Inescapable

My brain and body have definitely been on pause today. Thursday night into Friday afternoon was a rough chunk of time… going over to say goodbye to my friend Christina with a ton of family around, then a couple hours sleep before heading to the hospital at 6.5a for the radioactive iodine treatment, and shortly after I got backย home I learned that Christina was gone. ๐Ÿ˜”

We knew it was coming, and we were all there the night before because we honestly thought it would happen that evening – but she held on for one more day. It was so nice to be around all the family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in a good while, and I even met her biological dad… who was a really kewl old d00d. We all tried to keep the vibe as positive as possible for each other, but of course it was still really sad. I wasn’t even going to go over, feeling like it wasn’t my place, but Bri reminded me that I’m just as good as family – and that of course I was welcome and wanted there.

Meh… I don’t really wanna talk about that anymore. My thing at the hospital took over two hours, although most of that was pre-treatment lab work, having three pages of precautions read to me, and of course the signing of all sorts of documents. Once they opened the lead-lined container and used tongs to get the pill out to hand it to me, it was literally a minute until they were shuffling me to the door. They really want you to just gtfo once you’ve got the radioactive vibe.

The lady that did it all, you could tell that she was used to it… because even before the pill was in the area, she would still do things like asking me to place my ID on the tray table so she could grab it, rather than me handing it directly to her and risking actually touching her. And boy, once that pill was out and in my hand, she backed across the room until I took it – and as she guided me to the quickest way out of the building she reminded me to stay at least six feet away from her. Good stuff, eh?

I didn’t have any nausea or sickness as side effects, but it did make me have a funny taste in my mouth… and I unintentionally fell asleep that afternoon from about 4p until midnight – but that was as much from the lack of sleep the night before as it was the medication. I have to stay on this low iodine diet for a few more days, I’m supposed to not be around kids or pregnant people at all for a week, and six feet away from anyone else… and poor Maven, when she wants to sit on me or lay next to me, I have to put her down on the floor at the base of the recliner – but I make her a little nest in the blanket and share the space heater with her, so she’s okay as long as she’s close to me. She hasn’t left my side since I got home… pretty sure she senses the “bleh” I’m giving off.

Just hoping I don’t irradiate her too much until it’s out of my system.

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C’est la vie

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen one of these days, considering the amount of appointments and other obligations that I’ve got… but this morning I completely blew past my scheduled appointment with the psychiatrist. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It was scheduled at 9am, so I knew it was gonna be a struggle, but I really thought I’d be fine. I mean, I haven’t missed any of my other stupid-early appointments… but I didn’t manage to fall asleep until after 4am, so meh… whatever, I guess. ๐Ÿ˜’

I shouldn’t look at it this way, but when I’m keeping up with all of the other stuff I need to be keeping up with, waiting a little bit longer to bring in the doctor that provides the happy pills… yeah, I guess I’m just not that worried about that. ๐Ÿ˜ต And I know, mental health is probably as important as physical health, but hey… I’ve got the counselor now, and I’ve already got that next appointment scheduled, so that’ll have to be good enough for the time being.

The two offices are related though, so I’m not sure if ghosting the pharmaceutical shrink will have any affect when I go to the talky shrink. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ll give ’em a call on Monday and make nice and see what they say. I did make it to the dentist though a few hours later, so I can report that maintenance on the lower part of my mouf is now finished and those teefs are about as good as they’re gonna get. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป The permanent crowd actually feels really natural, although I’ve been afraid to look too closely in the mirror in case it looks wonky.

The Rest of My Month Looks Fun

  • ใ€ฐPharmacyย  /ย  monthly visit to jump through hoops for meds
  • ใ€ฐPsychiatristย  /ย ย intake appointment
  • ใ€ฐDentistย  /ย  temp crown removal and permanent crown installation
  • ใ€ฐEndocrinologistย  /ย  injection #1 prior to 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐEndocrinologistย  /ย  injection #2 prior to 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐFMCย  /ย  nuclear medicine department for radioactive iodine (131) treatment
  • ใ€ฐHomeย  /ย  (one week of isolating myself from the humans)
  • ใ€ฐFMCย  /ย  full body scan 7 days after 131 treatment
  • ใ€ฐPsychologistย  /ย  first “real” counseling session
  • ใ€ฐRehab/Painย  /ย ย monthly WC appointment

Spent most of this morning on the phone, trying to wrangle all of my other appointments around the iodine treatment schedule – since that’s the one that is the most important, and the one that effectively removes a week of possible scheduling time from my life.ย ๐Ÿ˜’

EDIT: Just got off of another call with Dr Walter’s office. We’re now trying to figure out how much of a pain in the ass it’s going to cause… me being seen by his PA rather than directly by him, because Dr Walter is my “physician of record” when it comes to anything related to my workers comp claim – and they loveย finding any reason that they can to deny me treatment or medication.ย ๐Ÿ˜  This sounds like it will be a work in progress, and we probably won’t know what the negative side effects are until they happen.

