Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. ๐Ÿ˜ I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป leave ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป that ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป stuff ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป once I’m done with it for the day. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Rambling Catch-Up

I’ve seen a few more articles recently saying that Ohio’s flu season is now “widespread” based on whatever numbers they use. I’ve gotta wait a couple days until I consider getting mine though, because I’ve got a bit of a chest cold right now. ๐Ÿ˜ท I don’t feel that bad, but I spent yesterday afternoon throwing up every other time that I’d cough up a bunch of “yuck” and it would get stuck in the back of my throat. ๐Ÿคฎ So I just took a nighttime cold med in the early evening and slept all the way through the night, thankfully.

It’s hard to get geared up for all of the early-January stuff I’ve got coming when I feel like this, so I’ll stick to soup and drink a bunch of water today and hopefully that’ll help. But I’ve got a doctor appointment coming up, a service date for the recall notices on my Fusion, paperwork yet to finish up for the Industrial Commission hearing, then continued work when it comes to the Supreme Court stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Bleh. ๐Ÿ˜ Plus I definitely need to get a haircut before the IC hearing so that I’ll be looking my best.

I wasn’t on my phone after yesterday morning, due to feeling like ass, so this morning after that long sleep I woke up to messages from two different people thinking that I was upset at them for something. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s a problem of the current era’s “always connected” assumptions. Most of the time it’s true… folks are rarely separated from their phones… so the times when people do turn off or set aside their phone, you can see why people might think that they’re being ignored for whatever reason. But nah, I’m just trying to handle my things that need handled, and giving my body a break while I fight this congestion.

But as for the hearing, my attorneys should have everything that they need. There have been some recent changes in the medications that my doctor has prescribed for me, so I actually went up to Columbus and dropped off all that new information in person. It’s crazy… I started off my WC “fight” years ago with a single attorney in one of their satellite offices here in town, and now I’m visiting their entire floor of attorneys in downtown Columbus, since those are the folks who are now doing the heavy lifting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I can’t even imagine what rent would be on the entire 10th floor of a building downtown.

And when I’m at the Ford dealership for the recall repairs, I’m gonna talk to them about the way the transmission is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜  I know how to reset the PCM/TCM to let the adaptive learning essentially start from scratch, learning the best idle point, shift points, etc… but I also know that they have the ability to flash the TCM with the most updated firmware, so I do wanna find out if there’s an updated version available for my car – and how much of a deal they’d cut me on that service if I also get my transmission fluid flushed / changed at their service department. ๐Ÿ˜

But the most recent hearing / court related mail that I’ve received, in their numbered list of notable “stuff” on the back, one of them specifically says that they do want to hear from the injured worker in their own words, and how that testimony is taken into consideration just as seriously as any other fact evidence that is presented. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’ve already got a good start on the single-paged letter for the hearing, although I need to go through and remove anything that repeats itself or is “more emotion” than fact based… but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve yet to get much instruction on what I may or may not have to do. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It could very well be that the evidence will speak for itself, much like when it was going through Franklin county’s court system. (You should see the organized piles of papers for this shit on my couch… heh)

It kinda sucks… I know that most folks around me don’t have any idea about all of the stuff that I’m doing “behind the scenes” with all of this various crap, and many of them probably think all of my time is just free time – because why wouldn’t they? They know I’m not working, they know I’m not in a relationship that would be taking up my time, they know I’m rarely out visiting any friends, etc… but yeah, it ends up being a problem sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜• People are so used to me being almost instantly accessible, or able to help them with whatever “thing” they need help with… but like this week, I’ve had to keep one of my cousins on pause all week while I handle my own stuff, and while I hate to do it (he wants me to help him with a resume) my stuff has to take priority. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But at least he’s already aware how a lot of my crap has settled in to the first half of January, so he probably understands.

