Almost As Good As Medicine

When I’m having a bad day, and my energy levels just aren’t there, often I’ll feel bad for Maven. 😿 She’ll wanna play or follow me around or whatever… but since I’m not really doing anything – sometimes she’ll just sit and stare at me, sometimes she’ll flop down next to me, and sometimes she’ll just piss off to the basement to do who-knows-what for a couple of hours. 😏 But it’s weird that a cat, with just a certain look, can make you feel like you’re letting her down in some way.

But this weekend I’ve kept busy (off and on) and was doing enough “stuff” that she was actually getting a little bit twitchy. 😾 She doesn’t like change either, especially when it probably doesn’t have any reason to her, so whenever I would sit down and take a break she would join me. Almost as if she was relieved that I “stopped doing stuff” so she didn’t have to wonder what the heck I was up to and when I was going to stop. 🀨

You probably have to be a “cat person” to really get this… but this cat, when I first got her, she didn’t like to have her belly touched – let alone petted, rubbed, or scratched. 😯 But over the years, with just me and her here, it’s molded her into a critter who shares a lot of personality traits with me. Plus she absolutely trusts me now, and has turned into a kitty that (most of the time… heh) loves belly rubs. πŸ˜„

So, shortly after I finished folding, hanging, and putting away my laundry… using up the last bit of oomph that I had for that moment, I sat down on the floor for a short break and ended up with this in my lap… 😏😊

Sorry about the large blurred edges, but the only way I could record this properly was in portrait mode… and if I uploaded it “as-is” the video would be taller than the height of the actual page. But anyway, knowing how she used to be, seeing how she is now… this is one of the very few things that can take my mind off of all the bad things swirling around inside my brain, to where all I’m thinking about is how lucky she is to have me, and how lucky I am to have her… and that sometimes I don’t make too bad of a critter daddy, I guess. 😊

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How It’s Supposed To Be

Okay, gotta change the mood to something lighter… just hopped onto Facebook to see a thread over 100 comments long, everyone arguing about how the police treated the man who was firing a gun in the city as the cops looked on. Wanna see a thread where every damn person thinks that they are absolutely, 100% correct and everyone else is an idiot or moron? 😏 Go find that thread in one of the local Lancaster groups. πŸ™„

But like I said… changing the mood. As I’m sitting here on the floor with my knee in front of the space heater, Maven just jumped up on the couch behind me and started staring and purring at me. 😏😸 See, I started the process of grooming (shaving) her a couple of days ago… and she’s gotten to the point now where she actually likes it. At least to a point. πŸ˜„ So I think she’s trying to give me a hint that she’s ready for a few more swipes here in a bit. Oops… no… she actually just curled up on my mail and fell asleep.

It still amazes me, how far she’s come from when I first got her. You couldn’t even pet her belly when she first got here… and now I can lay her on her back between my legs and shave her belly with a loud trimmer and she’ll mostly just take it. πŸ˜… Although the twitchy tail does reveal that that’s probably her least favorite part to be worked on. But I’m lucky… I’ve got a couple of throw carpets in the bathroom, and when I go in there she’ll usually follow me for a few minutes of grooming, and then when she’s had enough she’ll take a few steps out into the hallway where she knows she’ll get the good hair brush treatment which she loves. 😻

I think it’s partly that, in general, I’m pretty boring when I’m just hanging around the house with her, so she really eats up all of the attention that I’m then giving her as we go through the process. She only gets twitchy about it when it comes to her belly and her butt. I think that’s just because it’s probably a weird feeling… and a very vulnerable position for her to put herself into willingly. But yeah, so far so good, because I’ve taken more fur off of her in the first two days of this process than I’ve usually been able to do over the course of an entire week before. πŸ˜ƒ I think between it getting warmer, and her getting tired of licking and cleaning all the time, she’s actually as anxious to get this done as I am.Β 

(Day One, Session One: Already waiting patiently by the door for some more swipes and brushing… 😊 )

I think the good trick this time is that for the times when she doesn’t just follow me into the bathroom, I snatch her up either right when she’s falling asleep or right when she’s waking up… when she just doesn’t have the oomph to give me too much shit right away. 😁 I’m probably gonna give her a break from it today though, to also continue giving my knee a break. I’ve got two loads of laundry to (hopefully) bring upstairs and fold, and I wanna do that while I’m still feeling decent and before I let more hair loose into the house.

I’m so glad that Genesee decided that I needed her when I moved in here. 😏 Whenever you’ve got a critter, and then lose that critter (😒) part of you says that you don’t wanna do it again. The inevitable heartbreak of getting and loving a critter that you know will eventually end as it always does, as much as you don’t want to feel like you’re just getting a “replacement” for a critter that you just lost. πŸ˜• If it would have been up to me to decide, I probably wouldn’t have gotten another cat after Kitty B. But just as any true “critter person” will tell you – I can’t imagine what life would have been like without all of the years that I’ve had with ol’ girl here. 😊

Why Do I Make Plans?

