Above and Beyond

Lemme take back a couple of the things I said in my most recent entry. 😏 I figured that Cassi (et al) would be completely wrapped up in everything surrounding their move, and that I probably wouldn’t hear from them or see them until it was all over, since she knows I can’t really help with anything heavier than a couple of pounds, plus I didn’t wanna absorb any stress if “stress” was the vibe of the day. πŸ˜πŸ€” Well…

I ended up going up there today to provide some help after all. πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Not much stress, and nothing strenuous… but Steven had to work during most of the day today, and with no car at the house – that left Cassi feeling (correctly) like it would be a precious day wasted if they weren’t able to continue moving stuff over to the new place. πŸ˜• And considering the deadline, I definitely agreed.

Since I honestly had nothing planned (well, other than lying around the house, enjoying a total day off 😏) and since I can relate to the feeling of wanting to “get shit done” but having something outside of your control stopping you, I couldn’t really say no when she asked. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Yeah, it ended up totally sucking the air out of my day off, but that would be a lame reason to not help a friend in need. πŸ™„ (Moving sucks. Especially the older we all get, the more stuff we all accumulate… yeah, it just sucks.)

I don’t know if the Soul would have been better equipped, size-wise, for the trips back and forth that we made, but we still ended up getting quite a bit of stuff over to the new place. πŸ™‚ Lots of little bitty things and boxes, since that was the easiest stuff… then once Steven got home he was gonna recruit some relatives to continue the work with the bigger stuff tonight and tomorrow. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ» But yeah, still better to have moved the shit that we did, rather than having that time completely wasted.

And while I’m glad to have gotten back home, kicked off my shoes, and gave the kitty some attention since she was excited to see me… 😌 in the back of my head I’m thinking about all of the work that they’re still gonna have to do tonight and tomorrow. 😟 I don’t blame them for wanting out of that shitty neighborhood, but I also don’t envy them for all the aches and pains they’re gonna have once the job is done. 😳

Lengthy Grumpy Ramble

I’m glad that I don’t have anything on the agenda for the rest of the week, since that allows me to take the things that I wanted to do today and move them to tomorrow. I must have slept funny or rough last night, because man did I wake up feeling beat up today. 😣😟 It looks like I’m going to have to actually go in to the pharmacy to deal with two of my WC prescriptions, since I’m gonna have to get some printouts proving that they’re unwilling to pay this month. πŸ˜’ But with my knees and neck acting up today – tomorrow just seems like the better option. (Stress can add to my physical pain, so I don’t need the BS at the pharmacy to pile on today…)

The insurance crap that I was gonna work on… that didn’t go anywhere today, since they needed all kinds of specific info that I didn’t have handy when I made the call. I figured since a bunch of paperwork had already been sent in, giving them the account number along with my name would have been enough. But nope, gotta get into my files and dig out the little notebook with a few dates and some other specifics that I need.

So I dunno… I guess the little bits that I accomplished today will serve as the “getting ready” for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully conclude things with both of those situations. πŸ“žπŸ˜•πŸ€žπŸ» My mood is shit today anyway, so waiting until tomorrow will probably help me when it comes to not barking at the people who are trying to help me, since they aren’t the folks who are making things difficult. 😏 Those call center / customer service jobs must be awful, since most folks aren’t as considerate to their lack of power or responsibility when it comes to any given account or situation. πŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Oh, speaking of crappy jobs… I guess Jim felt like he wasn’t gonna be able to cut it at the Whirlpool factory where he recently started working. πŸ˜• He’s worked in stocking type positions most of his life, sometimes also driving a forklift – sometimes not, so when he’s basically worked one type of job for most of his adult life – you could imagine how his first taste of assembly line work would feel intimidating. 😯😳😬

The difference between his job and my former job… the line at Whirlpool is controlled by the machines, where my line was controlled by the people. Plus, even though we worked at a ridiculous pace (that did end up eventually damaging me) we didn’t have parts that weighed upwards of 40 pounds to deal with. 😣 It’s also concerning when he tells me that he hurt his neck, and that it also caused his shoulder and arm to hurt… ‘cuz that sounds way too familiar. πŸ™πŸ€•

It just sucks that after years of being able to switch stores and jobs if he wanted to, and having an excellent employee / work record, he’s hit a phase where nobody wants him for those positions now. I mean, he didn’t “job hop” a lot, so I don’t think it’s that… so I’m wondering if it comes down to employers seeing his age on the applications. Glowing work histories don’t help if you can’t get past the HR people who see “47” and throw his application on the “nope” pile.

