In the same way that it can be awkward to discuss “after death” financial topics with someone from whom you might be getting an inheritance, talking publicly about investment possibilities that are coming on the back of a stock market that’s plummeting due to fear of a COVID-19 pandemic… it does feel a little bit wrong, but the opportunities of a down market also cannot be ignored. 😐
The Dow Jones has lost more than 12% of its value over the past seven days of trading. Unfortunately, the cause isn’t solely due to “scary thoughts” around the spread of the virus. 😟 With China being ground zero, the precautions that need to be taken and the effects that are already being experienced by the industries and workforce there… it was inevitable that markets around the world would reflect the disruption. 😳 Global economies, global trade, global investing… it’s all great stuff, until it isn’t.
Before COVID-19 was even a thing, I had already started researching different types of investing that my family (historically speaking) never really took advantage of. 🤔 I’ve tended to use methods that I’ve seen work for my dad and my aunt, and they probably used methods that they saw work for their parents. 🧐 It makes investing feel comfortable, but the returns are usually modest in comparison.
The volatility in the markets isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll have plenty of time to continue reading, learning, and eventually planning… even if “the plan” ends up being that I don’t change much of anything. 🤷🏻♂️ And while loads of people have been cashing out, to “protect” their gains from the past year or longer, the farther the markets fall – the better it is for folks who are only just now wanting to get in. 🤨
I suppose I should mention that I’m not thinking about individual stocks when I’m talking about all of this. I don’t know enough yet to speculate on individual companies and their ability to bounce back. I’m thinking mostly about ETFs with holdings that are properly weighted to match gains / losses of the Dow. 😐🤓
Historically, you’re on pretty solid ground if that’s what you’re invested in… but just as there have been extremely good years, there have been some really bad ones as well. More often than not though, the gains for each year have been remarkably good. (Which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot if you didn’t buy your shares on (and only on) January 1st of each year… heh) Meh… just kinda thinkin’ here… 🤷🏻♂️🙂
I got a message two days ago from the doctor’s office that is handling my thyroid cancer treatment. My next session with the radioactive iodine treatment, which should be my final session (if everything goes well), was scheduled to start near the end of July… but they now actually want to schedule that as soon as possible. 😐 They asked me to call in yesterday so we could start making a plan, but to be honest the message had me a little too shook… 😥 and since I was actually having a decent day yesterday, I didn’t wanna risk nuking that by bringing all of my thoughts back to the “unknown” about what’s remaining inside me, if anything.
That’s also why I took advantage of the day yesterday to get caught up with some things around the house, because I know that this next step is gonna be a bit of a nightmare. 😣 I have to completely stop taking my thyroid meds for a couple of weeks, and they were clear about how it could have drastic physical and mental side effects. (Also part of the reason that I stopped the Paxil, so I didn’t have one crap thing on top of another.) Then once the thyroid medication is completely out of my system, that’s when I’ll go to the hospital for the radioactive pill and another full body scan about a week later. 😕
Confession… I didn’t call them back today either. 😞 Instead, what I’m going to do is just go into the office tomorrow and talk to them in person. To be sure that I understand the details of the plan, to be sure that everything is scheduled properly… and also to see if I can catch some kind of vibe by the way that they speak with me about it. 🧐 Like I said, I’m trying to not assume that something has gotten worse just because they want to start things sooner. 😳 It could be as simple as being easier on their schedule, and just better for me (or anyone) to do all of this “second phase” stuff sooner rather than later anyway.
