I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was…

This has been on my mind, so I’mma ramble. πŸ™‚ If we’re able to come to a settlement agreement regarding the medical portion of my claim, I wonder if I’ll be able to eventually undo all of the damage that’s been done. πŸ€”πŸ˜Ÿ Not the physical stuff, of course, since that’ll slowly continue to get worse over the years… but the way the whole process has mentally changed me, especially over the past several years. 😞

It’s just that I’m guaranteed that one week out of every month will be filled with anxiety and stress, simply because I have to get my medications filled. 😐 The meds are required to be covered by my claim, and many years ago I could pick them up without issue – even being able to get them a few days early at times. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Then the problems started. πŸ˜’ Short delays turned into long delays, and long delays became even longer. Eventually the delays were so long that I’d have to pay out-of-pocket just so I didn’t go without, and then wait and hope that I’d get paid back. πŸ˜• If my doctor prescribes a new medication, it can be denied pending an IC hearing. Even when a prescription doesn’t change they can still sometimes deny coverage pending an IC hearing to prove that it’s still necessary. (Which, after a decade, it obviously will be.)

Three weeks of “tolerable” pain at best, followed by a week of worrying, fussing, and fighting just to get the meds that they’re legally required to provide. 😠 Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… πŸ™„πŸ˜ž Combine that stress with fluctuating pain and lack of ability, and eventually it consumed so much of my thoughts and time that I started backing away from everything else.

(Don’t mind my rambling… like I said, this blog sometimes acts as my therapy…)

When I can’t guess how I’ll physically feel, and I can’t even count on having (or being able to get) my meds to help… things became too unpredictable to continue like I had been. πŸ™ A couple of years ago I had a long phase where I couldn’t do anything if it meant someone “counting on me” for something. Family started getting shut out, friends definitely got shut out, all because I never knew how I’d feel when I woke up that day nor if I’d be facing (or getting pulled into) another hearing or lengthy process with the pharmacy.

That hasn’t changed. 😐 The concern and worry, that is. πŸ˜’ Along with my family and friends’ understanding, I’ve been able to make some adjustments that has kept me from totally isolating myself these days… but lemme tell ya, sometimes it feels easier to just remove myself from people’s lives than to disappoint them over and over again when things are bad. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜ž And that leads me back to my original question… how long does it take for a person to escape that mindset, if that 1/4 of each month no longer has that anxiety and stress from the fight? 😐

The stress now, for better or worse, is making sure the settlement (whether an annuity or lump sum) is truly enough to cover the things that it will need to cover. If not, I’ll just be trading the stress of fighting for meds each month for the stress of not being able to take the same meds, because I won’t have the funds to pay for them. πŸ˜’ Medicare is technically supposed to step in at that point, but they’ll require all kinds of proof that I spent the settlement money only on applicable things, and the more expensive meds still might not be covered. πŸ˜– So as you can see, there truly is “always something.”

Kinda makes all the “You’re so lucky that you don’t have to work anymore!” folks reconsider, eh? 😏

BTS Comeback Trailer

Guess I haven’t made an entry for a little while. Been feeling a little sick, sleep has been screwy, and then of course I had my monthly doctor appointment yesterday which means several days of bullshit in order to get my meds. 😠 I was able to pick up one of them today, but I’m not doing the “pay for it first and then we’ll refund you” thing like I usually do. Gonna try to wait them out until it is approved, since it legally has to be eventually. Meh… I’ve already explained and complained about that shit, and this month’s no different.

But there was something that put me in a good mood the other day. πŸ˜ƒ BTS released their comeback video for their next album, with a song featuring Suga called Shadow. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen it, but if not… watch it first, before you read everything that I have to say about it below the video. 😏

(Make sure you turn on captions by hovering over the video and changing the selection at the bottom.)

I’m a huge BTS fan now, thanks to Cassi subjecting me to their music long enough to where I began to like and appreciate it, but I’m probably just a bit short of being considered Army. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ My bias in the group is Jungkook, but with this video I think Suga just jumped ahead of J-Hope for second place. But for as short as this song is, to squeeze in three distinctly different styles… along with all the visuals… it’s just impressive for a “sneak peek” into their next album that drops on February 21st.