I was trying to think of what to say to him to keep his optimism up and his twichy-ness down, but it’s difficult when life seems to constantly bag tag a person. 😏 It sucks that he lives so far north of Columbus now, because I have a friend that could probably get him into Jiffy Lube almost immediately. But after I described the job to Jim, pointing out the ways it would be so much easier than a factory, he just replied that he doesn’t know how to work on cars, so the job wouldn’t be for him. πŸ˜’πŸ€”

It’s frustrating, because he’s almost always good at whatever job he’s working at… and you don’t have to know how to “work on cars” to work at a Jiffy Lube. Not to mention the fact that they’ll obviously train you before letting you loose on customer cars. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ”§πŸš˜ For example, if he started off working in the pit, under the floor, he wouldn’t have to do much more than locate the oil plug, drain the oil, plug it back up, and perhaps change some oil filters on the cars that have them more easily accessed from the bottom.

I hate to see him not working and struggling, but I think the anxiety from all of the things that have happened… it’s got him to a point where he’s questioning his own abilities, and thinking that he’s not good enough for even basic “some skill required” type jobs. 😟 And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. πŸ˜žπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… he’s a good d00d, and he’s done a lot of good things for other people who were struggling at various points in his life, so it just sucks watching life doing its best to chew up yet another friend who doesn’t deserve it.

Couple Days Off

I’ll definitely admit that I’m not the NASCAR fan that I used to be, but I still ended up watching much of most of the races this year… so I still get that “meh” feeling that fans get this weekend, now that the 2019 season is over and the races are done. πŸ˜• Luckily the Penn State vs OSU game is on, and it should be a pretty good one, so I’ve got that on the TV while I side-eye the stack of mail from this past week and try to talk myself into getting into it all. 😏

This is gonna be a low-key weekend for me though. Was busy through a lot of the past week, and already know that I’ll be busy next week getting tires put on, furnace looked at, garage opener likely installed (among other things) so I’m hoping to keep my ass planted at home and take it relatively easy today and tomorrow.

Of course I’ve still got random little shit around the house that I’ll probably work on if the motivation hits me, but my only planned project is getting the new mailbox mounted. I guess it’s gonna be sunny and decent tomorrow, so I’ll probably wait until then to take the old one off, measure out the holes on the post, and drill out the piece of wood that I’m gonna end up using as the mount.

I bought a cheap plastic universal adapter type thing, same brand as the mailbox, but for some reason not only does it not line up with the horizontal screw holes on the mailbox, but in the plethora of holes for mounting to a post – none of them appear to be in the locations needed. 🀨😐 That’s probably why Grandpa fastened the old mailbox to the post with a piece of wood underneath too… which, over many years out in the weather, has slowly rotted away. I’ve already found the perfect plank of wood, so I’m just hoping that it won’t be difficult to remove the old bolts from the post. πŸ˜¬πŸ™πŸ»

Worst case scenario, if they’re rusted solid or I don’t have the torque to loosen the nuts from the screws, I’m sure Rick would come over and get it sorted. (But I’ve got to at least try to do it myself first.) That’s the irritating thing about my left arm, man… 😟 something that should and would be a piece of cake if my shoulder wasn’t gimped – it’s now sitting out there as this intimidating prospect, knowing that I’ve only got Sunday to get it done before mail resumes on Monday. 😳 When simple things can’t be simple… it’s just frustrating.

Meh… it is what it is. Just glad that I’ll have decent weather to (hopefully) figure it out w/o killin’ myself. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

EDIT: Damn… this game is moving fast. Either that, or I’ve just been really slow as I was typing out this entry… ‘cuz I feel like I started it right after the game started, and it’s already down to two minutes left before half-time. Good… guess that means my plan of taking it easy is working, if time is passing that fast. πŸ™‚πŸˆ

Unexpected Success?

