more going on behind our “game faces” and other people’s assumptions. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

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Whirlwind

The past few days have been rough… starting off with some sort of 36-hour bug that had me down for the count. I can’t remember the last time that I felt that bad and threw up that much. It was awful. For 24 hours I didn’t even leave my bed, unless it was to go to the bathroom, but by yesterday morning I could tell that I was starting to get back to decent. Not completely better, but with as miserable as I was feeling, man did I feel blessed to feel at least as good as I was feeling. (I appreciated Gen keeping me “company” through an always-open message screen… ‘cuz man does it suck to feel alone when you’re that sick.)

But later that evening I got a few messages from my friend Bri, telling me about some concerns she was having regarding her pregnancy… and that she was advised to go to the hospital to have a couple tests done, but she wasn’t able to find anyone that could give her a ride. Her sister and brother-in-law both had the same bug as me, so I totally understood their inability to drive her there and wait – so I ended up being her last resort, and luckily I was just good enough to be able to go in and take her.

Everything ended up being fine but the whole ordeal didn’t wrap up until after 1am, and then I didn’t manage to get to sleep until after 4am. I had made plans with Aunt Sharon to go visit Dad today, but that was before I knew I’d have my late night at the hospital. (I had a bunch of old slide scans of him, Mom, me, and others turned into prints that I definitely at least wanted to drop off – even if I wasn’t feeling good enough to stay long.) So a few hours sleep and I was back up and at ’em. Sort of. Took me forever to get moving, because I could (and can still) tell that I haven’t quite shaken whatever had me laid out.

The visit was really good, and I finally ate some real food, but almost immediately when I got home I sacked out for a three hour nap. Not really what I wanted to do, risking losing a normal sleep schedule, but I didn’t get much say in the matter. I think I’m still good though… and between wearing a mask the whole time at the hospital, and then hopefully being over it by today, hopefully I won’t end up getting anyone else sick. Whatever it is is really going around though, so everyone’s kinda watching out for it.

I don’t know how I didn’t manage to jinx myself today. During that “Ahh!” period of feeling better after a couple days of puking, that’s when I made the plans to go see Dad… so I’m lucky that I didn’t end up overdoing it or setting myself back with the lack of sleep and end up having to cancel. For once my body didn’t betray me… let’s all hope that I can still get some good sleep tonight in a few hours though. Still staying optimistic, cuz any improvement over a couple days ago is worth being happy about. And maybe it was good to get one more day before I try to throw myself back into “getting some things done around here” – albeit slowly. Still trying to get myself back on track from this past month…

Sing, Sing A Song

My injury that resulted in the c5-c7 disk removal / spinal fusion over a decade ago… it stole so much from my life.ย ๐Ÿ˜ž Not the surgery itself so much, but the resulting nerve damage that made my left arm rather useless. There are still days when I’m surprised by the discovery of something else “new” that I’m no longer able to do.ย ๐Ÿ™ I should have kept a running list… but boy would that have been depressing to have everything I’ve lost, all in one handy notebook.

Well, my most recent neck “thing” seems determined to steal something from me as well. I’m still in the middle of the whole “cancer treatment” thing, with the first step having been the removal of the thyroid… and now while I’m waiting for the radioactive iodine treatment in a couple of weeks, in the mean time I can’t help but be a little bitter about a particular side effect of this surgery.ย ๐Ÿ˜ 

I dunno… for all I know, this might not be something permanent – but considering that I’m about a month and a half out from the surgery, it’s probably gonna stick. You may or may not know, but music is everythingย to me.ย ๐Ÿคจ Whether listening to it, playing it on a keyboard, crafting it via Amiga / PC tracker programs, or just singing in the car or even at karaoke back in the day. Well I’ve lost a big chunk of that passion, because I can no longer sing.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ At least in no way that I used to.

At first I just couldn’t hit the notes at all. Songs that I’ve sung out loud or in my head a thousand times… I now sound like any other shlub that might try to sing it at karaoke somewhere, to the cringes of the peanut gallery.ย ๐Ÿ˜’ With a conscious effort, thankfully I’ve been able to get someย of my “pitch” ability back – but I’ve lost a huge amount of my higher range.ย ๐Ÿ˜ข I’m not sure if it’s because things got tightened up inside my neck, the same way the skin has on the outside (due to the new incision and stitches), but during those moments when I’m not hitting the higher notes – I can actually feel it pulling.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ It’s a difficult sensation to describe without the listener having experienced it themselves.

