Nothing New

Still haven’t completely bounced back from the weekend, but I have a feeling that the stress of waiting for all of the workers comp stuff to play out is adding to that problem. ๐Ÿคจ Unfortunately there’s no getting around the fact that emotional stress causes a physical reaction, especially when my injury is in my neck and shoulder… because that’s where stress tension often tends to land. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Even in folks without other physical defects there, most people definitely feel stress in those areas.

But this was “Day One” of two pretty decent looking days when it comes to the weather forecast. Sun’s out (mostly), I’ve got the windows open, breeze blowing through the house, and was hoping that would help motivate me to do some laundry and whatever… ๐Ÿค” but rather than pushing myself I just took the day off and enjoyed it the best that I could through my picture window. No hurry on the laundry, so why not.

I hate “not doing anything” but I’d also like to make it in town to visit with Dad tomorrow, so I didn’t wanna push my luck. At some point we’re supposed to go on a sight-seeing ride to check out some of the places from our family history, to see what everything is looking like these days compared to back then… so part of me is kinda thinking about that for tomorrow, but if not – a regular visit would still be a success. ๐Ÿ™‚ Waking up each day with different levels of brokenness makes it so it’s better to not necessarily “plan” some things… but rather just “let them happen” if they’re meant to happen.

I never hold my breath on these things, but so far the “take it easy” approach to today seems to have helped with the aches and pains. Now if I can only manage to not “sleep funny” I should be in decent shape for getting out of the house tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve been really stressed out the past few days, so I’ve been in hermit mode but still texting back and forth with Dad and Genesee which helps me escape my thoughts throughout the day. Fingers crossed for the continued bounce back to something close to normal…

(I don’t know why I still feel “guilty” or “bad” if I take a day and do absolutely nothing with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• )

SquirtCamper

I waited until into that afternoon before I made this entry, hoping I’d feel better than when I woke up today… but nope, today is definitely a recovery day, and it is sucking so far. ๐Ÿฅบ Yesterday was good though. A couple hours spent at the RV show, and then went to the casino for the afternoon and evening since Jim and I are rarely in the same place at the same time these days. ๐Ÿ™‚ Had a good time… just too much walking, to much activity, too much looking around (believe it or not) – which has all added up to today.

There were very few sub-$20k campers at the RV show, but Jim still managed to find one that he really liked, that would fit his planned needs. You can even order it with highlights in custom colors, including orange… giving hints of Squirtman even in his “retirement” years, once they get here. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ It had an “RV Show Special Price” of $11,999, so in several years once he’s ready to buy – there’s a good chance that this thing, used, is gonna be quite affordable. Click here to learn about it.

I’m gonna skip the details of the rest of the day because it’s about what you’d expect, plus my head is still killing me – and sitting here at the laptop isn’t helping. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ฃ I’ve been in hermit mode all day, so I apologize if you’ve been trying to get ahold of me without any luck. It’s gonna be that way for the rest of the night, and probably into tomorrow. Today’s still the weekend, so it’s no big deal, but I’m expecting to handle some important phone calls tomorrow so I wanna seriously take it easy and try to feel better. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

Not What I Planned

Yup, like I said, last night was fun, but I’ll be paying for it today. Thinking that this would be a lazy Sunday, I made the mistake of pushing a bunch of things from last week off until today. I’ve gotta handle my mail, work on a bunch of stuff regarding my upcoming IC hearing, listen to my voice mails and deal with whatever those require, plus I’ve gotta call the pharmacy to continue trying to get my current prescriptions filled…. and that’s all gonna be a lot harder now with a frozen neck.

Of course because of the physical aspect, but also because it’s particularly stressful to be coordinating my fight against workers comp and struggling to get my meds filled while I’m experiencing the exact thing that they’re fighting me over. It’s emotional stress that makes the physical stress worse, which makes the emotional stress worse, ad infinitum… the ouroboros of my disability. ๐Ÿ˜ž

When that cycle starts it’s hard to escape. That’s why I worry so much about things like my planned concert trip later this year. Yesterday, my only concern with meeting up with my friends was that I might be too tired to do it, but then my shoulder shows up too, goes nuts, and now today is screwed. If I make just the smallest misstep, things can go downhill so quickly.

