Prepare to Launch

Surprisingly, all of that mail that I was dreading… it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. πŸ€¨πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can’t say yet if any of it is actually good, but the information that came in over the past week or so was of a type that at least keeps me optimistic and motivated, and that’s something that I really need in order to keep fighting the never-ending WC game. 😟 Like I told Dad, even if a lot of it ends up falling through, at least it’s helping to keep me going right now.

My attorneys are still working from home for the most part, so I don’t think all of this information has trickled out to the ones that need it yet. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ So tomorrow I’ll be calling in again to see if I can find someone to talk to before my doctor appointment and possible stop by the Social Security office. 😞 With all of this stuff going on, of course SS is gonna perk its ears up and wanna know what’s going on (Like a cat that hears the cat food bag crinkle, or a dog that hears when his squeak toy get stepped on… 😏) so I just wanna make sure they’ve got all of the information they need as well.

And ironically, my neck has been extra janky today, so I’m hoping that my condition doesn’t improve before my appointment tomorrow. 🀨 It doesn’t usually work out where my “worst moments” coincide with the time and date of my appointments, but it’s nice when the doctor can actually see the true extent of the suck. I think it’s because I was folding so much laundry over the past couple days, along with several other small chores that I forced myself to do while the energy was there. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh.

Oh, and regarding my attorneys… there’s a good chance that I am gonna have to go to the main office to either give them copies of what I’ve gotten, or perhaps start signing some different things if they did get these same papers and have already begun working on them. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ€“ But their office is located downtown, and that hasn’t been the most car-friendly area over the past couple of weeks. 😯 I’ll have to check the different news sites tonight and see what they say about protests / areas, and maybe start looking for a “back way” into the nearby parking garage so I can sneak in and out if needed.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow though. πŸ˜• Basically all of the things that are great at stealing my energy… that’s the stuff I’ll be doing all day. Visit with my doctor, impromptu SocSec office stop, phone calls with my attorneys (w/possible trip up to Columbus), stopping by my insurance agent’s office for some things, etc. 😐 But it’s my choice to glom all of this shit together this time, because I’d rather do it, have it hurt and/or drain me, but then have it all (hopefully) out of the way for a little while.

Calling it a day early though. 😴 Gonna go dark, find a movie to watch, and hopefully sack out soon. πŸ‘πŸ»

Still Stalling

It’s late in the evening on Sunday, and I find myself still staring at all of the unopened envelopes from Medicare, CMS, Workers Comp, Social Security… 😳πŸ₯Ί ‘cuz c’mon, there’s no way that all of this stuff could be good news for me. I did get all of my laundry done up, and I’ve just gotta fold the last basket here in a few minutes – so I’ll be doing that while the NASCAR race from today plays, since with all of the weather delays and stuff I’ve just started watching and am on about lap 30. Lots of good racing so far, but two delays for lightning. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I guess there’s a few people in the stands for this one.

But all this mail… πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ž I just have a feeling that some of it is going to be PITA revolving around workers comp and my insurance not agreeing which meds they’re each willing to pay for, and then I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re ready to put me through my paces again to prove that I’m broken enough to count as officially disabled. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦½ I’ve been banged up for a long, long time now… and with each month that passes I get a little bit worse, so man do I not feel like jumping through their hoops yet again. 😠 I’m sure it’ll stop at some point, but probably not until my age is more in line with my shitty condition.

I can’t complain too much about this weekend though. πŸ™‚ I had two nights of decent sleep, I got a little bit of my “to do” stuff done, so that was nice, plus I got the entire living room tidied up and vacuumed so I can bring out the new cat tree that Genesee got me for the girls. 😺😁😼 Doctor appointments coming up this week though, and I should probably go ahead and schedule that cancer followup that I was supposed to do sometime around late spring / early summer, since technically we’re there. πŸ˜’ Sure not looking forward to that either. 😟 It’ll be even less fun dealing with that crap if I’ve got a bunch of SS/WC/Med/Ins stuff on my plate as well. Man… I would be so fucked if I somehow got booted from the system. (I have a feeling that my mental defect of having so much anxiety that I’m unable to talk on the phone and often am too stressed to open mail or emails… that could at least add points to my “crazy” meter… heh)

I guess I’ll know more here before the night ends…

A Different Ramble

Yay. Made it to the weekend. 😐 This past week had been a big ol’ MEH for me personally, even though there wasn’t anything particularly horrible… just not a whole lot that was good, either. Getting to the weekend allows me to mentally switch gears, which is silly – since “weekday” or “weekend” doesn’t really have any functional difference in my position, but it just helps me to push aside the “meh” of last week and prepare to work on some different “meh” with a bit less on my mind. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Some good stuff from the past week… I had a friend come over and bail me out when my lawn had gotten overgrown and I hadn’t seen or heard from my normal mowing crew in two weeks. 🀨 Got my orders of paper masks and hand sanitizer from Amazon. It had been hard to find in stock for a while, so I went ahead and got the pack of 50 masks and a friggin’ case of a dozen 8oz bottles of gel. But having that much, that allowed me to take some up to a couple different friends in Columbus who are as cautious (paranoid?) as me, so they wouldn’t have to go searching for it in stores. 😳😷 Oh, and I did pick up a load of groceries for Dad, using Kroger’s curbside pickup, but unfortunately wasn’t able to stay and visit. 😟 Should be soon, though.

