Much Doctoring

It’s only half way through the week but I’ve taken care of the blood draw, the appointment for my off-and-on lower back issues, and then another appointment to go over the lab results and schedule some additional things that need to be checked off of the “Post ’18 Surgery / Keep an Eye on Stuff” list at some point during the next six months. 😯😊 That was a pleasant surprise to hear that last part… that my lab numbers didn’t trigger any sense of urgency from the doctor, and that I can just do those next things at my leisure. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»

Tomorrow is gonna be a partial day off… probably gonna make a couple more phone calls (yay?) that need to be made, but other than that I’ll probably just potato in the AC here at home. It’s been effing hot so far this week, and looks like it’ll be just as bad (if not worse) as Independence Day approaches. πŸ˜“ Some of us are meeting up on Friday for my friend Jim’s birthday, and that’s gonna be outside, so I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that we can find a place around here with both a low human count and lots of shade. 😎

Had a nice surprise towards the end of the day. πŸ™‚ Well, nice for me, but slightly less nice for Dad. He wasn’t feeling great so he had someone take him over to the ER to get things checked out, and once they were done I went and picked him up and gave him a lift back home. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸš– He seemed like he was feeling pretty good, relative to the reason for his trip out. I’m glad my car was cleaned out since a couple weeks ago though… heh… ‘cuz not only would I have been embarrassed for him to see it, but he also would have been sitting with his knees pinned to his chest due to all of the trash clutter in my passenger-side footwell. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜…

My sleep is still pretty screwy, so I’m almost positive that I’m gonna be up half the night tonight – but I’m not even gonna sweat it one way or the other. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Half the time, when I can’t sleep, it’s ‘cuz I’m stressing that I can’t sleep. But with nothing major on the agenda tomorrow, it doesn’t matter when I crap out or wake up. 😴 My nap today was solid though. 😊 I didn’t even hear when the lawn guys came and mowed… only noticing it once I was backing my car out of the driveway later in the day.

New Trick

I learned something new at my most recent doctor appointment for my neck, shoulder, nerves, spine, etc… I learned that there’s a way to completely deactivate my left arm. 😳😧 Seriously. It switches to rag-doll mode and isn’t good for a GD thing. πŸ₯Ί My neck was close to frozen and the muscles were all jammed up in my left shoulder and neck, so I asked him to show me some stretches that might be able to break me out of that.

What he showed me definitely worked… it relaxed the constantly-tense muscles and reduced some of the pain, but man… for about 10 minutes it also made me think that I wasn’t gonna have use of my arm again. ☹️ I ended up finding a place to park in the far end of the parking lot so I could lie on the hard ground, brace my scapula, and do some range-of-motion type stretches to get it working again. πŸ˜£πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

What a weird feeling though, to get in the car and mentally place both of my hands on the steering wheel… for only my right arm to actually do it as the left one just hung there. πŸ₯Ί It didn’t feel “asleep” or tingly or anything, it just didn’t respond. Scary shit. So, it’s not a great feeling to know that the painful / annoying tension has to be there (at least in some part) in order for my left arm to be even slightly useful. 😠 Because when you totally relax those bad muscles, there aren’t enough muscles left that are attached to good nerves that make it do what it’s supposed to do. 😟 And yeah, I know this is a weird blog entry, but trust me… when an entire arm suddenly just doesn’t work, it’s pretty jarring.

As I was laying on the ground, moving my arm up, down, and around… I thought for sure that someone would either send a medic out to check on me or, more likely, someone would call the cops on the weirdo lying on the ground, flailing around. πŸ˜πŸ˜―πŸš” So I don’t know how I feel about all this. Learned some specific stretches and motions that help relieve the pain and pulled muscles, but at a pretty big cost. At least the option is there, I guess, and everything is temporary… both good and bad. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

No more news on the other stuff yet, but I’m taking a break… I need to lie down.

