Anxious

I’m not sure how I feel about the weekend falling right before New Year’s Eve. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think it’s actually going to work out better for me this way, since I’ve already got a January’s worth of medical appointments on my mind, but I can’t even really go about changing my insurance information or anything like that until after the first of the year when the new plan kicks in. ๐Ÿคจ So I’ll have at least a couple of days to start planning who I need to contact and when, and I might even get a couple days after that since some places might be closed on Monday and/or Tuesday. I’ve just got a lot of upcoming shit… I wanna hit the ground running.

I think I’m gonna have Cassi down for the night tomorrow. She can’t stay on New Year’s Eve since she has to be at work early early, but it would still be nice for her to stay – since not only has it been a little while since she has, but also because it might also be a little while until the next chance – depending on how my month goes and how I’m feeling during any given stretch. ๐Ÿ˜”

I’ve also decided that I’m going to let her take my Wii and games back up home with her to give to Junior. I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and played any of my games, let alone any of the games on that system that’s almost a decade old now. I could sell it I guess, but I’d hardly get anything for the lot of it… might as well brighten up a kid’s day a bit, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll probably wait until she’s here to start finding all the bits and bagging it up… with the way I’ve moved stuff about since I last played, it’s hard to say what’s where.

But like I’ve described regarding my friends before… sometimes it’s just nice to have the company, because not only does it provide time to chill and (hopefully) clear the mind of “the now” for a while – something that’s always needed – but it also helps to encourage a little more productivity, since we’re both essentially able to pat each other on the back for our respective jobs well done. ๐Ÿ˜

I’m certainly not looking forward to 2019, so a couple more days of “nothing” and some company to distract is probably exactly what I need. So I guess I do know how I’m feeling about it.

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Awesome Timing, Thanks

I went and saw the new “physician’s assistant” fella yesterday. He first confirmed that Dr Walter is still my doctor of record and that everything will still go through him… but hopefully after this initial “getting to know each other” appointment (for which I’m sure he’ll have to confer with Dr Walter at least this time) he’ll be able to handle most everything while leaving Dr Walter’s time free to help patients that can actually still be helped, patched up, or even repaired. That’s where his time should go.

Thankfully though, I really like this guy. Dr Walter and I have a decade of history from me going to that clinic for the same problem… so, obviously, even starting to get new guy on the same page as us would be impossible in one visit. But that didn’t stop him from intently listening to everything I said, as well as already offering his preliminary thoughts and ideas about my condition and treatment. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the positive vibes were a pleasant surprise. I mean, it was really a crap shoot (what type of doctor I could have ended up with) but I should have known that their office wouldn’t hire a jackass when not a single one of them already there acts that way.

Okay, so that was the good part of the visit. Nothing has changed yet, but I told him that I appreciated having “new eyes” looking at the situation, and letting him know that I am willing to try changing some things up if he, Dr Walter, and I think that it could help with the problems which have slowly been getting worse over the months and years. I then began the walk to the front of the office to make my next appointment and hit the road, when I was told that Laura, the workers’ comp “saint” of the practice, needed to see me before I left.

She told me that my case manager contacted them and told them that I was non-compliant with my scheduled appointments, and that I was also non-compliant with getting my medications filled each month. Now, Laura has been there since the beginning with me, so she (like me) knew that what the case worker was saying was complete bunk. Before I could even say anything, Laura told me that she had already faxed more than sixty pages worth of documentation to them, to let them know that they are either full of crap and are trying to jerk me around again, or that they are incompetent. (My words, not hers.)ย I mean, how many times have I bitched here myself about how nearly every damn monthย I have to make multipleย calls, multiple visits to the pharmacy, and often still I’m not “allowed” my medications until days after they’ve forced me to run out?

Based on what they are claiming, they are now only willing to pay for one doctor visit every three months – while certain medications that I take require me to be seen every thirty days. (And it sure sounds like their eventual goal may be to straight up “kick me out” or void their obligation to me.) So, this is what I have to deal with now. And I really need some dumb shit like this, right now, when my plate is already overflowing with stuff that is pushing my health and emotions to their limits.

But that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow, gathering up all of the current information about whoever is my acting case manager, figuring out which of my attorneys handles this type of issue, and probably trying to figure out how to get records from my pharmacy – and maybe a statement from the pharmacy techs who know how I regularly get the runaround – and get everything in some kind of order, to where I can start making calls on Friday.

