Prepare to Launch

Surprisingly, all of that mail that I was dreading… it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I can’t say yet if any of it is actually good, but the information that came in over the past week or so was of a type that at least keeps me optimistic and motivated, and that’s something that I really need in order to keep fighting the never-ending WC game. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Like I told Dad, even if a lot of it ends up falling through, at least it’s helping to keep me going right now.

My attorneys are still working from home for the most part, so I don’t think all of this information has trickled out to the ones that need it yet. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’ So tomorrow I’ll be calling in again to see if I can find someone to talk to before my doctor appointment and possible stop by the Social Security office. ๐Ÿ˜ž With all of this stuff going on, of course SS is gonna perk its ears up and wanna know what’s going on (Like a cat that hears the cat food bag crinkle, or a dog that hears when his squeak toy get stepped on… ๐Ÿ˜) so I just wanna make sure they’ve got all of the information they need as well.

And ironically, my neck has been extra janky today, so I’m hoping that my condition doesn’t improve before my appointment tomorrow. ๐Ÿคจ It doesn’t usually work out where my “worst moments” coincide with the time and date of my appointments, but it’s nice when the doctor can actually see the true extent of the suck. I think it’s because I was folding so much laundry over the past couple days, along with several other small chores that I forced myself to do while the energy was there. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meh.

Oh, and regarding my attorneys… there’s a good chance that I am gonna have to go to the main office to either give them copies of what I’ve gotten, or perhaps start signing some different things if they did get these same papers and have already begun working on them. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿค“ But their office is located downtown, and that hasn’t been the most car-friendly area over the past couple of weeks. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I’ll have to check the different news sites tonight and see what they say about protests / areas, and maybe start looking for a “back way” into the nearby parking garage so I can sneak in and out if needed.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow though. ๐Ÿ˜• Basically all of the things that are great at stealing my energy… that’s the stuff I’ll be doing all day. Visit with my doctor, impromptu SocSec office stop, phone calls with my attorneys (w/possible trip up to Columbus), stopping by my insurance agent’s office for some things, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ But it’s my choice to glom all of this shit together this time, because I’d rather do it, have it hurt and/or drain me, but then have it all (hopefully) out of the way for a little while.

Calling it a day early though. ๐Ÿ˜ด Gonna go dark, find a movie to watch, and hopefully sack out soon. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

Rambling Elaboration

Yesterday’s entry was admittedly pretty bleak… but not all of yesterday was completely full of suck, so I figured I should come back in here and sprinkle a little bit of that “good” around – even though I know it won’t really do much to balance out the tone of the blog lately or overall. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•

Knowing that soon I’ll be runnin’ completely without my thyroid meds, there were a few things inside and outside of the house that I wanted to get to… just in case the next several weeks are as “challenging” as I’m expecting them to be. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ The inside stuff was whatever… but the outside stuff, that’s the kind of stuff that kicks my ass even when I’m at my relative best these days. It also didn’t help that it was still 87 degrees in the late afternoon, when I finally went outside, since “waiting for the heat to die down” wasn’t really gonna work unless I intended to do my yard work in the dark.

When they took out my line of bushes, they plucked about a 1/3 of them, and the remaining 2/3 were cut off at the base – as close to the ground as possible. I told Jason that I had plenty of poison spray when they were doing it, and he suggested that after they were done I should probably go out and hit all the remaining “nubs” in the ground, to discourage them from trying to make a comeback – and to hopefully make them brittle enough that anything still above ground will eventually just start breaking off. So, that was mini-project number one, and luckily I didn’t need my cane nor did I have any neighbors eyeballing me as I worked.

I still had juice left in the sprayer when I was done, so I started hitting weeds along the fence, under a bunch of the evergreen bushes, all over the empty-but-weedy spot (where a big bush used to be) beside the garage, and then all around the AC unit just to make sure nothing considers growing up around it. I was sweating balls at this point. Actually, I was sweating balls within the first 10 minutes of being outside… but yeah, it was time for a break in the cool air inside.

It felt nice, but when it became obvious that I wasn’t gonna stop sweating, I sucked it up and went back outside. I’ve got a couple different sprays for spiders, wasps, bees, and ants – so I treated all the areas that needed it. ๐Ÿ˜ท Front porch got most of the spider attention, back porch had the bees, and then I sprayed what amounts to an “ant barrier” at the bottom and lowers sides of all of the doors that go outside or into the garage. (They’re a fan of Maven’s messy eating habits, usually leaving bits of cat food on the floor for them to sniff out and come after.)ย Bugs don’t really count as “critters” I suppose, but I still hate to be an exterminator. ๐Ÿ˜• But when they won’t stay outside, or try to take over certain areas when they do, they’ve gotta go.

