Just Keep Swimming

Had my 30-day appointment with my neck doctor today, ran into Amy in the parking lot, and was in and out of there pretty quickly. He and I discussed our different concert experiences, and I showed him a video of the recent Skillet concert so he could understand why I’d be understandably dying afterwards and for the next few days. 😏 He doesn’t know Skillet, but he did mention seeing Aerosmith at Polaris so at least he gets it.

I had to wait several hours to pick up my prescription today though, because I insisted that the workers comp insurer pay for it like they are supposed to. 😐 I’ve been paying cash for many months now… 1) because it really isn’t that much, and 2) for some reason whenever they ran it through the insurance it would always require a pre-authorization that would never go through. Meh… I actually don’t understand that whole process, I just know it can be a pain in the ass. πŸ˜’

My workers comp lawyers are busy doing their thing, and I’m hoping they can come up with a decent settlement so I don’t end up having to go through the court proceedings. 😬 Not just because it will be yet another pain in my ass, but because I’m worried that it will affect my travel plans. Cassi has never been on a plane, so I waited for a “90% off” sale and managed to get two round-trip tickets to Orlando for a hundred bucks. 😯

It’s not a vacation… basically we’re just taking a ride. Flying down there in the morning (in the dark, giddyup), kicking it around the terminal for a while, and then flying back that afternoon. I know that probably sounds pointless to a lot of people, but I like doing “new stuff” with/for people that I care about… so I’m hoping that Cassi’s new job and my court stuff don’t end up effing up that little day trip. 🀞🏻

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Wait, How Much?

The other day I did some investigating in regards to the monthly cost of the various medications that I’m prescribed, for the injury/disability that is currently covered by my workers comp claim. It’s been quite a while since I’ve given it much thought, but man… now that I see the numbers… damn. 😧 These are the prices that I would pay if I had no insurance, and was paying for my prescriptions with cash.

  • Medication #1” – Brand Name: $284.99 / Generic: $73.59
  • Medication #2” – Brand Name: $1314.99 / Generic: $535.99
  • Medication #3” – Brand Name: $996.99 / Generic: (N/A)

So with those figures… add in the monthly office appointments, the potential tests or procedures that I might need to have in the future… and you can see how I’d be a bigger financial burden to my WC insurer than one might originally think. (And it sure makes these settlement negotiations feel a whole lot more significant to my future.)

“Wake Up, Case 1485729-4”

Fell asleep around dawn and then was awoken by a phone call from one of my attorneys a few hours later. πŸ˜’ We’ve got quite a bit of outstanding issues right now, and after the long weekend I could almost feel this call coming… so much so that I didn’t turn my ringer off, since I did need to talk to him.

This entry might as well be titled “What Else Is Wrong?” since, in part, it’s essentially going to be a sequel to my most recent post. As you may or may not know, I try to keep my online presence as free as possible from a) bitching about my pain/disability, and b) talking about specifics of my workers comp case. Partially out of pride, partially because nobody really wants to hear about it anyway.

I’m not sure I even remember what I used to be like before all of this dominated my life. I know it’s not pleasant now, to put it extremely mildly, and I know it’s a constant pain in the ass… so even though it’s hard to remember, I do miss the time when my life was my own and I wasn’t being led by the nose through by doctor visits, IC hearings, physical disability, medication requirements, mental stress, pharmacy policies, insurance companies, and now actual an actual court case. 😞

I’m just frustrated because we’re less than two months away from the court stuff starting and so far the settlement stuff is going nowhere. πŸ˜• Their side will submit their brief to the court, my side will have a few weeks to reply, and then it starts getting serious. The court will likely want to depose any doctors that have seen or treated me, on both sides, which means I’d have to hope that I could essentially “rent” my doctor for half a day to give testimony – which would be ridiculously expensive. 😣 (Not to mention ridiculously annoying since he’s already submitted report, after report, after report, in writing.)

So my attorney is going to find out how much they’ve paid each year, on average, for my treatment and medication – and then tomorrow or the next day, when I go to the pharmacy to pick up this month’s meds, I’m going to have them print out what the “out of pocket” cost would be for each medication if I was paying for them with no insurance at all. πŸ€“ With those figures we’ll again try to come up with what we believe is a fair settlement, and then they’ll have to decide if the continuing costs of fighting me are worth it – rather than just settling this and making me go away.

I’m just worried that we won’t be able to get this done before the date of the first hearing. I’m sure it’ll be (us) “Here’s our offer.” followed by (them) “Well, that’s nice, but this is what we’re willing to pay.” followed by (us) “C’mon, get out of here… we need at least (this much)” and then (them) “We’re gonna have to think on this.” with (us) “Well we’re gonna have to think on this too.” Heh… so I don’t know what the odds are of avoiding this court case at this point, but I’d think they are slim.

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.

 

Another Week In The Books

Took care of quite a few things this week, but of course as usual – what happens now isn’t really anything that I can control. πŸ˜’ But as far as I know, and until I hear back from all the concerned attorneys, I believe I’ve done everything required for my aunt’s estate to be officially closed out and with the workers comp stuff… well, it’s just gonna do whatever it does. I’m basically a passenger again at this point.

Getting more done on those two fronts has given me a small boost in spirit. I’ve gotta be careful not to screw it up, but I’ve got some motivation now to start tackling the trimming of all the bushes around my house. Reminder, it’s not that it just requires motivation to wanna get out there and clip an obscene amount of bushes, it’s that it will probably hurt and the trimming of the top portion is actually physically impossible for me.

