Weekend / Winter Prep

I’m glad that today’s a Saturday, ‘cuz I can definitely use the additional time watching football and NASCAR to allow the morning meds to kick in and start helping out before I try to get up and do anything. It was a cold one last night, and I’ve yet to put a thicker comforter on the bed, so I just woke up more gimped than usual. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But days like today are why I try to be somewhat productive on the days that I can, so I don’t feel like I’m being lazy when it takes half-a-day before I’m worth a shit. 😏

Once the game is over I’m gonna head in town to grab some Rax and go visit with Dad for a while. I’ll probably also stop by the thrift store in the Plaza while I’m out, to see how their comforter section looks. ‘Cuz to be honest I’d rather sleep under a pile of blankets than to have to keep my house at 70 degrees around the clock.

But yeah, I think that’ll be the extent of my “plans” for today. Keeping it light and easy, especially since tomorrow is already reserved for bills, paperwork, catching up on housework, etc. Getting out of the house here in a bit will probably help, but today just seems weird for some reason.Β πŸ€”πŸ˜Β I suppose it’s the bunch of little “meh” things collectively making it feel like the day never really got a solid start, so I guess I’m just feeling a bit restless because of it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ One of these days I’ll eventually “be okay” with just being a potato on the days where being a potato feels like the reasonable thing to do. 😏

It’s okay to treat the weekend like a weekend, man… πŸ˜…Β Β (Or any day, for that matter…)

World Mental Health Day

(Just got done writing this one. Heh… sorry, it turned out way longer than I anticipated, but here we go…)

Any time you get on Twitter and scroll through your feed, you see any number of people posting something because it’s a “National (whatever) Day” of some sort. Usually it’s not… but it gives folks a good excuse to post cute pictures of their cat, dog, kid, or whatever – but after seeing several posts and doing a quick google, it turns out today really is World Mental Health Day.

It’s meant to raise awareness, show support for folks getting or needing mental health care, and to also reduce the stigma that’s sometimes involved. Often involved, actually. πŸ˜’ For example, a while back at one of my primary care doctor appointments I was discussing some of the things in my life that were causing me anxiety. My disability, pain, the (then) newly discovered cancer, Mom being sick and now having passed, other close friends dying from cancer, dealing with workers comp, etc… 😟 like I told her – stuff that would probably cause anyone to feel stressed. I was just telling her so she’d have the full story, but she said she could refer me to a counselor if I wanted to talk to someone about it. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Seemed like a good idea to me. Sometimes just being able to let out your stress or anxiety to someone that’s not involved in your life in any way… it can just take a little bit of the weight off. I saw her like once a month for a few months, and she said she could refer me to their in-house doctor to see if there was any medication that might be able to help. I wasn’t really interested, since I was feeling an appropriate amount of “bleh” in regards to the stuff that was causing it… but I went ahead and took her suggestion.

I now see that doctor about once every six or eight weeks, and I’ve actually got an appointment with him tomorrow where I’ll need to make a decision. πŸ€” Because, despite this feeling like a normal series of doctor visits – just as if I was dealing with a physical health condition – the fact that this doctor gives me medication to help with my anxiety is now being used against me. 😠 And being used against me by the last person that I would expect to further the stigma surrounding mental health care… another doctor. ☹️

And when I say “mental health care” … I don’t even take any type of super serious medication, and I haven’t been diagnosed with any extreme disorders. Until this hiccup happened, I looked at this doctor and my treatment there as “Yeah, I guess it makes me feel a little better maybe… or at least I know it’s not making me feel worse… so I guess I’ll continue going.” Like, in my mind, it was barely a thing, but I continued going since it was now part of my current medical routine.

But when I had to go to the independent medical evaluation for the workers comp system (a week or so before getting that second radioactive iodine dose and scan for my cancer followup) one of the things discussed with that doctor was what medical treatment I was currently getting, and from who. (Regardless if it was related to my WC injury or not, to get a complete picture…) So of course I talked about the cancer doctor and treatment, my WC doctor and treatment, and then my PCP doctor and referral regarding the mental health care.

Now, these exams, they’re initiated by my former employer’s insurer, so of course they’re rarely going to be helpful to my cause. So I expected him to say certain things, but I never expected that being treated by a doctor for occasional anxiety would essentially be “weaponized” and used against me the way that it is. 😟😞 Because this doctor took the names of the two meds I’m prescribed, and picked some of the absolute worst possible reasons that I may be taking them. You know how almost every medication has one “thing” it is known for treating, but then it can also be used for treating a half dozen or more other things?