So yeah, if people can’t reach me right away, or don’t hear from me as often or as quickly as they think they should… I hope they can keep it in the back of their mind that it’s probably because something else is taking up my time, and not because I’m just sitting here ghosting everyone “just because.” I swear, this is probably half the reason I keep as few close friends as I do, just because I know I don’t always have the time or energy to devote to them (in communication or in person) as they’d deserve or expect. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I disappoint the least amount of people this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Okay, unfortunately I’ve got some shit to do…

Catching Up

I’m going to try and practice my brevity with this entry… ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Furnace repair job is done. First thing was the blower capacitor that absolutely needed replacement, the second thing a couple days ago was replacing the intake fan and motor. It was still working, but it was drawing too many amps for what it was rated at, plus you could actually see cracks and “forming damage” which would have been dumb to not have replaced as well. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Sounds different now, but runs as it should, has a little better output, so hopefully that gets me a few more years with it.

Since I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, I actually decided to hit a few thrift stores. I bought a janky little radio / tape / CD / record player unit. I mean, it’s small and generic, and was probably crap even when it was new – but the record player part, the tone arm hadn’t even been un-twist-tied – so even though the other stuff looks in rough shape, I’m hoping the record player will work with my sound system just for Christmas vinyl playing this year. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถโ˜ƒ๏ธ

I also got a factory sealed, “damaged packaging” Kenmore microwave at half the price of retail. (They had a bunch of various models, probably from a pallet purchase) An almost imperceptible teeny dent on one edge, but my old one was struggling after years and years of use – so the $39.99 was worth the risk. โ˜ข๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ณ I should probably try to actually cook something in it today before I get too cocky though. ๐Ÿ˜ย But she looks nice sitting there with all of the lights and LCD stuff actually working.

New tires have been performing well. Not only do I not have to air them up once every week or so due to leakage, but I can also actually feel a difference in them when I drive on wet roads. I’m glad to have swapped them before the snow really gets here. ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Took the car through the wash the other day so it would scrub off all the grease pen marks and tire mounting goo, so they’d look like normal tires as they should.

Gen got me a couple more security cameras for my birthday, so I’ve been moving them all around a bit, getting nearly complete coverage of my outside property – and indoor coverage in all the places where boogers might try to sneak in. ๐Ÿ“น (And no, they aren’t Ring cameras) I don’t really worry about break-ins or even package theft, but at least the lawn guys and Amazon people won’t be able to sneak up on me, eh?

So all of that stuff above has helped reduce some of my stress, so on days like this I can just chill and not be dwelling on everything. Tomorrow gets busy again though. Gonna go see Dad for a short visit, then my doctor appointment – followed by a “fingers crossed” (as always) trip to the pharmacy, along with a few other misc things depending on how “up to it” I’m feeling.

I’m also anticipating getting mail from the Industrial Commission before the weekend with my hearing date, but I’ve not been dwelling on that either. Once I get the time and date, then I will sit and put the finishing touches on my argument / case – should I even be asked any questions or offered the chance to speak. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’ And speaking of mail, I finally have my drill, my bits, and all the appropriate pieces of wood, screws, washers, nuts, etc – that I should be able to swap the mailbox this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜„ย (Y’all need to understand my fear of how much pain this could cause, should it not go as easily as I hope.)

Okay… I know that’s a lot of paragraphs for allegedly trying to be concise, but I really did write this differently than I normally would – trying to leave out smaller details and avoiding elaborating… because all those things could have had way more detail or “story” to them. ๐Ÿค“ Plus, this covers like two or three weeks worth of crap. Weather is still causing havoc with my joints, despite avoiding as much movement in the gimped areas as possible. ๐Ÿ˜’ Still annoyed by that every day, but also still reminding myself that a lot of folks have it a lot worse than me, so I try to keep the self-pity to a minimum.

