Ramping Up

It’s barely past noon and I’m already needing to disengage my brain for a little bit, before I put it back in gear and get to work on various upcoming shit. And today was supposed to be a day off. ๐Ÿ˜

Rather than calling my doctor’s office about the pharmacy’s weirdness, I decided to just go in to talk to them so I could better convey what was going on, and so I could also check to see if my MRI request had been approved or denied yet. (It has been submitted but so far there has been no further action.) That was also the only way I could avoid making a phone call, since my anxiety re: that has been increasing lately. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ˜ณ

But just like my pharmacy problem reached out to inject itself back into my sphere of shit to handle, my workers comp stuff in general has reached a point where my lead attorney had to contact me today. By phone, of course. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ (And it happened right as I was preparing to go through the car wash.) So I drove into the Target parking lot, turned the car off, and had a 20 minute conversation with him.

Twenty minutes of unexpected, serious legal conversation… when my brain is already mostly full with my concerns about the upcoming Industrial Commission hearing as well as the actual court case that is meant to bring my situation to a resolution. I took in everything that he said, but I need to take a break here at home for a little bit before I can start lining it all up. ๐Ÿ˜ Right now it’s bouncing around in my head, waiting for me to find a place for it among all the other WC nonsense.

It was an overall positive conversation, but still… anything regarding workers comp, meds, treatment, settlements, court, etc… it’s still friggin’ exhausting to process after having been in the system and fighting the good fight for well over a decade. ๐Ÿ˜• And while he is the lead attorney, handling all the bigger issues, he isn’t the one that handles my case on a day to day basis, for lack of a better term.

So he said he’s gonna talk to my trial attorney, and they’re going to set up a time when I can go up to Columbus again to their main office (which is an entire floor of a downtown high rise) to meet with the team. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ—ƒ๏ธ Even though “the other side” is the party that initiates all the complications, it seems that they’re finally getting tired of fighting these same fights over and over again. Especially since the IC almost always finds in my favor. The total billable hours they’ve spent to challenge me must be insane.

So I’m kinda in the driver’s seat right now, but I’m well aware how quickly that could change. Once I’m done with this little break I’m gonna have to figure out the implications of all of the things we discussed, and then I’ll start a list of my questions and concerns that I’ll need to discuss with him and my other attorneys about before I make any decisions. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ Okay… I could probably ramble on with more details, but I think that’s good for now. I need to sit on this for a bit and not screw it up.

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. ๐Ÿ˜ž

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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’ (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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜ด Heh… being old and broken sure has a way of changing how you plan for things and recover from them afterwards. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ 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… ๐Ÿ˜ณ)

I was an absolute mess that day. ๐Ÿฅบ 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. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜‘โ˜ ๏ธ 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.

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…

Catching Up

I’m going to try and practice my brevity with this entry… ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

Furnace repair job is done. First thing was the blower capacitor that absolutely needed replacement, the second thing a couple days ago was replacing the intake fan and motor. It was still working, but it was drawing too many amps for what it was rated at, plus you could actually see cracks and “forming damage” which would have been dumb to not have replaced as well. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Sounds different now, but runs as it should, has a little better output, so hopefully that gets me a few more years with it.

Since I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, I actually decided to hit a few thrift stores. I bought a janky little radio / tape / CD / record player unit. I mean, it’s small and generic, and was probably crap even when it was new – but the record player part, the tone arm hadn’t even been un-twist-tied – so even though the other stuff looks in rough shape, I’m hoping the record player will work with my sound system just for Christmas vinyl playing this year. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถโ˜ƒ๏ธ

I also got a factory sealed, “damaged packaging” Kenmore microwave at half the price of retail. (They had a bunch of various models, probably from a pallet purchase) An almost imperceptible teeny dent on one edge, but my old one was struggling after years and years of use – so the $39.99 was worth the risk. โ˜ข๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ณ I should probably try to actually cook something in it today before I get too cocky though. ๐Ÿ˜ย But she looks nice sitting there with all of the lights and LCD stuff actually working.

New tires have been performing well. Not only do I not have to air them up once every week or so due to leakage, but I can also actually feel a difference in them when I drive on wet roads. I’m glad to have swapped them before the snow really gets here. ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Took the car through the wash the other day so it would scrub off all the grease pen marks and tire mounting goo, so they’d look like normal tires as they should.

Gen got me a couple more security cameras for my birthday, so I’ve been moving them all around a bit, getting nearly complete coverage of my outside property – and indoor coverage in all the places where boogers might try to sneak in. ๐Ÿ“น (And no, they aren’t Ring cameras) I don’t really worry about break-ins or even package theft, but at least the lawn guys and Amazon people won’t be able to sneak up on me, eh?

So all of that stuff above has helped reduce some of my stress, so on days like this I can just chill and not be dwelling on everything. Tomorrow gets busy again though. Gonna go see Dad for a short visit, then my doctor appointment – followed by a “fingers crossed” (as always) trip to the pharmacy, along with a few other misc things depending on how “up to it” I’m feeling.

I’m also anticipating getting mail from the Industrial Commission before the weekend with my hearing date, but I’ve not been dwelling on that either. Once I get the time and date, then I will sit and put the finishing touches on my argument / case – should I even be asked any questions or offered the chance to speak. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’ And speaking of mail, I finally have my drill, my bits, and all the appropriate pieces of wood, screws, washers, nuts, etc – that I should be able to swap the mailbox this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜„ย (Y’all need to understand my fear of how much pain this could cause, should it not go as easily as I hope.)

Okay… I know that’s a lot of paragraphs for allegedly trying to be concise, but I really did write this differently than I normally would – trying to leave out smaller details and avoiding elaborating… because all those things could have had way more detail or “story” to them. ๐Ÿค“ Plus, this covers like two or three weeks worth of crap. Weather is still causing havoc with my joints, despite avoiding as much movement in the gimped areas as possible. ๐Ÿ˜’ Still annoyed by that every day, but also still reminding myself that a lot of folks have it a lot worse than me, so I try to keep the self-pity to a minimum.

Tired of This Shit

I’m not sure how this month’s appointment with the WC doctors is gonna go. ๐Ÿ˜• 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. ๐Ÿ™ 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 nowย 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐ŸŽฏ๐Ÿ˜Žย 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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“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. ๐Ÿ˜’

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. ๐Ÿ˜ณโฑ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