And yeah, I know… considering that I lost some of my range as a side effect of trying to free my body of cancer… I know that it probably sounds silly or greedy for me to be complaining about something that many people would see as frivolous, given the situation.ย ๐Ÿ™„ But seriously, when so much has already been taken from me, and singing was one of the few things that I just endlessly enjoyed, whether by myself or in front of people… it’s just another kick in the nuts that life has decided to send my way.ย ๐Ÿ˜ก “So… that one thing you’ve always loved doing? Yeah, well that’s about enough of all that.”ย Fucking awesome.

Meh… it’s not gonna stop me from singing, at least not when I’m by myself, so maybe, hopefully, things may continue healing in a way where I can get a little more of my voice back. If I would have known this was coming my way, I definitely would have recorded as many songs as I could before going under the knife. Years ago I recorded enough songs to fill 3 CDs, which I then shared with Mom and Dad and a few other people… but I never thought those would be all that I’d ever do, at least not until now.ย ๐Ÿ™

I’ve never claimed to be a great singer. I’ve never even really claimed to be a good singer. It was more that I was good enough, and I recorded the songs that I did because I just love singing, and trying to sound like I love singing.ย ๐Ÿ˜ I wanted people to be able to hear me doing something I loved, because of how it made me feel. Meh… it sounds dumb when I try to put my thoughts about it to words.ย ๐Ÿ˜• Oh, and I don’t care if anyone thinks that this is all self-pity… because it is, and I think I’ve earned it.

Pass The Baton / Kick The Can

I didn’t do my bills last night, but I’m doing them now. ๐Ÿ˜’ They’re enough of a pain in the ass that I think I deserve an intermission, so I figured I’d jump over here and drop a few paragraphs. I knocked out the easy ones… gas, electric, internet, etc… but all of the fun medical related ones are starting to come in, and I want to pay closer attention as they nickel and dime me. ๐Ÿคจ Mostly just to make sure that they don’t nickel and dime me over the same test, scan, procedure, or person twice.

My appointment today? Well, I guess it was okay. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He said that the pathology reports on the tissue removed during my surgery was exactly what the pre-surgery biopsy had suggested, and that it’s the most common and most treatable type of thyroid cancer. ๐Ÿ˜ Bleh… I don’t like using that word, so don’t expect to see it get used much here. ๐Ÿ˜ท So, it was a good follow-up, with the labs at least not coming back with something scarier than already thought. And I really pushed him for his true opinion. I told him not to bullshit me, and asked him if he had any “gasp” moments during the surgery.

Like I told him, before I was able to get workers comp to pay for my C5-C7 fusion surgery, I had to get an MRI done – with several doctors and medical assistant folks looking at the results, which showed some pretty severe damage. ๐Ÿง And each one that didย look at it… it gave them a “gasp” moment. ๐Ÿ˜ง

Where even a trained medical professional was like Wow. ๐Ÿ˜ณ or Damn. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ or Holy shit. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I explained how that helped me in thatย previousย situation, as it got everything approved and moving much more quickly… but that a “gasp” moment now isn’t something that I was hoping for, but that I still wanted him to tell me if it happened to him while he was digging around inside my neck. ๐Ÿ˜ His reply seemed genuine (as usual) when he said that nothing was any more concerning to him once he was in there than when he was anticipating how it would look and how it would go. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

He explained that there was inflammation, but no more than he was expecting. He said that nothing gave him any kind of pause, that the surgery went as well as he could have hoped for, and that I don’t need to worry so much at this point. (Easier said than done, pal… ๐Ÿ˜) I’m getting more blood drawn tomorrow, and he’s referring me to an endocrinologist in the same building that will hopefully help get my screwed up levels straightened out, as well as likely doing (or scheduling) this marker/radiation pill dealย  – which will hopefully be a one time thing followed by close monitoring. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

I figure I’ll save the questions about if/when I’ll have to see an oncologist, although I’m guessingย that’sย gonna be the doctor that would be doing the marker/radiation pill deal that I just mentioned, now that I think about it. ๐Ÿค” It’s a little frustrating to be handed off from specialist to specialist, but better to have a whole bunch of different eyes on the situation than just one d00d who might not know what he’s doing, right?

So today’s follow-up… I’ll take it as a positive outcome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Didn’t really learn anything new, but learning that the labs confirmed what the initial tests suggested, and nothing worse… that’s sure better than the alternative. Also, having the whole “Don’t BS me, doc.” conversation, with the way he replied… it did actually make me feel a little more comfortable with the whole thing in my head. And so it goes…

Working The Kinks Out

It seems that, for a change, I did exactly what I needed to do to get myself feeling better from yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Before I even started The Walking Dead last night I raised shields, cut off communications, and let things remain that way until half way through the day today. I only slept about 6 hours, but walking up to the sun rising, as well as to a phone that I had no intention of checking… it’s like the minimal stress of wondering what my phone will want from me is sometimes enough to tip me to the bad side, where whatever I’m trying to shake will remain. ๐Ÿ˜ More of my weirdness, I suppose.