You could even do this test on yourself. Just grab whatever meds you take, get on WebMD, pick out the most extreme, “worst case scenario” possible uses for each medication, and see how close that sounds – compared to what you’re actually taking them for. 🧐 That’s what this doctor did to me. Taking what is run-of-the-mill, minor anxiety treatment to me, and twisting it into all sorts of implied, speculative, “concerning” mental conditions that could be so severe that they even affect how I interpret / talk about my pain and disability. πŸ˜§πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜  Reading those things in his report was honestly shocking. πŸ₯Ί

The funny thing is, for most people… just the pain that I deal with each day, and the sheer amount of things that I can no longer do due to the disability in my left shoulder and arm… just those things alone are enough reason that a person might want to include anxiety treatment in their normal medical routine. And I was doing it mostly because another doctor suggested it, and it sounded like a “might as well” thing, rather than me desperately needingΒ it or seeking it out. And now it has bitten me in the ass. πŸ™„πŸ˜’

Well, maybe it has bitten me in the ass. (Maybe the commission will see right through it, as they should.) I won’t know how his report will affect my worker comp case until the hearing is scheduled and all of the doctors’ information (from both sides) is reviewed. But now I’m stuck, wondering if tomorrow I should let this doctor know that I no longer need his services. πŸ˜ŸπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ He probably helps me a little bit, but it’s certainly something that I could do away with if it’s going to damage the treatment that I get for my work injury. It’s obviously more important (and logical) for me to want to keep the treatment that keeps my pain to a minimum, which also helps keep my stress and anxiety to a minimum.

Yeah, so anyway, it’s a bit of a clusterfuck… and, unfortunately, anyone that reads my story here… anyone that may have been considering seeing a counselor or psychiatrist for the first time… they’ve now got something to add to their mental “nope” list when it comes to the pros and cons of seeking any type of mental health treatment. πŸ˜’ I don’t take it personally, what the “independent” doctor wrote. I understand that his job is to come up with all of the “worst case scenario” stuff that he can, since my doctors will obviously be talking positively about all of the ways that my current treatment is as effective as the WC situation will allow.

I guess I look at those types of doctors the same way that you might look at public attorneys who are appointed to defend obvious criminals in court. They still have to give that defense their maximum effort, even if it goes against what many people would consider to be “right.” That doctor has chosen that job for reasons only he would know… so I can only hope that sometimes he stops to think about the effect that his actions have on us folks who rely on our WC treatment to keep our pain and lives at least tolerable. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

Happy World Mental Health Day 2019. πŸ˜’πŸŽ‰

Thursday Mission

Woke up stupid early yesterday so I could help out a friend. She’s been in an ongoing custody “disagreement” with her former SO for quite a while now, where they’ve each been representing themselves in court due to how expensive an attorney can be. 😟 And without having a lawyer on her side, while things have been going in her favor, it’s just happening so slowly. With another hearing coming up in about a month and a half, she knew she had to start doing something differently, so I looked up a few places that claim to offer pro bono representation for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

She’s got an aversion to talking on the phone, just like me, but on Wednesday I encouraged her to start making some calls… and by that afternoon she had spoken with someone at SEOLSΒ who seemed open to the idea of taking her case, or at least hearing her out and looking at all of the information to figure out the best way for her to proceed. πŸ™‚ So that evening I printed out all of her case information to date, a ton of things meant to show that she’s the “more ideal” parent, and got it all sorted and organized in a way that would make it easy for an attorney to look through. πŸ€“πŸ“’

So then yesterday morning I picked her up to take her to the closest SEOLS office serving Fairfield County, which is unfortunately way down in Chillicothe. πŸ˜’ I left the house around 9:30a, and by time I got back home it was after 3p. That’s a long friggin’ time (for me) to be out and about, working on a stressful project… even though, obviously, she’s the one bearing the most amount of that stress. I just really want things to go well for her, and being familiar with the frustration of facing hearings with unknown outcomes, the empath in me kicked in and I couldn’t help but feel many of the things she was feeling. πŸ˜•

I didn’t go in with her when she actually met with the attorney, but she said things seemed to go well and that it felt more positive than negative. He made copies of all of the information that he needed and said that he wanted to talk to some folks who specialize more in custody cases on Monday… so while things sounds good, she’s still gotta wait a few more days before she’ll know for sure if they will provide someone to represent her. It was worth the trip regardless, because at the very least they’ll be able to hold her hand through what she should do next, even if they end up not being able to actually be with her on the day of her hearing. I’m gonna stay hopeful though, because having an attorney could make all the difference.

