Vicarious Eavesdropping

That little nap yesterday afternoon…Β πŸ˜’Β screwed up my entire night. Didn’t fall asleep until about 3am, and I was up and down almost every hour on the hour from then on out. I don’t know if I was dreaming, since I was watching a huge storm front going through Illinois and Indiana as I was getting sleepy, but it was either that or I just barely slept through what sounded like a huge downpour. πŸŒ§οΈβ›ˆοΈπŸ‘πŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ§οΈΒ As if someone was spraying a hose against the side of my house. (Probably just my imagination.)Β Meh… now I’m just tired and grumpy and have a friggin’ neck / headache again, but hey… at least it’s Saturday. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Took my morning meds and some Aleve, so I’ll be feeling better soon. Also, I’ve got a package on the way. 😯 And how can you be in a shit mood when you’ve got a package coming? 😁 Before bed each night, I usually spend a while listening to the scanner, and relaying any interesting bits to Amy, my night-time / insomnia texting wife. 😏 We use that term jokingly, of course… but everyone (if they’re married) has a real spouse, but then you often have a “work wife”, an “internet wife”, a “texting wife”, etc. Anyway, the scanner is great, but I’m far enough from town that reception is sometimes a problem. πŸ€¨πŸ“»

So I found a cheap, wide-band, glass mount antenna with the bitty SMA connector that my Uniden HomePatrol 1 uses – and it’s supposed to arrive today. Hopefully by one of their delivery people that has the GPS system where it’ll pop up a little map, showing where they are, and how many stops until they reach you. πŸ€“πŸ§­πŸšš Gonna tuck the antenna behind the curtain on the picture window, which somewhat faces towards town, so hopefully it’ll give me just enough boost that I’ll stop getting garbled transmissions.

At this point, $20 was about the limit that I was willing to throw at a possible solution, but I did also consider that my metal awnings could possibly used with a magnet mount ground plane antenna. But not only does that start to get outside of my wheelhouse when it comes to antenna knowledge, but they’re also more expensive, and I don’t have an easy way to run the connecting cable into the house. Besdies, I’m not sure I care enough about “perfect reception” to bother doing whatever I’d need to do to get it perfect. 😏 Most services in the area have gone to digital broadcasting anyway, so I imagine it’s only a matter of time before they start using encryption as well – which would make my receiver useless. πŸ˜• Gone are the days of getting a $20 “Bearcat” scanner at a yard sale that would give you access to almost everything you’d wanna listen to.

Okay, enough rambling… just wanted to bang out an entry to help me wake up and get my day started. I doubt I’m gonna be out of the house much over the next couple of days, having no appointments or obligations (and also wanting to avoid the bizarre 90 degree “fall” weather), so that gives me even more reason to anxiously await the arrival of that antenna for one of my toys. πŸ€“πŸ˜Œ It’s honestly too cheap, so I’m not expecting much, but if it gives me just enough gain re: these two specific channels it’ll have been worth it.

Makes me wish for a “Fall Hamvention” … but I probably wouldn’t go to that one either. πŸ˜…Β I miss Hara Arena.

Learn To Relax

I know it’s only Thursday, but I think I’m gonna mentally start my weekend now. Had all kinds of horrible nightmares last night, even though I can’t tell you a damn thing regarding what they were about. 😟 I just know that multiple times throughout the night I’d wake up in a sweat from whatever I was dreaming about… I dunno, maybe bits will come back to me throughout the day as dreams sometimes do. Just takes hearing the right word or seeing the right image on TV and stuff can start coming back into view.

So, not much sleep, headache when I finally woke up for good… although at least it’s a normal headache and doesn’t seem related to my neck, so hopefully some Aleve will be able to help with that. I think it’s just the stuff that has been occupying my thoughts for the first part of the week kinda building up… worrying about my friend’s surgery, thinking about and helping out another friend who has a custody hearing today… and then despite doing pretty good at keeping my WC stuff out of my thoughts, struggling while shopping yesterday agitated my frustration – by barely being able to handle a few relatively small bags of dirt and gravel – I think my brain just got a little full, and last night’s dreams may have been a product of that. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Regardless, I’m gonna take it easy today, stay relatively disconnected from the digital world, and probably do a little work around the house. Lawn guys were here yesterday, bills and paperwork have been handled, no appointments to worry about, no calls to make or people to see… so I can just chill here in my bubble and not worry about any of the stuff that might stress me out. 😌 I mean, I’m definitely interested in politics and all of the “goings on” when it comes to all that, but I’m even gonna try to avoid that today… and today sounds like it could be pretty “big” when it comes to potential news. (I’m sure I’ll catch Maddow later, though… I just like the long-form way that she sums up the day’s biggest stories.)

