Then and Now

I’m gonna make an effort to feel Christmas this year. Without going into details, the past several years have thrown a lot of stuff at me, Mom, Dad… hell, most folks in the family, as well as many of my friends. It just seems like the past several years have gone out of their way to shit all over everyone. πŸ˜• Whether it’s on Facebook or from what I see and hear during the rare personal appearances that I make with friends and family – life just has this gloomy film all over it, that even the best “fake happy” can’t camouflage.

I’m glad that most folks are better able to get through the gloomy times than I am. I mean, I’m glad for them… heh… that they aren’t like me. 😏 But some of my friends and acquaintances… some of them I really worry about. I’ve watched as a couple friends have essentially become alcoholics, a couple others who frantically cling to awful relationship partners, and some who have just stopped trying over the past couple of years. πŸ™ Facebook is great for introverts like me, who don’t regularly “hang out” or whatever, but it sure gives you a window into people’s lives that even they might not realize they’re giving. (Yeah, I know… “… says the guy with the endlessly rambling personal blog.”)

Anyway, my point is that the more “bleh” a person is exposed to, the more difficult it is to be resistant to it. (Obviously)Β I don’t want to completely miss Christmas again this year though, so once I get my medication situation taken care of I’m gonna focus my efforts on that. I don’t think I even put up any decorations last year… I’m not even sure I still have a tree, as strange as that sounds.

It helps that recently I was going through some old family boxes and found a bunch of Christmas decorations and stuff from when I was little. Each significant ornament or decoration has some sort of good memory attached to it, and I need to keep reminding myself that just because things are “how they are” now – I can’t let that stop me from thinking back to all of the better times. Just because me and a lot of other people have countless reasons to feel miserable, it doesn’t mean that we can’t allow ourselves to feel good about the things that are worth feeling good about. πŸ€”πŸ™‚

Granted, this is something that non-screwed-up people already know and do… but right now it just doesn’t come naturally to me, hence the constant reminders to myself. 😏 I’m sure that in the 19 days between my birthday and Christmas there will be plenty of things that will challenge my efforts, so I just hope that they’ll be mild.

I want this Christmas to feel like Christmas.

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Prior Authorization

It’s crazy to think that I’m going to be 45 years old tomorrow. 😐 It just doesn’t seem possible… that I’m… old. 😏 Thankfully, I very rarely feel my age… and even when I do, it’s usually because of my old work injury and the effects that I still feel each day because of it and the surgery. And as the fates would have it, right now it’s particularly bad – because I haven’t been able to get my medication refilled for three days now (due to mysterious insurance processing delays)Β and the withdrawal symptoms from Lyrica and Skelaxin are no joke. 😟

They aren’t even new prescriptions. I just need refills. Refills for meds that I’ve taken regularly for the better part of a decade. And while I won’t say that the two are related, it is curious to me that when I’ve got a court case pending and settlement talks ongoing… that’s when I’m suddenly forced to go “cold turkey” and suffer due to delays in processing the payment by the insurer. πŸ˜’ I’ll probably have to go in tomorrow and pay out of pocket (and hope for a refund eventually) in order to not feel like I’m dying. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Trying to conceal my anger has been challenging. I just keep telling myself that it’ll get taken care of, because eventually it always does.

Bear with me… just a bit more complaining…

It’s just a helpless feeling to know that due to delays, clerical errors, product shortages, tactical fuckery, or whatever it is… to know that each time that my medication is due to be refilled, that it simply might not happen… and then while suffering from the understandable withdrawals, having to gather the motivation and energy to fight and figure out what to do to get those meds… ugh… it’s a fucking nightmare.