I had a good day today, and I do want to blog about it at some point, but I’m still furious about this. Yes, it’s all easily, easily refutable… and there’s absolutely no way that I won’t win if this gets forced into another IC hearing or actual court case… but the fact that I have to do it at all, and that theyย stillย seem determined to deny me as much of my treatment as they can. I don’t understand how any human could or would take a job like that, where if they complete their task or reach their goal, a person’s life is ruined.

If I keep talking about it I’m not going to be able to sleep again tonight, but that’s the gist of how my Wednesday went. I’m glad Genesee is still in town, because today I had to just pretend that yesterday didn’t happen… just for this one day, so that my brain wouldn’t have a meltdown from immediately trying to fix all of this. I already spent the entirety of Tuesday night through dawn on Wednesday wide-awake, sitting in bed with my phone, looking up countless things regarding my case and treatment, and sending them to the printer so I could compile and highlight them later.

When there is a reliable, well-documented, years-long pattern of delaying or denying a patient’s medication or treatment, when multiple hearings and court cases have already made it clear that the patient is legally entitled to all of it… even if it’s done in a way that technically isn’t in violation of their obligation – you’d still think it might reach a point where a judge would see that it’s nothing less than harassment, and I have to believe that one of that patient’s litigating attorneys would smell blood in the water at that point, so to speak. I’m not a squeaky wheel. Why do they want to push it to that point?

(Okay, tomorrow’s entry will be a positive one. I just had to let this out, for better or worse.)

LOAD”*”,8,1 … READY … RUN

I don’t want tomorrow to feel like today did, so I’m gonna try my hardest to push aside all of the bad things in my mind – and hopefully do some things that I know should be fun. It’s so strange how the past few years have kinda stolen “fun” in general from me. I’ve got two current game systems, several different cameras, that Playstation VR system I haven’t even set up yet, a couple decent musical keyboards, the C64 Mini system I got the other day… and all of it just sits here.

I think the more that bad, sad, or unfortunate things started happening to me, my friends, and my family… the less able I’ve been to allow myself to have fun. Even if I have moments where I’m not feeling bad about my own shit, I guess I sorta feel like it’s not right for me to have fun when some of my friends and family are dealing with their own bad, sad, unfortunate shit. I know it’s dumb, and I kinda know how I got here… but that doesn’t matter… what matters is changing my way of thinking and letting myself just enjoy shit now and then.

I have to just accept that some people might roll their eyes or have something shitty to say if they think I should be doing “this” when I decide to do “that” – because if I live my life making sure I make everyone else happy… well, that’s just some bullshit… but believe it or not that’s how I’ve been for a long while now.

Meh… but anyway, tomorrow has to be different. I think once I straighten up the living room a little bit I’m gonna hook up both the C64 Mini and the PSVR. Who would have thought, back in the late 80s, when Mom, Dad, and Aunt C bought me a C64C, 1541-II disk drive, Okidata 120 dot matrix printer, and 13″ color TV… that almost 30 years later I’d be so excited to have a baby version of that old computer that I can play on my 50″ HDTV. Oh, and I also have that CD of scanned slides that I still need to check out.

So many things stuck with me from my childhood. The computers, the classic video games, the nerdy interest in photography, radio, musical keyboards, and tech in general -and even a lot of the music from back then that still means the most to me… all of those started as these little seeds that were planted back then, which are still growing strong in me to this day. Well, maybe not “strong” for some of them, but I still want them to be…

Tomorrow’s gonna be different. Even if it’s just tomorrow.

“Customer Service”

Might as well continue my bitching into Tuesday.ย ๐Ÿ˜’ Had to get up really early for my appointment with Dr Walter… and everything was routine until he asked me if I would be willing to be seen by a new physicians’ assistant that they have added to the office.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜Ÿย I think they actually added two other doctors as well… but like he and I were discussing, ever since the big changes that were made about six months ago they’ve been struggling to try and keep up with appointments, paperwork, insurance stuff, medicare stuff, workers comp stuff, etc.

So while I’m glad (for them) to see that they’ve added some auxiliary people that will help evenly distribute the workload, it’ll definitely take a while to get used to the new guy.ย ๐Ÿ™ Dr Walter isn’t going anywhere, so if my condition changes he’ll be able to handle it, but that was his point… my condition has been relatively stable for a long time now, so my appointments are really just about prescription refills rather than treatment.ย ๐Ÿค• That’s why he felt like I was a good candidate to go to the new guy – freeing up Dr Walter (someone with a lot of seniority) to choose appointments with patients he still has a chance of repairing.ย ๐Ÿ˜ And to be honest, it could be interesting to bounce ideas off of new guy – since on most days I still struggle to just reach “okay” … so fresh ears and eyes couldย help me in the long run.

