I’mma Ramble For A Min

I don’t know if I’m going to have to deal with that nonsense every thirty days, but at least yesterday I was finally able to get the situation resolved. πŸ˜’ Everything ended up getting approved and paid for (after I got a refund for what I paid the day before) by the workers comp insurance. Everyone that I spoke to on the phone was super nice and helpful, which was almost disappointing – since I was really needing to shout at some people by that point. 😐 But yeah, it’s all settled for this month…

Now I’m sitting here in the house, living room floor covered with cat hair, wondering when my new vacuum cleaner is finally going to ship from Amazon. 🀨 I got it as part of a Black Friday / Cyber Monday/Week sale, but it wasn’t in stock at the moment and was advertised that it would ship in about a week. (It’s been about a week.) Meh… at least I don’t have any company coming over to see my furry carpet. πŸ™„

Outside, nothing has changed. It’s cold now, so stuff has stopped growing, but I never did get around to hiring someone to trim back all the hedges and other shit around the yard. πŸ™ It doesn’t look that bad, but it stays in the back of my mind that it needs tended to. πŸ˜’ That’ll probably be a “spring thing” to deal with before the lawn even requires mowing for the first time.

This house. I really don’t know what I want to do about it. It’s way too much house for one person, but it’s never been lived in by anyone other than a Batina. Grandparents, Dad, Aunt C, and now me. 😳 Lots of memories here, both good and bad… and it will/would be hard to not feel a little bit guilty about selling it and moving somewhere else. 😟 It shouldn’t be that way, but you know me – and how much memories / history / nostalgia / etc plays into my life. Plus, it’s the last thing that acts as “established Batina history/presence” and man would it feel weird to not have it around anymore to keep me feeling connected to my past. Hard to explain… but anyway…

Thankfully, now that I have all of my required meds in my system I’m feeling pretty good. Neck is still feeling more funky than it has in a long time, but I’m trying not to complain. I’m still waiting to see if the MRI is approved… and I’m hoping that if it’s not, that maybe I can use my Medicare insurance to cover most of it. Because I’m not doing it just to do it… something feels different, not good, and it’s making me a bit anxious. 😬 It’s been a decade since my cervical fusion surgery, so I don’t think it’s that far fetched to think that things may have changed in there since then.

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Then and Now

I’m gonna make an effort to feel Christmas this year. Without going into details, the past several years have thrown a lot of stuff at me, Mom, Dad… hell, most folks in the family, as well as many of my friends. It just seems like the past several years have gone out of their way to shit all over everyone. πŸ˜• Whether it’s on Facebook or from what I see and hear during the rare personal appearances that I make with friends and family – life just has this gloomy film all over it, that even the best “fake happy” can’t camouflage.

I’m glad that most folks are better able to get through the gloomy times than I am. I mean, I’m glad for them… heh… that they aren’t like me. 😏 But some of my friends and acquaintances… some of them I really worry about. I’ve watched as a couple friends have essentially become alcoholics, a couple others who frantically cling to awful relationship partners, and some who have just stopped trying over the past couple of years. πŸ™ Facebook is great for introverts like me, who don’t regularly “hang out” or whatever, but it sure gives you a window into people’s lives that even they might not realize they’re giving. (Yeah, I know… “… says the guy with the endlessly rambling personal blog.”)

Anyway, my point is that the more “bleh” a person is exposed to, the more difficult it is to be resistant to it. (Obviously)Β I don’t want to completely miss Christmas again this year though, so once I get my medication situation taken care of I’m gonna focus my efforts on that. I don’t think I even put up any decorations last year… I’m not even sure I still have a tree, as strange as that sounds.

It helps that recently I was going through some old family boxes and found a bunch of Christmas decorations and stuff from when I was little. Each significant ornament or decoration has some sort of good memory attached to it, and I need to keep reminding myself that just because things are “how they are” now – I can’t let that stop me from thinking back to all of the better times. Just because me and a lot of other people have countless reasons to feel miserable, it doesn’t mean that we can’t allow ourselves to feel good about the things that are worth feeling good about. πŸ€”πŸ™‚

Granted, this is something that non-screwed-up people already know and do… but right now it just doesn’t come naturally to me, hence the constant reminders to myself. 😏 I’m sure that in the 19 days between my birthday and Christmas there will be plenty of things that will challenge my efforts, so I just hope that they’ll be mild.

I want this Christmas to feel like Christmas.

Prepared

Cassi sent me a text a couple of days ago to ask if I’d wanna join her for Thanksgiving again this year. First thing that flashed in my head was that it sure didn’t feel like an entire yearΒ could have passed since we made our premiere attempt, throwing together a (surprisingly edible) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in the house there. (With neither of us having any bird cookin’ skillz to speak of.) 😏 We were pretty proud of ourselves.