It doesn’t help that I’m slowly but consistently getting worse. Like I told my doctor, the pain and disability that I have right now… several years ago I would have been complaining loudly about it at each visit, but I’ve learned to live with it – that it’s just going to be there, and that’s that. But it shouldn’t be like that. 😠 So at my most recent appointment we decided that I should go in for another MRI to find out why I’m getting random pops and seizing of my neck when I’m less active now than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t stop fighting to feel better, as frustrating as the workers comp process is. πŸ˜“

I should find out soon if they’ll allow me the test or if I’ll have to fight for that too…

Welcome Back

My bed has kicked my ass over the past couple of nights. The last few months have been somewhat okay, but prior to that it had a habit of messing up my lower back if I didn’t stay in just the right position as I slept. So now I’m waddling around the house, hunched over in pain like an old man. πŸ‘΄πŸ»πŸ˜£ And I know the process – it’s either gonna be mostly okay tomorrow, or it’s gonna get worse and stay worse for a while. 😐 Luckily I got the living room all cleaned up and presentable yesterday, so I’m not gonna be forced to sit in a room that’s annoying me until I feel better. (That’s my half-assed effort at trying to stay positive.)

I’m just glad that it’s a weekend day, and that I didn’t have any plans. So I can sit here with heat on my back and watch the last race of the season. I don’t have NBC (live) with my DirecTV Now service – so I’m watching the cluttered “Hot Pass” version of coverage on NBCSN. At least half-a-dozen camera views on the screen at once, live audio from whatever driver they happen to pick for that moment… it’s ugly, but it’ll do.

Ugh… it’s amazing how quickly unexpected pain like this can take away whatever “will to care (about anything)” that I may have had the previous day. 😞 Believe me, I make an effort to not be miserable… and it is an effort… but since I’m always walking that fine line anyway, it doesn’t take a whole hell of a lot to push me over the edge to bad.

I’m Still Here

Let’s see if I remember how to do this. (I know I’ve said this before, but…) I feel like I might be starting to crawl out of this incredibly crappy funk that I’ve been in for what feels like forever. Main influence this time is my damn neck and shoulders. Stuff has been hurting at pre-surgery levels, which would be enough, I think, to make anyone concerned – considering the location and nature of my original injury. I had my first visit with my doctor in a while, where I was actually dying before, during, and after my appointment.

I didn’t have a chance to tell him, since it happened after my appointment… but on my way to check out I had one of those *ZAP* moments in my neck, and then walking out through the waiting room I had another one – bad enough that it stopped me in my tracks as I fought to not throw up. 😳 Good times, eh? 😟 I’m going to ask for some sort of updated scan of that area at my next visit, especially since I’m right in the middle of preparing to either settle my claim or go to court over it, and whether for my own well-being or for my case – updated info would obviously be a good idea.

Enough of that. πŸ˜’ Toni gets credit for getting me up, around, and doing something this time. She only gave me a couple hours notice, which normally would have gotten an instant “no” response, but she was asking if I wanted to come join her, Wendi, and Anna at the “Freedom’s Never Free” thing at the fairgrounds. Specifically, for the ceremony where they place the flags – since Uncle Rick has had one for a couple years now, and this year they got one for Grandpa Shepherd as well. I’m glad I went, but I was also glad to get back home since my doc appointment was the next day. Hell, it could have been the stress of unexpected “human-ing” the day before that allowed Dr Walter to see how bad I can get. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Okay, that’s about all I’ve got today… pics from the ceremony are up in my Flickr.

Apes… Together… Strong

I’ve struggled these past few days. 😞 Mood was decent until my neck started acting up. Didn’t really do anything that I can think of that would have provoked it. I think it just decided that I hadn’t heard enough from it lately – so it made itself better known. 😣 So I just limited my activity, waited it out, and I think I’m coming out on the other side now. 🀞🏻

During my down-time I ended up renting War for The Planet of The Apes on Google Play (first time I’ve used that service) for which they also gave me a “free copy” of Amityville: The Awakening to watch whenever. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But I’ve been anxiously waiting for the “Apes” movie to be available, and I wasn’t disappointed. πŸ˜ƒ Me, the computer nerd, the animation guy… you’d think that I wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy the movie because I’d only be able to see “computer monkeys” πŸ€“πŸ™ˆ but everything was rendered so authentically that I barely thought about all that through my first viewing. (Yeah, I watched it a second time the next day, even though it’s almost 2 1/2 hours long.)

