Overdue For One Of These

Had my monthly WC doctor visit today. Good timing for two reason… first, because it looks like we’re gonna get our first measurable snow tonight (possibility of 2 to 3 inches) and second, because my shoulder was bad this morning. 😣 Most of the time when I have my appointments with him, I’m in my typical / average condition. Not good, but not too bad. But luckily, every now and then, my shoulder has one of its little fits while I’m in the office so he can see in real-time what I deal with a lot of days. Of course I never want to hurt, but it’s like when you take your car to the repair shop and it just won’t “make that noise” for the guy… yeah… my shoulder was making all kinds of “noise” for the doctor today.

It kinda doesn’t matter though… πŸ˜• and that sucks. πŸ˜’ I mean, my treatment is based on my condition, and he already knows that’s part of my condition – so seeing it happening “live” isn’t gonna change anything about it. It’s hard to describe the frustration of just wanting to “feel okay” while also knowing that there really isn’t anything that can make that happen. 😐 (And yeah, I know, I’m far from the only person that feels that way.) I’m gonna have to ask him at my next appointment, how much WC is affecting what he’s able to do for me. Lord knows they look for any reason to fight even paying for the meds that I’m on now, so I could see where he might know that some options would just be “off the table” from the start.

Meh… gotta try to not dwell on that stuff. πŸ™πŸ» But that’s why I’m a little more twitchy than usual once a month. Every time my WC appointment comes around, it just brings up all the frustration that I go through, for treatment that just makes things tolerable, and the fun waiting and wondering if / when my pharmacy will be given approval for each of my meds, etc, only to do it all over again a month later. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It’s just a shitty cycle that it seems I’m gonna be stuck in forever.

But like I told the doctor today… yeah, I might have times where I bitch about this stuff more than usual, but I also know that things could be a lot worse. I see the other people as they walk into the office… or, sometimes, as they’re rolled by in a wheelchair. 😟 I know that while my disability is definitely full of suck, there’s a lot of folks that have it a lot worse than me – so I try to keep my perspective. (But it doesn’t stop me from thinking that there’s got to be something out there that could still help me more.)

So, yeah, I haven’t done one of these rants for a little while… so there it is. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Honestly, if you took my doctor appointment off of today’s schedule, everything was about the same as any other day – a random mix of good, bad, frustrating, okay, painful, tolerable, etc. πŸ™„ It just happened that today, the worst of the tremors happened at the most influential time. So despite several paragraphs of complaining, I’m fine… just thinking out loud and getting shit off my chest like usual. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»Β It’s all good…

Regenerating

Today was a little better than yesterday. Got to sleep a lot earlier last night, slept in pretty good, my various bits eventually hurting a little less, etc. I am gonna avoid the bed for a couple of nights though, as it definitely doesn’t do me any favors when I try to sleep in it “pre-gimped” from too much activity in the day(s) prior. 😟 It was an unplanned blessing that I picked up this leather recliner, nearly new, at an auction many years ago. Didn’t know then that it would eventually make the rough nights a little less so. πŸ™‚

Listening to the scanner tonight, unfortunately I heard the address of some folks I know come across the fire dispatch channel. 😯 It doesn’t sound like it was a big one… with the fire being contained to the porch where it apparently started, and the most important thing – that nobody was hurt. Still… hate to hear that it happened, especially since they’ve been doing some remodeling on the place over the summer.

For some positive news, one of my other friends… her boyfriend recently got hired on at a new job, he seems to really enjoy the work, and he’s getting a buttload of hours – at least for right now. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» Things are always in flux when you start a new job, but hopefully they don’t hire like a lot of places do these days – where they’d prefer to have a dozen people working 12 – 16 hours a week, rather than a handful of folks that get a full 40 hours. But yeah, definitely nice to see things looking up for them. I’ll go ahead and say it… “knock on wood”… so I don’t jinx anyone – but from now on whenever you see me say something that seems jinx-worthy, just keep in mind that the appropriate wood knocking has been completed. 😏🀜🏻🌳