(Alternate / Extended Title:Β  Haven’t You Learned By Now? You Should Know Better…)

Another day, another disappointment. Not forΒ me… well, yeah, actually for me too… but the night before last I was feeling pretty good, planned on having a productive day yesterday, maybe even go grab Bri and take her somewhere so she could get groceries… but nope. πŸ˜’ I just haven’t found the “trick” when it comes to sleeping and my knee in its current state. One night it’ll be fine, next night… fucked. 😠 Last thing I really wanna do is have another round of xrays and scans, fearing that they’ll all “look fine” like with my lower back recently… but yeah, definitely gonna request xrays when I see the doc at the beginning of next week. 😣 Hopefully it’ll be something where a steroid injection will help, because I’m much more inclined to let them do that to my knee than to let them do it in my spine at the base of my neck. 😳

I think I’ve got it through my head now that “feeling better” on one day doesn’t mean it’s actually getting better. It’s not like I’m even pushing myself, but yeah, when I have a slightly better day – I do slightly more stuff… but that’s not working this time. So I’ve been in a shit mood, kinda disappeared from people for a couple of days, haven’t done most of the stuff that I had on my mental “maybe” list, but today – even though it hasn’t been quite as bad – I still haven’t pushed it, and I’m not feeling too bad. πŸ˜’ So that’ll keep my mental mood good enough to finally get through the bills (that I skipped the other night due to an instant headache) and probably check and respond to e-mails and messages. 🀞🏻 I think it being the weekend actually helps too, even though that’s sorta dumb when I don’t really keep a normal M-F human schedule except when appointments dictate.

But yeah, I’m around… and I’ll get around to the stuff that I need to get around to, whenever I end up getting around to it. 😏 It’s funny, when you’re young and healthy… and someone older tells you to enjoy it while you can, and tells you about all the random aches and pains and whatever… when you’re young, your brain just won’t allow that idea to register. (And therefore I don’t think anyone is really prepared for it, or accepts it gracefully.)Β Your brain doesn’t realize that you’ll eventually be the one with all the defective pieces, telling someone younger than you that this is what they’ve got to look forward to. πŸ™„ Heh… see… this is why it’s better that I just avoid people when I’m like this. Not exactly a ray of sunshine right now.

And say what ya’ want… but I still don’t think I’m old enough to feel this consistently beat up. πŸ˜•Β </whining>

A Tale of Two Mother’s Days

It’s been a rough week, with today being a lot harder than I expected. Talk about different groups of people having vastly different experiences on a holiday. 😟 I haven’t been on Facebook much anyway, but today, the contrast of the posts from the people who were spending the day with their moms, to the posts of those of us who no longer can… ugh… I should have known better than to even open the app.

But by the end of the evening, I had kinda changed my mind about that. Just as everyone wants to share their happy events from today, I realized that there are a whole lot of people who need to share their memories… to not let their moms be forgotten among all of the ongoing activities of the day, just because their moms don’t happen to be around any longer. πŸ˜ͺ And I ended up being one of those people. How could I not post something about Mom? And how could I not be there to click off an emotion or offer some words to friends of mine who are feeling the same way about the day as I was?

So I posted one of the recently scanned slides of Mom from when she was young, playing with “baby me” on a swing in the park. 😊 And I can’t even remember how I worded it, but basically I just tried to show that I wanted to recognize everyone else who has lost their mom (especially since last Mother’s Day) and saying something about how I know that everyone thinks that their mom was the best, and that everyone was absolutely right about that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… trying to be a little lighthearted I guess, but honestly – what can you say? So many happy memories, but such a sucky feeling…

And I thought I was feeling basically useless over the past few days? Today, the only thing I was able to do was pick up Brianna as planned, so we could go to the nursery and get some flowers to plant in Mom and Christina’s memory. πŸ˜• I’m glad that Genesee got me that little tin planter box for Easter and suggested the flower idea… but man was it hard to get up and actually do that today. Normally Bri and I function as a distraction from each others “bleh” but there was no avoiding it today. But she picked the same type of flowers that Brantley got her for Mother’s Day last year, we got them planted in the tin, and they’re now decorating the doorstep to her new apartment. πŸ™‚ So many positive things have happened for her in the past few months, stuff that she desperately wishes her mom was still around to see… meh… I don’t think I need to explain further. You either know how it feels, or you’re gonna eventually.

MomFlowers

But I came back home and turned into a physical, mental, and social potato… and I think Bri took a page out of my playbook and just called it a night in the early evening, trying to just go to sleep and make the day go away. πŸ˜” I feel shitty because I haven’t e-mailed Dad in about a week now, and I thought today might be the day… but then, yeah… 😣 I’ve just gotta focus on all the good things about Mom that I can remember tonight as I try to fall asleep, and hope that tomorrow I can wake up and somehow turn this shitty state of mind around and start functioning like a semi-normal person again. 😐 Being twitchy like this in itself isn’t what really bothers me… what bothers me is when it affects the people I care about and the people that care about me. And it’s definitely doing that right now.