Method To My Madness

You may or may not have noticed, but over the past many weeks – especially in the time right before and after my scan – I’ve been posting a lot more entries to the blog than usual. Even if not in quantity, I’ve definitely been ramblingย more than I typically do. Now that I’m most of the way past that phase, I’m probably gonna end up slowing a little with my postings – not necessarily on purpose, but because as things start to feel like they’re returning to normal I have a feeling I just won’t feel like I need to post quite as much.

There’s no way to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it, how it feels to sit with an unspecified amount of cancer in your body, jumping through all of the hoops for the tests, which includes gradually wearing down your energy levels to nothing, and then just sitting there, not knowing, waiting, worrying, hoping, etc. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ There isn’t an emotion that you don’t experience, ranging from hoping that it’s completely gone – to hoping that if it isn’t gone, that you at least get an expiration date… just to finally get rid of the uncertaintyย more than anything else. ๐Ÿ˜ž I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t feel most of the things / ways that I’ve felt. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But my way of dealing with all of that (or distracting myself from all of that) was by posting here. Didn’t necessarily want to talk to anyone about it in person, or in any detail or whatever… but also couldn’t just sit here and stay all bottled up about it. So whether my posts had something to do with my medical stuff or not, it’s been a big reason why I’ve been so active lately. Now, I’m not saying that I’m gonna stop blogging… I mean, rambling is sort of my thing, it’s more that I just wanted to come here and finally explain.

Of course it doesn’t help when in the middle of all that, I get new “neck stuff” (unrelated to cancer) to eventually be concerned about. ๐Ÿ˜’ It’s hard to stay positive and try to get back to normal when just as you’re finishing up with one thing, something else fairly big comes along right on the tail of the last thing. And that’s what a lot of my postings have been, whether they seem like it or not… trying to find the silver linings, trying to reassure or even convince myself that I have the ability to take the good for what it is, and work around whatever negatives are left after that. (Bleh… that sounds cheezy.)

I’m still not back to normal, but I’m definitely getting there. I found out, thanks to the festival, that even though my energy levels are a whole lot better – there’s still a wall there to be hit, and I still don’t get a sign when I’m approaching it. I’m assuming that’ll just continue to get better though, because it has so far. I’ve barely been doing anything with friends yet, and still haven’t been on Facebook for over a month now… so I’ve still got a few of those types of hurdles to get over, but it’ll all come in time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not setting goals or time-frames or anything like that… just trying to always make sure that I keep moving forward with all of it. And as for the stuff that I’ll have to face in the future, whether it is spine related or cancer related (or something as of yet unforeseen), I can’t let it chew up all my thoughts and actions between now and whenever that will be.

So whether it helps me because I’m just getting stuff out, or because it also helps to reinforce the positive thoughts… whatever it is, it’s just what I’ve needed to do during this more-uncertain time in my life. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But as I continue to get better, it should require less energy (or rambling about it) in order to keep the progress going. I made it up and over the most recent hill, so now I can hopefully start to coast a little more if that’s what I decide to do.

Meh… I could obviously continue with more on this topic, but this basically explains what I wanted to be explained. We’re all works in progress, and I’m no different. And if it’s not one of the issues that I’m currently focused on, there’s always gonna be something else that tries to damage my calm and toss some grenades in my life’s direction. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I’m just hoping that I can take the things that I’ve learned from dealing with the current situations and apply them to those other things when needed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.

Sooner Than You Think

I actually ended up taking Brianna to her OB appointment today. ๐Ÿ˜ฏย Unfortunately it was one of the “not really fun” ones, not one of the ones where they do an ultrasound… but it still ended up being an exciting visit, for lack of a better term. Exciting, because they’ve actually decided that they are going to induce her and they scheduled the day. ๐Ÿ˜Š Our circles don’t really intersect, so it’s not that any of her friends would learn about it here, but I’m still not going to mention the day… just in case.