So I’m gonna wait a little longer for the morning meds to kick in, then I’ll start slowly tackling this stuff. But ugh… cringing about what else the mail might contain, cringing about what the voice mails might say, cringing about yet another hearing that will determine the quality of my life for the indefinite future… it would just be nice if I felt like I had some control of where my life is heading.

It’s probably partially my fault for not dealing with stuff as it showed up, but again I made the mistake of thinking that because I felt okay on those particular days that I’d feel okay today when I planned to deal with everything. Meh… I have very little control over how this will all turn out, so I might as well just power through it as best as I can and then give it up to God. And yeah… this counts as a negative post.

Perfect Storm

Three things:

  • I didn’t get my nap today, so I’ve been awake since 3a… and it is currently 11p.
  • Despite that, I still made it in town to meet up with my friends for dinner.
  • I had a good time… but my shoulder is fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Note, this isn’t a complaining post, even though it’ll sound like it. ‘Cuz my shoulder is frozen in the “up” position, but thankfully isn’t throwing a fit anymore. ๐Ÿ™„ Good lord, I haven’t had it shake this much in a long time. I’ve also got that familiar tilt of the head to the left. ๐Ÿค• Yeah, tomorrow is going to royally suck.

This was one of those “price of entry” situations I’ve mentioned before. Where a combination of normally trivial things combine to flip the switch, even though it was something I wanted to do. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not quite enough sleep, sitting up against the wall in an uncomfortable booth, not being able to fidget around as needed, loads of noisy people all around, using “social energy” I didn’t really have, an unfamiliar place, and then going from the warm to the cold as we finally gave up our seats and took it outside to finish talking. ๐Ÿ˜

But it was Jim, Adam, and Brad, and we all went to The Pink Cricket. Haven’t stepped inside that place since I was barely a teenager, when me and my cousin Jim went in because they had a new (at the time) Ms Pacman machine. Ironically, they still have three arcade machines, and they’re all vintage. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Adam is a bit of a foodie, so I was happy to go there – since us getting together these days technically qualifies as “an event.”

The only time we weren’t talking was when we were cramming food in our mouths, but at a little over an hour my shoulder really started twitching. ๐Ÿ˜ณ We had finished eating and were just taking up space, so I asked if they’d mind going outside so I could move around a bit. Well, we ended up standing outside for another 45 minutes, and all the little triggers came together and I ended up putting on a pretty good show. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ Just meaning that my shoulder wouldn’t stop, and it’s probably the worst that they’ve seen it.

We covered a lot of topics but of course eventually it turned to my shoulder, then workers comp stuff, then all of our various aches and pains that we now bitch about… ๐Ÿ˜ typical fare for four d00ds who are approaching “old fart” territory a little quicker than we’d like. But they had to drop off Brad before Adam could head back to Columbus, and then Jim up to Marion, so we broke it up and headed out around 10:30p.

Fun fact… I started this entry around 11p when I got home, but I’ve had to take so many breaks that it’s now after midnight. ๐Ÿ˜ณ That’s the stuff that people don’t see. Spending an hour leaning against the space heater, typing a couple sentences here and there, and doing my best to make the “ugh” go away. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ At least my shoulder’s down and my head’s back in a normal position now. But yeah, still glad that I went.

(But ask me tomorrow when I wake up. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s time for bed.)

Predictably Unpredictable

Had one of those fortunate times where my workers comp doctor appointment coincided with my neck acting up. Obviously “fortunate” is a relative term… but I think it’s important that the doctor sometimes see me at the worst of my worst times, since at many of my appointments I’m “okay.”

The spasms started yesterday, after carrying a big bag of cat food in from the garage. It used to be that I could still use my right arm to carry about any amount of “dead weight” … where I don’t really do any lifting but just let whatever-it-is hang there at the end of my arm. I guess I’ve got to be more careful about even that now.