But yeah, just figured I’d go ahead and get some “me time” before the weekend gets here. It’s funny, even though I don’t have a traditional Monday-thru-Friday type schedule since I don’t work anymore, I still feel like I have to justify it to myself if I wanna take a “day off” during the week. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Hell, even at that, I’m still gonna do some laundry, put away the groceries from yesterday, other light misc chores… and I’ve gotta learn to give myself credit, even for small crap like that, when I’m not feeling great. So, yeah, I’ll probably be a little slower at reading and responding to any messages today… it’s not you, it’s me. 😏

Cautious, Grumpy Progress

Yesterday and today haven’t been great, but I’m trying to not let it slow me down too much. Woke up yesterday with my neck being more crapped up than usual, which then evolved into a headache that lasted all day. πŸ€• Same deal with my neck again this morning, but thankfully no headache to go along with it so far. I was supposed to go see Bri sometime today, but I went ahead and pushed that off until tomorrow… just wanna give myself one more night of sleep with the chance of waking up feeling better.

I’m not even sure what’s causing it, but the only thing I can think to blame is that I switched ends on my bed. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I had it cornered against two of my bedroom walls in one direction for a few months, and a couple of days ago I scooted it so it was in the same corner but more against the other wall. 😐 It’s hard to explain, but basically what used to be the foot of my bed is now where my pillows and head are, so maybe that little change is just something that my neck needs to get used to. πŸ˜’ That part might be less compressed from time or whatever. Meh… I’ll probably sleep in the recliner tonight just to be safe. πŸ‘΄πŸ»πŸ’ΊπŸ˜

So, rather than visiting a friend while I’m in a frustrated, semi-grumpy mood, I figured I’d take the day here at the house to accomplish whatever light-duty type things that I get the motivation to tackle. So far today I’ve gotten the carpet vacuumed, the kitchen counters cleaned off, and finally 409’d the stove top. πŸ˜₯Β (That’s why I’m taking a break now… heh) I have to space things out and not push my luck, but lemme tell ya – with the rest of the kitchen relatively clean, that handful of dirty dishes in the sink will be smirking at me until I get them done up as well. Let’s put them on the “maybe” list for much later tonight. 😏

The NASCAR race is actually tonight instead of tomorrow, so that’s something to look forward to… oh, and for shits and giggles I put the 360 camera into time-lapse mode (2s intervals) and stuck it on the lamp post out front to see how long a full charge will last on that setting. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€“ But tonight, I think during the commercials I’ll work on tidying up the bathroom. That’s one way I make myself do things when I don’t really want to… make the commercials mandatory “do something” time. πŸ˜’ The drawers and closet in there have needed attention for a while, so I’ll probably drag the trash can in there and at least get started on it.

At the end of the day, even though nobody would probably notice that I did anything… except, perhaps, the cleaning of my kitchen counters… I’ll still know that I accomplished (what counts as, to me) quite a bit. πŸ™‚ That’s about the only way I can handle this big ol’ house… little bits at a time, slowly getting room by room in better shape, and hopefully not cluttering it back up before I’ve finished whatever the next room is. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Meh… okay… I should quit rambling and get back to it. (Sorry, sometimes I have to stop and pat myself on the back like this to keep myself motivated… ‘cuz some of this shit isn’t easy for me.)

Some Today, Some Tomorrow

Woke up to my neck feeling all janky today… either from sleeping on it wrong, or just from the building stress of the last few days. But I still dragged my ass out of bed with intention today, determined to get some of the stuff on my mental to-do list done. It wasn’t until I was getting ready to leave the house that I realized it was 92 effing degrees outside today. The heat still takes a little more toll on me than it used to, and along with the neck / headache shit – I ended up scaling back my goals just a bit.

First stop was gassing up the Fusion and topping off the air in the tires, then to the bank, then to the post office – to mail out that report for my attorneys. I wish I could snap my fingers and it would just be there, but I’ll have to be okay with them getting it tomorrow and then finally actually looking at it at the start of next week. I’m gonna give Jim a call though and leave him a message, letting him know that it’s coming.

And then since my car has gone from “change oil soon” to “oil change required”, I figured I should go ahead and get that done while I was out today. It was like I suspected though… and why I like these new guys that I go to for service… he said the synthetic blend that I got last time could have actually lasted me many more miles, and the car was only crying because I forgot to inform it that it got synthetic this last time, and didn’t increase the mileage interval before it starts squawking at me. But yeah, for an oil change place to say 7,500 miles on synthetic is cake, and even 10,000 wouldn’t be that bad… that shows some honesty that you wouldn’t always expect.

