Stigma

It’s out of a feeling of obligation that I am writing this blog entry today. πŸ˜’ After bringing my site out of stasis a while ago, I’ve gotten pretty good at adding entries at a rate which allows people to at least know that I am still here, plodding along… but I’ve been experiencing a rough patch IRL lately – so I’ve reverted to my customary regeneration strategy of avoiding basically everyone and everything. 😐

See, sometimes it actually does work… but often times it doesn’t. πŸ€” I’m still trying to figure it out, I’ll admit. But when I don’t have my nose in my Facebook feed every 15 minutes, at least that prevents me from seeing all of the awful things that are happening to many of the people that I know. 😟 I don’t have to see the job losses, the evictions, the house fires, the custody battles, the lost pets, the family members dying… them dying. πŸ˜– I know that I can’t stay isolated forever – but sometimes it’s a necessary step towards getting my thoughts and emotions straightened out in a way where I can deal with all of it.

And it’s funny. We aren’t supposed to admit when things feel heavier than we can bear. We’re supposed to always just “suck it up” or “quit complaining” rather than admit to and (maybe) address the problem. Depression, sadness, anxiety, etc… they are weaknesses, right? And you sure can’t allow the world to see that you are weak. πŸ™„ Yeah, I talk about it rather openly in my blog… but the stigma still prevents me from feeling able to talk about it directly with my friends or family. At least most of them. (Even in my most self-imposed isolated moments, I try my hardest to allow a few good friends to get past the guards regardless, even if not in person.)

It’s amazing how much stigma can steer your thoughts, actions, and life. And while mental health “stuff” has been a significant topic throughout my years, another stigma I’ve encountered that defies logic is the stigma of being intelligent. Or at least wanting/trying to be intelligent. (NERD!!!!)Β Apparently the United States is one of only a few countries where this is a “thing” as we know it. Where one group of society actively berates and discourages another group of society that only wants to better themselves. Intelligence and aspiration… negative personality traits. Welcome to the Idiocracy. 😞

Heh… so, as you can see, there’s good reason why I’ve been keeping my eyes off of my phone and my fingers off of my keyboard. πŸ˜‘ I simply haven’t been able to shake this mood. I’m gonna keep watch over the weather for the next few days though, because I am gonna get out of the house and try to do something. Not sure what… or if I wanna seek friends to do whatever the “what” ends up being… but I’m gonna keep putting effort towards the climb out. 🀞🏻 As always, wish me luck.

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Just Keep Swimming

Had my 30-day appointment with my neck doctor today, ran into Amy in the parking lot, and was in and out of there pretty quickly. He and I discussed our different concert experiences, and I showed him a video of the recent Skillet concert so he could understand why I’d be understandably dying afterwards and for the next few days. 😏 He doesn’t know Skillet, but he did mention seeing Aerosmith at Polaris so at least he gets it.

I had to wait several hours to pick up my prescription today though, because I insisted that the workers comp insurer pay for it like they are supposed to. 😐 I’ve been paying cash for many months now… 1) because it really isn’t that much, and 2) for some reason whenever they ran it through the insurance it would always require a pre-authorization that would never go through. Meh… I actually don’t understand that whole process, I just know it can be a pain in the ass. πŸ˜’

My workers comp lawyers are busy doing their thing, and I’m hoping they can come up with a decent settlement so I don’t end up having to go through the court proceedings. 😬 Not just because it will be yet another pain in my ass, but because I’m worried that it will affect my travel plans. Cassi has never been on a plane, so I waited for a “90% off” sale and managed to get two round-trip tickets to Orlando for a hundred bucks. 😯

It’s not a vacation… basically we’re just taking a ride. Flying down there in the morning (in the dark, giddyup), kicking it around the terminal for a while, and then flying back that afternoon. I know that probably sounds pointless to a lot of people, but I like doing “new stuff” with/for people that I care about… so I’m hoping that Cassi’s new job and my court stuff don’t end up effing up that little day trip. 🀞🏻

Hello Again, My Old Friend

Just when I think that I might be ready to get back into the fight, something else has to pop up. Among my defects, it seems that my kidneys are the ones that choose to make themselves most noticed. I’ve had several kidney stones in my life, each of them as pleasant as the last, and I think I’m working on another one right now.

I was getting ready to start looking into it with my family doctor a couple of years ago, but then things kinda went in another direction and other things demanded my attention… so I guess this is the price I pay for not being better able to multi-task during stressful situations. And this will sound weird, but I’m hoping it’s “just” a kidney stone.

I guess my aunt had kidney trouble all of her life, and it’s the thing that finally got her in the end… so, like I said, it’s probably the same thing I’ve dealt with before – but now I have another, much scarier way of looking at it that makes moments like these feel a little more serious. Shit, I haven’t even gotten to the oral surgeon to get my last two wisdom teeth out, and now I’m probably gonna need to get back on top of this kidney situation.

But yeah, yesterday was bad… didn’t even turn my phone on. I was either balled up on the couch or sitting in the recliner with the heating pad all day, streaming episodes of Deep Space 9 (of all things) non-stop. That means I was also blissfully unaware of what went down in Las Vegas until I woke up this morning and turned my phone back on. Another wonderful thing to wake up to.

But so far today is much less “oush” than yesterday, and I can actually get up and walk around… so I better get on top of my bills and stuff, and do what I can to get the house in better shape in case I have to go to the ER – and in case they keep me and someone has to come here to feed the beast while I’m away. That’s absolutely worst case scenario though, because I intend to wait this out and see what happens.

Kidney stones, the gift that keeps on giving.

