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? 😏

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. πŸ˜³πŸ™„πŸ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. 😏 I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. πŸ€“πŸ€žπŸ»

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. 😐 Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t πŸ‘πŸ» leave πŸ‘πŸ» that πŸ‘πŸ» stuff πŸ‘πŸ» out πŸ‘πŸ» once I’m done with it for the day. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. πŸ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Not What I Planned

Yup, like I said, last night was fun, but I’ll be paying for it today. Thinking that this would be a lazy Sunday, I made the mistake of pushing a bunch of things from last week off until today. I’ve gotta handle my mail, work on a bunch of stuff regarding my upcoming IC hearing, listen to my voice mails and deal with whatever those require, plus I’ve gotta call the pharmacy to continue trying to get my current prescriptions filled…. and that’s all gonna be a lot harder now with a frozen neck.

Of course because of the physical aspect, but also because it’s particularly stressful to be coordinating my fight against workers comp and struggling to get my meds filled while I’m experiencing the exact thing that they’re fighting me over. It’s emotional stress that makes the physical stress worse, which makes the emotional stress worse, ad infinitum… the ouroboros of my disability. 😞

When that cycle starts it’s hard to escape. That’s why I worry so much about things like my planned concert trip later this year. Yesterday, my only concern with meeting up with my friends was that I might be too tired to do it, but then my shoulder shows up too, goes nuts, and now today is screwed. If I make just the smallest misstep, things can go downhill so quickly.

So I’m gonna wait a little longer for the morning meds to kick in, then I’ll start slowly tackling this stuff. But ugh… cringing about what else the mail might contain, cringing about what the voice mails might say, cringing about yet another hearing that will determine the quality of my life for the indefinite future… it would just be nice if I felt like I had some control of where my life is heading.

It’s probably partially my fault for not dealing with stuff as it showed up, but again I made the mistake of thinking that because I felt okay on those particular days that I’d feel okay today when I planned to deal with everything. Meh… I have very little control over how this will all turn out, so I might as well just power through it as best as I can and then give it up to God. And yeah… this counts as a negative post.

Pre-Dawn Thought-Stream

Got notice yesterday that my IC hearing has finally been rescheduled. πŸ˜’ It’s gonna fall right in the middle between my most recent WC doctor appointment and the one scheduled for next month. I’ve gotta get two of my WC meds filled later today (I’m not gonna rehash how that normally goes) but with the hearing now on the schedule again, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s even more trouble.

The past few months I’ve had to pay out-of-pocket to be able to get my meds on schedule, and then just wait and hope that the WC insurer would pay me back. 😐 I feel bad for the folks who are in the same situation as me but aren’t able to do that. And all this crap each month… that’s despite nearly every previous IC hearing over the past decade being found in my favor. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’ (Making “winning” somewhat of an inaccurate term.)

That’s the thing, you can “win” over and over again, but they can come at you again for those same things, repeatedly, after a certain amount of time elapses. It’s literally a never-ending process, if they want it to be. 😟 No emotional investment from their side, but it can sure wear down the injured worker. I know I don’t mean this, but I’m almost “ready to lose” just to be done with it. Can’t quit now though…

Jim and Adam are coming to town this evening, and they’re gonna pick up Brad so we can all meet up for dinner somewhere. πŸ™‚ Jim lives so far away now, in the past few years I’ve only seen him probably a couple times each year, so (especially since he’s coming all the way down here) I’m really hoping that I can make it. Doesn’t help that I fell asleep early yesterday and have therefore been awake since 3a today. πŸ™„πŸ˜

It’s after 5a now, it doesn’t appear that I’ll be falling back to sleep, so that means I’ll likely need a nap sometime in the early afternoon. 😴 Heh… being old and broken sure has a way of changing how you plan for things and recover from them afterwards. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦³ Thankfully this has been an okay week re: my neck, so with any luck that will remain true tonight. (Unlike the 2018 Sweet Corn Festival when we all met up… 😳)

I was an absolute mess that day. πŸ₯Ί Dealing not just with my neck, shoulder, and some horrible random lower back pain – but also, being right before my thyroid cancer surgery, I had like 1/10th of the energy that I’d normally have when it came to getting around the place. I could tell by how they acted that I must have appeared like I was on Death’s door. πŸ€•πŸ˜·πŸ˜‘β˜ οΈ So, while things aren’t perfect now by any means, they’re at least better than that, eh? So I don’t wanna miss it tonight. Gotta make the moments count.

Well, Here We Go…

Not in a big hurry to get my day started today. Plenty of time to run in to the pharmacy, and plenty of time to make my calls to the insurance place. But it looks like, unless something happens between now and when I get to the pharmacy, I’m gonna have to pay over $400 for this one prescription. 😐 At least for now.

Last month WC approved the med the day after I paid for it, and the pharmacy refunded my money accordingly, but man is that an irritating way to do things. Especially since I never know for sure if they will eventually pay for it. It’s feeling more and more like I’m gonna be stuck with it this month though.

I’m trying to put myself in the mind set of accepting that I’m gonna have to take the L, and if so, I’ll have to figure out something with my WC doctor at my next appointment – ‘cuz there’s no way that I’m gonna pay that much each month. There’s no way that I can. 😣 But one time isn’t gonna kill me, so I’m allowing myself to be “grr” for a bit – but then I have to put it out of my mind. πŸ’†πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ What’s done is done, essentially.

Fun Fact: I actually have another prescription that’s due for a refill, which will also be ran through my WC insurance… so as I’m finishing up this first little fight, I might be starting a second one. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ At least that one is covered by my normal insurance, should WC refuse to pay for that one as well. So at least the outcome, whichever way it goes, won’t make me nearly as twitchy. Hopefully.