But I was wiped out by time I got home. πŸ˜₯ I’ve done very little “out of the house all day” stuff lately, and especially for something that’s as “high stakes” as this. And of course helping her with her legal stuff kept my legal stuff in the back of my mind… the upcoming WC stuff, that is… and starting off the day so early, with my shoulder already bugging me, all of the time in the car didn’t help. 😣 But it was a small sacrifice to help her with something that could end up being a game-changer in the long run, and I knew that I’d have all day today to recover if I needed to.

Well, my body didn’t wanna wait until today. 😏 Shortly after getting home I knew I wanted to take a short nap, but also not screw up my sleep schedule. But my nap lasted until the evening, and when I did wake up I went ahead and took my evening meds and thankfully ended up falling back to sleep – not waking again until a little after 6a today. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ So I’m just now starting to catch up from messages from all day yesterday, but I’m gonna wait a while to reply so I’m not waking people up as early as it is.

I’ve still got a friend or two that gets concerned if I don’t reply in an undefined amount of time. That’s thoughtful of them, but boy I wish that folks in general would consider that even the most nerdy of humans don’t necessarily get online every day, or multiple times a day… and that sometimes whatever is going on during a particular day might cause messages to be ignored until the next. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Yesterday’s situation was based on necessity, but I still do wanna try to take “days off” from the digital world every now and then… a luxury that younger people these days probably don’t really have. Imagine taking a teenager from today and transplanting them to 1985, during summer break from school, living out in the country, with only a landline telephone as means of keeping in touch with friends. πŸ˜…

Heh… another “old fart” thing to add to the growing library of “old fart things” in my head. πŸ™„πŸ‘΄πŸ»

Disappointed, But It’s Alright

Made it through most of the day without thinking about it, but tonight was the night that Skillet performed at Express Live in Columbus. 😟 Indoor show, general admission, standing room only. 😬 It’s those last two bits that got me. (I hate to admit it…) But I made the right choice by not going. Today hasn’t been a great day when it comes to my neck bothering me. Standing, getting bumped around by an appropriately enthusiastic crowd, for a few hoursΒ (Alter Bridge was performing as well) just wouldn’t have worked. πŸ˜•

(But I also know that I’d feel even more disappointed if I made an attemptΒ to go – and then ended up having to leave before the concert was even over because of my oush. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Sigh… it is what it is.)

Finding the positives… πŸ€”Β Okay… I’ve seen Skillet plenty of times, and there’s always the possibility of seeing them again at the right time and right venue, so it’s not like I missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And the show? They’re touring on their newest album, and don’t tell anybody… 🀫 but this album isn’t exactly one of my favorites. And if I don’t count “missed the Skillet concert” then I’ve otherwise had an okay day.

Genesee and Sarah upgraded their security system, so a couple of weeks ago she sent me an extra camera that works with my home security setup, and today I found a place for it and added it to the network. πŸ“ΉΒ So I now have five active security cameras keeping an eye on my house. 😏 A house with hardly any visitors, and even fewer “suspicious” people coming anywhere close to stepping onto my property. It’s the same theory as having the dashcam in my car. Having video cameras installed somewhere almost magically prevents anything worth capturing on video from happening, and that’s a good (yet boring) thing.Β πŸ€“ Touch wood. 🀞🏻

But I kept today low-key, much like yesterday. I did start watching more of the political news coverage… and woo boy… πŸ˜―πŸ˜…Β Whether you believe that the fuss is all justified, or you believe that it’s a witch hunt that’s wasting the government’s time, energy, and money – stuff is sure heating up quickly. πŸ”₯🍊πŸ”₯Β It makes you wonder how any normal, functional, useful “government-ing” gets done. But I think my DVR also caught today’s NASCAR qualifying for me, so after O’Donnell I’ll click over and see how that went. πŸπŸš—πŸš•πŸš™πŸ’¨

I’m not even sure what track they’re at this week. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ (… said the formerly enthusiastic fan of the sport.)