Don’t you love how I can take “Sprayed some poison on the bush stumps and weeds, then killed some bugs” and turn it into a multi-paragraph blog entry? This time it’s intended… to make it sound as time-consuming and exhausting as it actually was. ๐Ÿ˜“ I ended up sweating so much that the mosquito repellent finally quit working, but I had done everything that I wanted – so it was time for a shower, and to stop friggin’ sweating.

Throughout the process, I learned that I have another mutant ability. ๐Ÿ™„ I can work outside for a little less than an hour, come inside into the cold air conditioning, take a shower to get all the stink, grass, and stray poison mist off of me… but I can continue sweating for a full two hours after everything was done and I should have been good. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I’m guessing it’s a thyroid thing that I just hadn’t discovered yet, since I’m usually too gimpy to work that much outside. But yeah… cool shower, cold air, and two more hours of sitting here with a towel to keep drying myself off.

It’s fine though… because as much as this all might sound like bitching, it felt good to accomplish so many things when there were so many other things trying to mentally or physically discourage me from doing so. Until I started to not be able to do a lot of things, I didn’t realize how important that it could be to be able to do something with purpose. So even though this stuff is probably most people’s typical weekend, it’s my little thing to grab hold of and feel good about. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

And, obviously, I have to take what I get when it comes to stuff like that these days.

Hands Off The Controls: Autopilot Has Been Engaged

I didn’t get to sleep until almost 6am this morning, and I had posted a somewhat moody blog entry about an hour before that… but I went ahead and deleted it when I woke up, deciding that I should wait until I had a little more sleep, time, and information under my belt before commenting on the stuff I was commenting on.

It was just really bad timing last night… first, forgetting to drag the trash buggy out to the road, so I ended up doing that around 3:00am. And of course since I was out there, I grabbed whatever was in the mailbox from the past couple of days. And the letter on top had to be from my WC attorneys, letting me know that my mandatory “independent” WC exam has been rescheduled. That was the appointment where I got up at dawn to drive to the NW side of Columbus, with my bum knee at the time, and they cancelled on me about five minutes away from their office. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, so that’s now rescheduled near the end of the July.

It had actually slipped my mind, since my brain has been in a state of constant anxiousness regarding my lengthy but (hopefully) finalย thyroid cancer treatment beginning. So with that and other other crappy stuff on my mind, having had to deal with the kitten situation yesterday, and then just not being able to sleep because of all of it – seeing that envelope pushed me past sad, mad, frustrated, nervous, or whatever… eventually to just numb. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s happened before… I’ve simply “felt” to the point of no longer being able to feel. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• And I don’t know… with the way I’ve been, numb is probably better.

I’ll let my attorneys know that the appointment is just days before I’m due to begin the radiation part of my treatment, so we’ll see if WC still demands that I show up – or if they’ll decide to wait until it’s over and I’m at what they’d consider my “normal” physical self. The latter would give a more accurate representation of how my disability and meds affect me, but who knows what they really want.

The last handful of entries should give you a good idea of where I’m at and where things are heading. I don’t know how much time I’m going to be spending online in the near future, and there’s a good chance that I’m going to be even more difficult to reach than usual. I apologize that I’m probably going to come off as more inconsiderate than typical… but I can’t really do anything for anyone, I can’t see how my presence right now could possibly be a good thing… so I might end up in my bubble for a while. ๐Ÿ˜ If anything significant happens though, good or bad, I’ll make sure I at least make a small post – just to keep the people who still care in the loop. Try not to worry about me though. Whatever happens next is all out of our hands.

Adjustment

At my most recent shrink appointment, he prescribed Paxil and Lamictal. He spooked me with the Lamictal though, so I haven’t started taking it yet. Serious talk about the possibility of a rash that could mean something very bad. ๐Ÿ˜ณ So it’s a difficult medication to “sell” when someone already has high anxiety. But the Paxil, the first week (which is now done) I was to take only one in the morning. Now, I’m supposed to take one in the morning and one at night. I’m hoping that will help the problem that I’ve noticed all this week.