I’m gonna try to enjoy the drive into town, blowing a little stink off, and maybe picking up some fast food to bring back home. Still haven’t gotten a notice regarding the IC hearing being rescheduled, and I’ve heard absolutely nothing about the court case… so I’m really feeling like I’m in limbo here. 😟 The phone just rang (unrecognized number) and they left a voice mail, so I’ll cross my fingers and hope it was one of my attorneys letting me know what the heck’s going on. (C’mon… who actually answers their phone these days?)

Got a solid six hours of sleep, and woke up with my neck and other achy parts feeling pretty decent so far today, so at least that’s not something adding to my stress. But I’m gonna chill here for another half hour or so and then get on this. 😠 I wanna get it over with so I can get back home and straighten up a bit, do the laundry, put away the groceries, etc… as well as squeezing that insurance call in there at some point.

Wish me luck. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

This Is How I Do… Unfortunately

Kinda overdid it yesterday, so I paid for it last night and today. 😟 Had a little boost of energy or motivation so I tried to make the most of it. First stop was Tim’s for some coffee, but then I headed over to Great Clips so Toni could cut my hair. She had several people that requested her before me, so I ended up waiting well over an hour. I had her do something a little different this time, but I’m not sure I like it… 50/50 odds that I’ll end up shaving my head before the week is over. 😏

After that I went over to Walmart to get a new pair of shoes and some other crap. My old ones were actually worn through on the bottom, and since I prefer the look of boots – I did end up getting a steel-toed version. Of course that will set off the metal detectors at the IC place, and I’ll inevitably get the side-eye from someone about why I need steel-toed boots if I’m not working. πŸ™„ They’ll have to just take my word… they’re cheap, they last a long time, they look good, and they’re actually comfortable. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ What else can I say?

While I was there I finally stopped by the vision center and made my eye appointment. I’m tired of having a hard time driving at night because of my shitty old backup glasses with an Rx from years and years ago. 😠 That adds another appointment to my already busy first-half of January, but I did have one thing fall off the calendar unexpectedly.

I’m not sure if it was a request from my attorneys, their attorneys, or something the IC just decided itself – but it looks like my hearing has been continued, with a rescheduled date yet to be determined. πŸ€¨πŸ˜• I’m not sure if it has something to do with the concurrent court case… meh… I suppose I should be glad that there’s a little more time before it goes down, but I don’t really need any more time. I wanna get things settled.

But the last thing yesterday… Bri was in town at her cousin’s place, so I stopped by there and dropped off her Christmas present that I got a little bit late. I also picked up a pack of Bertie Botts jelly beans for Brantley and me to try at random – and hope that we didn’t get the gross ones. 😏 Out of four, the only good one I got was banana… and while he got a bunch of gross ones as well, he’d only bite them in half and then wanted me to eat the rest. πŸ˜„ I’m glad I picked that up at the last moment though, he had a ball with ’em.

Got home and realized that not only did I use up all of my social juice, but my neck was killing me as well. 😣 Went to bed early but woke up at 2:30 with my neck frozen. Took my morning meds a little early to fight that, and it ended up knocking me out around 10am until 2pm… so not only is my sleep screwed up, but my neck is still bad. 😠 Gonna take a hot shower in a bit and then put a Salonpas patch on… that’s about all I can do.

Luckily no appointments tomorrow, so we’ll see how things go tonight.

Tired of This Shit

I’m not sure how this month’s appointment with the WC doctors is gonna go. πŸ˜• I think I’m actually seeing Dr Walter this time, when it was the new guy that I had the in-depth discussion with about the state of my treatment last month. Regardless, since the WC insurer is coming at me with the shenanigans again, the conversation will have to revolve around that rather than the stuff that I started bringing up last month.

I’ve got to be careful, because it almost feels like a “trap” that WC could use against me, but this month I have to start discussing possible alternatives for the meds that I’m taking right now. Because if they are somehow able to weasel out of paying for what I’m currently taking, the cost of two of those medications would simply be too much for me to continue taking them long term. πŸ™ That’s where the “trap” part comes in.

When I start discussing more affordable potential alternatives for the meds I’m currently taking, I want it to be clear with my doctors and in my records that I have no desire or intention to make any changes now… and that the research and discussion is really just to act as my parachute if I get pushed out of the plane. But I can see where my fear of being forced to pay for my own meds, which has made me research cheaper (but likely less effective) alternatives, means that I nowΒ know that there are cheaper alternatives, so they’ll probably think that they have the right to force me to change to them – despite my preference to keep taking the ones that I’ve been taking. 😏 Heh… I know, that sounds a bit convoluted, but it basically make sense, no?

But until I’m able to discuss this with them, I know that I’m just taking barely-educated shots in the dark when it comes to what might or might not be suitable replacements. 🎯😎 I mean, even though I know that Lyrica has very specific actions – at its most basic level I know that it is considered an anti-seizure / anti-convulsant medication… so that’s where I start looking. πŸ€“πŸ“š And now I have four or five medications that I think could be good replacements… but for all I know, even though they’re anti-seizure, they may have totally different actions – and ones that aren’t even close to being applicable to my situation. πŸ˜’

So for now that’s all I can really do… look for “close” meds and make sure there are more positive side effects than negative. Then I’ll just hope that I’m actually on to something, and that information can be put in my back pocket until it is needed. Between now and then I just have to figure out how to condense all of this crap down into a tolerable three to four minutes. πŸ˜³β±πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ Gotta impress the importance of this on him, while also not rambling so much that my point gets lost in the noise. I’m better at that than you’d think, actually… it just doesn’t seem that way here because I know I can go on and on about something and it doesn’t matter, since hardly anyone reads this blog anyway. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