I did a pretty good job of clearing my mind of workers comp stuff this weekend, and it resulted in some strange dreams both nights. Friday night’s dream had a cast of most of my friends and family that are going through some shit right now. But in the dream, everything was great. πŸ™‚ Everyone was dressed up in nice clothes, had their hair and makeup done up, and part of it was taking place in some sort of classy, multi-level club that was full of similarly “dressed up” guests. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ It was if we were all there to celebrate something, because everyone was happy and laughing and just having a normal good night out with friends.

In that same dream, I actually left the folks who were enjoying the evening in the club and went out to my car so I could deliver a couple of my other relatives to a cabin where many of us used to go decades ago. πŸ€” I’m not sure why, but one of my aunts was excited to get up to the cabin (which was apparently a two hour drive from where we were)Β because she knew that her first husband would be there – and she didn’t want him to have to wait there, awkwardly, by himself. πŸ˜„ Why her first hubby? No idea… but we were then immediately at the cabin, somehow having skipped the drive, and everyone hopped out of the car, went inside, and started happily unpacking as if we were going to be staying for several days. 😊

Next night’s dream, Dad and I were walking along the sidewalk by the canal in the town where I grew up. It was current day, but we were both significantly younger … and I’m not sure why we were walking in town, but I stopped as we were slowly going past the house that we lived in when I was in high school. 😯 Dad actually bumped into me since he wasn’t expecting me to stop, but I had noticed (as I was looking through the front doors) that they had added several different flights of stairs in the living room – probably attached to the recently built rear addition, which is actually bigger than the original house. (Also true in reality.)

I then noticed that there was makeshift scaffolding around the entire house, made of wood that was basically the size and shape of railroad beams… and I was able to climb up some of these angled beams to get to the windows of the front upper bedroom, which now had a swinging wooden door in place of one of the windows. πŸ˜ƒ I knocked on the door, and the people inside let me in…

It turns out that they were all living in this upper addition to the house, but without the homeowners below knowing about it… so nobody was talking, nobody was making any noise, and they motioned that I could come in – even though nobody spoke to me. 😬🀫 Everyone was wearing Hogwarts type robe / uniform things, like from the Harry Potter movies, and they all seemed to be moving about the house with purpose. 🧐 I stood and watched for a while, being careful to stay out of everyone’s way, and that was about it.

I know “other people’s dreams” are essentially of negative interest to everyone else in the world πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ so I don’t expect anyone to really care what I dreamed about, and I’m only posting about them because it was amazing how not about “my stuff” they all were. Plus, it was nice that everyone who is going through some shit in real life… it’s nice that in my dream,Β all of them were having a great time, feeling good, looking good, and not worrying about much of anything. 😊 Tough dreams to wake up from though… when you become awake enough for reality to come back to your brain, but it was still a nice change of pace.

World Mental Health Day

(Just got done writing this one. Heh… sorry, it turned out way longer than I anticipated, but here we go…)

Any time you get on Twitter and scroll through your feed, you see any number of people posting something because it’s a “National (whatever) Day” of some sort. Usually it’s not… but it gives folks a good excuse to post cute pictures of their cat, dog, kid, or whatever – but after seeing several posts and doing a quick google, it turns out today really is World Mental Health Day.

It’s meant to raise awareness, show support for folks getting or needing mental health care, and to also reduce the stigma that’s sometimes involved. Often involved, actually. πŸ˜’ For example, a while back at one of my primary care doctor appointments I was discussing some of the things in my life that were causing me anxiety. My disability, pain, the (then) newly discovered cancer, Mom being sick and now having passed, other close friends dying from cancer, dealing with workers comp, etc… 😟 like I told her – stuff that would probably cause anyone to feel stressed. I was just telling her so she’d have the full story, but she said she could refer me to a counselor if I wanted to talk to someone about it. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Seemed like a good idea to me. Sometimes just being able to let out your stress or anxiety to someone that’s not involved in your life in any way… it can just take a little bit of the weight off. I saw her like once a month for a few months, and she said she could refer me to their in-house doctor to see if there was any medication that might be able to help. I wasn’t really interested, since I was feeling an appropriate amount of “bleh” in regards to the stuff that was causing it… but I went ahead and took her suggestion.

