Wringer

Pardon the length of this entry, but yesterday was kinda tough, basically as I anticipated. Anxiety had me up most of the night, so I ended up doing all this stuff on only three hours of sleep – but at least that meant I was awake at dawn, so I could just hop up and start getting ready instead of grumbling at my multiple alarms squawking at me every two minutes until I rise and shine.

From 8am until 12.5pm I was doing “something medical.” 😐 Starting with my monthly neck doctor appointment, where we also covered my upcoming surgery, some of the medications that I might have to start taking because of it, and how they should or shouldn’t react with whatever meds I’m getting from him for my fusion spot, nerve damage, and grumpy muscles in the area. πŸ˜³πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. πŸ’‰ I already had this done a little over a month ago, but they not only wanted to get the most current results, but there were also specific tests that they needed that weren’t in my other test. I volunteered my right arm, and the girl did her best… I mean, she hit the biggest vein available there, but for some reason it was only spitting a little bit of blood – and it was definitely not enough to fill the three vials needed. 😯 My left arm ended up being successful, and of course now I look like a junkie with two big bruises on each elbow-pit. 😏

Next was theΒ electrocardiogram, which actually didn’t take that long due to it (thankfully) not including stress testing or anything like that. Just the normal dozen-or-so electrical leads, a few minutes of holding really still, and on to the next. πŸ™‚ But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. πŸ˜₯

Since they’re going to have to manipulate my head quite a bit while they’re working on my neck, and since they’re aware of the C5-C7 fusion, they had to take a crapload of x-rays while my head and neck were in extremely stretched, compressed, or otherwise super-uncomfortable positions. ☒😣 I do my best each day to not move my head in all of the ways that I had to do for those x-rays, so my neck was fucked after everything was said and done. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So not only will my surgery site be painful, but the ways they are gonna have to move my huge lump-of-a-head around while I’m under anesthesia… let’s just say that I’m really not looking forward to how that area’s gonna be feeling when I wake up.

I almost wasn’t able to complete all the scans that they needed, since one of them (while standing) was given with the instructions of “Put both of your arms straight up, directly over your head.” 😧 If there was a bar or something above my head I could have done it with little issue, but the only way I could do it without my left arm shaking was to get the arm up there, then actually lean against the plate/target of the x-ray machine to basically jam it up there in that position. πŸ˜¬πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The fella doing it was really patient and understanding, and after reviewing them he said that the results should be fine, including that one which I thought would be pretty uncertain.

And I know, to a healthy person that all probably doesn’t sound like much… but man was I worn out after everything was done. πŸ˜“ Between the lack of sleep, the multiple stops, the blood loss… heh, the painful x-rays, and then my leg jumping around between “fine” and “omg stop” heh… I was just thankful that I was able to knock all of that stuff out in one day, along with being able to just go home and recover at my own pace. πŸ˜” It’s all good though… all of this stuff is now done with a couple weeks to spare, so I’m just happy to keep everything on track.

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Oh Yeah? Hmm… Okay

No updates for a while due to various circumstances. Thyroid biopsy was done a little over a week ago, which wasn’t as bad as I expected – but also more serious than I expected. πŸ€”πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ Other than the doctor using a needle rather than actually cutting me open, it was actually a real deal procedure. Hooked up to monitors, in my gown, rolled from the waiting room to the procedure room… and then a couple nurses or technicians dealing with the ultrasound and instruments, while the doctor repeatedly jabbed me in the neck with a thicker-than-I’d-have-preferred needle. πŸ˜―πŸ’‰ It took three different “pokes” to get enough cells for the tests that they needed to run, but the folks were all great, and always spoke in a very calming way that made it not nearly as anxiety inducing as it could have been.

Then on Monday I made it to my first of four dentist appointments. 😳 Rather than attack my whole mouf at once, they figured it would be easier on my face (and at least psychologically, on my wallet) if we split up the work on my teefs. So that appointment was a deep cleaning on the bottom, and then a gum line filling on one of the right rear molars. A little uncomfortable since they had to use a tool to push my gums down until the filling was complete, but I was good and numb so it didn’t really hurt until much later into the day.

Things have been hit and miss with my sciatic issue. Some days it’s almost unnoticeable, and then others there’s a continuous mild pain with some sharp bursts that also come with some weakness. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’ve got a followup appointment with my chiropractor in the first week of next month, and I guess I’m still gonna go see him – just so I can update him in case I have my doctor doctor contact him for my info, when I ask her to look into this problem for me through whatever avenue she thinks might help.