I’m also going to start the Lamictal tonight as well. I just never like starting two new meds at the exact same time, because then whether I experience a benefit or a side effect, you can’t know which one was the cause… although I suppose sometimes you don’t get the benefit or side effect unless you’re taking both of them. ๐Ÿง

This past week, even though I usually slept well, every time that I’d wake up the next day I would have instant severe anxiety already happening. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Now, it’s not like this is the first time that this has happened… and I know it sounds bad to describe it this way, but sometimes when anxiety is so bad, it’s just the disappointment of waking up that triggers it. ๐Ÿ˜ Oof, yeah, that sounds way worse than I intend it to. But yeah, it was random before, but it’s been a constant since I’ve started taking the Paxil in the morning. So hopefully now that I’ll be taking an evening dose as well, maybe that’ll change how I wake up.

That’s the one positive though… as long as I take it immediately upon waking up in a near panic attack, the feeling actually goes away relatively quickly. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’m still hoping this will be something good, and it’s just a matter of getting on the right dosage. And yeah, it’s probably a little weird that I’m just putting this all out here for anyone to read – but it’s not like I’ve tried to keep the “twitchy” side of me a secret. ๐Ÿ˜ And I really do know the majority of the things that have triggered it (and keep triggering it) so it’s not like I’m staggering around in the dark, unable to see the boogeyman.

It’s not a permanent solution, because it’s not a good solution, but part of me getting my head straight is by cutting myself off from people for a while. ๐Ÿ˜ž As I’ve described it before, my empathy is like a horrible super power that I’ve got… and when I know so many people that are going through so many awful things, I absorb the feelings that they’re experiencing regarding many of those things. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Add that on top of my medical stuff, my workers comp stuff, my disability, etc… and unfortunately the easiest way to reduce anxiety is by avoiding the sources (and even potential sources) other than my own. ๐Ÿฅบ Then (I’m hoping) once I’m in a better place, I’ll be better able to function like a “normal” human and bring myself back into the fold. I don’t know if it’s a good plan, but it’s a plan…

EDIT:ย  Jesus… maybe I’m not quite ready to risk this Lamictal. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I shouldn’t have googled.ย 

Me? You Sure About That?

Another big part of my yesterday and the day before was spent trying to help a friend who’s going through some serious shit. ๐Ÿ˜ข Granted, if you’ve read many of my posts here, you’ll already know that I’ve got plenty of acquaintances, friends, and family that are going through their own personalized flavor of shit at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜• Some worse than others, some where I can help, and some where all I can do is just listen, try to understand, and hope and pray for the best. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But man, this person’s state of mind over the past two days… let’s just say that it was very concerning. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

(I know this person doesn’t read my blog, nor does anyone that really know this person, so even though I’m sorta putting their business out here… it’s not something that will affect them, and even if they knew, I think they’d actually be okay with me posting about it anonymously like this. They know how I am… how a lot of times, processing my thoughts on the site here is just how I have to do things if I want to attempt to clear my brain of all the clutter…)

I am glad that I have people in my life who feel like I’m the right person to open up to, even when the topic is something as serious as it was… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ but I am so not the right person to be able to handle something like that right now. I mean, I did… because I had to… but not without getting completely emotionally drainedย (and actually physically ill from the stress of the conversation) and realizing how little I could do about any of their problems. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿคข But despite that, of course I’m glad that they turned to me… even if I was essentially helpless and basically only able to listen and talk things through with them.

The hardest thing about the drawn out text conversation was that as they’d mention this thing, the next thing, the thing after that… I could absolutely understand how the weight of all of those things piling up on them, seemingly all at once, could push them (or anybody, for that matter…) to the point where they’d just be ready to give up. ๐Ÿ˜ข It’s scary because it’s hard to know if you’re making a difference with what you say, when in the back of your mind, it’s like “Wow, yeah… I get it.”

But at least for now, I feel like our conversations helped. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Enough so that I might be able to sleep sometime tonight, and I’m finally able to eat something and keep it down. And I’m not saying that to give anyone any crap. If someone feels like their last resort is reaching out to someone, they do so knowing that it’s not going to be an easy conversation for either side, and that the person they are talking to cares enough about them that they’re going to get pretty messed up by the whole thing as well. ๐Ÿ˜• But as stressful as it is to be on the receiving end of that sort of conversation, I just know that I can only pray that someone would be willing to be that person for me if I ever felt like I’d run out of reasons to keep going.