Tedious Ramblin’

Doing my typical weekend thing, being half-productive / half-bum.ย ๐Ÿ˜ Last week wasn’t too bad… got a few of my “must do” things done, while adding in a couple new things on the fly – and whatever wasn’t accomplished last week will just be added to the list of stuff for the upcoming week.ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ I guess I got just enough of last week’s stuff done that it’s not really stressing me out today like it normally might.

Dealing with the misc “bill stuff” last week was tedious.ย ๐Ÿ˜’ My check for an bill that I had gotten was returned to me, with a note that said no balance was due. That same day, I got a second bill for that same amount… and it took talking to someone in person to get them to acknowledge that I was handing them a check for the amount due, at least according to their file.ย ๐Ÿ˜  Not a big deal, just annoying.

Then I got a bill from one of Dad’s nurses or doctors, for an “at home visit” which I obviously don’t get here at my own home. I called and explained that our names are similar but not identical, but she still couldn’t tell me why the bill came to me, in my name.ย ๐Ÿคจ She assured me that she fixed it in the system and that I won’t have to worry about it. It was for only ten bucks, but still… annoying.

Tried to call the hospital about some additional bill stuff on Friday afternoon, but even though it wasn’t that late in the day – apparently everyone with any authority had already left the building for the weekend. In theory, the financial assistance should absorb some bills as they’re generated, so there’s a good chance that the ones I’m calling about will have already been affected (or perhaps eliminated) by the time I actually speak to someone about them.

Everything that I ordered for Maven finally came in. There were issues because of the package being damaged in transit, then automatically refunded, then the order was automatically re-orderedย – despite me doing that same thing manually… just nonsense that had to be worked out before everything was good.ย ๐Ÿ™„ But she’s feeling better, isย mostly flea-free… so basically I’m handling a few things at the same time with her, like I’ve been doing appointments with myself for a few months now.

Oh, and then the “on the fly” thing that I mentioned having to make room for last week… it was an intake appointment that my PCP had made for me, to start seeing a therapist and psychiatrist.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ The last two PCP appointments I mentioned that I’d like to do that eventually, but that I wasn’t ready to throw it in with all of the rest of the things I’m dealing with quite yet… but my PCP apparently (and accurately) figured that I really did want to get started with the psych side of things, and that I just needed the nudge of having an appointment straight-up scheduled without any input from me.ย ๐Ÿ˜

The first person I saw (and the only person, until next week) was the therapist lady, and I think I’m going to like her.ย ๐Ÿง I got the typical hour-long intake visit with generic questions to start sizing me up… and I think I’ll like her not only because we share political and social views (it came up while talking about insurance and pre-existing conditions), but also because I think she’s aware that I’m relatively smart – and she seems pretty sharp herself. I always like therapy better when there seems to be a “fun” but somewhat adversarial type relationship – where we each know that what we both say will likely have merit.

Not much talk about meds yet, since that will fall under the umbrella of what the actual psychiatrist will be handling for me… so, I dunno, it may seem weird but I’ve always liked counseling for some reason. Even if it’s just because I can rant to a disconnected party for almost an hour and then just go home.ย ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have to consider any “solutions” that they think might make me “better” compared to what I usually am. I mean, I’m open to suggestions… but do I have any specific goals or methods that I’m particularly interested in? Not really. Hey… I’m not the one who actually made this appointment.

Overbooked / Understaffed

Not thrilled with how my dentist appointment went yesterday. The root canal, to prepare for a crown, was first – and I ended up spending two hours in the chair. Some of that was waiting for the numbing agent to work, but a lot of that time was because she had her office overbooked – and she kept working on me a bit, leaving for a bit to work on other patients, then back to me again. She had to have done this about a half-dozen times… enough that by the end of it all the numbness was wearing off.

Now, I know that what she was doing with my tooth was difficult, and she had to use different tools and try this and that… but in my opinion, once she started working on me that should have been it. And the “rooms” are actually somewhat in the same common area, so it’s not like I can’t hear her working with someone else during the moments she was taking a break with me. And when I said “by the end” it didn’t actually mean that she completed the task. It means I had enough of the pain and the pauses and I told her to either get it wrapped up or put a temporary filling in it and I’d return at a later date when she could actually finish uninterrupted.

I honestly wouldn’t go back to her if the impression hadn’t already been taken of that tooth, and the process of shaping the tooth for the crowd having already been started. But the second dentist working there, after they numbed me up a second time, she came in and got my wisdom tooth out in about five minutes. Granted, her job was just down and dirty with much less finesse required, but I was thankful to get it done and get out of there. It was an awful sounding process… lots of cracking, breaking, digging… *shudder* I’d hate to have actually seen it from a 3rd person point of view.

My entire day after that appointment was fucked… think about two hours of having my mouth pulled this way or that way, opening as wide as I can, and then of course all of the actual trauma to my mouth. Couldn’t even close my mouth during the times where she wasn’t in the room, due to the bite guard. Felt like someone hit me with a 2×4… it kept me from falling asleep and woke me up a few times during the night once I did. So yeah, one of my worst dentist experiences by far. As soon as the crown is in and I know that I can’t be messed with, I’m gonna make sure someone hears my complaint. Take two hours on my mouth, fine, but don’t go running away so often that half of the time in that chair was spent either watching TV or micro-napping.