And then my biopsy results… they came back a day sooner than I was expecting, and I actually got the call from the specialist on my way home from the dentist. πŸ˜’ They can’t really tell you anything definite from a small sample like that, so he says surgery is in my future. 😐 I actually had an appointment with him earlier yesterday, and I left feeling about as optimistic as possible when talking about this sort of thing. Like I had already been doing myself, he pointed out many reasons that I should feel far more optimistic than the average person when it comes to this – especially noting that sometimes people have thyroid defects that grow for years and years, and are never even discovered until they’ve grown to a size where it interferes with a person’s swallowing or breathing. 😧

There’s way too much to the situation to get into real detail, but I’ll just say that his “matter of fact” way (in a good way) of talking about the surgery, the treatment, the positive results that he expects and has gotten many times before in others… it helped provide a little ease to a decidedly uneasy thing to think about. So, it’ll come, we’ll hope for the best, and if that isn’t enough, we’ll just face whatever the next thing is after that. I think that things will be fine, even if not on the first try.

You Might Not See It

Despite all my bitching, I can at least say that I’m doing better than I was several months ago – at least regarding my anxiety, my “twitchy”, and whatever other random weird mental things affect me. 😡 I’m obviously going to have setbacks, where I kinda just retreat into my shell (like today), but considering that just a few months ago I wasn’t talking to hardly any of my friends, wasn’t really visiting with Mom and Dad, had no desire to do pretty much anything… where I’m at right now is objectively better, even though a lot of times it doesn’t feel that way to me.

But I’ve been back on email with Dad for a couple months now, after essentially abandoning email as a whole over a year ago… and I know, it sounds weird, and it’s even harder to explain how “anxiety” and “email” can go together… but yeah, more emails, more visits, reaching out to friends – slowly, one at a time… I’m doing so much more than I was able to or wanted to do just a handful of months ago.

I don’t necessarily like admitting how messed up my brain can be, but what can I do? It’s me. 😐 So I think it’s fair to look at my slow but steady progress on these dumb, sometimes inexplicable anxiety issues and feel at least a bit better about it. I know I don’t function like a “normal” human, not by any stretch of the definition… and I know that my occasional communication drop-outs or disappearances by me are still frustrating and hard for friends and family to understand – but they pretty much “get me” now, at least as best as I can be “gotten” I suppose.

Hmm… this counts as posting something positive, right? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (Even though today is fucked. 😏)

Hard To Accept

With a lot of stuff going on in my life, I kinda extracted myself from social media and real life friends for the better part of three months now… but after seeing Dez, it convinced me to get back on and start talking to my friends again. I’m just not anxious to figure out how to explain my absence, since it’s a combination of health problems, mental problems… you know… stuff that people always assume other people won’t really understand.

One of the first people that I checked in on was one of my friends who was just starting to go to his doctor for possible cancer related symptoms the last time we spoke. I talked to him today and he confirmed that it’s indeed cancer, and that it’s so bad they’re not trying to cure it. 😒 So he’s terminal, and the chemo is just to give him as much time as possible. He says it could be a couple of years, or it could be a couple of months. 😳 One of those deals where the doctors can’t be much more certain than that. 😞 It’s hard to know what to say to someone when you hear that kind of news.

I also checked in on my buddy Rick, from school, and it looks like his fight against hairy cell leukemia is still going strong. I haven’t spoken to him, but I see he’s posted pics from chemo treatments as well as something regarding bone marrow… so it’s good to see that he’s still got the required fight in him. πŸ‹πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻 There’s one more friend that I need to check in on like that, but she’s currently enjoying vacation time with her awesome boyfriend… and the last thing I wanna do is poop on the good mood by asking about her cancer status. 😬

Oh, the video above… it’s just one of my typical Hyperlapse videos, but shot out the side window instead of the windshield. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I don’t know what it is about the movement of the clouds that feels so peaceful. It makes me feel so small, and the beauty of the world feel so big. ☺ I’m hoping that I can get past all of the stuff that’s keeping me down right now, so I can get out and do some video or photos or something somewhere… watching the clouds churn makes me wanna be out among them.

All I Have To Give

I’m finally sending up the white flag and giving in to this nerve twinge thing that I’ve got going on. After talking to Dad, Cassi, and Genesee about it, and after suffering with this infuriating pain for the better part of a week, I’ve decided that I better go get it checked out. πŸ€•πŸ˜Ÿ Gen worked at a local doctor’s office when she was still living around here, so she’s possibly got an “in” with a couple different chiropractors. She’s gonna call tomorrow and see if she can get something worked out for me… oh, and I decided to try a chiropractor before the ER for a number of reasons. 🀨 Besides, the ER is still there if it turns out that a back doctor can’t help me.