After that, I didn’t really feel like going to the Social Security office to handle my insurance enrollment issues… so as soon as I got home I was on the phone again.ย ๐Ÿ˜ I’m not sure why it took as long as it did, but just enrolling in the dental part of my Medicare Advantage plan took over a half hour. And for me, someone who gets super twitchy if I have to be on the phone for more than a few minutes, it may as well have been three or four hours.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

I ended up calling it a day around 3pm, even though there was still stuff that I couldย (should?) have made calls about. Couldn’t get through to the hospital again, despite definitely calling during business hours, and so far they haven’t returned my calls.ย ๐Ÿ˜  That’s fine though… I’m fine just sitting here and waiting until another notice for those bills arrive, and another, and another. I mean, I’ll call again, but if they don’t seem interested in dealing with it, then I’m not gonna be terribly interested either.ย ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Strangely, despite twitching out over the obscene amount of time that I spent on the phone today, I’m still feeling enough of a burst of energy that I’m gonna try to work on a few things around the house. I’ve got a couple of friends who have been hinting heavily that they’d like to come over, so I feel kind of obliged to make it look less like the house of a single guy and his white cat that’s in the process of being groomed.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿฑ But mostly I’m doing this stuff for myself, because the more organized and calm this place is, the more organized and calm it makes me.ย ๐Ÿ˜Œ

But after these crap days starting the week, I think tomorrow I’ll take at least half of the day off… maybe get my cameras organized and charged up, get the C64 Mini all updated, set-up, and hooked up. I dunno… Monday and Tuesday have me pretty grrr, so I really need to make tomorrow different.

Unique Blog Entry Title

A month or two ago, Dad asked me if I’ve ever had moments where for no real reason, you just get a “content” or unexplained happy feeling that comes over you. ๐Ÿค” At the time I said no, but I think that how I’ve been feeling these past couple of days is what he was talking about. No real reason to be in a good mood, but here it is… for me to not exactly know what to do with it. ๐Ÿ˜ Genesee keeps telling me to not dwell on it and just let it be, which is obviously the correct answer. ๐Ÿ˜

After all of my appointments this week, I agreed with myself that today should be a day off. I did that with the intention of tricking myself though, because whatever I actually do accomplish by the end of the day – it’s now all just “bonus” stuff. ๐Ÿ˜Š So that’s been today… staying at home, inside my bubble (so nothing can accidentally crap up my mood), while working on office/organizational type things. ๐Ÿค“ No need for details because I’ve already covered it in recent entries.

My PCP appointment yesterday was a mix of good and bad, which is what I expected. ๐Ÿ˜• And rather than doing the referral to the psychiatrist (that I never got around to from the last visit) I told her that I’d compromise and set up some appointments with a therapist. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ I already had plenty of stuff that I could have talked about, and that was before learning about my whammy medical condition. But I’ve always liked therapy, the handful of times that I’ve gone… so why not.

If my mood maintains I might go for a walk around Alley or Rising Park tomorrow. I need to stop doing an impersonation of a potato every day… so I’m gonna try to find my misplaced passion for photography/videography and maybe use that as an excuse to leave the house. Oh, and every damn human that I encountered while out doing my runnin’ this week… they’ve been nice, polite, friendly, jokey, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Local society acting so welcoming that I almost felt “normal” being out among them.

Oh, and the hospital finally called today to let me know that they read my letter, and that they’ve talked about it with the people involved. ๐Ÿ˜ณ That’s good enough for me. Acknowledgement. Being heard. I’m hoping that they did take my concerns seriously, but not so seriously that anyone got hollered at or suspended or worse. I ended the call by joking with her, saying that I don’t wanna end upย “The Patient with The Scarlet Letter” though, should I ever have to return there for another procedure. ๐Ÿ˜…

So between feeling a little accomplished today, and then hopefully doing something distracting over the weekend, I should have a few good days before I have to field calls from the two new doctors’ offices that are supposed to be setting up appointments for me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌโ˜Ž I really hope that the next steps don’t interfere with the fair and Phil Collins concert. I could live without going to the fair, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna miss that concert. ๐Ÿ˜  Especially since Jim got my ticket as a “no particular reason” gift.

Okay, time to find something good on Netflix and get back to work, but not.

New 360 Cam Tests

Not gonna lie, I’ve felt miserable ever since the surgery. Zero energy. I’ve only been out of the house a couple times. Once to go through the drive thru to get some pop, and then another time to stop at the BK and gas station near Rockbridge to pick up some essentials and a Whopper meal. Not a big fan of everyone staring at the huge stitched gash across my neck… but the stitches come out tomorrow, and I’ll hopefully get the news about how bad it is or isn’t. I suppose it’s a positive sign that I didn’t get an early call from my surgeon before my appointment tomorrow, but I don’t wanna get ahead of myself.

