Just Keep Swimming

I’d say I’m at about 80% with my walking right now. 😐 I’ve still got a couple more appointments with Dr Taulbee, then what I’m hoping is my final visit at his office with a physical therapist to complete my evaluation and give me some “homework” to keep things moving in the right direction. Blood panels came back okay, so whatever caused the swelling around my spine is apparently gone. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… I’ve got so much medical shit going on right now, my brain is kinda refusing to care about or retain the details as long as things are “normal” as they say. πŸ˜’

I had to postpone my monthly WC doctor appointment so I could get in at the new dentist yesterday, where I’m getting ready to start catching up on everything that I’ve neglected for many years now. 😬 I’ve had a filling here and there, and one toof pulled, but we’re actually setting up a plan to take care of everything that needs attention now, before it gets too late. 😳 It’s going to be three different big-ish appointments, where they are gonna focus on one quarter of my mouf at a time. The only toof that’s gonna have to go (at least as it stands right now) is my left lower wisdom, which has chipped and needed to come out anyway. They think everything else should be okay with a bit of fiddlin’ and updating.

I’ve literally had some sort of appointment or testing done every other day for the past three weeks, and it’s basically gonna be the same for at least another two. 😯 It’s my own fault… one, for not keeping up on things I should have kept up on over the years, and two, because I decided to jump back in and start getting everything back up to date all at once. 🀨 When I started scheduling things, having my back suddenly go fucked wasn’t part of the equation, but I suppose if it was gonna happen it might as well be when I’m in “Alright, let’s do this.” mode with the rest of it. Thank gawd that I’ve got both the time and finances to be able to do this though… I know a lot of people aren’t as fortunate in both of those areas.

The only thing I’m kinda nervous about is my upcoming appointment with the ENT, since my PCP referred me to him so that he can order a biopsy on my thyroid. πŸ˜₯ The ultrasound confirmed that it’s a “complex” mass (aka the bad kind) and that it has grown since it was first spotted during an MRI of my spinal fusion site. 😟 So, that’s not great news, but I’m doing my best to put it all out of my mind. Whether it’s my regular doctor, my WC doctor, the chiropractor, the dentist, or this guy… until I get whatever “news” it is that they have to give me, my brain has put up a firewall. Like Nope. Not interested in bouncing this around until we actually know something.” or whatever… 😏

And hey, if they say I’m dying at least I won’t have to blow all that money at the dentist, amiright? πŸ˜„

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Hard To Accept

With a lot of stuff going on in my life, I kinda extracted myself from social media and real life friends for the better part of three months now… but after seeing Dez, it convinced me to get back on and start talking to my friends again. I’m just not anxious to figure out how to explain my absence, since it’s a combination of health problems, mental problems… you know… stuff that people always assume other people won’t really understand.

One of the first people that I checked in on was one of my friends who was just starting to go to his doctor for possible cancer related symptoms the last time we spoke. I talked to him today and he confirmed that it’s indeed cancer, and that it’s so bad they’re not trying to cure it. 😒 So he’s terminal, and the chemo is just to give him as much time as possible. He says it could be a couple of years, or it could be a couple of months. 😳 One of those deals where the doctors can’t be much more certain than that. 😞 It’s hard to know what to say to someone when you hear that kind of news.

I also checked in on my buddy Rick, from school, and it looks like his fight against hairy cell leukemia is still going strong. I haven’t spoken to him, but I see he’s posted pics from chemo treatments as well as something regarding bone marrow… so it’s good to see that he’s still got the required fight in him. πŸ‹πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻 There’s one more friend that I need to check in on like that, but she’s currently enjoying vacation time with her awesome boyfriend… and the last thing I wanna do is poop on the good mood by asking about her cancer status. 😬

Oh, the video above… it’s just one of my typical Hyperlapse videos, but shot out the side window instead of the windshield. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I don’t know what it is about the movement of the clouds that feels so peaceful. It makes me feel so small, and the beauty of the world feel so big. ☺ I’m hoping that I can get past all of the stuff that’s keeping me down right now, so I can get out and do some video or photos or something somewhere… watching the clouds churn makes me wanna be out among them.

Research

I ended up getting almost 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, likely thanks to my normal evening meds and a couple Tylenol PMs taken at just the right moment. Sadly, I still woke up tired, at least physically… but my motivation game was strong. I guess this was the right day for that combination though, since it’s the weekend and there really wasn’t much that I could do “out and about” to continue my meager progress from last week.