It makes sense that something heavy, carried with my right arm, could still pull across the muscles and tendons of my neck and therefore irritate the damaged area… I’m just not stoked about the potential of losing even more ability than I already have. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I’m also not stoked that sometimes just the act of sitting down a little too hard triggers a nerve spike that radiates out over both of my shoulders. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ I know I’ve got a big head, but just that little bit of “extra” downward force on my neck… it’s scary that that’s enough to sometimes cause an unpleasant jolt.

But my visit with the doctor was productive. It’s great that after more than a decade (with a basically stable, yet slowly deteriorating condition) he’s still more than happy to give me as much time as I need at an appointment, and this was one that took a little longer as we discussed everything. And while I’m not a fan of the process, we both agreed that it’s probably time for another MRI to see what’s going on in there. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Now, whether workers comp will approve it, that’s another matter.

This was one of those “C’mon, there has to be a way to make it where I don’t hurt like this.” visits, which are probably as frustrating for him as they are for me. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s just that there’s only a limited amount of reasonable things we can try, and I’ve already done treatments like cervical spine injections – which only provided limited relief, both in the amount the pain was reduced and for how long. ๐Ÿ˜’ And with the risks involved in that method, I’m not sure that it’s worth it when adjusting my meds could prove to work better.

Meh… I’m so tired of medical stuff. ๐Ÿ˜ž But I’ll wait to see if the MRI is approved, I’m also waiting for a call back about some other things, and then we’ll just go from there. Like I told him today, I’m still too young to just accept that this is how I have to feel, and I haven’t battled with workers comp for this long just to feel “bad, but not really bad” most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜’ If there are still things that could help me, they need to remain open as options – otherwise what’s the point? Thankfully, he still seems to agree.

Barfing Out Paragraphs (BTS)

It’s probably been a couple years ago now, but sometime back in the recent past Cassi introduced me to BTS. At first it was almost like a hostage situation ๐Ÿ˜… where when I would visit she would play different videos of theirs and “make” me watch. Then after I warmed up to them she’d just send playlists, knowing that I’d now watch them without her having to watch over me to make sure. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s a difficult thing… getting someone to give “your music” a fair chance… and even more so when most of the lyrics are in Hangul. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But I quickly started to see what she saw in them. The lyrics of so many of their songs are filled with meaning… not typical pop music schlock, for the most part. And with seven members in the group, their choreography in their live performances and videos is definitely on point. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ And then there’s that general feeling of being impressed at how hard they work to record their songs, produce their videos, learn the insane amount of choreography, going on tour, etc… meanwhile, most of them are also trying to learn English. ๐Ÿ˜ง The amount of dedication to what they do is ridiculous.

If you ever find yourself interested enough to watch some of their videos, make sure that you have the English captions turned on… or find someone who has made a Hangul / Romanization / English lyric video. After a while, it’s surprising how many words you’ll find yourself picking up and being able to repeat. ๐Ÿค“ And as for listening in the car or elsewhere… once you’ve gotten the vibe of what the song means from the videos, you can kinda take that with you without having to understand the language.

But since the time that I was “forced” to watch their stuff, to today… when I’m probably as big of a fan as Cassi is, if not more… I’ve definitely taken to them, and I’ve got a BTS / K-Pop playlist on Spotify that’s probably 60 songs deep. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve been absorbing the language, watching travel videos from SK, giving other K-Pop artists a chance as well… it’s surprising how much interest I have in all this stuff that I hadn’t even thought of just a few years ago.

But BTS is huge now… and their fans, who go by “ARMY” … those of us old enough to understand, you’d call ARMY folks “Beatles Level” fans. ๐Ÿ˜ Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. ๐Ÿง’๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฐ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿป๐Ÿง“๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ We’re definitely outnumbered by the screaming and crying young girls, heh… but we still count.