So yeah, that’s the next thing on the radar… movin’ in fast. 😟 And lemme tell ya’ something. 😒 Uncertainty, when it comes to something like this… it’s a special kind of slow, drawn-out torture. I’m ready though. I was doing good at keeping it out of my thoughts up until now – but whether I got that call a couple days ago, or whether we stuck to the original end-of-July starting point… either way the anxiety was gonna come. So I agree… let’s get this shit started. 🤨
Unrelated: I just updated my Windows 10 and all of my emojis now have thick black outlines. 🤔🤷🏻♂️
Another big part of my yesterday and the day before was spent trying to help a friend who’s going through some serious shit. 😢 Granted, if you’ve read many of my posts here, you’ll already know that I’ve got plenty of acquaintances, friends, and family that are going through their own personalized flavor of shit at the moment. 😕 Some worse than others, some where I can help, and some where all I can do is just listen, try to understand, and hope and pray for the best. 😟 But man, this person’s state of mind over the past two days… let’s just say that it was very concerning. 😳
(I know this person doesn’t read my blog, nor does anyone that really know this person, so even though I’m sorta putting their business out here… it’s not something that will affect them, and even if they knew, I think they’d actually be okay with me posting about it anonymously like this. They know how I am… how a lot of times, processing my thoughts on the site here is just how I have to do things if I want to attempt to clear my brain of all the clutter…)
I am glad that I have people in my life who feel like I’m the right person to open up to, even when the topic is something as serious as it was… 😬 but I am so not the right person to be able to handle something like that right now. I mean, I did… because I had to… but not without getting completely emotionally drained (and actually physically ill from the stress of the conversation) and realizing how little I could do about any of their problems. 🥺🤢 But despite that, of course I’m glad that they turned to me… even if I was essentially helpless and basically only able to listen and talk things through with them.
The hardest thing about the drawn out text conversation was that as they’d mention this thing, the next thing, the thing after that… I could absolutely understand how the weight of all of those things piling up on them, seemingly all at once, could push them (or anybody, for that matter…) to the point where they’d just be ready to give up. 😢 It’s scary because it’s hard to know if you’re making a difference with what you say, when in the back of your mind, it’s like “Wow, yeah… I get it.”
But at least for now, I feel like our conversations helped. 😐🤷🏻♂️ Enough so that I might be able to sleep sometime tonight, and I’m finally able to eat something and keep it down. And I’m not saying that to give anyone any crap. If someone feels like their last resort is reaching out to someone, they do so knowing that it’s not going to be an easy conversation for either side, and that the person they are talking to cares enough about them that they’re going to get pretty messed up by the whole thing as well. 😕 But as stressful as it is to be on the receiving end of that sort of conversation, I just know that I can only pray that someone would be willing to be that person for me if I ever felt like I’d run out of reasons to keep going.
I dunno, I just had to post this. 🤔 Often times I still feel like people, in general, who know me… they’ve got this mental image of what I’m like, what my days are like, and that it usually falls somewhere between “lazy” / “boring” / “uneventful” / “a little stressful” / “what’s he complaining about now“ … heh 😏 Sometimes I wish that they could spend a couple days in my head… to know how things really can be. And as I typed that… just now realizing it, that’s probably what all of us want – even the people who feel like everything is crashing down around them… we just want someone to know, to try to understand, to realize that there’s so, so much more going on behind our “game faces” and other people’s assumptions. 🙏🏻
Was listening to the police scanner last night, after Amy sent me a message saying that she was in town and was seeing a lot more police activity than normal. 😯 I imagine these will both be things that are at least mentioned on the news today, but with the way the LEOs in town use their in-car terminals as much as they use their radios, it was hard to really tell what was going on at the time.
One of the incidents apparently involved an older man… from what I’ve heard, he used to be a doctor or dentist or something… but I guess he’s kinda older and frail now, and is allegedly suffering from some mental issues and possibly some dementia. 😟 But from a short video I’ve seen of the police responding, it sounds like he had a gun and actually fired a shot at the ground as the cops were responding. 😳 People are assuming he was wanting the LEOs to shoot him… but you have to be careful with assumptions. But the video does then show him coming down off his porch, surrounded by cops, getting down on his knees and putting his hands behind his back… and then one of the responding officers comes from behind and kicks him in the back to put him face down on the sidewalk. 😧
It’s a hard thing to watch, because you can put yourself in each person’s shoes. If someone was depressed, so much so that he wanted to die but couldn’t do it himself, that’s sad in itself. Then putting the police, people who are just trying to put in their hours and go home safe each night, in the position where they were probably this close to firing on this guy… you hate to see something that looks like excessive force, especially on someone who may be mentally unstable, but when that unstable person has already fired at least one shot, and could have another weapon in his waistband, you do understand why they may have felt that force was needed. 😔 Sure would have been better to push him to the ground rather than kicking him in the middle of the back like he was a door that was being kicked open though.