I’ve looked up a bunch of different doctors and “family practice” offices in Lancaster and nearby cities, so I’ll be able to make some calls and maybe even stop by some of these places on Monday. πŸ™‚ I’ve also researched some urgent care places and narrowed it down to two that may be able to help with the tests that I need. 🀨 That’s my backup plan, should the “find a new doctor that doesn’t have a two month waiting list” thing fail. πŸ˜’ And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to goΒ there to talk to someone about my predicament if need be.

My main concern (after just getting the “serious stuff” started) is doing this in a way that won’t screw me over when it comes to my insurance and the bills. 😳 I assume it’s always like this, since it’s been this way with any insurance that I’ve ever had, but basically you have to jump through all of the required hoops. πŸ™„ Like, you can’t just go to a heart specialist and ask for an EKG without having been referred to that heart specialist by your “normal” doctor. πŸ€” I mean, I guess you can… but your insurance won’t pay for it without the referral.

So yeah, off and on throughout the day was all of that, and then in the evening I remembered that I needed to make a couple phone calls.Β The first was just returning a call from one of my attorneys regarding their recent court actions on my behalf, and the second was to leave a message for the company that I’ve chosen to trim my hedges and spirea bushes, to let them know that I’m on board.

Tomorrow should be a lazy day. 😏 I can’t think of anything that I’ve forgotten, at least not right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep in for a bit before I go to visit with Mom and Dad in the afternoon. If I don’t get too late of a start, I might even try to hit a couple of thrift stores before returning to Maven, the homestead, and a rapidly-approaching Monday morning.

But It’ll Be Fun

Feeling pretty miserable today. 😞 Christina’s cancer fund-raiser is this evening, but I just can’t make myself go. They’re doing it as a “bar crawl” since she used to be a bartender, and therefore has a ton of friends/acquaintances that would be likely to come out in that fashion… but me, with my twitchy social anxiety and introversion, it’s just not my scene anymore.

I feel bad, because I’d really like to be able to go and show my support, but there’s not really anything that I can do about it. I sent a message to Chelsea a bit ago, explaining why I wouldn’t be there, and I think she’ll understand for the most part. The shirts they had made for the event… it marks the third “cancer support” t-shirt that I’ve bought this summer in regards to a friend who’s fighting that battle, and that’s three shirts too many. (And that’s only my cancer-fightin’ friends who are doing that sort of fund raising.)

But like I told her, I’m not doing very good at accepting “bad” these days, and when there’s an option of being reminded of that “bad” vs. hopefully just being able to avoid the thought of that “bad” altogether and acting like it’s not real… heh… well, I think you know which option my brain chooses for me. I mean, I know they’re gonna have fun and that it will be hopeful, goofy, optimistic, etc… but right now everything just feels too heavy and I can’t be there. (And yet here I am, still feeling “bleh” about it since my brain won’t let me go. πŸ˜’ It can be frustrating being me sometimes.)

Zero Hour

This weekend ended up being exactly what I needed it to be. 😌 I also realized that in addition to just enjoying the company that I was with, having a human in my immediate proximity went a long way towards keeping my brain from getting stuck in the “on” position like it almost always does. (Much like how you have to jiggle the toilet handle just the right way to keep the water pump from running for hours and burning itself out. 😏)Β Now my company has gone, the weekend is coming to an end… but there’s still a new Rick and Morty episode tonight along with the season finale of Game of Thrones, so that provides one last little bit of goody before it’s back to normal tomorrow.

The currentΒ “you’ll hear from us” state of both of my attorney-led endeavors has got me feeling a bit restless again, so the first thing I’m going to do tomorrow is give those folks a call. I’m not sure that any prodding from me will make either of those situations move any more quickly, but at least I’ll feel like I’m trying to do something about it.

Another thing that I was reminded of this weekend is how nice it can be when I’m not perpetually absorbing the news of the day. It’s difficult for me to consciously avoid the news. I want to stay informed. I want to stay outraged at the things one should be outraged against. But much like the way I swore off of HLN years ago after shows like Dr Drew and Nancy Grace started to make me a little bit crazy… heh… I should really consider limiting my consumption of political news, even from the shows which present it from a point of view that is often similar to my own. (This topic is honestly worthy of it’s own multi-paragraph entry here. πŸ€” Perhaps soon.)