But by the time the oil change was finished, the base of my skull was thumping and I was feeling pretty meh due to hanging around in the heat as I waited, so I decided that was enough “on the go” chores for the day. Hoping I’ll bounce back overnight tonight, so I can finally go get my hair cut and schedule an eye appointment tomorrow.

Ugh… I hate that the workers comp crap is still in the back of my mind though. Today is a good example of something that would be used against me. “Look! He admits to working on his car!” (Because they’d count putting air into my tires as work.) And if I didn’t specifically state that I took my car somewhere for an oil change, they’d probably claim that I didΒ that myself as well. And of course, regardless of whether I mention any levels of pain or not, there’s this strange “Robert admits to performing multiple chores, including multiple stops at various locations throughout his day.” kind of stuff that’s obviously intended to imply something…

I guess I just thought that I was past the point of having to justify doing things that I simply have to do, or pointing out every time that something causes me difficulty or pain each time I do it. It hurts to do certain things, such as folding laundry, standing and doing dishes, etc… but of course I still have to do those things. I’m not sure how pointing out that I’m still managing to get by, despite my disability and pain, somehow makes me the bad guy. Meh… but anyway… I’m okay with what I was able to accomplish today.

EDIT: After I finished this entry, I remembered something else that annoyed me enough to come back to add this. Weeks ago I learned that Skillet was having a concert at the end of September in Columbus. However, I’m not going to that concert… a concert by one of my most favorite bands… because it’s a general admission show, and it would simply hurt too much to stand and be bumped around for that hour and a half. I’ve fought with myself, trying to make myself go, but I chose not to because I don’t want to hurt. I think I even made an entry where I wondered about “disabled seating” for folks like me… but in the end, despite it being a show I’d desperately love to see, I’m not going. My life is a constant balancing act because of my disability and pain… sometimes I have to do things that hurt (like chores) that I don’t want to do, but I have to. Sometimes I choose to do something fun, despite knowing that fun thing will likely cause me pain… and I think that’s okay too. But then there are examples like this – where I really wanna do something, but I’m not willing to pay the pain-equivalent of “the price of admission” to do it, because I’m that concerned with avoiding extra pain. Yet the legitimacy of my disability and pain is still being questioned, year after year after year…Β  fml.

Oh? How So?

Went to my mandated WC evaluation today. πŸ˜’ Similar to what I’ve been through before, but different. He doesn’t read the medical reports of any of the people he will be seeing until after he talks to them. He also goes over all of people’s current medical conditions, even ones not under the “allowed conditions” of the claim. He said it was his job to evaluate all of the meds and how they may interact with each other, good or bad. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m not sure why WC would want him to do that, and I’ll admit that it kept me trying to figure out which angles he might possibly consider using to “get me” like other doctors have tried before. 🀨

He was an older guy, and was like 90% friendly and fine, with the last 10% feeling like there was “something else” behind it. πŸ€” I just know that it’s in both of our interests to be friendly, cooperative… just “how a person should act” with any other person. So in general, it was honestly fine. He repeated it a few times, and he stuck to it – saying that he wouldn’t ask me to do anything that would hurt. Now, they all say that, but in order to effectively demonstrate the “broken” – the side effect is that it usually requires additional pain.

He had me list all of the meds I’m currently taking, regardless of which doctor prescribed it. But with each one, he did want to know why it was being prescribed to me… which also seems reasonable. When we got to the meds that my shrink is currently prescribing, and what he has prescribed in the past and is possibly considering in the future… I explained that it’s really only the current two that seem beneficial to me, and that I didn’t care to try a bunch of new med combinations while dealing with thyroid / cancer issues, that I’ve experienced bad side effects, etc. 😐 Β Just continuing the story like I had been…

Somewhere around that point he says, “I think you’re trying to be clever.”Β  πŸ˜’Β  Umm… excuse me???

My inner voice immediately shouted “And what the fuck is THAT supposed to mean exactly?” because it definitely felt like a random shitty comment that didn’t have any place in the current conversation. 😠 I was truthfully answering all the shit he was asking, so I don’t know what made him say that. But whatever other question he asked as he said that, I answered it – but in the same breath followed it up with “…and what do you mean, I’m being clever. 😠 Strongly encouraging him to elaborate. (Thank you, brain, for allowing an on-the-fly, split-second, non-“fuck”-containing translation from thought to words.)

