Pass The Baton / Kick The Can

I didn’t do my bills last night, but I’m doing them now. 😒 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. 🤨 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. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 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. 😐 Bleh… I don’t like using that word, so don’t expect to see it get used much here. 😷 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. 🧐 And each one that did look at it… it gave them a “gasp” moment. 😧

Where even a trained medical professional was like Wow. 😳 or Damn. 😯 or Holy shit. 😱

I explained how that helped me in that previous 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. 😐 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. 👍🏻

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… 😏) 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 deal  – which will hopefully be a one time thing followed by close monitoring. 🤞🏻

I figure I’ll save the questions about if/when I’ll have to see an oncologist, although I’m guessing that’s gonna be the doctor that would be doing the marker/radiation pill deal that I just mentioned, now that I think about it. 🤔 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. 🙂 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…

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Preparation

Yesterday was a strange day. 😐 I feel good, having completed a bunch of stuff that I felt needed completing, but the nature of the stuff left me feeling a little uneasy – and definitely unable to fall asleep at a normal hour. 😕 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. 🙂 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. 🤷🏻‍♂️👨🏻‍⚕️ 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.

Expropriated Cycles

This proves that I should always make “after the fact” posts, because despite being all geared up with my medical and workers comp projects, I ended up having Cassi come down and stay over last night… which was actually just the mental break that I needed from all of that stuff. 🙂 I mean, I did keep working on it as she was here, but with her as a distraction it kept it all from consuming my brain and occupying 100% of my thought cycles as I worked. 😳

But while she was here (among other progress) I got names, numbers, and addresses for every local doctor that may be accepting new patients, every local urgent care that appears to offer services greater than the “I skinned my knee” or “My butthole really itches” type stuff, and every oral surgeon in the area so I can get more serious about getting my remaining wisdom teefs cut out. 😬 I also got new info from BWC and my BWC Rx provider, so that stuff is in much better shape as well. And the pharmacy was also updated, so my meds might possibly, hopefully, maybe get filled in a more timely fashion. 🤨👨🏻‍⚕️

Now that I think about it, I probably got more done with her here than if she wasn’t. 🤨 And without getting twitchy. 🤷🏻‍♂️ She worked on several things that she needed to do as well, taking advantage of the relative peace and quiet here compared to her house full of family. 😌 Of course she gave her brain a break as well (the main point of her staying) by making and painting some picture frames, and catching up on the last few episodes of NCIS that she still had to watch on Netflix. 👱🏻‍♀️📺 I think Maven was even happy for the unexpected visit, ‘cuz she made up to Cassi way more than usual this time. 😸

We talked quite a bit about what’s going on with my health at the moment, along with all kinds of random thoughts that come along with that topic… so it was nice to be able to talk some of that stuff out with her. 👦🏻👱🏻‍♀️ I’m not exactly sure what the plan will be for tomorrow and Friday. 😐 Now that I’ve got all this info compiled I imagine I’ll start calling someone… meh… I’ll figure it out when that time gets here. I’m gonna stay in chill mode for the rest of the evening if possible.

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. 🙂 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. 😒 And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to go 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. 🙄 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. 🤔 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. 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.

The Heart of Rock and Roll

I figured I should get on here to give an update about the chest pains that I was having the other day since I’m feeling better now. No pains at all yesterday, and only hints of it the day before. I even decided to keep my tentative plans and spun them so that it was actually beneficial to my then-current condition.

It was yet another deal where I made the agreement a while ago, and then when the day came I was less than enthusiastic for obvious reasons. 🤢❤ But Cassi’s brother Scott, he was doing a rare live performance (drums) with Rich Regal at the local Moose lodge – and since she had never seen him play live I didn’t wanna have to cancel. But when I thought about it, having someone around for a couple of days while I was feeling concerned… it would actually help put my mind at ease.

So we went to the show, which was (fortunately for my well-being… heh) only moderately attended while also being held in a rather large area of the lodge… so it actually ended up being a good time. 🤷🏻‍♂️🙂 It wasn’t really our style of music, but it was more about showing up to see and support Scott and Rich and the rest of them.

Having Cassi around yesterday also helped with my anxiety enough that I made a trip to the Walmart in Logan and did a “monthly” style grocery trip. 🤗 Lots of cans, boxes, and frozen stuffs… should last me a good long while. Other than that we’ve just been chilling and surprisingly doing a bunch of reading about job stuff, investment stuff, insurance stuff, doctor stuff, etc. 😁 I found one of those somewhat cheezy “Book of Secrets” books at the thrift store, which attempts to give you all sorts of tips and trips regarding almost everything you might encounter in life, so we’ve been having a good time going through that and even learning some things we didn’t previously know.

As far as I’m concerned though, whatever was going on with those chest pains… I feel like I’m most likely past whatever it was. (Touch wood) Obviously I’ll mention it to my doctor whenever I make that appointment… heh… but I’ve put “wisdom teef removal” at the top of my priority list for the moment, but after I’m starting to realize that I can’t keep putting off those routine “You’re a middle age d00d now” family physician appointments. 🙄

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. 😑 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. 😳

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. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 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 am 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. 😟 I swear, it’s like I slept on my front, and someone snuck a baseball-sized rock in between the mattress and my sternum. 😣 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? 😢 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. ❤🙏🏻 Looks like I’ll be remaining in neutral for a while longer.

Don’t Read This – No, Really

This is absolutely way TMI for the poor readers of my blog, but I’m so relieved that I was finally able to pop the biggest, most blood-and-puss filled thing that had been living behind my left ear for the past week, in the hidden area where the lobe attaches to my face. 😧🤢😅 I soaked a washcloth with disgusting goo that I squeezed from it, which very nearly made me puke, so you know it had to be bad.

No lie, this thing had been so “full” lately that I was worried that the infection might enter my jaw or my brain. 😯😷 But at the same time, I was determined that I was not going to go to the ER, and instead just leave it up to fate to decide. 😳 But now that 3/4 of the goo has been removed from it, I’m feeling much less concerned. I’ve soaked my ear in peroxide, and now have a generous coating of generic neosporin on it. 🤷‍♂️ All better. (ie: I’m going to continue to just ignore it.)