I now see that doctor about once every six or eight weeks, and I’ve actually got an appointment with him tomorrow where I’ll need to make a decision. πŸ€” Because, despite this feeling like a normal series of doctor visits – just as if I was dealing with a physical health condition – the fact that this doctor gives me medication to help with my anxiety is now being used against me. 😠 And being used against me by the last person that I would expect to further the stigma surrounding mental health care… another doctor. ☹️

And when I say “mental health care” … I don’t even take any type of super serious medication, and I haven’t been diagnosed with any extreme disorders. Until this hiccup happened, I looked at this doctor and my treatment there as “Yeah, I guess it makes me feel a little better maybe… or at least I know it’s not making me feel worse… so I guess I’ll continue going.” Like, in my mind, it was barely a thing, but I continued going since it was now part of my current medical routine.

But when I had to go to the independent medical evaluation for the workers comp system (a week or so before getting that second radioactive iodine dose and scan for my cancer followup) one of the things discussed with that doctor was what medical treatment I was currently getting, and from who. (Regardless if it was related to my WC injury or not, to get a complete picture…) So of course I talked about the cancer doctor and treatment, my WC doctor and treatment, and then my PCP doctor and referral regarding the mental health care.

Now, these exams, they’re initiated by my former employer’s insurer, so of course they’re rarely going to be helpful to my cause. So I expected him to say certain things, but I never expected that being treated by a doctor for occasional anxiety would essentially be “weaponized” and used against me the way that it is. 😟😞 Because this doctor took the names of the two meds I’m prescribed, and picked some of the absolute worst possible reasons that I may be taking them. You know how almost every medication has one “thing” it is known for treating, but then it can also be used for treating a half dozen or more other things?

You could even do this test on yourself. Just grab whatever meds you take, get on WebMD, pick out the most extreme, “worst case scenario” possible uses for each medication, and see how close that sounds – compared to what you’re actually taking them for. 🧐 That’s what this doctor did to me. Taking what is run-of-the-mill, minor anxiety treatment to me, and twisting it into all sorts of implied, speculative, “concerning” mental conditions that could be so severe that they even affect how I interpret / talk about my pain and disability. πŸ˜§πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜  Reading those things in his report was honestly shocking. πŸ₯Ί

The funny thing is, for most people… just the pain that I deal with each day, and the sheer amount of things that I can no longer do due to the disability in my left shoulder and arm… just those things alone are enough reason that a person might want to include anxiety treatment in their normal medical routine. And I was doing it mostly because another doctor suggested it, and it sounded like a “might as well” thing, rather than me desperately needingΒ it or seeking it out. And now it has bitten me in the ass. πŸ™„πŸ˜’

Well, maybe it has bitten me in the ass. (Maybe the commission will see right through it, as they should.) I won’t know how his report will affect my worker comp case until the hearing is scheduled and all of the doctors’ information (from both sides) is reviewed. But now I’m stuck, wondering if tomorrow I should let this doctor know that I no longer need his services. πŸ˜ŸπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ He probably helps me a little bit, but it’s certainly something that I could do away with if it’s going to damage the treatment that I get for my work injury. It’s obviously more important (and logical) for me to want to keep the treatment that keeps my pain to a minimum, which also helps keep my stress and anxiety to a minimum.

Yeah, so anyway, it’s a bit of a clusterfuck… and, unfortunately, anyone that reads my story here… anyone that may have been considering seeing a counselor or psychiatrist for the first time… they’ve now got something to add to their mental “nope” list when it comes to the pros and cons of seeking any type of mental health treatment. πŸ˜’ I don’t take it personally, what the “independent” doctor wrote. I understand that his job is to come up with all of the “worst case scenario” stuff that he can, since my doctors will obviously be talking positively about all of the ways that my current treatment is as effective as the WC situation will allow.