He questioned why my shrink would be prescribing this or that script (the same way I questioned it) so I don’t know if he thought I was making excuses or what… but I explained, “People look at doctors as an authority figure. I try to trust my doctors. So when my primary care says I should give counseling a try, I did. When the counselor suggested that I give the ‘pill shrink’ a try, I did. But when he started or wanted to prescribe me things that didn’t seem to fit with any symptoms I was having, I made the choice to not take them. Or if I did try one that I thought could help, I tried to wait out the side effects and wasn’t able to.”

Keep in mind… none of this has anything to do with my workers comp claim. And when someone is happily cooperating and truthfully volunteering their entire current medical history, that’s not when a doctor should reply with something that sounds like a vague negative accusation of something. πŸ˜• And for what it’s worth, I am clever… heh… but that’s neither here nor there. Thankfully that ended up being the only really out-of-place thing that he said, as he moved on to taking various measurements.

Ended up being there for an hour and a half. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ Rehashing how the original injury happened for the umpteenth time, talking about the tests, PT, and treatment before and after the surgery… everything that’s already in my file… but whatever, if that’s how he wants to gain the info. And about my knee hurting, my neck / shoulder slowly getting worse, he asked if there was something specific that happened to cause them to hurt more… which is a fair question… so it felt like “No, there’s wasn’t anything that happened to trigger it, but I wish I knew.” wasn’t a helpful answer to him, and definitely not a helpful answer for my case. But that’s how shit works sometimes, and he (and everyone else) knows that… injury / surgery sites will get worse over time, and sometimes knees and backs are fine one day and fucked the next. No inciting incident required.

I didn’t let his “clever” comment change how I answered or did anything, but it did change my mood about the whole thing and made my nausea instantly worse. 😟 Reminded me that this is just part of the game where everyone smiles, does what they’re supposed to, and then goes their own way – likely to never encounter each other again. But like I said, compared to others, he was fine. Unless he ends up writing a shitty report that screws me over – because I truly didn’t get the feeling that he had any problems with my current WC-related treatment. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (But if that does happen, and I have to see him again, that’s when he mayΒ actually get to see me “thinking that I’m clever” – because at that point, why not?) 😏 Guess I’ll know how this visit went a few weeks from now, when I randomly check the mail and find another Industrial Commission Hearing notice. πŸ™„

It’s just starting to feel like it’s about time for more of that nonsense.

Birthday Eve

The stars aligned yesterday and I woke up feeling good and was able to go in to visit with Mom and Dad like I had planned a few days earlier. πŸ™‚ Everyone knows that when it comes to planning things, my brain often won’t cooperate when the day actually comes – so that’s why it was nice to wake up yesterday feeling decent and ready to go. It’s actually Dad’s birthday today, but rather than showing up with decorations and hats and horns I just came with several bags full of goodies and junk food – and some Sonic double burgers that seemed especially good that day. πŸ€€πŸ”πŸŸ

Mom was extra talkative, and seemed to be in a pretty good mood, although she did say that she was tired of the CD that always plays in her radio – so I told her that I’d bring her some Elton John music next time I visited. 🀩🎹 I stayed a couple of hours, and was considering doing a couple of other things on my way home, but when I got in my car my brain decided that it was just time to go straight home.

I think I overdid it with my arm throughout the day somehow, because by the time I was supposed to be going to sleep I had a pulsing headache at the base of my skull from the muscles being all meh. 😣 That kept me awake a couple hours longer than planned, so I decided last night that I’d put today’s planned activities on delay… and now that half the day is gone, I’ve actually just pushed everything off until tomorrow. πŸ™„β° Nothing is urgent, other than dealing with the BS surrounding my medication approvals, and I actually dealt with that on my way in to see Dad yesterday… so today, for the most part, will be a nothing day so I can have a little more recovery time for my oush and brain.

I’ve gotta keep reminding myself that the schedule that I sometimes feel compelled to keep (for my “responsibility/adulting” stuff) … it’s just an arbitrary timeline that I’ve pulled out of my ass. 😳😁 So it’s not so much that I really have to do this or that by a certain time or day, but it’s more that I just trick myself into thinking that those things are mandatory and unchangeable… which often isn’t the case. I gotta quit stressing myself out with dumb shit like that.

Unpredictable

I’ve had a couple of days that were pretty good, or at least not bad… and yesterday ended with me feeling good enough that I thought for sure that I would wake up today and probably be able to make something of it. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But nope, it wasn’t meant to be. πŸ˜’ Thankfully (I guess) today was more “normal” headache rather than something revolving around my neck and shoulder… but still… I feel like crap, but I wanted to take a minute to throw something out here so people would know that I’m still around. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I’m just not likely to be very social for the rest of the night and possibly tomorrow. (Shit, maybe even longer…) Gotta try to take care of myself, and sometimes that requires tuning the rest of the world out.