Phil Collins: Not Dead Yet

Last night was concert night in Columbus, seeing Phil Collins with my friends Jim and Adam at Nationwide Arena.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š I was already nervous the day before, thinking of the handful of things that could make my day difficult, and despite doing my best to screw it up from the start – waking up at 4am and not being able to fall back to sleep – everything ended up alright and the show was great.

For anyone that’s a fan, it’s common knowledge that Phil is pretty gimped up from a failed back surgery and a “fucked foot” as he put it, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ But despite remaining seated for almost all of the performance, he seemed to get along reasonably well with a cane, so it didn’t feel as… um… I guess I was just worried that it would feel a little “Wheel the old man out and make him sing.” but that wasn’t the case at all.ย ๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ‘ดย It was a relatively long show too, playing his stuff and some Genesis songs, and he seemed to be enjoying it all. (And another “bucket list” concert checked off for me.)

Since he’s unable to play the drums, his son Nic filled in for him.ย ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ˜Ž The kid is pretty amazing… he’s 17 now, he was 16 when the tour started in the UK, which means he was probably learning and perfecting all of his dad’s songs by the time he was 14 years old… knowing that he’d eventually be going on a huge tour like this.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฏย (Oh, and he plays piano too ๐Ÿ™„) It was all the way back in May of 1992 that I saw Genesisย in The Shoe at OSUย (26 years ago… holy shitballs)ย but I never thought that I’d get to see him perform his own songs solo, since he swore quite a while ago that he’d never tour again.

Jim’s an awesome friend, surprising me and Adam both by getting us all tickets.ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒย (Five years ago this month we were in Kansas thanks to him as well) And like I told him, I have enough “concerns” about myself that I wouldn’t have even thought about buying a ticket for myself if he hadn’t. The neck and shoulder pain, the thyroid stuff, the random back stuff, the anxiety that comes in times and ways of its own choosing… I don’t think I would have trusted myself to be able to go – but when a friend makes not going not an option, you just put your head down and keep moving forward.

Oh, there were moments that I still wasn’t sure… even up until the point that I was standing in line, waiting to get in…ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ญย … but I’m absolutely glad that I went.

I’ve been a mess since getting home last night around midnight though.ย ๐Ÿ˜• The “post-concert buzz” ended up keeping me awake until about 5am, and man did I hurt.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ข It’s mostly better now, but between the cold, the sitting, the standing, the singing, the recording of video, the crowds, the traffic… as usual, my body and brain eventually weren’t having any of that nonsense, and they let me know as soon as the show ended.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think Jim and Adam could see it in me once the lights came up, so we all sat for a bit and let the crowd clear. After we left the arena they walked along at my pace until we parted ways at the parking garage. Luckily Jim gets me though, so he knows that all of that “beat-up old man” stuff doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do it all over again.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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I Am The Eye In The Sky

Had a bit of a setback with my back yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ The pain woke me up around 4am, and a quick trip to the bathroom made me realize that the strength/ability in my right leg wasn’t really there. I probably just slept on something wrong, but rather than dwell on it and get upset about it, I decided to devote the first half of the day to staying in bed, watching movies, and eating a few boxes of that ready-to-make chicken salad and crackers. ๐Ÿ– I could still find certain ways to lay that would alleviate the pain, so I just did that and totally plucked myself from what would have been my “normal” routine, and plopped myself into this “being a potato in bed” zone that was outside of my normal timeline. ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ My weird way of trying to explain it anyway… but it worked… that half day of removing myself from everything but Netflix and the cat actually helped – and I was able to get up and around by the early afternoon.

As I was lying there though, I started pondering my various aches, pains, and disabilities… wondering which ones will get better, if any of them are starting to just stayย with me, and how I’m gonna be as I get older and have to deal with compounding issues like this. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Like I told Dad, I ended up coming to the conclusion that I’m only complaining as much as I have been because I still feel like I can recover or at least improve. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ If the “bleh” feels temporary, it’s easy to bitch about it when it’s slow going… but honestly, and my neck is proof of this, I can learn to live with pain and disability – to the point where eventually it’s “just there”, sucking, but something I can compartmentalize for the most part. ๐Ÿ˜ For the most part… ‘cuz there’s always super painful exceptions. Summarized, my bitching will eventually slow. ๐Ÿ˜

In the evening I went in town to deliver those two Yi security cameras to my cousin. I’m obviously more excited about any kind of A/V tech than they would be, but I could still tell that she was having fun playing around with the one as she went through the setup process. ๐Ÿ“น๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป Matt’s already running through the possible installation locations, so as soon as they get a couple little memory cards they’ll be ready to roll. It’s crazy how even just five or ten years ago, creating any kind of home video security system was expensive and a pain in the ass. There’s no way that Yi makes any money off of these cameras. ๐Ÿคจ I’m guessing they’re banking on people like me to sign up for the monthly cloud storage fee – which I don’t mind doing at all.