I think tomorrow I’m going to take this little file cabinet over to Bri. Now that she’s got an apartment, bills, court papers, etc… she’s finally got enough crap that she needs to keep organized, and this one has been sitting in my basement since I moved in here. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ—„οΈ I had to pop the lock on it, ‘cuz who knows where that key would be, and the bottom drawer did have a bunch of stuff in it (including printed out blogs from the mid 2000s) so it’ll be interesting to go through all that when I have a moment of boredom. πŸ™‚πŸ—ƒοΈ Right now it’s still in a stack on my living room floor. And luckily this thing is lightweight, made from some kind of thin metal, so I shouldn’t have any problems getting it into my back seat. (Hopefully.)

But today wasn’t awful… and I should be pretty close to getting back into the swing of things tomorrow. Oh, and I did introduce OutsideKitty to his new (potential) Rubbermaid “house” in case he’s interested in giving it a try tonight. It’s not gonna be cold cold, but shelter with soft / warm stuff inside is better than nothing, eh?

Lazy Sunday

Wasn’t able to fall asleep until about 5am this morning, but my alarms woke me up at 11am to see that Genesee had made it home safely without any further airline incidents. πŸ™‚ I’m glad that it’s sunny out, ‘cuz man did I wake up feeling like crap. In this case, I’ll take the nice view out the front window, even though I’m not gonna be going out to do anything in it. 😏 Same old story… a few days where I was doing more stuff than usual, so today everything gets to hurt more than usual – at least for a while. It’s fine though… nothing important on the agenda today, and I’ll gladly pay the “price of admission” (the pain, for the slow folks) whenever she wants to come for a visit. 😊 I’m really glad I don’t have to do anything today though. πŸ˜…πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Meds should slowly make things better in that regard, then there’s the race in Texas to watch in the afternoon, and while that’s going on I’ll probably dig through some old blankets and sheets in the basement to get the cat house done and put outside. I don’t really want an outside cat, but if he insists on hanging around, I figure that’s the least I can do for him. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ί Somewhat unrelated, I had another one of those weird, split-second thoughts about Mom when I was waking up earlier. I’m not sure what triggered it, but it just popped into my head that I needed to e-mail Mom to tell her about Gen’s visit. 😟 A thought so brief that you realize the problem with it, before that thought even has the chance to be completed…

I only mention it today because when I told Genesee about it, she said she had a similar thing happen when she was out with her friend and the horses. The natural thought of her wanting to stop by and tell her dad about the horses and show him the pictures when they were done. πŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ It’s strange how that still happens, and makes me wonder if it will always happen… those instinctive thoughts that pop into your brain and stay only long enough to make you sad. πŸ˜• Not sad sad… because I’m confident that Paul had already been watching her mini-adventure, and that Mom has been happy about Genesee coming to visit from the moment I picked her up at the airport… but you know what I mean. πŸ˜‡ It’s a weird feeling.

But I’m gonna hop off here, tidy the living room, and then try to take it easy for the rest of the day – saving the “returning to my normal routine / responsibilities” stuff for tomorrow. 🀘🏻😎

Small Steps… Always

Still not much going on lately. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’ve been continuing the incremental bits of cleaning and packing up of stuff, spreading the work out over time so I don’t excessively aggravate any of my gimpy parts. I wish that it made a bigger visual difference in the house, but honestly most of what I’ve been doing has revolved around cleaning out closets, working in the (rarely used) basement, and cleaning out various junk drawers. It’s nice to get my desk organized though, with all the “office stuff” that used to be scattered around the house. πŸ€“

It’s still being done mostly for the sake of “doing something” during my otherwise lackluster days, along with the feeling of accomplishment when a long-delayed project / task is finally finished. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m not usually thinking about it, but it’s feeling more and more like I’m subconsciously preparing the house and myself to eventually move out of here. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I’ve talked about the reasons before, which are all still valid, but when I’m not getting any younger and have been dealing with my various health problems – I think I just wanna be closer to town, people, stores, fast food, civilization, etc… just for convenience sake, if nothing else.