Somewhat like me, she’s got her own “other medical stuff” going on… and some of those things can’t be addressed as effectively when there’s a baby in her belly, so between it being “almost time” already, and her doctors wanting to be able to treat her other problems, the decision was made. But it was nice to be able to put my own “stuff” out of my head for a few hours, and just be with her and see her being all excited about her soon-to-be-arriving baby, with both of us noting how much more “real” it makes it feel when you know the moment that it’s going to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

Like I’ve been with most everyone else lately, I haven’t really spent much time with her… so after her appointment we went and got some ice cream and went to the park and did some people watching and talked about all of the changes that are coming up for her very soon. Her baby shower is actually coming up this weekend, so we hit a couple of thrift stores looking for an outfit that she could wear, but nothing really jumped out at her. But it was still a nice way for us to kill some time together.

Rather than getting her something for her shower, I decided to order some of the decorations that will be used. I’ll probably get those over to Chelsea by Thursday so they can figure out exactly what they wanna do with them and what kind of games they wanna come up with. She wants me there too, but what the hell do I know about baby showers? ๐Ÿ˜„ Actually, if Dez or Bub goes I’ll be fine… I just need a person to kinda glom onto a bit, since I won’t know most anyone else there, nor they me. ๐Ÿ˜ย (A couple of years ago I’d probably have seen this as “an opportunity” ๐Ÿ˜ lol … these days, not so much)

I dunno… it was just a nice way to spend part of the day. Lots of “happy” and “anticipation” and the like. ๐Ÿ˜Œ Not something that I get to see or experience a lot of these days. I just hope everything goes to plan, that the people who say they are coming will actually show up, and that she gets all the “goody” out of her day that she deserves. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m back home now, gonna take a short break, then collect all the numbers and questions for the people that I need to call tomorrow morning, and will hopefully get into my email before the night is over so I can get caught up on my messages. Gonna try to ride the wave of this decent day…

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.

Well, That Was Strange

I’m only writing about this now because I think I can feel it ending. ๐Ÿ˜ณ But this past week, this has been one of the better weeks in recent memory, when it comes to my mood and my ability to human and all that. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I’ve done quite a bit more socializing on Facebook and through messages than usual, and for some reason it didn’t cause me to get twitchy like it often can. So that was a nice gift from my brain.

I suppose it was allowed out of a bit of necessity though… I mean, that’s how my brain may have been looking at it… because, at least visually, I’ve been snowed in here at the house for the past few days. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ The same d00d that mows my lawn drove by, saw that my front yard showed not even a hint of a driveway, and messaged me to see if I wanted him to plow a way out for me and I happily accepted. ๐Ÿค— So of course it then snowed again today, although not enough to really make a difference when it comes to getting my car in and out. ๐Ÿค” At least I don’t think it is… I haven’t actually tried it yet. ๐Ÿš—โ›„

Oh, speaking of my car… I’m getting ready to install an upgrade to the current version of my car’s OS. ๐Ÿค“ It is a package that technically hasn’t been released to the public, but after reading the reviews of everyone that have done it themselves – there seems to be almost zero problems when it comes to installation or use. So I’m gonna do that here in a bit, and I’m also going to attempt to customize some of the different screen backgrounds, just to have a different look than what I’ve been staring at for the past couple of years. ๐Ÿ˜ต Wish me luck.

Physically? I’ve been feeling miserable. With some moments that were on par with the pain that I was experiencing before I even had my surgery. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ข Thankfully it still comes and goes, so I just have to deal with it until it goes. And speaking of that disability… I finally received a date and time for the upcoming workers comp trial. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ It’s still a month away, so that leaves time to huddle with the lawyers, or for them to get a continuance yet again for whatever reason they come up with this time.

So yeah, just wanted to pop in here real quick and report back that this has been one of the most “normal” feeling weeks for me in a long time. ๐Ÿ™‚ But like I said, I do feel something changing… not sure if it’s because the 3-day weekend is ending or what, but I’ve been feeling increasingly bleh as the hours click off today. ๐Ÿ˜• Gonna try to do some stuff around the house this evening so I feel somewhat productive, since that usually helps.