Unique Blog Entry Title

A month or two ago, Dad asked me if I’ve ever had moments where for no real reason, you just get a “content” or unexplained happy feeling that comes over you. ๐Ÿค” At the time I said no, but I think that how I’ve been feeling these past couple of days is what he was talking about. No real reason to be in a good mood, but here it is… for me to not exactly know what to do with it. ๐Ÿ˜ Genesee keeps telling me to not dwell on it and just let it be, which is obviously the correct answer. ๐Ÿ˜

After all of my appointments this week, I agreed with myself that today should be a day off. I did that with the intention of tricking myself though, because whatever I actually do accomplish by the end of the day – it’s now all just “bonus” stuff. ๐Ÿ˜Š So that’s been today… staying at home, inside my bubble (so nothing can accidentally crap up my mood), while working on office/organizational type things. ๐Ÿค“ No need for details because I’ve already covered it in recent entries.

My PCP appointment yesterday was a mix of good and bad, which is what I expected. ๐Ÿ˜• And rather than doing the referral to the psychiatrist (that I never got around to from the last visit) I told her that I’d compromise and set up some appointments with a therapist. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ I already had plenty of stuff that I could have talked about, and that was before learning about my whammy medical condition. But I’ve always liked therapy, the handful of times that I’ve gone… so why not.

If my mood maintains I might go for a walk around Alley or Rising Park tomorrow. I need to stop doing an impersonation of a potato every day… so I’m gonna try to find my misplaced passion for photography/videography and maybe use that as an excuse to leave the house. Oh, and every damn human that I encountered while out doing my runnin’ this week… they’ve been nice, polite, friendly, jokey, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Local society acting so welcoming that I almost felt “normal” being out among them.

Oh, and the hospital finally called today to let me know that they read my letter, and that they’ve talked about it with the people involved. ๐Ÿ˜ณ That’s good enough for me. Acknowledgement. Being heard. I’m hoping that they did take my concerns seriously, but not so seriously that anyone got hollered at or suspended or worse. I ended the call by joking with her, saying that I don’t wanna end upย “The Patient with The Scarlet Letter” though, should I ever have to return there for another procedure. ๐Ÿ˜…

So between feeling a little accomplished today, and then hopefully doing something distracting over the weekend, I should have a few good days before I have to field calls from the two new doctors’ offices that are supposed to be setting up appointments for me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌโ˜Ž I really hope that the next steps don’t interfere with the fair and Phil Collins concert. I could live without going to the fair, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna miss that concert. ๐Ÿ˜  Especially since Jim got my ticket as a “no particular reason” gift.

Okay, time to find something good on Netflix and get back to work, but not.

What’s This?

Only got a couple hours sleep last night and then still had to wake up at 8am to get ready for my monthly appointment with Dr Walter. ๐Ÿ˜’ I don’t know how he does it, but he always seems to be in a good mood no matter what the time of day. If nothing else, he’s got a great “game face” for when it comes to dealing with patients. ๐Ÿ˜ I told him how my left arm was literally like a limp noodle the day that I came home after my surgery, but how since then I haven’t really had any pain – thanks to the temporarily increased meds.

So it was a good visit, with nothing for me to really complain about. Like I mentioned to him, I think that sometimes the amount of pain that I’m feeling in my shoulder and in my neck is relative. When that’s the only thing that I’ve got to focus on, there’s a good chance I’ll notice it more and feel genuinely worse – but when I’m barely two weeks out from a major surgery, my old injury is the last thing on my mind as long as it’s staying at that moderate level of pain where it’s usually at.

I filled him in about the next steps that I’ll be taking with all of that, and we agreed that next month would probably be better for evaluating any changes, since I’ll have had plenty of time to heal from the surgery. I had to leave there and head directly downstairs to have more blood drawn for a thyroid panel, but I still left in a surprisingly good mood.

It’s weird… I haven’t had much to feel good about in a while, and in a way I still don’t… so having those hints of “good mood” just felt weird, since it then caused me to sit here waiting for something or someone to come along and ruin it. ๐Ÿ˜ž Like Charlie Brown said, “I think I’m afraid to be happy… because whenever I get too happy, something bad always happens.”

But with that little boost of positive energy, I did go ahead and throw the Insta360 One camera out there on a tripod in the front yard, set to time-lapse mode. One frame every five seconds, and I had one lens directly facing the setting sun, with the lens on the other side obviously completely shielded from the sunlight. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I wanted to not only do a time-lapse, but to see how bad the stitching is when there’s such an exposure difference between the two lenses. In practice, it would probably be better to turn the camera 90 degrees, where both lenses would get a similar amount of bright light on them. ๐Ÿคจ

Meh… I’ve gotta recharge the camera before I can hook it up to the phone and export the video, so I’ll just drop it in here later once it’s done. In the mean time I’m gonna get a notepad and start documenting all the medical bill stuff, and try to figure out what I wanna cover at my PCP appointment tomorrow. Oy… too many doctors this week, eh? And it ain’t over yet…