Meh… like I said, it’s not something that’s in my thoughts most days, but the idea is there. And in the same way that I’ve had to make adjustments to my daily life due to my disability and thyroid / energy issues, I can just see how being closer to all that stuff in general could make life easier and more bearable when it comes to the things that are a little more challenging for me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦―πŸ€• I’ve got several friends that are feeling similarly, as they realize they’re a little more isolated than they’d like, so I think that’s also partially motivating me. Where do I want to live? 😐 Who knows. πŸ˜… But at least the chores that I do, essentially just to give myself some purpose, is preparing me for whenever I might be ready for whatever the next phase will be.

Ray of Sunshine

No updates this past week because there hasn’t really been that much worth talking about. I did go to my first appointment with the WC doctor at the new facilities. About a month ago they moved to the brand new FMC-connected health care center / emergency room building, from the older medical center directly next door. It’s quite the upgrade. Big open waiting room areas with tall ceilings and tall windows, many more rooms to see patients, and even a few new doctors on the payroll.

But, especially right now, anything revolving around my workers comp case kinda has me anxious – so I did the typical thing the night before, where I couldn’t fall asleep at a reasonable hour and then I also woke up way too early. πŸ˜’ The appointment went fine… they always do… but it also involved going over some things about the rebuttal report that he’s going to be writing for the upcoming IC hearing – and to say that I’m tired of thinking about, talking about, and working on that topic… that would be an understatement.

After not getting enough sleep that night, it managed to shift my schedule to where I’m falling asleep around 8p each night, and then waking up around 3a… while also getting interrupted throughout the night by shitty, stress-themed dreams. (Of which I can’t even usually remember the details.)Β πŸ˜• I’m hoping I can shake things up this weekend and get out of thatΒ rut. Several people I know haven’t been feeling good, a couple friends got some crappy news that they didn’t need, my knee and shoulder are still meh… it’s just been one of those weeks for a bunch of us. 😟 Crossing fingers that next week will bring some positive change.

So, yeah… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ that’s about it. I mean, there’s been positive things this past week too… got a new mailbox (that I’ve yet to try and install), the little ring of grass around the light post is actually growing, I got the trash cleaned out of my car, completed some random light chores around the house, etc. But yeah, like I said, not stuff that’s really worth blogging about. (I know… when have I ever let that stop me… heh) 😏

Had To Get My Cane

It was a last minute decision, and even though it was pretty cold… between the sun being out all day and the rain staying away, I summoned up the motivation to go in town and walk around the fairgrounds on the last day of our county fair. πŸ™‚Β And rather than risking upsetting my stomach with a greasy sausage sandwich covered with more greasy vegetables, or a big sloppy Jimmy Jawbreaker burger with all the fixins, I actually decided not to getΒ any fair foodΒ while I was there. πŸ˜§πŸ€” I had already eaten a little bit earlier anyway, before I even knew I was gonna be going, so it was no big loss.

CLICK HERE to go to my “Fairfield County Fair (2019)” album on Flickr,
where you can either click, view, & zoom each photo individually, or you can
click the box with the “play” button in it – in the upper right hand corner
of the album – if you want the images to play as a full-screen slideshow.

But I accomplished what I went there for. 😎 Got out of the house for a little while, made a pass through all the aisles to see what was new and what had stayed the same, took a handful of typical-looking fair photos, and then of course I played the ring toss game to see if I could continue my streak of always (well, almost always) leaving with one of the “real” top tier canes. 😯 Which I did. πŸ˜„ And as I expected, it was nice going by myself this time. Walking at my own pace, stopping whenever / wherever I needed… I mean, of course I like doing this stuff with friends as well, but today just worked better for me since I was on my own. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

And I’m not ashamed to admit it… I’m glad that I won a “good” cane shortly after I got there, because after I had walked through the place and seen everything – I was then on the complete opposite side of the fairgrounds from where I was parked – so that cane ended up coming in handy (also as predicted… heh) as I made my way back to head home, since my knee was starting to feel a little bit tweaked from all the walking. 😏

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‰