The other movie… heh… it was an acceptable jump-scare movie, but not much more. No, wait… it also had way more of Bella Thorne’s ass than I anticipated. 😯 (For the record, I anticipated zero ass. πŸ˜…) Another Disney Channel kid that had to prove that she isn’t a kid anymore, I guess. And sticking to the “media” theme, today I got home from running some errands and found a new book in my mailbox. Commodore: The Amiga Years, which is a book that I backed during a crowdfunding campaign by an author who has already done a thick, hardcover Commodore: A Company On The Edge book – which I also happen to own. 😁 (Don’t ask me how much I’ve actually read though. πŸ˜• Gawd I wish I could make my brain slow down enough to actually read.)

Commodore and their computers… for better or worse, they’re a big reason that I am the way that I am today. 😏 From my first VIC-20 that Dad brought back from Hamvention for me in junior high, to my C64 setup in my high school years, then various Amiga computers after I graduated and was out on my own… so I’m hoping that one day when my brain allows it, I’ll be able to sit down and learn all the “behind the scenes stuff” that the world never knew about. Kind of like a written version of Halt and Catch Fire. (Who’d have ever thought that a network would sign off on a show like that, eh?)

All of it was a welcomed distraction.

It Works For Me

Today was really nice. πŸ™‚ And I know, it’s not over yet, so it could still get all fuckered up… heh… but this was the most relaxed and carefree that I’ve felt in a good long while. It’s amusing though, that I had to useΒ most of the previous dayΒ to set myself up for it, so that today would go down properly. 😏 But hey, I’m making progress – even if it’s just a day at a time.

I spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race from Kansas, and now I’m getting ready to watch the season eight premiere of The Walking Dead. πŸ˜ƒ Along with that frivolous time spent, I’ve also started working on a “to do” list of things that I seriously need to accomplish before fall sets in, ranging from personal health issues to random landscaping tasks that I’ll need to hire someone to handle for me.

But along with a “responsibilities” list, I’m also thinking about doing what I’ve done a couple times in the past – where I make a long list of all of the memorable toys and goodies that I’ve owned when I was as young as a toddler, so I can then look them all up on eBay to see how much they’re worth now. πŸ˜„ I thought I actually saved the list the last time I typed it up and did this, but apparently it got lost between owning my last laptop and this one.

But it’s just a fun possible side project… and while it can be surprising how much some of the things can be worth now, it’s not like it’s a depressing exercise where I’m wishing that I had saved them all or kept all of my toys sealed in their packages, never to be played with – because what kind of boring childhood would I have had then, if I never played with the stuff that was meant to be played with? πŸ˜‹

But yeah, I’m hoping that I can hold on to this positive mood into tomorrow… or at least long enough for me to go in town and get a haircut. That’s another thing that has a surprisingly positive effect on me, when I no longer feel like a hobo and can come across as quite presentable if I so choose. 😎 But for now, here’s to more days like this one.

At Ease

I’m doing my best to make the remainder of my evening peaceful. ☺ I’ve straightened up the living room a bit, I’ve got my new spiral bound journal/notepads and extra-fine tipped Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pens sitting nearby (Mmm… office supplies… 🀀) just in case I feel like writing, and I just ordered the latest Pirates of The Caribbean movie on PPV so I have something to distract me from the “real” and transport me somewhere else.

See, when all I have to worry about is myself, I’m quite capable of not being a mess. 😏 But things like earlier today, where I was simply asked to a family gathering… something that I do appreciate still even being invited to… that messed me up for the better part of the day, feeling bad because I couldn’t make myself go – and knowing that I was letting people down again.

That’s definitely the “mom” in me – how it really does a number on me when something (even unintentionally) makes me feel like a disappointment. 😞 I just gotta remind myself, especially when I’m already struggling, that I can’t live my life to please others – and as long as it isn’t being done maliciously, there’s nothing wrong with that.

So once again I’ll finish this evening by hoping that the feeling continues into the next day, and that maybe my Sunday will truly feel like a day off – where nobody is counting on me for anything, so I can start the day with a clean slate when it comes to what I want to accomplish, if anything. I just really wanna start turning things around, and it doesn’t even matter where it starts. πŸ™‡β€β™‚οΈ I’m not giving up just yet.