So anyway, despite feeling pretty rotten for the first half, it actually wasn’t that bad of a day overall – and it definitely made me happy to gift those cameras to Toni and Matt. โ˜บ I really hope that they never have any bad reason that they’ll need any of the footage that they record… but I’m glad that they’ll have those cameras just in case they do.

Hurt, Heal, Push, Hurt, Heal, Push…

Yesterday evening ended up being bad. Normally you do some sort of physical activity, it’ll work up your muscles a bit, then as the day and night progresses – the pain or stiffness gradually goes away. Not last night. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜  I left PT feeling awful and it continued to get worse all the way until I somehow fell asleep despite it. And even today, as soon as I effing woke up – neck is stiff, head and eyeballs are pounding with a headache still… heh… I really wasn’t anticipating it being this bad, considering the relatively limited movement that I allowed my bad arm and shoulder yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜’ Even being actively aware of and discussing it as I was going through exercises with the physical therapist, I still allowed myself to get this effed up. ๐Ÿคฌ

I got wrapped up in that “authority figure” syndrome thing. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Where you’re talking to a cop or doctor or teacher or whatever… and because you see them as an authority figure, you’re more likely to just do what they say, or give their words more weight than compared to a “normal” person. ๐Ÿ™„ I wanted to do the exercises that they have determined should help me, and in “trying to do my best” (like always) I really messed myself up. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But anyway – I’ve already decided that I’m barely going to do any of that shit during the next visit – or at home, where I’m also supposed to continue the exercises.

I’m not gonna give up on trying to get my back to heal properly and train it for a little more endurance, but I’m not gonna be able to do it the way a completely functional human would. ๐Ÿค• Tomorrow is supposed to be my last appointment with them anyway, so it’ll be up to me to make the choices about how I’m gonna keep things moving in the right direction. Heh… I can’t explain how angry this pain makes me… it’s a combination of the actual pain, the resentment regarding the original injury that has made me this fragile, feeling like “taking the initiative” to push myself to heal just results in punishment, spending every other day hurting and recovering… meh… I’m just gonna basically drop the extensive PT and do what I can, because prior to this I was actually healing and feeling pretty good.

It’s just one of those days where as soon as I woke up I was already done with this day. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Gonna try to make this headache go away and hopefully do something that can flip my mood. Apologies to anyone who has messaged me or sent e-mails and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I’m gonna try to get at all that before the afternoon is over. It’s hard to put on “happy, socializing face” when I’m feeling like this…

And I’m gonna find something positive to post about later too. Tired of being miserable.

Incremental Progress

It’s been a while since I’ve had to work… but all of these doctors, specialists, tests, and referrals that I’m dealing with right now – I can’t imagine how someone with a job would be able to do hardly any of it. Since last Friday, there’s only been one weekday where I didn’t have to be out and doing something related to my current medical situation. ๐Ÿ˜’

Like I told my dad though… I know that this is just what people have to do to keep their motors running, but I’m just having a hard time adjusting to needing all of the maintenance. I mean, my neck and shoulder have been fucked for a decade, yeah, but other than that I’ve been mostly healthy and capable. ๐Ÿ˜ So suddenly dealing with multiple new medical things, plus adding dentist stuff on top of it… having it consume so much time on so many days… it’s just hard for me to get used to it when I’m feeling miserable, considering that my schedule essentially used to be blank prior to all this.

It really is all headed in the right direction though. And I appreciate that my doctor’s office calls me quite often, nudging me to do whatever it is that they’ve wanted me to do, making sure I’m making the appointments with the specialists. ๐Ÿ˜ I actually need that, since my fucked back has been the only thing constantly in my brain for a while now.

Cassi came down yesterday to help me out, which I really appreciated. Sitting here in the messy house was twitching me out, so she came down and picked up the living room, vacuumed, took the trash buggy out to the curb, did some laundry… just stuff to make my brain a little happier, and so I didn’t have to push myself too hard too soon. I was also able to see Dez the other day, by stopping by her job after my ultrasound and hoping that she might be getting off work… that way I wouldn’t have to try and walk inside. (And I probably wouldn’t have, because it’s embarrassing, the way I have to move in order to not hurt.)