This year she stepped up her game. 😯 She did her research and the bird was prepped, seasoned, in the oven, and half-way done before I even got there – so she alone gets the cookie when it ended up turning out amazing. πŸ˜ƒ It’s weird how the turkey was almost half the size of last year’s bird, but we somehow ended up with way more “good” meat this year… and it was every bit as good as anything that we used to have at family holidays. I was impressed.

Honestly the only tasks that I had were making the cornbread and then making the gravy, and most of the rest of the time I just tried to stay out of her way. πŸ™‚ Oh, I did the carving too… but even that I can’t take much credit for, as the bird basically fell apart in a way where all of the “good stuff” separated itself from the “ick” in nice big chunks. I didn’t let them know that though. 😁 I mean, I gotta appear useful for something.

I’m glad that I went. And it wasn’t a definite. It’s not easy to leave the bubble and go out for something uncertain, even if I know it’s gonna be at least an okay time. 😐😟 But agreeing to it when she asked “locked it in” so that even if I wasn’t feelin’ it today – that alone would have made it harder for me to cancel. Oh, and Aunt Sharon left a message about our local family’s gathering today – but she left it at 8:00Β am, I didn’t get it until I woke up aroundΒ 1:00Β pm, where I learned that “we’re gonna eat” at noon. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Another example of how my inability to conform to human schedules kinda messed things up. But, while I love my family and love that they still invite me, our family gatherings are just shadows of their former selves these days. 😟

Bed and Breakfast

Over the past few days I’ve had 24/7 company here at the house. 😯 Genesee’s friend Tracie flew out to NJ for an extended visit with her, and then Gen provided the return trip home, depositing Tracie at her house and then starting her little break here in Ohio. I’m not sure it was really a break, now that I think about it, because she had plenty of people to see and lots of things to do. But yeah, for a few days I had her and Nesh here. πŸ˜πŸΊπŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Of course it was impossible for me to adjust… wait… let me start by saying that I was totally glad that she was here, so I’m not bitching about that at all… but when I have trouble just existing by myself here, trying to maintain a sleep schedule that doesn’t have me feeling like death, of course it’s gonna be challenging having company in the house. 😬 But the way I looked at it, the benefit outweighed the complications, and I knew (hoped) that I’d be able to regenerate after they left anyway.

Maven wasn’t thrilled about having a horse in the house, so she generally just avoided us… but on the last day she came into the living room and sat next to me, knowing that I’d keep him away from her if he tried – as if she was thumbing her nose at him. 😏 She’s been up my butt ever since they left… heh… I mean, even more than usual.

With Genesee’s help I finally sorted away all of the boxes of memories from Mom and Dad’s apartment. They’ve been stacked in an extra bedroom for months… but having someone “in the loop” to look through the pictures, school stuff, baby stuff… it just made it so much easier to stay motivated. 😎 She was a big help in sorting out the “old old” photos into a box for Aunt Sharon to go through. Most aren’t labeled… photos of what would be my great aunts and uncles, third cousins, etc – people that really only Aunt Sharon will be able to identify / tell stories about. πŸ‘΅πŸ» I’ve already told her this is the plan, and she’s hoping to make a scrapbook for her kids so the family history doesn’t get somewhat lost as it goes down the generations.

 

This Is Not Where I Belong

I guess my cousin Shannon and her hubby are hosting an extended family reunion out at their place this afternoon. She’s texted me about it a couple times in the past few days, as has Toni, but I’m afraid I that have to disappoint yet again by letting them know that I won’t be going. 😞 Being depressed enough as it is, going out there and seeing everyone that I haven’t seen in forever would unfortunately and unintentionally just make it worse.

Think about it. Every interaction that I’d get involved in, it would likely start with “Hey, how have you been?” “What have you been up to?” “How’s your mom and dad doin?” or some other friendly inquiry to which I don’t have a positive answer. 😟 And I lack the ability at the moment to just “fake it” and reply with a convincingΒ “Pretty good, how ’bout you?” “Ahh, not much. Not much.”Β or “You know how it is, about as good as can be expected.”

I can just see a situation where if I wasn’t careful, I could end up being an absolute buzzkill to the get-together by blurting out detailed truthful answers –Β and that’s no good for anyone. Β (Plus, when people ask how you’ve been, they usually don’t really wanna know how you’ve actually been.)Β So the best choice is to send my apologies, thank her for inviting me anyway, and just stay away so they can have their happy gathering.

Yup

Some days can surprise you and end up being better than tolerable, and then some days you have to literally expect absolutely nothing from yourself if you intend to survive the day. If people can’t understand that, or at least be politely sympathetic towards that struggle, it’s their problem – not yours.

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.