But while I was in Rockbridge I took my new Insta360 One camera for a test drive. It’s a 360 camera like the last one I had, but it also has software that allows you to “control the camera view” after you’ve recorded – since it sees and records in all directions. This creates a standard HD video, but the “movement” of the camera has been dictated by either control points that you select yourself or automatic focused tracking. I’ve only done the editing on my phone so far, and there are some glitches, but at least I had the energy to try it the other day.

I haven’t had the oomph to go out and shoot a traditional 360 degree video that the viewer can control, but maybe I’ll set it up out in the front yard in time lapse mode and cover that type of test as well. So far I’m impressed, even though I really don’t know what I’m doing with the software yet, and I like how it erases the selfie stick – making it almost look like you have a drone that’s following you rather than a camera on a stick. And their stabilization algorithms are amazing from what I can tell so far.

Fun Facts: Since the surgery I’ve essentially done nothing due to the lack of energy. And there’s only been one day where I haven’t accidentally fallen asleep in my chair at least one time. Feeling tired, but not sleepy, but ploop… I’m out. It hasn’t affected my sleep much, thankfully, because it seems I can’t get enough of it. I also haven’t shaved, so I look like a hobo… being worried about shaving around my incision and slicing up all the stitches. That’s on the docket for tomorrow evening though.

Meh… that’s all I’ve got really. Just wanted to check in and drop this test footage. I don’t even have the oomph to go back through and insert emojis… heh

Wringer

Pardon the length of this entry, but yesterday was kinda tough, basically as I anticipated. Anxiety had me up most of the night, so I ended up doing all this stuff on only three hours of sleep – but at least that meant I was awake at dawn, so I could just hop up and start getting ready instead of grumbling at my multiple alarms squawking at me every two minutes until I rise and shine.

From 8am until 12.5pm I was doing “something medical.” ๐Ÿ˜ Starting with my monthly neck doctor appointment, where we also covered my upcoming surgery, some of the medications that I might have to start taking because of it, and how they should or shouldn’t react with whatever meds I’m getting from him for my fusion spot, nerve damage, and grumpy muscles in the area. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. ๐Ÿ’‰ I already had this done a little over a month ago, but they not only wanted to get the most current results, but there were also specific tests that they needed that weren’t in my other test. I volunteered my right arm, and the girl did her best… I mean, she hit the biggest vein available there, but for some reason it was only spitting a little bit of blood – and it was definitely not enough to fill the three vials needed. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ My left arm ended up being successful, and of course now I look like a junkie with two big bruises on each elbow-pit. ๐Ÿ˜

Next was theย electrocardiogram, which actually didn’t take that long due to it (thankfully) not including stress testing or anything like that. Just the normal dozen-or-so electrical leads, a few minutes of holding really still, and on to the next. ๐Ÿ™‚ But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Since they’re going to have to manipulate my head quite a bit while they’re working on my neck, and since they’re aware of the C5-C7 fusion, they had to take a crapload of x-rays while my head and neck were in extremely stretched, compressed, or otherwise super-uncomfortable positions. โ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ฃ I do my best each day to not move my head in all of the ways that I had to do for those x-rays, so my neck was fucked after everything was said and done. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So not only will my surgery site be painful, but the ways they are gonna have to move my huge lump-of-a-head around while I’m under anesthesia… let’s just say that I’m really not looking forward to how that area’s gonna be feeling when I wake up.

I almost wasn’t able to complete all the scans that they needed, since one of them (while standing) was given with the instructions of “Put both of your arms straight up, directly over your head.” ๐Ÿ˜ง If there was a bar or something above my head I could have done it with little issue, but the only way I could do it without my left arm shaking was to get the arm up there, then actually lean against the plate/target of the x-ray machine to basically jam it up there in that position. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The fella doing it was really patient and understanding, and after reviewing them he said that the results should be fine, including that one which I thought would be pretty uncertain.

And I know, to a healthy person that all probably doesn’t sound like much… but man was I worn out after everything was done. ๐Ÿ˜“ Between the lack of sleep, the multiple stops, the blood loss… heh, the painful x-rays, and then my leg jumping around between “fine” and “omg stop” heh… I was just thankful that I was able to knock all of that stuff out in one day, along with being able to just go home and recover at my own pace. ๐Ÿ˜” It’s all good though… all of this stuff is now done with a couple weeks to spare, so I’m just happy to keep everything on track.