Okay, here’s the shit I wanna comment on, sorta in order as it happens in the video…

  • First thing I noticed is that the music is actually the background for the chorus of Fake Love. 😯 Also, the way he runs down the hallway is a flashback to Jungkook running in the Fake Love MV.
  • Second thing: Suga rapping in English. 😳 Wat? πŸ˜…
  • As he runs down the hallway, it’s him taking all of the ambition that he’s thinking about, and choosing to break through to where the lights are bright and the shadows are waiting. Clothes change from light (good) to dark (bad).
  • Once he’s broken through and found himself in the spotlight, gained the fame, he feels the weight of the shadows of what his life used to be like – before he became a celebrity… making him question if it’s all worth it, basically abandoning who you once were in order to become what he now is.
  • Once he’s on the stage, all of the people in the audience are just blank, still, and holding their phones in the air to record – rather than fully experiencing what he’s doing. πŸ₯Ί He even looks dejected as he looks down on them. (Kind of a burn to some of the fans.)
  • At different points in the video, “ORUL82?” pops up for a few frames… which is obviously a reference to that track on a much older album, which was about following your dreams no matter what it takes – but it didn’t have the dark spin of Suga now knowing the negatives that go along with fame. 😟
  • Then you see the two versions of him… one on stage performing, and the other in the audience – apparently representing the younger version of him that would watch other performers and want to be famous like that.
  • Then the “shadow” version of him takes over, telling him how those feelings of uncertainty, regret, insecurity are always going to be there, that there’s no escaping the bad feelings if you’re gonna also strive to get the good things that come with being at the top of your game.
  • Even though the shadow side is portrayed as being “dark” or “bad” … that’s the side that has his confidence, that knows both good and bad are inside of him, and that those two sides are gonna fight sometimes – but that if he learns to accept it he’ll be able to move forward with more peace. 😌
  • But with the way the song ends, it looks like he still hasn’t been able to reconcile both the good and the bad, as he just gets lost in the crowd of swarming fans.

So yeah, in a way it’s the typical “be careful what you wish for” or “it’s so hard being famous” type narratives that a thousand other songs have, but the visuals in this video really do tell a compelling story. Lots of callbacks from when they were younger and much less in the spotlight, using cues from Fake Love in both the music and visuals, but with their shadows now stalking them all right outside of their hotel rooms, the visual reminder of “ORUL82?” which had a much more optimistic view on striving to hit your goals in life, etc.

It really makes me wonder what the album is gonna be like. πŸ™‚ The current phase of releases is under the “Map of The Soul” theme, and this album has “Shadow” and another track that will be called “Ego” – so I don’t know if it’s gonna be a half-and-half album where the first part is all optimistic and light, and the second half is all hard and dirty, tackling stuff like anxiety and depression and loneliness or what. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I say that I’m not Army, but as soon as that video came out I began noticing this, noticing that, catching all the references, etc… so maybe I am getting closer. 😁 I actually tried to get tickets for me and Cassi when they were touring in the US, but they sold out so damn quickly. πŸ™ By the time I was able to access the Ticketmaster site and try to select two seats side by side – after “You are in the queue” for about 15 minutes – all that was left were single seats scattered around the stadium. 😟 Hoping we get another chance this year.

If you wanna see a ridiculously well-choreographed concert performance from them, click here. 😌

Testing – Deep Zoom

Finally found another site that allows the sharing of deep zoom images. Basically they are just super high resolution images that exceed the maximum properties allowed by regular JPEG files, allowing gigapixel sized images that load detail based only upon the area you are viewing, rather than attempting to load the entire image into memory at one time.

https://easyzoom.com/imageaccess/cf7be06756884c95908597463e6ef861

This image is only a bit over 200 megapixels, and about 60 megabytes in size. I just used my phone, set at 2x, and took scanning shots of the front yard and assembled them with Microsoft ICE. With a better camera and better/longer lens, much higher quality/detail images should be easy to create. Just another nerdy photo thing to test, in case I ever need it for something…

Hmm… I think I’ve actually got two old HD Zoom gigapixel images of Lancaster from Mt Pleasant from several years ago (taken with the dSLR) that I should be able to convert and upload.