Other information briefs: Christina handled her first chemo treatment like a champ, but today she cut her hair quite short in anticipation of the eventual hair loss. Jim’s mom is still putting up a fight against her cancer, but the probability of recovery at this point is not good. πŸ˜” And then my friend Rick Kitzmiller… he’s got a lot of support, but complications during chemotherapy are starting to put his recovery at risk as well. 😟 “I’m just treading water.” is the way he most recently described it to friends via a Facebook post.

Obviously, I’ve also got other friends and family who are facing their own flavors of health problems (as am I) so it’s not that I’m not thinking about them and praying for them too… it’s just that cancer has a way of getting a bigger collective gasp, and those afflicted with it tend to stay near the front of your mind whether it’s fair or not. It’s just all incredibly sad, and in those times when I’m not thinking about it or talking about it, I just have to totally push it out of my mind or risk drowning in my thoughts.

 

Little Things Mean A Lot

It’s a handy thing to remember that when I talk about negative things or depression or whatever, it’s quite likely that what I’m feeling is actually considerably stronger than what I’m putting out for public consumption. However, the same can be said for the positive things. Even though most of the time I’d compare waking up, existing for the day, and then falling asleep to slogging through an endless waist-high bog of mud right now – I absolutely have good moments, and sometimes they’re actually really good moments. They’re just so hard to hang on to anymore.

I’m knocking out several blog entries today, after a week of relative silence, because I’m having one of those good moments. For the reasons that I’ve mentioned in the other posts below, but also because Cassi stayed last night, is probably gonna come back after her errands of the day to stay again, and even though we’ve “been there, done that” with our phase as a couple – we’re still managing to stay close, and we’re still quite important to each other. And I know, people could go down a list of oil/water things about us, but it doesn’t matter… sometimes time spent with each other, even if it’s just silently in the same room, watching the same shows on Netflix that we’ve already watched together multiple times, sometimes that time is more important than someone would ever think.

Even though being alone in my bubble is nice when I’m experiencing a span of less-than-great, sometimes letting one significant other person into the bubble as well can be a good thing. Because what often starts off as a “misery loves company” thing, almost always ends up turning away from the negative and letting us find some happy… at least for the time we’re together.

And it’s so difficult, even for myself, to understand how despite being able to spend a couple days with her around me nearly 24/7, it would be almost impossible for me to go in town and have even a short visit with nearly anyone else that I know, even if inside I really wanted to. I wish I could understand it, because I’d give anything to be able to explain it to the people that I care about, so that they could understand that even though my absence probably (understandably) feels personal – it’s not meant that way at all. It’s just one of the ways I’m damaged. 😞 Meh… I need to stop sweating this, and just accept that it’s an unfortunate situation that is unable to be changed so I need to quit mentally pushing against that wall.

Believe it or not, that’s something that Christina was trying to help me better understand the other day. She had made a post on FB about going through shit, getting back up, dusting yourself off, and continuing on while giving no shits about whatever the initial problem was. And for her to be able to be filled with that type of optimism was inspiring to me, because she just went through her first round of chemotherapy just a couple days ago. 😟 Yet here she was, saying “shit happens” and somehow being able to shake it off enough to continue on with whatever’s next, without letting it weigh her down. And she’s not really a gushy, inspirational-quote-spewing type of person… which made the little exchange even more meaningful to me. And she probably doesn’t even know it.

Heavy

I’ve been basically worthless this week. I’m fortunate that nothing really required my attention, but that also made the prospect of being a potato far too easy. Not exactly sure what got me this time, other than the normal combination of things that I sometimes can’t process in a way that isn’t self-destructive.

  • One friend’s father died just the other day
  • Another friend’s mom has cancer that’s no longer responding to treatment
  • Another friend… she was just given a 50/50 chance of making it another year
  • And then a buddy of mine from school has leukemia and isn’t doing great.

People dying, friends struggling, so many folks I know that are deeply unhappy… and I wasn’t able to avoid absorbing too much of the feelings that go along with the knowledge of all of these things, combined with everything I already carry. A couple friends wanted to do something on the weekend, but despite kinda wanting to get out and do something as well – depression won, and I stayed in.