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.

I’m Ready

It’s approaching midnight on Friday, and I think that I’m finally ready to face this week. So, these next couple of hours better watch out, because I’m not feeling too bad at the moment. 😏 Heh… but seriously, this week has felt more “challenging” than usual. Although, as I’m sitting here trying to explain why, I can’t even really think of anything specific that should have made it feel that way. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… I think all the “get ready, we’re opening” talk / news has just made my brain tired and my sleep shitty, which made every other small or “normal” thing feel that much more laborious. (I still got some chores done and got out of the house once or twice.)

But I’m not gonna sit here and try to remember all of the things from the past week that made it suck, ‘cuz I might end up damaging my calm. But yeah, this week… it definitely took me the entire week to be ready for whatever comes – and for the most part, nothing came. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So now that the weekend is here I’m much more prepared for it than I was the current week. πŸ€“ Hopefully that makes sense.

Ahh, I do know one thing that has improved my mood over the week… getting my two cats to tolerate each other. 😏 Yeah, I’ve officially adopted Maggie – a cat that I was formerly just babysitting – so it’s been a week of anxiously hoping that her and Maven didn’t feel the need to murder each other. πŸ˜ΎπŸ˜…πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜Ύ Thankfully, possibly because they’re both too old to be bothered with such things, they don’t seem to have any desire to fight or be a pain in each other’s asses. (Although Maven does grump at her every now and then.)

They’re not even close to being buddy buddy, but they at least tolerate each other. In fact, I think they both actually like that there’s one “other critter” around, even if they don’t necessarily want to interact with that other critter. 😏 I have a short video of them simply sitting upright next to each other, no more than a foot apart, but neither one of them wanting to look at or acknowledge the other… 😁 … but both of them seeming to enjoy the moment in some way. (Purposely “ignoring” each other while making sure the other noticed.)

It would be too much to explain here in the blog, how I ended up with Maggie, but basically I was watching her while her previous owner was moving – but with things not going as planned there, the environment wouldn’t have been great for a kitty who’s already anxious and nervous all of the time. 😳😬 On her first day upstairs she went around the house looking for her former roommates, but once she realized they weren’t here – it’s almost like she felt relieved, because she started actually acting like a cat again rather than just hiding all the time and trying to avoid anything and anyone. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜Š

Maven and I lead a pretty tame life here in the house, and that’s exactly the kind of life that Maggie needs right now… so it just made sense for me to adopt her officially. It all depended on Maven being okay with it though, and since she hasn’t really done anything to indicate that she objects – it looks like this is a done deal. πŸ™‚ See, just typing about the situation has made me smile… so hopefully I’ll hang on to that feeling through the weekend too. (As long as these two buttholes continue to play nice.)

The Positive One

Okay, so here’s the “positive” entry for today… heh…

It’s just a bit before midnight, and I actually did switch gears in the afternoon and made something of the second half of the day. It’s getting predictable though, the way I wake up feeling miserable, wait for the morning meds to kick in while I catch up on a little bit of news, and then I end up “waiting to do anything” until I watch DeWine and Acton’s daily briefing because it’s usually close to the same time that I’m starting to actually get some oomph.

And as it often goes, just because I managed to do some stuff, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was the stuff that I originally had in mind in the morning. But it’s all good… feeling like I was at least a little bit productive today, and I’m actually waiting on a second load of laundry to finish drying so I can get it hung / folded / put away before I go to sleep tonight.

I dunno, the second part of the day turned into a dry run for tomorrow, attitude wise. I’m not gonna do any real shopping, but I am gonna run to a quicky mart somewhere to grab some pop and chips, and then drop Dad’s Diet Dew off for him before I head back home. I suppose I could go through a drive thru, but I actually wanna make myself go in somewhere. It’s dumb, but I could see where the more “open” that stuff gets, the less that I’ll be able to go inside anywhere. And that’s smart, to a point, but it’s not something that I can avoid indefinitely. And I’ve got masks… so, yeah, once the meds kick in tomorrow I’m gonna head out for that.

Did some texting with a few friends in the evening, and every one of us weren’t having a great day… so it was a matter of the blind leading the blind as we all tried to say things to lessen each other’s anxiety. It’s funny, and I actually mentioned this to someone… but knowing that pretty much everyone is messed up by the current situation, and it’s not just me, it kinda makes us all feel better – sharing the crazy, so to speak.

But once the sun went down and the texting slowed, I kept finding myself “forgetting” what’s going on outside. Depending on what videos or shows that I was watching, I could go a whole hour where it wasn’t in my mind and I was just having a normal night at home. That’s a good feeling, but that means for every calm period that I had, I also had that jolt of “remembering” that brought the “ugh” back to my brain repeatedly.

But I’m gonna get the laundry done here in a minute, and hopefully find a movie that I can watch as I lie in bed. Not sleepy yet, but still feeling alright, so I’m gonna try to hang on to that until I zonk out to see if it has any effect on how I wake up tomorrow. Lately it’s been bad, but I’ll stay optimistic for now. Stay safe, y’all. (And I can’t be bothered with emojis tonight, so just picture them where you think I’d normally have em… heh)

Weird Dream

Had a weird dream right before waking up this morning, and the details are sticking with me so I may as well throw it up here for y’all if you’re bored enough to read such things. Not gonna bother with emojis or italics or any of that crap… posted “as is.” (Although I should really be putting these things in that old “dream blog” that I started forever ago, and have kinda sorta kept up with over the years…)

The dream started at the end of a long road trip that I had apparently taken with my friend Jim Gilkerson and a few others. I believe we were going to a big stadium to see a baseball game… which makes sense, because I fell asleep to discussions on the news about how MLB is planning on starting their season somehow I’m three different “hub” cities. But anyway…

We were all right outside the stadium, and I realized only at that point that I had forgotten my ticket at home, hundreds of miles away.Β  For some reason though, the guy scanned Jim’s ticket and it allowed us all to get inside, as if his was some sort of master ticket for main entry. However, when we were getting ready to claim our seats, there were groups of armed security guards that were checking for tickets.

It turns out that Jim was the only one who remembered his ticket, so the guards forcefully removed me and the others in our group from the line. We were told that we needed to go down to “processing” and the guards pushed us towards a flight of stairs that led to a darkened, creepy basement with cinder block walls painted beige.

Once I got down to the bottom level I realized that everyone being sent down there was being “derezzed” (aka deresolution, from the Tron movies)Β … and for whatever reason, everyone milling around down there, waiting to be killed, were all strange digital characters as if they were all from some discount, dollar store video games.

They chose to try to kill me by throwing digital spiders all over me, but I was able to flip many of them off of me, although a couple of them were able to spin super strong webbing that they’d circle around my arms and wrists – tightening the loops until it started cutting off my circulation. But luckily, even though they were digital/mechanical, they were no harder to kill than regular spiders… so I ended up squishing the remaining few that were wrapping me in webbing and ended up running outside through a hidden door.

It started making less sense at this point… outside the arena there were huge, ridiculously high bridges that allowed pedestrian traffic to go over the nearby highway. But before I could leave on one of those bridges, a group of women stopped me to ask if I could help them find their dog. They said that they had left him in the trunk during the concert… (it was a concert now instead of a baseball game *shrug*) and they couldn’t hear him scratching anymore, so they assumed he was no longer in there. I, of course, assumed the dog had met a different fate than they were thinking, but then I woke up.

Fun stuff.

Tnx, Easter Bunny (Bok Bok!)

The Easter Bunny totally spoiled me again this year. πŸ°πŸ˜ƒ It was probably the combination of a bunch of candy, lots of little neat / weird / random goodies, some scrunchy / puffy catnip dolls for Maven, and then all of it coming during this time when we’re all bored of seeing and doing the same thing day after day, meaning that whenever anything new and unexpected gets thrown into the mix it’s gonna be a nice treat. 😌 I won’t even get into the details of the “goodies” in the basket, since they’d probably seem rather strange to someone that didn’t know me and Genesee… er… me and the Easter Bunny, rather… πŸ€“πŸ˜ but it’s a perfect little collection of weird stuff for the sake of mental distraction.

I think the EB also caught word that I don’t exactly keep my shelves and fridge stocked with “real” food, so along with the regular basket of goodies I also got two huge bags of food from The Olive Garden. 😯🀀 I ate the cheese sticks as soon as I unpacked stuff, but then there are five more entrees waiting for me, a couple more salads, a ton of bread sticks, and a big piece of cheesecake. 😁 I had no idea that any of it was coming, other than being told to expect a delivery, so it was a great addition to the other stuff from the bunny.

I can’t think of anything I’ve done lately that should merit me getting spoiled like this, and I do feel bad that I haven’t been able to include Dad in the surprise company and surprise food, but it’s sure gonna be nice to have that “real” food for most of the days coming up this week. 😌 Like I told Gen, I really am stocked up on foodstuffs. πŸ€” Frozen stuff, canned stuff, boxed stuff, etc… and I would have been okay with only that… but this was just really good timing and I really appreciate it.

In other news, a few days ago Wendi had me download Facebook Messenger, that way she could video-chat me and I could see one-month-old Matthew Jr live and in person. 🀀 And after telling Wendi that I’d “try to get back on Facebook” soon… I’d swear that my words got picked up by the wind and were subliminally scattered to my friends. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Because not long after, I had two different friends “find me” on YouTube and Twitter, and then a couple different friends texted me directly… all wanting to know if I was okay, if I was gonna get back on FB, etc – since I really have neglected folks for a long time. 😟

(Honestly, I think that re-installing Messenger after so long may have caused notifications like “Robert Batina logged on for the first time in six months. Say hello!” or some similar shit like that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ)

On average my anxiety is still high, but I’m trying to handle the bits of each day in little chunks – rather than worrying about all of them from the moment I wake up. 😳 Cousin Jimmy was another one that hit me up after a couple of months off, and he helped ease my concerns regarding getting back into the social swing of things. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ He reminded me that everyone on Facebook is now dealing withΒ at least one shitty, significant “life” thing –Β so I might be able to sneak back in without any fuss or questions about why I vanished. 😬 I may get into that here sometime, but I’m hoping to keep my eventual return to FB quick and painless.

Okeydoke, enough rambling… heh… I was (good) wired after the surprise company from my cousins yesterday, and now I’m feeling (good) wired from the Easter Bunny totally hooking me up with goodies and a ridiculous amount of food food this year. πŸ˜… But it is starting to get late, so I should go ahead and shift my brain into neutral and start getting ready for bed sometime here in the next one to eight hours. πŸ˜πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I know everything kinda sucks right now, and it feels nearly unavoidable… but I hope y’all had at least a little unexpected good stuff pop into one of your recent days like it did mine today. 😊 Take care, stay safe. ✊🏻

One Day at A Time

Fox Sports did a great job with the “virtual” race that they put on today. I forget what the official name was, but it was an eNASCAR / iRacing / Invitational / Exhibition race… that they somehow managed to get on TV with an impressive presentation. Sure, there were more wrecks than in a real race, and a few glitches here and there… but overall, if you were just walking in and out of the living room, only half paying attention, you wouldn’t have even noticed that we were all watching a video game.

A nice little escape for a couple of hours today. Back in reality, Mike DeWine declared that Ohio will have a stay-at-home order starting on Monday. We’re all basically doing that already, but I think this may actually affect folks who were still wanting and trying to work. Only certain jobs are on the approved list, so here’s hoping that the government comes through with unemployment or another form of relief quickly – ‘cuz as if the virus itself doesn’t cause enough anxiety, now people are gonna have to worry about utilities, rent, car payments, food, etc.

The problem is, the way they’ve worded things, the way they’re going to enforce this order… it’s way, way too soft – and the people who want to be out, or just don’t want to be told what to do, they’re gonna find and use all the loopholes. I’d give it a week or two before DeWine gets fed up with the lack of cooperation and puts something stronger in place. But right now, you can still go out to the park, walk around, walk your dog, drive to shop, visit family, go to doctor appointments… I mean, I don’t know what the right amount of “enforcement” would be, so maybe that’s why it’s starting off light.

I didn’t watch Trump’s press briefing today, and I’m probably a whole lot better for it. I’ve seen a couple clips, and have read things that he said or did… and yeah, as many, many people and journalists are starting to say on Twitter – there’s no reason that these things should be carried live, since there is so much misinformation that causes fear and anxiety. So my day was a bit better than I was feeling last night. Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel at the moment… it’s almost like anticipation… not knowing how I should feel until we start seeing things happening closer to home each day.

I’m probably still right on the edge of that same anxiety that I had last night, so after I get off of here I’m gonna seek out Airplane! (the movie) so I can kick back and absorb some stupid, clever, dumb comedy as I hopefully get sleepy. I hope everyone out there made it through the day as uneventfully as I did today.

Another Person’s Dream. Yay.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a decades-old blog, somewhere, where I used to regularly keep track of my weird ass dreams. But sometimes they’re interesting enough to merit a spot in the regular blog. Last night’s dream was a single, long, awful, hyper-realistic “action” nightmare. 😳 (And when it comes to what I may have seen, heard, or done during the prior day to cause any of it… who knows.) The cast, for whatever reason, was mostly people that I went to high school with. πŸ€” Not necessarily even the “closer” of my friends.

It started off with Chris Woolard and Rich Nagel showing me their raptor pen, where yes… they had a real baby raptor, probably the size of a human toddler. They said I could go in and play with it, but that they didn’t advise it. 😧 I did anyway, though. It immediately knocked me down to my hands and knees and then proceeded to bite and attack my right shoulder. (Why my right? My left one is the one that’s damaged. Maybe fear of losing use of my remaining good arm?)

It chomped into me several times, finally just locking its teeth deep into my shoulder. πŸ˜–πŸ˜« I fell even closer to the ground, blood pouring into a puddle on the floor around me. I stayed as still as I could, which caused it to finally stop biting into me – and I was then face down on the floor, unintentionally blowing bubbles in my own blood as I tried to keep my breathing shallow enough that it would leave me alone. 😯

Brian White then pulled me up from the floor and helped me out of the pen, and had someone bandage up my shoulder. πŸ€• As soon as that was done, I started looking for my phone so that I could leave… but it wasn’t in my pocket, wasn’t on my desk, wasn’t anywhere that it should have been. 😳 So I began to frantically look for it, with the panic of knowing that whoever had it would have access to my entire life…

As I walked up and down this dark auditorium, looking all around the chairs, desks, and people – eventually Matt McKinster motioned me towards a huge “home improvement store” area just outside the room we were currently in. πŸ€” As soon as I got out there, I saw Jamie Faught carrying light posts for a customer… but he was about 20 feet tall, and they were like street light light posts. 😧 He nodded and smiled at me, but as I drew his attention away from what he was doing – the posts he was carrying smashed into dozens of giant ceiling fans that were above us all.

(If you’re still here and reading… well done. Other people’s dreams are so not-interesting… heh)

Everyone in the store, who were all regular sized like me… we all started running and screaming, because Jamie was falling, the posts were falling, and the smashed ceiling fans were falling – all in our direction. 😯😫 Some of the fans were still spinning like airplane propellers, which resulted in several violent “glass tornados” from which we all had to escape. ☹️ Luckily I spotted a big metal glove on the floor near me… 🀨

I put the glove on and shielded some people behind me as the glass shards began hitting us. The glove was able to deflect most of the debris, but we were still getting sliced and gashed by the stray pieces of glass as they flew by. πŸ˜–πŸ˜­πŸ€• I was able to save five or six people before a different glass tornado attacked us from above, rather than straight on like the others had done. πŸ‘†πŸ»πŸ˜³ It rained down on us so hard that it broke through the floor underneath us, sending us all falling into a darkened pit below.

At that point the wind stopped, the glass stopped flying around, the screaming people stopped screaming… and those of us that survived falling into the pit realized that we needed to climb our way out, over piles of busted glass and even more busted people. 😟☹️ When I made it to the edge at the top, thankfully my friend Desiree was there to take my hand and successfully pull me to safety. πŸ˜ƒ

She was crying and acting so sorry that she wasn’t there to protect me when it all started, but told me that even though she was late – that I can always rely on her to be there for me eventually, when it really counts. 😊 There was other little stuff after that, which I can’t really remember, and then I woke up. And I was friggin’ tired, man. 😞 I mean, I know all of this shit just comes off as bizarre – but imagine experiencing it all as vividly as you’re experiencing things in the room around you right now as you read this blog entry. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜

Crazy shit. I’ll definitely take a pass on any dreams tonight if they’re gonna be anything like that again. πŸ˜“

I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was…

This has been on my mind, so I’mma ramble. πŸ™‚ If we’re able to come to a settlement agreement regarding the medical portion of my claim, I wonder if I’ll be able to eventually undo all of the damage that’s been done. πŸ€”πŸ˜Ÿ Not the physical stuff, of course, since that’ll slowly continue to get worse over the years… but the way the whole process has mentally changed me, especially over the past several years. 😞

It’s just that I’m guaranteed that one week out of every month will be filled with anxiety and stress, simply because I have to get my medications filled. 😐 The meds are required to be covered by my claim, and many years ago I could pick them up without issue – even being able to get them a few days early at times. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Then the problems started. πŸ˜’ Short delays turned into long delays, and long delays became even longer. Eventually the delays were so long that I’d have to pay out-of-pocket just so I didn’t go without, and then wait and hope that I’d get paid back. πŸ˜• If my doctor prescribes a new medication, it can be denied pending an IC hearing. Even when a prescription doesn’t change they can still sometimes deny coverage pending an IC hearing to prove that it’s still necessary. (Which, after a decade, it obviously will be.)

Three weeks of “tolerable” pain at best, followed by a week of worrying, fussing, and fighting just to get the meds that they’re legally required to provide. 😠 Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… πŸ™„πŸ˜ž Combine that stress with fluctuating pain and lack of ability, and eventually it consumed so much of my thoughts and time that I started backing away from everything else.

(Don’t mind my rambling… like I said, this blog sometimes acts as my therapy…)

When I can’t guess how I’ll physically feel, and I can’t even count on having (or being able to get) my meds to help… things became too unpredictable to continue like I had been. πŸ™ A couple of years ago I had a long phase where I couldn’t do anything if it meant someone “counting on me” for something. Family started getting shut out, friends definitely got shut out, all because I never knew how I’d feel when I woke up that day nor if I’d be facing (or getting pulled into) another hearing or lengthy process with the pharmacy.

That hasn’t changed. 😐 The concern and worry, that is. πŸ˜’ Along with my family and friends’ understanding, I’ve been able to make some adjustments that has kept me from totally isolating myself these days… but lemme tell ya, sometimes it feels easier to just remove myself from people’s lives than to disappoint them over and over again when things are bad. πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜ž And that leads me back to my original question… how long does it take for a person to escape that mindset, if that 1/4 of each month no longer has that anxiety and stress from the fight? 😐

The stress now, for better or worse, is making sure the settlement (whether an annuity or lump sum) is truly enough to cover the things that it will need to cover. If not, I’ll just be trading the stress of fighting for meds each month for the stress of not being able to take the same meds, because I won’t have the funds to pay for them. πŸ˜’ Medicare is technically supposed to step in at that point, but they’ll require all kinds of proof that I spent the settlement money only on applicable things, and the more expensive meds still might not be covered. πŸ˜– So as you can see, there truly is “always something.”

Kinda makes all the “You’re so lucky that you don’t have to work anymore!” folks reconsider, eh? 😏