The second big incident was an accident on Sheridan involving a motorcycle and two vehicles. The guy on the bike apparently went left of center for some reason, and ran head-on into a vehicle coming in the opposite direction… and then that vehicle went off the road and hit someone in a car in their driveway. 🙁 The guy on the motorcycle wasn’t wearing a helmet, and unfortunately didn’t make it. But it was even more crappy because Amy told me about it, I was listening on the scanner, she was reading stuff on Facebook… all without knowing who was involved, and it actually turned out to be a friend of Amy’s husband. 😪
When you listen to “this and that” going down on the scanner, it lacks that teeny bit of “real” since you aren’t hearing everything, you don’t know exactly what’s going on, so you usually end up listening to it as just “stuff going on” in town… but it sure takes on a whole different feeling, especially after the fact, when you were previously somewhat casually listening to everything – only to discover that it involved someone that you actually knew.
But yeah, I didn’t sleep for shit last night, so I slept in until around noon… and grabbing my phone, those were the first things I saw being talked about when I opened my news feed. 🥺 I was already starting the day without much wind in my sails, but that sad stuff – on a day where everyone else was just having a normal “meh” day or complaining about this or that, while even sadder things like that were happening – it just definitely puts a pin in the “It could always be worse.” thought, when I might be feeling a little too sorry for myself about my aches and pains and depression and whatever.
It’s easy to forget that when I’m having a crappy day, that the same day was actually a life-changing day for people that I’ll likely never even know about. I guess the life-changing could be in good ways just as easily as in bad ways like I described above… but yeah, sometimes you unexpectedly get pushed out of your bubble and can’t avoid noticing and feeling it. 😒
I wish that I felt more capable of adjusting to whatever illness or injury that might be affecting me at any given time. 😒 I don’t usually complain directly to anyone about such things, instead saving it for shouting into the void here, so I dunno… maybe everyone else has just as hard of a time adjusting to certain things like I do. But for example, the better part of the last couple of weeks have been really good – and then out of nowhere my knee just decides that it’s going to hurt. Hurt hurt. 😣 And my past couple of days have been mentally, physically, and socially fucked up because of it.
It makes sense that physical pain, along with losing some ability and motion, would also trigger my twitchy… I just hate that I don’t have any more control over it than what I do. 😠 But after a few days of hobbling around, and a few nights of long but often-interrupted sleep due to feeling the pain throughout the night, I wish I could just say “Well, I guess I’ll just take it easy and stay off my feet today.” but instead I let it fuck up my day, being irritated about being so irritated about it.
One problem, almost all of my friends (for a long time now) tend to be younger than me. It keeps my mind young, but my body doesn’t get that memo. So I’m not surrounded by similarly aged people with similar aches and pains. 😏 Another problem, with my work injury happening to me as young as I was, I’ve been dealing with that pain / disability for over a decade now… and it is pain that I feel like I didn’t really earn. 😕
I’ve joked with my cousin Matt and Dad about how “At least I was never in great shape when I was young…” compared to Matt, who loves / loved playing basketball, and Dad who is a Marine and served during Vietnam. In a way it’s a joke, but you’d also like to think it would be true… if you were never in great shape when you were young, it should be less of a deal when parts start to get defective when you get older. That’s turning out not to be the case. Now it’s more like “Dammit, I didn’t use myself up when I was young, so I shouldn’t be breaking down like this already.” 🙄
And I’m not making this entry to complain… it’s actually something I’ve thought about as I’ve faced various things, and it has also made me wonder how I’m gonna handle things when it inevitably gets worse as I get older. 🤔 Like my Aunt Carol, she was in all kinds of awful shape, but she didn’t bitch about it or let it slow her down – let alone stop her. 🙂 I just hope I can eventually become more like that. Everybody gets old, everybody sooner or later starts feeling worse and worse, and I just don’t want to end up a grouchy old recluse because I’m still struggling to handle the changes that every other human just seems to handle.
One thing I’ve noticed though, even my younger friends don’t give me shit about it – when either my neck and shoulder are extra screwed, or when my back or knee just randomly decides to go to shit for a while. I think it’s that insecurity of (in most ways) being on the same page as someone regardless of our ages, and worrying that if I have to hobble around or use a cane for a few days that they’re gonna look at me like “Oh my gosh… I forgot how old he is.” Heh… but so far that’s not been an issue, and if anything it just ends up being something that we joke about rather than it being some eye-opening revelation… heh… as if they don’t know my age until a physical sign appears. 🙄😄
Meh… it’s just a gimpy knee, it’s not gonna be permanent, I’m gonna be fine, and I’ll surely have plenty of other “fun” new things like this to deal with in the future. 🤷🏻♂️ Gotta figure out how to just start sucking it up.