*repeating to myself until I get it*“Mom wouldn’t want me sitting here feeling shitty that she’s gone.”

(What is it with me, and not being able to process the type of shit that millions of people process every day? πŸ˜”)

Tired of This Shit

I’m not sure how this month’s appointment with the WC doctors is gonna go. πŸ˜• I think I’m actually seeing Dr Walter this time, when it was the new guy that I had the in-depth discussion with about the state of my treatment last month. Regardless, since the WC insurer is coming at me with the shenanigans again, the conversation will have to revolve around that rather than the stuff that I started bringing up last month.

I’ve got to be careful, because it almost feels like a “trap” that WC could use against me, but this month I have to start discussing possible alternatives for the meds that I’m taking right now. Because if they are somehow able to weasel out of paying for what I’m currently taking, the cost of two of those medications would simply be too much for me to continue taking them long term. πŸ™ That’s where the “trap” part comes in.

When I start discussing more affordable potential alternatives for the meds I’m currently taking, I want it to be clear with my doctors and in my records that I have no desire or intention to make any changes now… and that the research and discussion is really just to act as my parachute if I get pushed out of the plane. But I can see where my fear of being forced to pay for my own meds, which has made me research cheaper (but likely less effective) alternatives, means that I nowΒ know that there are cheaper alternatives, so they’ll probably think that they have the right to force me to change to them – despite my preference to keep taking the ones that I’ve been taking. 😏 Heh… I know, that sounds a bit convoluted, but it basically make sense, no?

But until I’m able to discuss this with them, I know that I’m just taking barely-educated shots in the dark when it comes to what might or might not be suitable replacements. 🎯😎 I mean, even though I know that Lyrica has very specific actions – at its most basic level I know that it is considered an anti-seizure / anti-convulsant medication… so that’s where I start looking. πŸ€“πŸ“š And now I have four or five medications that I think could be good replacements… but for all I know, even though they’re anti-seizure, they may have totally different actions – and ones that aren’t even close to being applicable to my situation. πŸ˜’

So for now that’s all I can really do… look for “close” meds and make sure there are more positive side effects than negative. Then I’ll just hope that I’m actually on to something, and that information can be put in my back pocket until it is needed. Between now and then I just have to figure out how to condense all of this crap down into a tolerable three to four minutes. πŸ˜³β±πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ Gotta impress the importance of this on him, while also not rambling so much that my point gets lost in the noise. I’m better at that than you’d think, actually… it just doesn’t seem that way here because I know I can go on and on about something and it doesn’t matter, since hardly anyone reads this blog anyway. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

“Customer Service”

Might as well continue my bitching into Tuesday.Β πŸ˜’ 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. 😳😟 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.Β πŸ™ 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.Β πŸ€• 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. 😏 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 couldΒ 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. 😐 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. 😣

I ended up calling it a day around 3pm, even though there was still stuff that I couldΒ (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. 😠 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.Β πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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. 😳🐱 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. 😌

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.

Now We’re Cookin’

Another long day of medical stuff. Nothing really new or concerning. So, so much data from all the labs and pathology and whatever… some of the most recent stuff hadn’t even been interpreted so it was presented in its pure data form, but there was still enough “plain english” stuff for him to form his opinion and explain things very clearly. It turns out that not only was the cancer in my left lymph node, but they also found (after the fact) that there was a “micro-tumor” in the right one as well… so it’s good that they sliced them both out to be safe.

The thing that made the overall picture slightly better today is that they also tested the nearby lymph node and the results showed no cancer cells there. So, yeah, it’s just a test, it’s hard to say how accurate it really is, but I’ll take the good news… so we’re gonna go with that for now. Defective thyroid removed, and no cancer in the nearby lymph node. He also made some adjustments to my meds which should help me battle the lack of energy and accidental naps, and I’ll start taking those tomorrow.

The other positive thing from this appointment is that one of the bigger balls is now in motion. I doΒ have to go through the radioactive iodine treatment, which is meant to catch any random cancer cells that may still be hiding out, but there’s not a huge urgency to it – so I won’t start until this time next month. It had to be that way due to my other appointments and schedule, because there’s a 7-day period where I’m supposed to remain isolated so I don’t contaminate the unwashed public by my presence… so of course I wouldn’t wanna see Dr Walter and Nicole during that time.

The process will begin with me getting some sort of injection (to mask the effect of the thyroid medication) on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the actual radiation stuff on Wednesday. After that part is completed I then have to go for a full body scan. I think that’s the next thing that I’m actually nervous about. It’s meant to see if anything was missed, anywhere, and to have a scan to use as a (hopefully) successful baseline for another full scan six months after that. So yeah, it’s quite the glob of activity coming up here soon.