Poison Ivy

Okay, I’ve had it for about a week now, so I think I’m entitled to do a little bitching. Well, probably not, actually… since it was my dumb ass who went out to clip a few feeds from the flower beds without wearing gloves. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ What makes it worse is that it’s not the first time that I’ve done it. Every couple of years something motivates me to cut some of the crap out of the flower beds, and each time I end up with poison ivy, poison oak, poison whatever on my hands… πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Thankfully most of it is on the back of my right hand, with a little bit on my left and some random spots on both of my arms. But I’ve got some topical steroid goo that I’ve been using, and then I have calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream waiting on the bench. But lemme tell ya… even though I know it’s not a good thing for it, having hot, hot shower water hitting itchy poison ivy areas is the most awesome yet most horrible feeling possible, but at the same time. πŸ˜πŸ˜£πŸ˜‹

I’ve never claimed to have any allergies, but I’d have to say that whatever this is breaks that idea. I can see the puffy on the back of my hand, and of course some of it is blistering, but while it’s annoying… really annoying… it makes me think of the poor folks who are allergic to peanuts, shellfish, etc- causing a similar reaction all over. 😯😬 I guess some people have to even go to the ER if they get poison ivy… but with folks like that, I guess I’m just not sure when you know if you should go. πŸ€”πŸ˜³

I guess that’s because mine isn’t near that point… and also because it really seems like one of those things where you’d sit in the waiting room for an hour and a half, and they’d send you on your way with a prescription for whatever poison ivy goo you’ve probably already got at home. 😏 Meh… distracting myself now with a movie that Dad suggested. I was gonna fall back on a Bond movie since I couldn’t think of anything that I “haven’t seen yet, but should” until Dad reminded me about Age of Adaline. That’s one that I remember wanting to see even when it first came out in theaters, so I don’t know how it has stayed under my radar for the past five years or whatever it’s been… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.

Unremarkable Weekend

(I know… if it was unremarkable, then why am I “remarking” in four big paragraphs? Just go with it… 😏 )

I’ve got mixed feelings about the weekend. Part of me feels like I should have worked on some crap around the house, but then not having done much of that – most of my aches and pains have lessened a bunch compared to last week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I suppose that means I did things right. Definitely caught up on my sleep, made a big-ish trip to the grocery store (even though I forgot a couple of key things and will need to go back tomorrow), plus I took the car through the wash so she could get a bath. πŸ˜ŽπŸš—πŸšΏ

The weather today was surprising, having not read the forecast. 😯 Sunny, in the 60s, with some pretty gusty wind. πŸ˜ƒ Every now and then I’d hear my big pine tree out front singing from the air passing through it, along with some random creaks and groans from my roof when the gusts got really crazy. 😳🏠πŸŒͺ️ It sorta tempted me to go out and find something fun to do in the nice weather, but I came up empty for ideas. None of my cameras are charged… hell, I’d have to actually remember where I even put them… so taking some random pics was a no-go. Then with my knees just now feeling mostly better, even going for a small hike around Rising or Alley Parks just wouldn’t have been the best idea. πŸ•οΈπŸ₯ΎπŸ˜Ÿ Β Enjoying it from my living room with the window open was perfectly acceptable. 😌

So yeah, it was an almost totally “relaxed” weekend. It’s hard for me to not push myself to “do something” – but, at least for this weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t. πŸ™‚ It’s allowed me to be optimistic that the week’s gonna start off okay, at least when it comes to all my damaged parts. 😏🀞🏻 Only other thing that’s even close to “worth mentioning” is that I cancelled my YouTube TV. It was around $60 each month, and of the stuff that I watch on my TV, it honestly accounted for probably only 5% of my watch time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ“Ί

It’s probably gonna make me a little twitchy once NASCAR is back on, but I’ll have to look around and see what other options there are. Whether it’s finding another way to watch the race, listen to the audio, or even use an app to see the race with little real-time computer generated cars… I’ll figure something out. 😎

 

EDIT: Gawd… not only did I not realize today was the Super Bowl, but I also forgot that it was Groundhog’s Day. And having family that came from that area in PA, that’s almost like a sin – not giving Punxsatawney Phil the weather-forecasting-attention that he deserves. Spoiler warning: apparently we’ll be having an early spring this year.