A Little of This, A Little of That

The past several days have been kind of mundane, but I suppose that could be considered a good thing. I did make it out to see Bri on Sunday, and Ariel and the girls were also there when I first got there, so it was nice to get to see all of them in one pop like that. πŸ™‚ Bryson’s growing like a weed, and man is he a happy baby… always giggling and smiling at his mama, and for whatever reason he thought I was particularly funny and worth staring / laughing at for most of the time that I was there too. πŸ™„πŸ˜

Once the week started, everything’s just been kinda meh. Tending to bills, various paperwork, doctor calls, dealing with insurance, dropping off medical release forms at my attorneys’ office, etc. πŸ˜’ I could have just mailed those back to them, but because I let my mail sit for over a week before realizing that their correspondence was in one of those envelopes, I didn’t wanna cause any further delay – so taking the forms directly to them was the quickest option. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚Β (I wanna do whatever I can to help them help me.)

The bills from the hospital didn’t end up being as bad as I was fearing. Six envelopes arrived from them within a day of each other, all having the same appearance as their typical “amount due” mail… 😟 so I just cringed and put them off to the side for a while, not quite ready to start writing checks. But when I opened them the other night, each one was just a form letter that let me know that because I have a fixed income, their financial assistance program covered the difference between what everything cost and what my insurance actually paid. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒΒ Nice to have something go my way, particularly right now.

Then today I had to go to pick up some soda, so I decided to go out to Meijer – where I could also grab a bag of dirt, some grass seed, and a couple bags of pebble-type stone. 🀨 The lawn guys kinda “over-whacked” some weed areas, like around my light post and the clothesline poles out back – so the next time we’re gonna have a few days of rain, I’m gonna try to cover those areas. πŸ€” Nobody was working in their garden department to help me get the bags over to my cart, but luckily I was able to just slide them over from the stack and onto the underneath rack of my buggy. πŸ˜₯ Getting them into my trunk, however… that required creative use of my right arm and right leg.Β (And that crap can stay in my trunk until I’m ready to use it, thankyouverymuch.)

Oh, the pebble stones… that’s for out by my mailbox. When it rains a little more than average, that area turns to slop – and not only does it make it slick for the mailman, but their vehicle also then continues to wear away that spot each time they drive through it. πŸ˜• I put sand there a couple of years ago, but it’s just time for me to try something else. I’m gonna wait until it’s wet for that as well, when I’ll drive my car out to the end of the driveway and just spill the new gravel directly out of the trunk instead of effing with the heavy bags.

But that’s been the tone of the first half of the week… just thinking about or working on “meh” stuff and getting it out of the way. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Some good, some bad, but most just “whatever.” I’ve been sleeping in the recliner, and that’s actually helped when it comes to getting sleep and waking up in a little better condition, but I’m starting to miss my comfy bed. πŸ˜΄πŸ’­πŸ›οΈΒ  Β (Well, it’s comfy as I’m going to sleep, at least… heh)

One more night in the chair and then my bed gets another shot. This all makes me sound so old… πŸ˜πŸ€•πŸ‘΄πŸ»
Oh… and my friend had her pacemaker installed yesterday, they had her in and out of surgery before noon, and she was back in her room and texting with me like normal by the early afternoon. πŸ˜ŒπŸ™πŸ» We’re fortunate to live in a time where there’s such a thing as “minor” heart surgery like that. I’ve got a short list of things that I wish we had cures or fixes for though, that’s for sure… but overall we’re lucky with what’s available to us when it comes to procedures and treatments for a whole lot of stuff. πŸ₯πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Good Days = Still Remarkable

Today was a nice, uneventful day. Having caught up on my sleep over the past couple of days, I woke up in a pretty good mood so I decided to head in town to wash the car and pick up some pop, bread, and other misc. $13 seems a little steep for a car wash, but I’ll give the place credit – as cruddy as she was when she went in, she came out shining as if someone had washed her by hand. 😎

Next time I’ve just gotta remember to spray on some wheel cleaner that I’ve got, and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, because that’s the only part that remained somewhat cruddy. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Even the dryer section completely dried her off, unlike the freebie wash that I sometimes get from the dealership. Oh, for reference, it’s that barn shaped car wash out by the mall… can’t remember its name at the moment. πŸ€”

I also took the opportunity to stop in at the new Ohio Thrift there in the Plaza shopping center. It started as a furniture place, then turned into a thrift, and then it was vacant for several years before this new one moved in. Nice place, lots of variety – likely due to it being part of one of the bigger chains from around Columbus. πŸ˜ƒ I doubt that much of their inventory came from the area, with as much as they had in there.