But my change in thinking about the process – I’m gonna trim all the vertical surfaces that I can, as I can, since there’s no rush or deadline… and then I’ve got Cassi coming to take care of the tops for me. (Or at least that’s the current plan.) So I’m feeling a little more upbeat just thanks to that. And yeah, I could vet and hire some d00ds to do it for me, but just having the feeling return to me, that I may actually be able to handle it myself (with help), makes it something that I’d rather try before shelling out even more money for landscaping tasks. It’s frustrating though, sitting in this house, looking out the picture window, and always being reminded of the things that the property needs that I can’t do. 😟 I gotta figure out what to do with that emotion.

 

Against The Wind

I usually have a pretty good game face. 🀡🏻 I mean, here in the blog, yeah… I tend to open up a little more, because at least until I have a single post or photo unexpectedly go viral for some reason that I’m totally not prepared for – this site has very limited readership, but it’s still nice to be able to “let shit out” now and then. πŸƒπŸ»πŸ’¨πŸ’©

Most of the time no matter what amount of physical pain that I may be experiencing, or how much emotional shit that might be dragging me down, I’m gonna do my best to make sure that the average shmo isn’t aware of it. 😐 This is something that Mom and I used to discuss a lot… whether, in the long run, it is better to hide the “bad” in order to appear strong, or if it makes more sense to let people know how you are feeling so that they’ll understand if it starts making you act in a way that seems weird to them.

Well yeah, I’m pretty close to losing that “game face” ability right now. πŸ˜– I’m not gonna bother going through all of the stuff that’s swirling around in my brain 24/7 these days, but let’s just say that I feel something coming again. 😟 And it wasn’t good, the last time this happened. And I know that saying things like this “out loud” in the blog is something that will trigger concern in the people that care about me, but just know that I’ve got a couple friends that I talk to about this stuff, so it’s not like I’m completely isolated. πŸ˜’πŸš‘ But hell, complete isolation sounds like a pretty enticing alternative to the current reality.

Talking about it helps me to fight against it, in case you wondered why I’m willing to spew such personal information and feeling here. And I do still need to fight it. I’m using today as a heavy reset, a hard break to separate the past couple of weeks from the days that are coming… because I’m going into offensive mode tomorrow, rather than waiting for the next thing to come. I’m going to get this fucking estate shit settled. It’s ridiculous that the tiniest things have held this all up for months longer than it really should have lasted.

The whole reason I’ve been as meticulous as possible in the way I’ve handled it is because I wanted to do everything that I could to ensure that the estate ended up with the absolute most amount of money as possible. And that’s not only with my own wants or needs in mind, but more because with Mom and Dad being in retirement age – they are going to want and need as much money as possible as well, to hopefully keep their worries about their financial situation as far from their thoughts as possible.

I feel like the bird that pecks away at the mountain made of diamond, but now that I’m fighting my own court battle and trying to negotiate a settlement regarding my workers comp case, having the estate stuff buzzing around like a mosquito inside of my ear canal… I just need to get it wrapped up so I can divvy up the remains and get it fucking sorted and over with.

There’s no way to get friends and family to truly understand that it’s not personal when I essentially disappear or have to passively ignore them, when I just don’t have it in me to open my FB Messenger or look at my snaps. But that’s where I’ve been for days now, as the messages start building up behind digital doors that get harder and harder for me to open.

I dunno… wish me luck for tomorrow, I guess. 😞 Nothing is gonna magically get better, nothing is gonna suddenly just start sucking less, and the mood or phase that I’m entering… it’s not gonna be easy on me or the people that care about me. So wish me luck for tomorrow. One day. Because that’s how I have to approach things now… a single day at a time, sometimes single hours at a time… I’m not giving in quite yet.

Adulting

Spent most of the day yesterday dealing with “responsibility” stuff, since the “work” portion of my week got squeezed down to two days… well, one day, if you take into consideration the day that I had to potato due to recovering from the trip. 😏 So yeah, Friday was all about estate stuff, workers comp stuff, calls to those two different attorneys, as well as another quite unproductive call to the IRS. πŸ˜’

It seems the stuff regarding my workers comp claim is coming to a head, where I’ll either be going to common pleas court in Franklin county soon or I’ll be thinking harder about accepting a settlement. Those aren’t the only two options, but those are the ones that could provide some finality one way or the other. It’s amazing though, considering that I haven’t even been a squeaky wheel (other than not giving up on my case), that my former employer is actually taking The Industrial Commission of Ohio to court over my case – claiming that many of the rulings that they’ve made in my favor have actually been done incorrectly and against the IC’s and BWC’s own rules.

And then with my aunt’s estate, the only thing that’s holding us up right now is the IRS… waiting on her 2015/2016 tax returns to be processed. Well, 2016 actually went through without a hitch, but for some reason they flagged 2015 and are requiring an obscene amount of information before they will verify that I’m the person that is supposed to be handling this. 😠 I can tell them anything they want to know about those two years’ returns, but no… they want individual bits of information off of individual earnings forms that were used to calculate her 2014 return. Oy…

I may have had that information at one point, but well over a year after this process started, those papers are long gone. I mean, if I saved every record and form that my aunt had saved I’d lose a room of my house. So yeah, my bad for tossing stuff like that which I never thought I’d need again, but damn… even when I told the lady that I could answer nearly any other question that they’d wanna ask me about anything since her death – she couldn’t/wouldn’t budge, since her job says they require “A, B, and C” to verify my identity, so I have to provide “A, B, and C.” πŸ˜’ So yeah, it’s a bit of a stalemate right now, but I’ve got an idea that I put to my estate lawyer in a message left on his phone.

So, another call to the IRS, another couple of calls to the estate lawyer, another call and conversation about court cases and settlement possibilities with one of my workers comp attorneys… for someone who experiences phone calls akin to the feeling that one gets while licking a 9v battery… yeah, it was a shit day. 😏 And I didn’t even get to call the oral surgeon to discuss my two remaining wisdom teeth that need to be removed. Yeah, I’m whining a bit… heh… whatever.