But that’s the concert that I got the tickets for. ๐Ÿ˜ณ They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. ๐Ÿ˜’ It was funny, on the Ticketmaster site, after waiting in the presale queue – once I was able to see the seat map to try and pick two seats, all of the blue dots (seats) were turning to gray (taken) so quickly it was like someone was playing a sped up version of whack-a-mole. ๐Ÿ˜„

Being a bucket list concert, I went for two seats (on an aisle… heh) in the first level of the bowl seating. No nosebleed seats, where you’re so high that you feel like if you stumble you’ll fall and disappear into the depths of the stadium, never to be seen again. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜… I actually tried to get tickets last year, but they sold out before I could even pull the trigger. And this year, Cassi actually has a boyfriend now… but that’s hopefully only a slight complication. ๐Ÿค”

I actually like the d00d, and I think he’s generally okay with me, and half of the time when I see Cassi now I also see him, so that makes it easier to try to plan something out where everyone is happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ He knows what a big fan Cassi is, and how much this concert means to her, plus he knew coming into it that there was a chance I’d be getting me and her tickets this year if possible. And he’d go to the concert, but he’s not really a fan fan, and the tickets were expensive… so he’ll likely just come along on our road trip and be a part of everything except the show. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’ll be fine…

And like I told Cassi… he has every right to put the kibosh on it if he wanted to. Not many guys would be okay with their girlfriend going to a concert with an ex, let alone on an overnight road trip – so I bought the tickets with the idea that he’d be going too. But that’s if his schedule will allow it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฌ So if he can’t go, I’m not sure what will happen… but I told Cassi to let him know there’d be no hard feelings if he was like, “Umm… no, I don’t think I want my girlfriend going away with her ex for two nights alone, without me. Yeah, uhh… no.” ๐Ÿ˜‚ No hard feelings from me, anyway… but woo would Cassi be upset if she didn’t get to go to this concert.

Wow… I rambled quite a bit here. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿค“ It helps though… helps me start mentally putting the pieces in place, keeps me excited and looking forward to it, and also keeps me on top of the situation so everything will go down with as few hitches as possible. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป But my life is so sedate, and I do very few “big things” anymore… and this is a big-ass thing, so of course I’m gonna be a little anxious about it. ๐Ÿ˜ But right now my anticipation and excitement is far outweighing those thoughts.

Terminate Background Process?

I feel almost silly for realizing this only just now, but I’ve figured out why my sleep got screwed up… why I have been feeling a little off. With as “aware” as I am regarding my struggles with anxiety, you’d think that any new potential issues would be immediately apparent. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Nope. ๐Ÿคจ For whatever reason, I typically don’t recognize an inciting moment until it’s already had enough time to have an effect. Like walking out of your house into a rain storm and then wondering an hour later why you’re soaked.

Not wanting to bury the lede any further, I’m pretty sure that ordering concert tickets the other day was what put me a bit out of whack. So you can maybe see why I wouldn’t have suspected that as the cause. Since, on its face, that concert is something that I obviously think will be fun, something that I want to do, something that I’m choosing to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ So the anticipation of waiting to see if I’d even be able to get tickets, and then managing to get really decent seats – all of the “Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ of that masked the subconscious concerns that I always have when it comes to attending a concert these days.

I’ll make a separate post about the show, but yeah… when just this past year I skipped a Skillet concert that was less than 30 miles away because it was a general admission show, and I didn’t want to risk how beat up I’d feel afterwards – committing to a much, much bigger concert, and one that will require hours of travel time just to get there, it’s kind of a big deal for me. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿฅด

So, without me even realizing it, I think my brain was running a background process that was contemplating all of the various issues that could pop up. ๐Ÿง โ€ผ๏ธ The main concern, obviously, is how I’m going to physically feel… before, during, and after. The long drive, the masses of people, trying not to “bop around” too much during the show… ๐Ÿ˜ and then the long drive back home, which will likely feel even longer than the drive there. When I can’t predict how broken I’m going to feel on a day to day basis here at home… it’s just giving quite a bit up to faith that it’ll all work out okay. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Now, despite all that I’ve typed here… I’m not sweating it as much as it probably sounds. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m still excited about it, still glad that I have something to look forward to, and planning it all out will even be fun. Figuring out the best travel routes, of course staying over the night before and the night after, checking everything out on Google Earth, and then the concert itself… I really am looking forward to it. I’d say I’m like 90% “Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ and only 10% “Ugh… this could be a nightmare ๐Ÿ˜ณ

More details soon… ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ ย  ๐ŸŽตย ๐ŸŽค๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐ŸŽต