Trying To Be Productive

Cassi and Steven came down for a visit yesterday evening. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was kind of a short notice thing, and they ended up staying a couple of hours, so it had my brain wound up to where I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 2am. ๐Ÿ˜ด Me and Steven ended up talking about car stuff almost the entire time, so that was nice to pick his brain about this and that… but they’re getting ready to move, and they’ll be busy with all of that for a good bit – so after last night it’ll be a while until things get settled enough for me to drop in for a visit.

I woke up again after only about an hour of sleep, so I tumbled out of bed and I stumbled to the kitchen… to get myself a bottle of water. ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… I used the “9 to 5” lyrics for the previous sentence, but “tumbling out of bed” was exactly what ended up happening. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I nodded off with the water bottle in my hand, still sitting up, and (likely) a short time later I woke back up as my dumb ass was falling out of bed. Not my most graceful moment, that’s for sure. I’m surprised I was able to fall back to sleep so easily after that. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Despite that, today started off well… if a bit later than originally planned. Went in town and grabbed some burgers for a visit with Dad around lunch time, and then after that I finally… finally… made it to the Walmart vision center and got my new prescription and glasses ordered. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿฅณ I’ve only been “planning” to do that for about a year now I think? I tend to be rough on my glasses, so I spent a little more to get titanium frames with double hinges on the temples. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป More of a squared off look than my last few pairs, so I’m excited to get them to not only see how I look, but also to actually be able to see with 20/20 vision again.

They did do eye-health tests along with just getting the Rx, since it’s been a few year since they last saw me, but everything apparently looked good. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ However, the combination of the glaucoma test and then the drops to dilate my eyes… ๐Ÿ˜ณ I ended up with a huge headache which still hasn’t gone away. Luckily I only had to run through the store real quick to grab some cat food, litter, pop, and some other grocery essentials – but then I was able to head straight home, pull the curtains, and turn off all the lights. ๐Ÿค•

Since my IC hearing got postponed, that leaves tomorrow free for me to call (or go visit) the pharmacy to get this month’s WC med situation taken care of… ๐Ÿ˜  plus I’ve gotta make a call regarding a stray insurance policy that’s taking far too long to process. (Another thing that I’ve been meaning to do for months.) Those calls will be mildly-annoying at best, but it’ll feel good if I’m able to get these things handled. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Okay, headache is starting to flare up again… time to get away from my screens.

Rambling Catch-Up

I’ve seen a few more articles recently saying that Ohio’s flu season is now “widespread” based on whatever numbers they use. I’ve gotta wait a couple days until I consider getting mine though, because I’ve got a bit of a chest cold right now. ๐Ÿ˜ท I don’t feel that bad, but I spent yesterday afternoon throwing up every other time that I’d cough up a bunch of “yuck” and it would get stuck in the back of my throat. ๐Ÿคฎ So I just took a nighttime cold med in the early evening and slept all the way through the night, thankfully.

It’s hard to get geared up for all of the early-January stuff I’ve got coming when I feel like this, so I’ll stick to soup and drink a bunch of water today and hopefully that’ll help. But I’ve got a doctor appointment coming up, a service date for the recall notices on my Fusion, paperwork yet to finish up for the Industrial Commission hearing, then continued work when it comes to the Supreme Court stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Bleh. ๐Ÿ˜ Plus I definitely need to get a haircut before the IC hearing so that I’ll be looking my best.

I wasn’t on my phone after yesterday morning, due to feeling like ass, so this morning after that long sleep I woke up to messages from two different people thinking that I was upset at them for something. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s a problem of the current era’s “always connected” assumptions. Most of the time it’s true… folks are rarely separated from their phones… so the times when people do turn off or set aside their phone, you can see why people might think that they’re being ignored for whatever reason. But nah, I’m just trying to handle my things that need handled, and giving my body a break while I fight this congestion.

But as for the hearing, my attorneys should have everything that they need. There have been some recent changes in the medications that my doctor has prescribed for me, so I actually went up to Columbus and dropped off all that new information in person. It’s crazy… I started off my WC “fight” years ago with a single attorney in one of their satellite offices here in town, and now I’m visiting their entire floor of attorneys in downtown Columbus, since those are the folks who are now doing the heavy lifting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I can’t even imagine what rent would be on the entire 10th floor of a building downtown.

And when I’m at the Ford dealership for the recall repairs, I’m gonna talk to them about the way the transmission is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜  I know how to reset the PCM/TCM to let the adaptive learning essentially start from scratch, learning the best idle point, shift points, etc… but I also know that they have the ability to flash the TCM with the most updated firmware, so I do wanna find out if there’s an updated version available for my car – and how much of a deal they’d cut me on that service if I also get my transmission fluid flushed / changed at their service department. ๐Ÿ˜

But the most recent hearing / court related mail that I’ve received, in their numbered list of notable “stuff” on the back, one of them specifically says that they do want to hear from the injured worker in their own words, and how that testimony is taken into consideration just as seriously as any other fact evidence that is presented. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’ve already got a good start on the single-paged letter for the hearing, although I need to go through and remove anything that repeats itself or is “more emotion” than fact based… but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve yet to get much instruction on what I may or may not have to do. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It could very well be that the evidence will speak for itself, much like when it was going through Franklin county’s court system. (You should see the organized piles of papers for this shit on my couch… heh)

It kinda sucks… I know that most folks around me don’t have any idea about all of the stuff that I’m doing “behind the scenes” with all of this various crap, and many of them probably think all of my time is just free time – because why wouldn’t they? They know I’m not working, they know I’m not in a relationship that would be taking up my time, they know I’m rarely out visiting any friends, etc… but yeah, it ends up being a problem sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜• People are so used to me being almost instantly accessible, or able to help them with whatever “thing” they need help with… but like this week, I’ve had to keep one of my cousins on pause all week while I handle my own stuff, and while I hate to do it (he wants me to help him with a resume) my stuff has to take priority. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But at least he’s already aware how a lot of my crap has settled in to the first half of January, so he probably understands.

So yeah, if people can’t reach me right away, or don’t hear from me as often or as quickly as they think they should… I hope they can keep it in the back of their mind that it’s probably because something else is taking up my time, and not because I’m just sitting here ghosting everyone “just because.” I swear, this is probably half the reason I keep as few close friends as I do, just because I know I don’t always have the time or energy to devote to them (in communication or in person) as they’d deserve or expect. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I disappoint the least amount of people this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Okay, unfortunately I’ve got some shit to do…

Couple Days Off

I’ll definitely admit that I’m not the NASCAR fan that I used to be, but I still ended up watching much of most of the races this year… so I still get that “meh” feeling that fans get this weekend, now that the 2019 season is over and the races are done. ๐Ÿ˜• Luckily the Penn State vs OSU game is on, and it should be a pretty good one, so I’ve got that on the TV while I side-eye the stack of mail from this past week and try to talk myself into getting into it all. ๐Ÿ˜

This is gonna be a low-key weekend for me though. Was busy through a lot of the past week, and already know that I’ll be busy next week getting tires put on, furnace looked at, garage opener likely installed (among other things) so I’m hoping to keep my ass planted at home and take it relatively easy today and tomorrow.

Of course I’ve still got random little shit around the house that I’ll probably work on if the motivation hits me, but my only planned project is getting the new mailbox mounted. I guess it’s gonna be sunny and decent tomorrow, so I’ll probably wait until then to take the old one off, measure out the holes on the post, and drill out the piece of wood that I’m gonna end up using as the mount.

I bought a cheap plastic universal adapter type thing, same brand as the mailbox, but for some reason not only does it not line up with the horizontal screw holes on the mailbox, but in the plethora of holes for mounting to a post – none of them appear to be in the locations needed. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ That’s probably why Grandpa fastened the old mailbox to the post with a piece of wood underneath too… which, over many years out in the weather, has slowly rotted away. I’ve already found the perfect plank of wood, so I’m just hoping that it won’t be difficult to remove the old bolts from the post. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Worst case scenario, if they’re rusted solid or I don’t have the torque to loosen the nuts from the screws, I’m sure Rick would come over and get it sorted. (But I’ve got to at least try to do it myself first.) That’s the irritating thing about my left arm, man… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ something that should and would be a piece of cake if my shoulder wasn’t gimped – it’s now sitting out there as this intimidating prospect, knowing that I’ve only got Sunday to get it done before mail resumes on Monday. ๐Ÿ˜ณ When simple things can’t be simple… it’s just frustrating.