I dunno, I just had to post this. ๐Ÿค” Often times I still feel like people, in general, who know me… they’ve got this mental image of what I’m like, what my days are like, and that it usually falls somewhere between lazy” / “boring” / “uneventful” / “a little stressful” / “what’s he complaining about nowheh ๐Ÿ˜ย Sometimes I wish that they could spend a couple days in my head… to know how things reallyย can be. And as I typed that…ย just now realizing it, that’s probably what all of us want – even the people who feel like everything is crashing down around them… we just want someone to know, to try to understand, to realize that there’s so, so much more going on behind our “game faces” and other people’s assumptions. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Lacking

Waiting out this knee hasn’t been going so well. I even gave in and had my latest couple of prescriptions delivered, since it’s my right knee… so even driving hurts. I do have a followup appointment next month regarding my lower back, so I’ll literally limp along until then (unless it gets better) and go from there with finding out what’s wrong this time.

Only thing I’ve been (slowly) doing around the house is moving furniture around. I know, that sounds contradictory to having a busted knee, but it’s the only thing I can manage to do right now that gives me a purpose or makes me feel useful. Basically I’m getting the two extra bedrooms to where they’ll have either “keeper” tubs or “sale / auction” tubs and boxes. Everything that I know I want to keep, I’ve arranged in new ways in the living room and my bedroom.

It’s neat to have Grandpa’s desk in my bedroom, with my desktop PC on it, considering it had been in the same location in the other bedroom since I was a toddler. I’ve also got a small wooden bookshelf and “toy box” that I’m going to be using in there as well, which I think either Grandpa or Dad (or both) actually made themselves in the basement workshop decades ago.

But feeling like I do right now, still avoiding everyone (for their benefit and mine), and feeling like I don’t have much control over a lot of things in my life right now… easiest thing to control is this stuff within my house, and where it is located. Dumb, but it helps… a little.

New Rule

I have to stop letting how I feel when I wake up each day be an indicator of how I’m going to feel for the rest of the day. ๐Ÿคจ Especially since I usually have the luxury of waiting it out… taking my morning meds, giving it a little time, and eventually feeling at least somewhat better. And yeah, I know that this is such a “Yeah, no shit.” thing for normal people, so of course my brain just instinctively resists the idea. ๐Ÿ™„

I’m gonna be so bad at getting older and more broken if I don’t keep trying to recognize my flawed ways of thinking and trying to change them. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ The other thing that I have to work on is learning to accept that some of the physical things just aren’t going to get better. What’s that Garth Brooks song? Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)ย ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… I really hate that my blog is like 90% “bitching about things” these days though… like today, it was only four hours of sleep, waking up because I could feel my pulse in my friggin’ jaw, and then (when I got up to go to the bathroom)ย discovering that my back is trying to re-fuck itself.

I swear, there’s an invisible hat in my house somewhere, filled with bits of paper listing all of my various potential ailments or irritants for the day, and some unseen force just grabs three or four of them at random and there ya go. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿค’๐Ÿ˜“โ™ฟ The unending uncertainty of each day is such shit… so waking up depressed or mad is understandable, but I gotta stop letting it stick… especially if that’s the only thing that seems to be triggering it on that particular day.

But it’s been a few hours now since I woke up, my meds are kicking in, things are sucking a bit less, but I’m still gonna take it easy today. I’ve got another appointment tomorrow, plus I need to build up some positive juju because I wanna get back in to see Dad again next week, Bri is gonna be induced and have her baby next week as well – starting at 6 friggin’ AM, then on Saturday Jim’s going to Buckeye Lake to meet up with his dad, brother, and Adam at Pizza Cottage and I’ve also been invited. I’ve missed the last couple of hang-outs with them, so I really wanna try to make it this time. ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

And that leads me back to the new rule. Well, let’s call it a guideline, since I know that I’m going to fail at it at least as often as I succeed…. but without being able to “shake off” how I feel when I wake up, none of that fun stuff on my potential to-do list will be possible. History has proven that more times than I’d like to admit. ๐Ÿ˜’ Trying to adjust my attitude each day will let me hopefully be less flakey to my friends and family, and being less flakey to my friends and family in itself will help keep my mood going in the right direction. I just have to hope that my meds decide to start pulling their weight again soon too.