We sat in the parking lot and talked for almost a half hour, and I gave her her birthday/graduation present along with a letter that I had written her in case we didn’t get to talk when I dropped it off. ๐Ÿ˜Š She told me all about the past couple of months, and she was so happy with her present. I think it wasn’t even so much about what it was, but more that even though I’ve been kinda “gone” lately – I was still thinking about her, being proud of what she’s accomplished, and wanted to give her something nice to hopefully brighten her day. ๐Ÿ™‚ But yeah… it was nice seeing her again… she’s a great kid.

Lots Of Thinking

Superstition is silly, but I still feel like I’m gonna jinx myself… but I’ve actually noticed a bit of improvement over the past 24 hours. I’ve been feeling confident enough to shuffle around the house as needed without the damn cane, but still hunched over and taking super careful steps. And even though I’m only sleeping a couple hours at a time, at least the pain hasn’t been worse when I wake up.

I’ve definitely learned that I wasn’t remotely prepared for something like this. When it is difficult to even take ten steps, having my shoes by the door, the remotes on the couch, my phone by the chair, my pills back in the bedroom, unfolded laundry in the basket, the pop out in the garage…ย it’s like I left myself an unintentional endurance course to run. Oh, and going out for groceries? Heh… yeah.

I’d be embarrassed right now if someone had to come in to this house to help me, because it’s frozen in a state where the dishes haven’t been done, the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed, clothes haven’t been put away, etc… and I feel like that person would think that this is just how I live.ย I dunno… when you’re feeling good you just take for granted that you’re going to continue feeling good and so all that shit doesn’t matter because you “know” you’ll be able to easily get to it at some point.

It definitely makes me sympathize with older folks who’ve just become less mobile over the years, who have to save their energy for key things and sometimes have to let other things go for a while, if not for good. Meh… it’s hard to explain… I guess I’m just saying that you never really understand until you’re going through it yourself, even if it is (hopefully) temporary. Hangin’ in there though…

Compressed

Made the mistake of sleeping in my bed last night. Originally I thought that the cushion of the mattress would help, but after waking up worse this morning – I’m pretty sure it’s because my butt sinks down into the mattress (like it’s supposed to) but that means there’s also constant pressure on the area where that nerve is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Sitting on the hard floor, which you’d think would be bad, is the one way that I can get the pain to stop… so I’ve gotta think about how I wanna try to sleep tonight. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜”

Haven’t decided what I’m going to do with my day today, but I’m 99% sure that not only will I not be going anywhere, but I’ll also probably spend most of my time on my ass, on the floor, in the living room. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I’m gonna give this until Thursday morning to show some improvement, and if it hasn’t by then I’ll probably go ahead and go to the ER. Gawd I hate the ER… ๐Ÿ˜’

Oh Yeah, I’m Still Quite Broken

I enjoyed having some company for a few days, but the one reason why I’m glad that she’s back at her own house now? So I can have my damn chair back. ๐Ÿ˜… She’s like me… for whatever reason, we both find the recliner to be the best place to sleep. So while she’s here she sleeps in the living room and I sleep in my bedroom… on my crappy mattress. ๐Ÿ˜’ It’s not always bad… but the odds say that you’re more likely to wake up feeling like shit than not – and every night that she’s been here recently I’ve woken up wishing that someone would just put me out of my misery. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Thankfully, hot hot shower “until the hot runs out” makes a lot of it go away.

I think that steroid injection did work, and I think it is starting to wear off… so I’m just having to get used to regularly waking up in pain again. It’s almost enough to make me not want to do an injection again – because, believe it or not, I can get used to the pain… but not if some magic shot makes it go away for a few weeks before letting it get me again. ๐Ÿ˜ช I’m not meaning to bitch though… I just wanted to say that I’m happy that I’ll be able to sleep in my recliner again and at least give myself a shot at feeling decent in the morning.

The past few days have been really good for me though. I went and did my own grocery shopping without any problems, and then yesterday I went with Cassi when she did her shopping… and at neither time did I feel like running from the store or stabbing anyone in the face. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ I think it’s because she’s one of the few people that I can feel human around, which sometimes lets me do human things. Lemme tell you, as weird as this stuff probably sounds to “normal” folks, it’s even more confusing and frustrating to me, the one experiencing it all. ๐Ÿ˜

I’m not gonna make any concrete plans based on how I’m feeling after the past few days, but I will say that I’m gonna try to keep rolling with the positive vibes and see where that takes me. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป I’ve got some things in mind, but I don’t wanna pressure myself by laying it all out. See, it is possible to really hurt and still feel somewhat okay. ๐Ÿค” Some days are obviously worse than others, but I have to convince myself that feeling physically miserable doesn’t always mean that my entire day will be destroyed. I know it’s possible.