Meh… it is what it is. Just glad that I’ll have decent weather to (hopefully) figure it out w/o killin’ myself. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

EDIT: Damn… this game is moving fast. Either that, or I’ve just been really slow as I was typing out this entry… ‘cuz I feel like I started it right after the game started, and it’s already down to two minutes left before half-time. Good… guess that means my plan of taking it easy is working, if time is passing that fast. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿˆ

Overdue For One Of These

Had my monthly WC doctor visit today. Good timing for two reason… first, because it looks like we’re gonna get our first measurable snow tonight (possibility of 2 to 3 inches) and second, because my shoulder was bad this morning. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Most of the time when I have my appointments with him, I’m in my typical / average condition. Not good, but not too bad. But luckily, every now and then, my shoulder has one of its little fits while I’m in the office so he can see in real-time what I deal with a lot of days. Of course I never want to hurt, but it’s like when you take your car to the repair shop and it just won’t “make that noise” for the guy… yeah… my shoulder was making all kinds of “noise” for the doctor today.

It kinda doesn’t matter though… ๐Ÿ˜• and that sucks. ๐Ÿ˜’ I mean, my treatment is based on my condition, and he already knows that’s part of my condition – so seeing it happening “live” isn’t gonna change anything about it. It’s hard to describe the frustration of just wanting to “feel okay” while also knowing that there really isn’t anything that can make that happen. ๐Ÿ˜ย (And yeah, I know, I’m far from the only person that feels that way.) I’m gonna have to ask him at my next appointment, how much WC is affecting what he’s able to do for me. Lord knows they look for any reason to fight even paying for the meds that I’m on now, so I could see where he might know that some options would just be “off the table” from the start.

Meh… gotta try to not dwell on that stuff. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป But that’s why I’m a little more twitchy than usual once a month. Every time my WC appointment comes around, it just brings up all the frustration that I go through, for treatment that just makes things tolerable, and the fun waiting and wondering if / when my pharmacy will be given approval for each of my meds, etc, only to do it all over again a month later. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s just a shitty cycle that it seems I’m gonna be stuck in forever.

But like I told the doctor today… yeah, I might have times where I bitch about this stuff more than usual, but I also know that things could be a lot worse. I see the other people as they walk into the office… or, sometimes, as they’re rolled by in a wheelchair. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I know that while my disability is definitely full of suck, there’s a lot of folks that have it a lot worse than me – so I try to keep my perspective. (But it doesn’t stop me from thinking that there’s got to be something out there that could still help me more.)

So, yeah, I haven’t done one of these rants for a little while… so there it is. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Honestly, if you took my doctor appointment off of today’s schedule, everything was about the same as any other day – a random mix of good, bad, frustrating, okay, painful, tolerable, etc. ๐Ÿ™„ It just happened that today, the worst of the tremors happened at the most influential time. So despite several paragraphs of complaining, I’m fine… just thinking out loud and getting shit off my chest like usual. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปย It’s all good…

Weekend / Winter Prep

I’m glad that today’s a Saturday, ‘cuz I can definitely use the additional time watching football and NASCAR to allow the morning meds to kick in and start helping out before I try to get up and do anything. It was a cold one last night, and I’ve yet to put a thicker comforter on the bed, so I just woke up more gimped than usual. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But days like today are why I try to be somewhat productive on the days that I can, so I don’t feel like I’m being lazy when it takes half-a-day before I’m worth a shit. ๐Ÿ˜

Once the game is over I’m gonna head in town to grab some Rax and go visit with Dad for a while. I’ll probably also stop by the thrift store in the Plaza while I’m out, to see how their comforter section looks. ‘Cuz to be honest I’d rather sleep under a pile of blankets than to have to keep my house at 70 degrees around the clock.