Rather than sitting around all day and letting my frustration and anger build, I’ve decided to just stay in a comfortable seated position on the floor and get some work done… while watching a bunch of YouTube videos about stuff that gives me the “goody” feels. 😏 (History about Atari, Sega, Samantha Fox, Commodore, Jane Child, Nintendo, Klonoa, etc.) As for the “work” part… just a few minutes ago I printed out the final versions of my will, living will, health care directive, final arrangements, and a durable power of attorney for my finances. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒπŸ€“

Heh… no… I don’t expect to be going anywhere anytime soon, but I’ve had all these documents about 90% done for a while now. 🧐 So I just had to check the details and make a few tweaks, and now I just need to seek out a couple of witnesses and visit the notary at my bank. πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš–οΈ Oh, and there will be no more sleeping in my bed until I get this nerve problem sorted. πŸ™„ My dumb ass… I knew it was a trap… but my bed can be so comfortable, and I wanted a good night of sleep so badly… but nope, constant pressure on that area = a bad idea, so it looks like I’ll be sleeping in the recliner until further notice.

I keep reminding myself how much worse it could be. 😳 I try to put myself in the shoes of the folks who still have to go to their jobs and put in a full eight hours while dealing with this pain. Sure, a TENS device helps mask the pain, but that’s no way to spend your day… working for “the man” while worrying about a) nerve pain randomly zapping you, and b) the TENS unit randomly zapping you. ⚑😣⚑ So, yeah… just trying to make the best of the day.

Expropriated Cycles

This proves that I should always make “after the fact” posts, because despite being all geared up with my medical and workers comp projects, I ended up having Cassi come down and stay over last night… which was actually just the mental break that I needed from all of that stuff. πŸ™‚ I mean, I did keepΒ working on it as she was here, but with her as a distraction it kept it all from consuming my brain and occupying 100% of my thought cycles as I worked. 😳

But while she was here (among other progress) I got names, numbers, and addresses for everyΒ local doctor that may be accepting new patients, everyΒ local urgent care that appears to offer services greater than the “I skinned my knee” or “My butthole really itches” type stuff, and every oral surgeon in the area so I can get more serious about getting my remaining wisdom teefs cut out. 😬 I also got new info from BWC and my BWC Rx provider, so that stuff is in much better shape as well. And the pharmacy was also updated, so my meds might possibly, hopefully, maybe get filled in a more timely fashion. πŸ€¨πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Now that I think about it, I probably got more done with her here than if she wasn’t. 🀨 And without getting twitchy. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ She worked on several things that she needed to do as well, taking advantage of the relative peace and quiet here compared to her house full of family. 😌 Of course she gave her brain a break as well (the main point of her staying) by making and painting some picture frames, and catching up on the last few episodes of NCIS that she still had to watch on Netflix. πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“Ί I think Maven was even happy for the unexpected visit, ‘cuz she made up to Cassi way more than usual this time. 😸

We talked quite a bit about what’s going on with my health at the moment, along with all kinds of random thoughts that come along with that topic… so it was nice to be able to talk some of that stuff out with her. πŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’m not exactly sure what the plan will be for tomorrow and Friday. 😐 Now that I’ve got all this info compiled I imagine I’ll start calling someone… meh… I’ll figure it out when that time gets here. I’m gonna stay in chill mode for the rest of the evening if possible.

Research

I ended up getting almost 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, likely thanks to my normal evening meds and a couple Tylenol PMs taken at just the right moment. Sadly, I still woke up tired, at least physically… but my motivation game was strong. I guess this was the right day for that combination though, since it’s the weekend and there really wasn’t much that I could do “out and about” to continue my meager progress from last week.

I’ve looked up a bunch of different doctors and “family practice” offices in Lancaster and nearby cities, so I’ll be able to make some calls and maybe even stop by some of these places on Monday. πŸ™‚ I’ve also researched some urgent care places and narrowed it down to two that may be able to help with the tests that I need. 🀨 That’s my backup plan, should the “find a new doctor that doesn’t have a two month waiting list” thing fail. πŸ˜’ And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to goΒ there to talk to someone about my predicament if need be.

My main concern (after just getting the “serious stuff” started) is doing this in a way that won’t screw me over when it comes to my insurance and the bills. 😳 I assume it’s always like this, since it’s been this way with any insurance that I’ve ever had, but basically you have to jump through all of the required hoops. πŸ™„ Like, you can’t just go to a heart specialist and ask for an EKG without having been referred to that heart specialist by your “normal” doctor. πŸ€” I mean, I guess you can… but your insurance won’t pay for it without the referral.

So yeah, off and on throughout the day was all of that, and then in the evening I remembered that I needed to make a couple phone calls.Β The first was just returning a call from one of my attorneys regarding their recent court actions on my behalf, and the second was to leave a message for the company that I’ve chosen to trim my hedges and spirea bushes, to let them know that I’m on board.

Tomorrow should be a lazy day. 😏 I can’t think of anything that I’ve forgotten, at least not right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep in for a bit before I go to visit with Mom and Dad in the afternoon. If I don’t get too late of a start, I might even try to hit a couple of thrift stores before returning to Maven, the homestead, and a rapidly-approaching Monday morning.