And it’s not like I’m in high demand or something… but it just helped everything about how I was feeling yesterday, to not be beholden to my phone or anyone wanting me for anything through it. (Make sentences bad, structure coming good tonight is not. ๐Ÿ˜…) And as they day progressed, even though I used the laptop to dick around on Twitter, I started feeling better. ๐Ÿ™‚ As I was watching Justice League I started straightening the living room. As I watched some news I went ahead and ran the vacuum. And then before I started some YouTube videos about scanner/radio frequencies, ๐Ÿค“ I took all the baskets of dirty clothes down to the basement and started a couple loads. All of that before I even thought about looking at my phone. ๐Ÿ˜€

When I did, I was relieved to see that I only had a couple messages waiting for me, and nothing on my social media of any importance. The world went on just fine without me. SHIT. I do think I remember seeing a call notice though.

I guess I better check that now… ๐Ÿ˜…ย  ย ** pause while listening to voice mail **

Well I have absolutely no idea what the hell that was all about. Some fella left a message, and he knew my first name, saying that he was from Lowe’s installation and that he was calling about my “overnight cooktop” (I think) and wanted me to give him a call back to let him know if I’d be home. Heh… no idea. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow, but I can tell you right now the last thing I’m interested in is an overnight cooktop.

But anyway… all that’s left for me to do today is get these shirts onto hangers and up in the closet, and the towels onto the shelf into the bathroom and I’m golden. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Just gonna take that for what it’s worth, and I’ll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here. I’m just happy that I figured out what it took to get me through this day.

Hmm, This Is New

I’ve been cautiously creeping through the past couple of days, making sure that I didn’t do anything that could possibly tweak my neck (since it’s been acting up again) but the past 12 hours have been awful anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‘ Sleeping for an hour here and there, and then when I finally woke up and stayed up for good this morning at 6am – I had some serious chest pains going on. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

My breathing was fine, I wasn’t lightheaded, and I didn’t feel any tingling in my arms, legs, or face – so even though it caused me concern I decided to not go to the ER. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I actually went in town to get some aspirin though… a couple to chew right away, and the rest to add to my normal daily pills. Just in case. (I even sat in the parking lot at the hospital for a bit. Also just in case.) But the idea of heart troubles or a heart attack… my brain goes “You’re fine, that only happens to old people.” while forgetting that I amย close to being “old people” if not there already.

I caught a nap after coming back home, hoping that if I got a little more sleep that it might make me feel better, but that’s not been the result so far. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I swear, it’s like I slept on my front, and someone snuck a baseball-sized rock in between the mattress and my sternum. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ I’m not dead so far though… heh… so I’m gonna give it one more day and if it isn’t noticeably better then I guess I’ll almost have to go to the ER.

Do the majority of folks my age (and older) always feel like they’re falling apart? ๐Ÿ˜ข I’m obviously really hoping that this is just nothing… so I’d definitely appreciate any “thoughts and prayers” that anyone may care to throw at me until it passes. โค๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป Looks like I’ll be remaining in neutral for a while longer.

At Ease

I’m doing my best to make the remainder of my evening peaceful. โ˜บ I’ve straightened up the living room a bit, I’ve got my new spiral bound journal/notepads and extra-fine tipped Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pens sitting nearby (Mmm… office supplies… ๐Ÿคค) just in case I feel like writing, and I just ordered the latest Pirates of The Caribbean movie on PPV so I have something to distract me from the “real” and transport me somewhere else.

See, when all I have to worry about is myself, I’m quite capable of not being a mess. ๐Ÿ˜ But things like earlier today, where I was simply asked to a family gathering… something that I do appreciate still even being invited to… that messed me up for the better part of the day, feeling bad because I couldn’t make myself go – and knowing that I was letting people down again.

That’s definitely the “mom” in me – how it really does a number on me when something (even unintentionally) makes me feel like a disappointment. ๐Ÿ˜ž I just gotta remind myself, especially when I’m already struggling, that I can’t live my life to please others – and as long as it isn’t being done maliciously, there’s nothing wrong with that.

So once again I’ll finish this evening by hoping that the feeling continues into the next day, and that maybe my Sunday will truly feel like a day off – where nobody is counting on me for anything, so I can start the day with a clean slate when it comes to what I want to accomplish, if anything. I just really wanna start turning things around, and it doesn’t even matter where it starts. ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™‚๏ธ I’m not giving up just yet.