But yeah, I think that’ll be the extent of my “plans” for today. Keeping it light and easy, especially since tomorrow is already reserved for bills, paperwork, catching up on housework, etc. Getting out of the house here in a bit will probably help, but today just seems weird for some reason.ย ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ย I suppose it’s the bunch of little “meh” things collectively making it feel like the day never really got a solid start, so I guess I’m just feeling a bit restless because of it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ One of these days I’ll eventually “be okay” with just being a potato on the days where being a potato feels like the reasonable thing to do. ๐Ÿ˜

It’s okay to treat the weekend like a weekend, man… ๐Ÿ˜…ย ย (Or any day, for that matter…)

World Mental Health Day

(Just got done writing this one. Heh… sorry, it turned out way longer than I anticipated, but here we go…)

Any time you get on Twitter and scroll through your feed, you see any number of people posting something because it’s a “National (whatever) Day” of some sort. Usually it’s not… but it gives folks a good excuse to post cute pictures of their cat, dog, kid, or whatever – but after seeing several posts and doing a quick google, it turns out today really is World Mental Health Day.

It’s meant to raise awareness, show support for folks getting or needing mental health care, and to also reduce the stigma that’s sometimes involved. Often involved, actually. ๐Ÿ˜’ For example, a while back at one of my primary care doctor appointments I was discussing some of the things in my life that were causing me anxiety. My disability, pain, the (then) newly discovered cancer, Mom being sick and now having passed, other close friends dying from cancer, dealing with workers comp, etc… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ like I told her – stuff that would probably cause anyone to feel stressed. I was just telling her so she’d have the full story, but she said she could refer me to a counselor if I wanted to talk to someone about it. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Seemed like a good idea to me. Sometimes just being able to let out your stress or anxiety to someone that’s not involved in your life in any way… it can just take a little bit of the weight off. I saw her like once a month for a few months, and she said she could refer me to their in-house doctor to see if there was any medication that might be able to help. I wasn’t really interested, since I was feeling an appropriate amount of “bleh” in regards to the stuff that was causing it… but I went ahead and took her suggestion.

I now see that doctor about once every six or eight weeks, and I’ve actually got an appointment with him tomorrow where I’ll need to make a decision. ๐Ÿค” Because, despite this feeling like a normal series of doctor visits – just as if I was dealing with a physical health condition – the fact that this doctor gives me medication to help with my anxiety is now being used against me. ๐Ÿ˜  And being used against me by the last person that I would expect to further the stigma surrounding mental health care… another doctor. โ˜น๏ธ

And when I say “mental health care” … I don’t even take any type of super serious medication, and I haven’t been diagnosed with any extreme disorders. Until this hiccup happened, I looked at this doctor and my treatment there as “Yeah, I guess it makes me feel a little better maybe… or at least I know it’s not making me feel worse… so I guess I’ll continue going.” Like, in my mind, it was barely a thing, but I continued going since it was now part of my current medical routine.

But when I had to go to the independent medical evaluation for the workers comp system (a week or so before getting that second radioactive iodine dose and scan for my cancer followup) one of the things discussed with that doctor was what medical treatment I was currently getting, and from who. (Regardless if it was related to my WC injury or not, to get a complete picture…) So of course I talked about the cancer doctor and treatment, my WC doctor and treatment, and then my PCP doctor and referral regarding the mental health care.

Now, these exams, they’re initiated by my former employer’s insurer, so of course they’re rarely going to be helpful to my cause. So I expected him to say certain things, but I never expected that being treated by a doctor for occasional anxiety would essentially be “weaponized” and used against me the way that it is. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ž Because this doctor took the names of the two meds I’m prescribed, and picked some of the absolute worst possible reasons that I may be taking them. You know how almost every medication has one “thing” it is known for treating, but then it can also be used for treating a half dozen or more other things?