I had the 360 camera in the car with me, just in case my motivation held up, but walking around the thrift store ended up being enough exercise for me. πŸ€• So I just took a short drive through the fairgrounds and Rising Park before heading back home, but that did give me the chance to stick the camera to my roof and get two recordings. πŸ€“ I’ve had that camera for quite a while but haven’t put it to much use due to this or that, so now I’ve at least got a couple of clips to mess around with as I re-remember how it all works.

Trying to think of a use for that camera did make me kinda “meh” again, thinking about not being able to ride a motorcycle anymore. πŸ˜’ Using the fairly heavy duty selfie-stick that it came with, if it was mounted off the back seat or fender of a bike (sort of like a kid would have a goofy orange flag waving off the back of a bicycle) it would result in some impressive looking footage. 🀨 The stick is digitally removed automatically, so it would look as if I had a drone following behind me the entire time – but with the ability to “look around” in any direction that you wanted at any time. Meh…

It’s weird how there are things, things that I can’t do anymore due to my shoulder, that I’ve gotten over… and this is a good example. I tried a short ride a few years after my surgery, but I could tell that if anything unexpected happened, I just couldn’t count on my left shoulder to do what it might need to do. πŸ˜³πŸ˜• And for those who aren’t aware, bikes are friggin’ heavy… so not only would riding hurt, but it would have just been a really bad idea anyway. πŸ˜’ So yeah, having that bike / camera idea pop into my head for a split second, before remembering that I can’t ride anymore… those unexpected reminders just suck sometimes. 😟

But no worries with all that. πŸ™‚ Like I said, I’m quite happy with how today went. Grabbed some kitchen supplies, hit a thrift store for a few “new” shirts, took a joyride through the parks, and got to mess around with yet another camera. And with the way people drive in this town, I wouldn’t trust half of those assholes to be around me while I was on a motorcycleΒ anyway. πŸ˜› Similar to my dash cam, I bet most riders these days have some sort of camera on their bike or helmet. I know that I sure wouldn’t ride without one.

Hoping that “good days” keep coming along, to where they no longer merit entire blog entries… 😏

Unexpectedly Chill Day

My earlier post from today was actually written last night and just scheduled to post this morning… because I was sleeping in, comfortably in my big ol’ recliner. 😊 I’ve had it for quite a while now, so it is starting to lose some of its poof, but it’s still almost perfect for sleeping in. Gawd… what an “old person” thing to say and admit to, but hey, if it works it works, right? 😏

And for better or worse, after that decent night of sleep and then waking up and getting moving around… I had one of those rare days where I didn’t feel compelled to do a damn thing. I often mentally paint myself into a corner, planning this or that, then being frustrated if I can’t or don’t get to it – but today was just a nice nothin’ type of day. (It’s amazing what a difference “not waking up in pain” can mean for any given day.)

I’m sure I’ll grab my phone this evening and catch up on messages and such, but for the most part I’ve just been trying to absorb some non-twitchy type news, and looking up various other random shit on the laptop. πŸ€“πŸ’» Local news, weather stuff, SpaceX stuff, concerts over the next few months, looking up apartments out of curiosity, getting caught in the YouTube rabbit hole of course… just random fluff like that.

Every now and then I check all the mapping sites to see if there have been any updates, and I noticed that Google Earth’s imagery of Millersport sure makes it look like they filled in their public pool with dirt – with a large building or house being built right next to it. 😧 Might have to see if I can get a closer look in person. It’s sad though… I mean, I didn’t go there a lot as a kid, but I remember that it was one of the few things that could bring out what seemed like half of the town on those hot hot days. And that’s saying something, considering the two beaches that Buckeye Lake still had at that time. (Not only is “Sandy Beach” not a beach anymore, but they un-island’d the island that was right off the shore there. Weird.)

I hope the weather for this weekend is close to how it was today. Yeah, it’s not like I spent much time out in it… but it’s nice to open the doors again to let the breeze blow some stink out of the house, without sweating balls a half hour later. For today, I’ve been quite fine just watching the pretty sky and clouds blow past, either from out of my living room window or via one of the many security cameras that let me peek at various angles around the house.Β  β˜οΈΒ Β πŸŒžΒ Β πŸ“ΉπŸ§

The day did have some purpose though. Back’s definitely feeling better than yesterday, didn’t wanna accidentally blow all my energy trying to do something today that can wait until next week, plus I’ve got an early doctor appointment tomorrow that I had forgotten about… so today just felt like the right day to take it a little more easy than usual. πŸ™‚ Oops, there I go again… worrying about justifying it to myself or whatever. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Heh… change takes time… and that’s okay.