Turn A Corner

I’m always cautious when I start to feel like things are “letting up” a bit, like to the point where I might be able to start returning some “normal” consistency into my daily life again… mainly because I know how quickly things can change. 😐 But at the same time, I don’t want to miss a chance just because I’m nervously awaiting the next “thing” that’s gonna come down the pike.

But I’ve found myself with a little gap here, where my appointments, obligations, phone calls, etc are almost none. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ» So for the weekend, and maybeΒ a bit longer, I’m hoping that I can work around my pain and kinda act like everything else is fine. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ You have to understand that I’m almost always in “react” mode, rather than doing whatever it is that I might actually want to be doing, because my brain is usually full of all of the other stuff that often demands my time and attention.

My medical issues obviously aren’t going away, and the workers comp “back and forth” also seems indefinite for now. So unless I want to live in a constant state of pain, worry, uncertainty, and anxiousness – I really need to do a better job of grabbing these chunks of time. Moments of less urgency and fuss (re: everything… not just my health, my disability, and the WC stuff) where I can try to make that time count. πŸ₯ΊπŸ™πŸ»

Being optimistic doesn’t come easily for me these days, so I suppose that I made this post today because I am actually feeling a hint of optimism at the moment. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» Plus, just like when I talk about it with certain friends or family, talking about it here also helps to somewhat reinforce that feeling. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So just send me your positive juju, if you would. I don’t even have “plans” for what I want to make of the next several days. It’s more like a vague “new year’s resolution” type of feeling where you just know you want things to be different.

Feels Good

Being only a couple of days before Steven, Cassi, Athena, and their mom start moving, Cassi asked if I’d wanna come visit one more time in the afternoon yesterday – since she knows that once the process starts it’s unlikely that I’ll be making any appearances until it’s over with. πŸ˜• It’s just that I’ve already told her that I can’t risk trying to help them out, possibly hurting myself in new and exciting ways. And just hanging around while they all hustle about… yeah, no need to emphasize my uselessness in that situation. πŸ˜’

But since things are about to get pretty crazy for them, I figured I should go up for one more chill visit (and my last time at that apartment) to serve as a distraction for both of us. πŸ™‚ After hanging out for a while, I remembered that I had a little bit of free play on my casino card. And since money is obviously gonna be tight as they move, I figured I’d go over and play $100… twenty bucks at a time, cashing out any time that I’d double my money, and then whatever “winnings” I ended up with – I’d share with her. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Maybe it was karma paying me back for helping Jim out with a little money this month, and then offering to share my winnings with Cassi… but the very first machine I played, I hit for over $500. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ Hell, if that was all that I won during that trip I would have been happy, but then the same machine – just a few pulls later – hit again for over $300. 😁 Since I was way, way ahead, after that I decided to try a few different machines that I’d never really played before, just as a change of pace.

If I wasn’t hitting decent little wins, they at least kept me “even” so I could keep playing. I eventually left not because I was losing, but because it was getting later and I wanted to spend a little more time with Cassi before it started to get dark dark. After all was said and done, I ended up going home with $700 (including my original investment) and was able to give her $400 to help with moving expenses. 😌

It always feels good when you can win enough that you can plop down a wad of bills in front of someone, and go “Here.”Β πŸ˜…πŸ˜ŽΒ (Especially when it’s legitimately helpful and appreciated.) And in times past when we’ve gone to the casino, I’ve noticed that she breaks down her winnings into five dollar bills before leaving… so I even went to the cashier and had him count out $400 worth of fives for me. πŸ˜πŸ’΅ (I did give the guy a tip, ‘cuz that was admittedly a slight pain in his ass for him… heh)

So that definitely made yesterday better than average. Didn’t anticipate things turning to shit overnight and waking up feeling like I do today, but I keep reminding myself that other than the lack of sleep and awesome new neck pain – nothing else has changed since that “goody” feeling of yesterday, so I’m trying to get the feeling of this day turned around. 😏🀞🏻 It helps that the weekend is essentially here, so I can recover without any obligations hovering over me.