You could even do this test on yourself. Just grab whatever meds you take, get on WebMD, pick out the most extreme, “worst case scenario” possible uses for each medication, and see how close that sounds – compared to what you’re actually taking them for. ๐Ÿง That’s what this doctor did to me. Taking what is run-of-the-mill, minor anxiety treatment to me, and twisting it into all sorts of implied, speculative, “concerning” mental conditions that could be so severe that they even affect how I interpret / talk about my pain and disability. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜  Reading those things in his report was honestly shocking. ๐Ÿฅบ

The funny thing is, for most people… just the pain that I deal with each day, and the sheer amount of things that I can no longer do due to the disability in my left shoulder and arm… just those things alone are enough reason that a person might want to include anxiety treatment in their normal medical routine. And I was doing it mostly because another doctor suggested it, and it sounded like a “might as well” thing, rather than me desperately needingย it or seeking it out. And now it has bitten me in the ass. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’

Well, maybe it has bitten me in the ass. (Maybe the commission will see right through it, as they should.) I won’t know how his report will affect my worker comp case until the hearing is scheduled and all of the doctors’ information (from both sides) is reviewed. But now I’m stuck, wondering if tomorrow I should let this doctor know that I no longer need his services. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He probably helps me a little bit, but it’s certainly something that I could do away with if it’s going to damage the treatment that I get for my work injury. It’s obviously more important (and logical) for me to want to keep the treatment that keeps my pain to a minimum, which also helps keep my stress and anxiety to a minimum.

Yeah, so anyway, it’s a bit of a clusterfuck… and, unfortunately, anyone that reads my story here… anyone that may have been considering seeing a counselor or psychiatrist for the first time… they’ve now got something to add to their mental “nope” list when it comes to the pros and cons of seeking any type of mental health treatment. ๐Ÿ˜’ I don’t take it personally, what the “independent” doctor wrote. I understand that his job is to come up with all of the “worst case scenario” stuff that he can, since my doctors will obviously be talking positively about all of the ways that my current treatment is as effective as the WC situation will allow.

I guess I look at those types of doctors the same way that you might look at public attorneys who are appointed to defend obvious criminals in court. They still have to give that defense their maximum effort, even if it goes against what many people would consider to be “right.” That doctor has chosen that job for reasons only he would know… so I can only hope that sometimes he stops to think about the effect that his actions have on us folks who rely on our WC treatment to keep our pain and lives at least tolerable. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Happy World Mental Health Day 2019. ๐Ÿ˜’๐ŸŽ‰

Why Am I Still Surprised? (@Me)

It looks like it is supposed to rain tomorrow and the next day, so even though I’m pretty sure this isn’t “grass planting season,” I went ahead and dumped that bag of soil around my light post out front, spread it out a bit, and covered / mixed it with new “drought resistant” blue-colored grass seed. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŒพ The light pole area took the whole bag of dirt, but I did have half a bag of seed left over to spread around the other areas that got weed-whacked down to solid dirt. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’ย (And yes, the mailbox gravel is still in my trunk… heh… maybe tomorrow. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ )

It’s partially my fault, because I’ve always told the guys to do whatever they needed to do to clear the yard out and make the mowing easier for them, since there used to be a whole bunch of stuff planted in random places that still tries to pop up. But when a few trees, bushes, and poles end up with big dirt rings / divots around their base… I think it’s safe to say “Okay, I’m pretty sure you got the weeds, buddy.” ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธย But I know they’re just trying to earn their money, staying busy while the other guy mows, and the only spot that really bugs me is the light post – because I can’t avoid seeing it when I leave the house.

So even though the dirt is almost as hard as rock around those other areas, I went ahead and threw down the remaining seed and got everything good and soaked with water, with a handful of back-and-forth trips to the spigot with an old watering can I found in the garage. ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฑย Unfortunately that’s about the extent of the oomph I’ve got for right now. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ (And why I’m taking a break to sit here and blog… heh) I hate it, but between my neck, shoulder, and now lack of a thyroid… I have to accept that there’s an even newer limit to what I can do, even when it comes to this minimal amount of shit. ๐Ÿ™„ It was supposed to be old age that slowly took away those abilities, not being broken and having pieces of meat removed. ๐Ÿ˜  Meh…

But anyway, it’s done now… ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m optimistic about the light pole, and if the other areas can sprout up a little bit of green (whether it’s new grass or “other”) that’ll just be a bonus. Of course I’ll have to let them know to take it easy around those areas for a while, and hopefully they’ll just be like “Kewl. Less work.” and not feel like I’m bitching. (Even though I’m kinda bitching… heh) Laundry and dishes are still on the agenda for today, but only after I chill for a bit, let the Aleve kick in, and maybe catch some of the Xfinity race.