I guess I look at those types of doctors the same way that you might look at public attorneys who are appointed to defend obvious criminals in court. They still have to give that defense their maximum effort, even if it goes against what many people would consider to be “right.” That doctor has chosen that job for reasons only he would know… so I can only hope that sometimes he stops to think about the effect that his actions have on us folks who rely on our WC treatment to keep our pain and lives at least tolerable. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

Happy World Mental Health Day 2019. πŸ˜’πŸŽ‰

Why Am I Still Surprised? (@Me)

It looks like it is supposed to rain tomorrow and the next day, so even though I’m pretty sure this isn’t “grass planting season,” I went ahead and dumped that bag of soil around my light post out front, spread it out a bit, and covered / mixed it with new “drought resistant” blue-colored grass seed. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŒΎ The light pole area took the whole bag of dirt, but I did have half a bag of seed left over to spread around the other areas that got weed-whacked down to solid dirt. πŸ€”πŸ˜’Β (And yes, the mailbox gravel is still in my trunk… heh… maybe tomorrow. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ )

It’s partially my fault, because I’ve always told the guys to do whatever they needed to do to clear the yard out and make the mowing easier for them, since there used to be a whole bunch of stuff planted in random places that still tries to pop up. But when a few trees, bushes, and poles end up with big dirt rings / divots around their base… I think it’s safe to say “Okay, I’m pretty sure you got the weeds, buddy.” πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ But I know they’re just trying to earn their money, staying busy while the other guy mows, and the only spot that really bugs me is the light post – because I can’t avoid seeing it when I leave the house.

So even though the dirt is almost as hard as rock around those other areas, I went ahead and threw down the remaining seed and got everything good and soaked with water, with a handful of back-and-forth trips to the spigot with an old watering can I found in the garage. πŸ’¦πŸŒ±πŸŒ±Β Unfortunately that’s about the extent of the oomph I’ve got for right now. πŸ˜₯ (And why I’m taking a break to sit here and blog… heh) I hate it, but between my neck, shoulder, and now lack of a thyroid… I have to accept that there’s an even newer limit to what I can do, even when it comes to this minimal amount of shit. πŸ™„ It was supposed to be old age that slowly took away those abilities, not being broken and having pieces of meat removed. 😠 Meh…

But anyway, it’s done now… πŸ™‚ I’m optimistic about the light pole, and if the other areas can sprout up a little bit of green (whether it’s new grass or “other”) that’ll just be a bonus. Of course I’ll have to let them know to take it easy around those areas for a while, and hopefully they’ll just be like “Kewl. Less work.” and not feel like I’m bitching. (Even though I’m kinda bitching… heh) Laundry and dishes are still on the agenda for today, but only after I chill for a bit, let the Aleve kick in, and maybe catch some of the Xfinity race.

Cook Once, Eat Many

Didn’t really wanna make the mess from cooking it, but I’ve had a bag of chicken breast bits in the freezer for a while now – so I went ahead and threw them into a skillet with a few chopped up green peppers, and then boiled a box of rotini noodles to mix all together with some garlic sauce. I guess it wasn’t that much mess, and now I’ve got four extra bowls of the stuff in my fridge, so I won’t have to fuss around with cooking anything for a couple days. I already eat enough crap food, just because it’s easier to make (and clean up after), so it’s nice just to have something ready to go with a bunch of veggies and meat in it for a change.

Rinsed everything out, but the cooking itself took most of my shoulder oomph for the afternoon – so I’m gonna wait until tomorrow to actually do the dishes and put them away. Heh… this is another “pat myself on the back” post. And you know, I realize now where semantics is trying to screw me in my WC case. As I told a friend a little while ago, it makes me feel good to get something done throughout the day, rather than just sitting around. Of course what I’m saying is that it mentally makes me feel good, getting that small sense of accomplishing something despite the difficulty, not that it physically makes me feel better to cook and do dishes… heh… cuz lemme tell ya, it doesn’t.

I think I’ve still got some energy to do a few more things this evening… probably just taking all of the office and craft supplies out of the hallway closet and getting it all put away in Grandpa’s desk in a way that makes sense. I’ll probably end up using that stuff more as well, since it’ll be slightly more handy. Also debating putting up the new scanner antenna sometime before I go to sleep tonight. I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this too early, but today hasn’t been bad. No unexpected calls or visitors, staying just busy enough without killin’ myself, and somehow maintaining a half-way decent mood. Okay… that’s it… carry on…