Don’t Sweat The Uncontrollable

I’m glad the weather was nice this afternoon, because I had to go into Menard’s and order my garage door. Rick did all the measurements and research to figure out exactly what was needed, and at the lowest price possible… so that’s all good – but it’s still stressful to go out and deal with the weekend crowd, going to the counter and ordering something that I know nothing about, and swiping the credit card to begin the wait until it is finally delivered. πŸ˜• I can’t help it… it’s just one of those things that I can’t do myself, where I just have to hope it doesn’t end up being a hassle for Rick, when now that we’ve gotten started on it – I’m really wanting it to just be done.

The door itself wasn’t that expensive, but then of course the labor for taking the old one out and putting the new one in is where it’s gonna get me. Obviously Rick’s not gonna screw me over… I mean, the “patchwork” stuff we tried first, he hasn’t even charged me for any of his time or effort on all that… so it’s just the sitting here and wondering if it’ll go exactly as it should, easy peasy, or if random shit will pop up to make it a pain in the ass. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So going in town and ordering the door was about the extent of my plans for the day, and I’m gonna spend the rest of the afternoon and evening mostly away from the electronicals, watching football and trying not to stress about something that I’ve got no control over.

Gotta get caught up on the mail tonight, plus I’m actually looking forward to grabbing my notebook so I can start making a more official list of stuff that I either want or need to do sometime in the near future. πŸ€“πŸ““ Not just the mandatory responsibilities like the upcoming doctor appointment, hearing prep, and work on the couple of things around the house – but also stuff that I just sorta want to do in order to keep things feeling like they’re moving forward. πŸ§”πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸ» Like, I had a pretty good phase where I was packing and sorting stuff for a theoretical / eventual move from this place, and I’d sorta like to get back into the habit of doing a little bit more towards that each day.

I also haven’t done much of anything “just for fun” lately, so I wanna inventory whatever goodies I’ve got that I haven’t taken advantage of just yet and hopefully get them on the schedule. πŸ™‚ (You know, hobbies… like normal people have.) For example, Genesee got me two different gifts last Christmas that I haven’t put to use like I’ve wanted to… one being a music box where you can punch holes in a strip of paper to create your own songs, and the second being a ViewMaster type photo slide-reel viewer from a place that will turn your own photos into reels to view. I actually have a 3D digital camera, so I could make true 3D reels for that thing – but I’ve felt so buried by other stuff that I’ve just never allowed myself the time to just go shoot some pictures and make some reels. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

But the “cancer concern” stuff is basically on an extended pause at the moment, so once the furnace is confirmed 100%, once the garage door is replaced and working with the new opener, and once I get through the upcoming workers comp hearing (yet to be scheduled / whether I win or lose) … once I get through some of those “heavier” things I wanna have an idea of what lighter, fun stuff I might wanna spend some time on. πŸ™‚ I know there’s always gonna be something heavy, whether it’s my stuff, a friend’s stuff, family’s stuff… so getting organized in a way where I can still allow time for some of that frivolous stuff anyway – it’s something that I have to keep working on when it comes to myself.

But there’s a good game coming on at 4p, then the OSU game later in the evening, and between watching those two, doing up the bills, and working on a couple different to-do lists of varying importance – honestly I’m hoping to be comfy in bed (and possibly even falling asleep) before the Buckeyes game is over… at long as they’ve got a comfortable enough lead. 😏 I’ve noticed that the days following the nights where I’ve gotten a ton of sleep actually do seem to be a little easier, so I’ve tried to make that the norm rather than the exception over the past several weekends.