The past few days have been rough… starting off with some sort of 36-hour bug that had me down for the count. I can’t remember the last time that I felt that bad and threw up that much. It was awful. For 24 hours I didn’t even leave my bed, unless it was to go to the bathroom, but by yesterday morning I could tell that I was starting to get back to decent. Not completely better, but with as miserable as I was feeling, man did I feel blessed to feel at least as good as I was feeling. (I appreciated Gen keeping me “company” through an always-open message screen… ‘cuz man does it suck to feel alone when you’re that sick.)
But later that evening I got a few messages from my friend Bri, telling me about some concerns she was having regarding her pregnancy… and that she was advised to go to the hospital to have a couple tests done, but she wasn’t able to find anyone that could give her a ride. Her sister and brother-in-law both had the same bug as me, so I totally understood their inability to drive her there and wait – so I ended up being her last resort, and luckily I was just good enough to be able to go in and take her.
Everything ended up being fine but the whole ordeal didn’t wrap up until after 1am, and then I didn’t manage to get to sleep until after 4am. I had made plans with Aunt Sharon to go visit Dad today, but that was before I knew I’d have my late night at the hospital. (I had a bunch of old slide scans of him, Mom, me, and others turned into prints that I definitely at least wanted to drop off – even if I wasn’t feeling good enough to stay long.) So a few hours sleep and I was back up and at ’em. Sort of. Took me forever to get moving, because I could (and can still) tell that I haven’t quite shaken whatever had me laid out.
The visit was really good, and I finally ate some real food, but almost immediately when I got home I sacked out for a three hour nap. Not really what I wanted to do, risking losing a normal sleep schedule, but I didn’t get much say in the matter. I think I’m still good though… and between wearing a mask the whole time at the hospital, and then hopefully being over it by today, hopefully I won’t end up getting anyone else sick. Whatever it is is really going around though, so everyone’s kinda watching out for it.
I don’t know how I didn’t manage to jinx myself today. During that “Ahh!” period of feeling better after a couple days of puking, that’s when I made the plans to go see Dad… so I’m lucky that I didn’t end up overdoing it or setting myself back with the lack of sleep and end up having to cancel. For once my body didn’t betray me… let’s all hope that I can still get some good sleep tonight in a few hours though. Still staying optimistic, cuz any improvement over a couple days ago is worth being happy about. And maybe it was good to get one more day before I try to throw myself back into “getting some things done around here” – albeit slowly. Still trying to get myself back on track from this past month…
This is the first time I’ve experienced this, probably because I was rarely sick when I was younger, so I don’t think I ever had more than one doctor that I would have regular appointments with… but regarding some of the things with my current condition, I’m getting conflicting diagnosis/treatment advice from two of my doctors. 🤔😐 In more ways than this I’m still a kid, so when I go to a doctor I listen to what they say and take their word as gospel… assuming that they truly know what they’re talking about, and are offering me what is definitely the best diagnosis and treatment plan. 🤷🏻♂️👨🏻⚕️ But I guess as with almost anything, people often end up with differing opinions. Sometimes differing quite a bit. 😕
Things have been less than ideal with me for a couple of weeks now, and this week I went back in for a couple of different appointments to discuss it. I tend not to bitch about it unless it’s really bad, but these past few days… on Wednesday I woke up early, took a short nap in the afternoon, and after waking up I wasn’t able to go back to sleep for 30 fucking hours. 😳 Doctor appointment number one wasn’t much fun, going in at the 24 hour point… I mean, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to make it there and back… but at least it wasn’t like when you take your car to the shop so they can fix a rattle, but the rattle doesn’t happen. 😒 So at least Doc got to see when it can be really bad, and in a way I appreciate when that happens.
I dunno… I’m being kind of vague because I don’t really like talking about it in a lot of ways, so back to the point – I’ve got two doctors who essentially completely disagree with what the other is saying and doing, and I’m not sure exactly what to do with that. 😟 First reaction is to trust and believe that doctor who isn’t saying the scary things, but that may be the doctor who isn’t holding anything back. 🤷🏻♂️ Then I try to think about “what’s in it” for each of them, and even that doesn’t really help.
But in the next couple of days I’ll have to decide who I want to roll with, and that will decide how potentially fucked up my next few months could end up being. 😐 Gah… I know… vague. I don’t want people to worry.