“Wake Up, Case 1485729-4”

Fell asleep around dawn and then was awoken by a phone call from one of my attorneys a few hours later. πŸ˜’ We’ve got quite a bit of outstanding issues right now, and after the long weekend I could almost feel this call coming… so much so that I didn’t turn my ringer off, since I did need to talk to him.

This entry might as well be titled “What Else Is Wrong?” since, in part, it’s essentially going to be a sequel to my most recent post. As you may or may not know, I try to keep my online presence as free as possible from a) bitching about my pain/disability, and b) talking about specifics of my workers comp case. Partially out of pride, partially because nobody really wants to hear about it anyway.

I’m not sure I even remember what I used to be like before all of this dominated my life. I know it’s not pleasant now, to put it extremely mildly, and I know it’s a constant pain in the ass… so even though it’s hard to remember, I do miss the time when my life was my own and I wasn’t being led by the nose through by doctor visits, IC hearings, physical disability, medication requirements, mental stress, pharmacy policies, insurance companies, and now actual an actual court case. 😞

I’m just frustrated because we’re less than two months away from the court stuff starting and so far the settlement stuff is going nowhere. πŸ˜• Their side will submit their brief to the court, my side will have a few weeks to reply, and then it starts getting serious. The court will likely want to depose any doctors that have seen or treated me, on both sides, which means I’d have to hope that I could essentially “rent” my doctor for half a day to give testimony – which would be ridiculously expensive. 😣 (Not to mention ridiculously annoying since he’s already submitted report, after report, after report, in writing.)

So my attorney is going to find out how much they’ve paid each year, on average, for my treatment and medication – and then tomorrow or the next day, when I go to the pharmacy to pick up this month’s meds, I’m going to have them print out what the “out of pocket” cost would be for each medication if I was paying for them with no insurance at all. πŸ€“ With those figures we’ll again try to come up with what we believe is a fair settlement, and then they’ll have to decide if the continuing costs of fighting me are worth it – rather than just settling this and making me go away.

I’m just worried that we won’t be able to get this done before the date of the first hearing. I’m sure it’ll be (us) “Here’s our offer.” followed by (them) “Well, that’s nice, but this is what we’re willing to pay.” followed by (us) “C’mon, get out of here… we need at least (this much)” and then (them) “We’re gonna have to think on this.” with (us) “Well we’re gonna have to think on this too.” Heh… so I don’t know what the odds are of avoiding this court case at this point, but I’d think they are slim.

Unfortunate Snooty Connotation

Remember that Doctor Who painting that I commissioned (heh… that word) from Scott Fate forever ago? πŸ€” Heh… he’s finally done with it. 😁 He said he sealed it yesterday, and that I should be able to pick it up tonight. He’s basically a ball of creativity, but also someone who always wants to challenge himself with new ways of expressing it… and what happened with this painting was that I caught him at the end of his “oil painting” phase, right before he discovered airbrushing and became passionate about it. And not cheezy carnival/mall t-shirt airbrushing. I’m talking car bodies, motorcycle tanks/helmets, uber-detailed model cars and trucks, actual monster trucks, etc.

(Not to mention every other self-taught passion that was also wanting to get out of him 😏 music, tattooing, building a race-ready 4-banger from scratch, body painting, moving to another tattoo shop in Columbus, etc. d00d seriously impresses me with his drive and ability.)

So while he kept working on my project over the months, his focus was drawn to the new medium (among other things) and that’s why it took so long to finish. I’m thankful that he even wanted to bother finishing it in the first place, since oil painting is certainly challenging and time-consuming… and if you were to break down what I paid according to the hours he worked, he could have made a lot more money with that time – knocking out custom airbrushing or whatever. But yeah, I’m looking forward to picking it up soon.

Typical Tedium

I don’t know why I sometimes can’t let myself just sit and not feel the need to be doing something. Like, I am still not completely back to “tolerable” from the trip, yet I spent a good part of yesterday doing what ended up being four baskets full of laundry. (Nevermind the fact that they’re now sitting in my living room, taunting me to fold/hang them and put them away.) And to make things a bit more annoying, I think something is going on with the heating element in the dryer, because a full dry cycle is no longer leaving the load dry. Not gonna bother with looking into that quite yet though, since all my clothes are clean at the moment – and I’m obviously good at hoarding away dirty clothes in the spare bedroom for as long as needed.

Pain didn’t let me fall asleep until 4am this morning, which I suppose was actually a good thing since I had a neck doc appointment today. (Sometimes it’s good to go in there feeling more banged up than usual, just to reinforce that this crap is real and affects me on a daily basis.) I can’t say enough though, how lucky I am to have had this same doctor for the ten -plus years that I’ve been dealing with this. I even showed up an hour early for my appointment, since I already had to be in town for something else, and they scooted me back to a room just a couple of minutes later anyway.

I told him all about Lake Hope, and my foolish-yet-fun decisions that ended up kicking my ass… heh… but we kind of agreed that sometimes the fun that can be had is worth enduring the pain afterwards. Doing things that make you feel at least a little bit like the person you used to be, knowing you’re gonna hurt, but letting yourself have the whole experience anyway. πŸ™‚ I actually left there in pretty good spirits about everything. (Which isn’t unusual I guess… so yeah, my doc is pretty awesome.)

And somehow I lucked out and didn’t get a single “work/business” call today. I thought for sure that all of the threads that I started pulling on at the end of last week would start unraveling into my phone as soon as folks got into the office… but nope. No attorney, no other attorney, and no IRS. A normal person would probably be a bit mad, or feel ignored… heh… not me. I needed a day.