And I don’t know yet if this will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing, but since the start of last week – all the way up through yesterday – I’ve gotten pieces of mail of various thickness and sizes from the Center for Medicare Services, my Medicare insurer, the Social Security Administration, and I think there may have been one in there from my WC attorneys as well. πŸ˜³πŸ˜‘ If it’s all just stuff to help finish up the settlement phase of my case, then great… I’ll grit my teefs and get through it. But something just tells me that there’s gonna be at least a couple things in this pile of mail that are waiting to be a pain in my ass.

I’ll hold back on my complaining about the lawn situation too much, since it was mostly a misunderstanding. I ended up having a friend mow my lawn in the evening of the 14th day since my normal guys had been here, because the prior week I had contacted them to let them know that part of the yard was getting overgrown with weeds and new bush growth from where they had missed it before. πŸ˜• Yet five days later I still hadn’t even gotten a reply, never mind anyone actually showing up to mow. He said it was because I was down for “every two weeks” even though I thought it was every ten days or so, but like I said… if he’d have replied I’d have at least known that they would be coming eventually, and when I told him five days prior that the yard was already getting out of control – you’d think they’d wanna take care of that sooner than later. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’

And I’ve been watching the news, reading the articles, paying attention to the numbers all week… and I’ve decided that I can’t go to my cousin’s graduation party this evening. πŸ˜” There’s been a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases which comes from people’s Memorial Day activity, and then all these protests… woo… it should be about another week before we start seeing the increases from those. 😬 That’ll be the first big “experiment” that may relax some of my fears. If things don’t really pop off after all of the people rubbing up against each other in all of the protest cities, then maybe I can let up on my concern just a bit. But yeah, I can’t go and mix it up with a bunch of folks who’ve been who-knows-where doing who-knows what… especially if I’m gonna be spending time with Dad soon. I hope nothing bad comes from the gathering, because she’d probably feel awful if any of the family members get sick (or worse) just to go to her grad party. 😟

Okay, I’ve gotta run down to the quicky mart to gas up and grab some pop, chips, bread, etc. It’s really the only “store” I’ve been in for months now, so thankfully they have all the small essentials to keep me going – even if it costs a little more than at a regular store. But they’re good at keeping customer numbers in the store low, the doors all open with the breeze blowing, and plenty of space while standing in line. Only once or twice did I see everyone there (as customers) wearing a mask, and last time I was the only one… but yeah, I’m comfortable enough with that place that I don’t have an instant panic attack as I park and prepare to exit my car. 😳

So the plans for tonight include grabbing gas station goodies, hitting BK a little further down the road for dinner, getting back here to the house to then start the laundry, finish the dishes, and face whatever fresh hell all of this mail is waiting to bestow upon me. 😠 I tried to do that last part a couple times this week but couldn’t make myself do it – but I can’t stall anymore since the stuff is probably time sensitive. πŸ˜’ Fun Fun.

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. πŸ€“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. πŸ˜… I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. πŸ˜’ But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. πŸ˜ƒ Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. 😊 Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. πŸ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. πŸ€— I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜• Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. πŸ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. πŸ˜‹

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? 😏

Tripped My Breaker

Everything caught up with me in a bad way today. 😞 First time in a week and a half that (for no apparent reason) I woke up with my neck frozen – combined with a splitting headache at the base of my skull. 😣

That’s never fun, but today it was apparently my tipping point. With the mental stress of all the various things getting ready to happen (as well as currently going on) with my workers comp situation, all the work I’ve been doing on it, plus still nervously waiting for my attorneys to call regarding setting up a meeting… waking up feeling utterly miserable along with all of that just flipped a switch. πŸ₯Ί

My anxiety about all of it had turned to irritation, anger, and determination over the past couple of days – but that’s when I wasn’t physically suffering at the same time. 😟 So while I’m not thrilled that I lost the entire day today – after taking my morning meds, letting the hot shower rain on the back of my head, and waiting to see if the pain was going to let up… I nodded back off and ended up sleeping the entire day away. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜•

I would have heard my phone if my attorneys reached out… but, again, the call didn’t come. A couple people texted me, but it’s late now – and I’m honestly in no condition to act like I’m “okay enough” to return messages and hold a conversation. I hate ghosting people, but today has been a bad, bad day. 😞 I’ve taken my evening meds though, so I’m hoping that’ll do something… but it’s hard to say if I’ll be back out in an hour or if I’ll end up awake all night due to sleeping all night and day. πŸ˜’ That’s just how it goes sometimes…

And when I mention this next thing, I’m not looking to be medicated… but when an injured workers is put through the ringer like I’ve been – it should honestly be a requirement that the coverage includes the option of talking to a counselor or therapist. 🀨 It’s obvious that mental and emotional stress can affect a person’s physical health, so it would truly be in everyone’s best interest. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (This blog is usually my therapy.)

Yeah, I’m thinking about my situation, but I’m also thinking about the tens of thousands of other people who’ve been in the fight for years that might not handle it as well as I have, which isn’t always that great. 😟 It should help once I get the call and the meeting is scheduled, and it’ll help even more once that’s done… no matter how it seems to go. It’s the “unknown” and the waiting that’s really tweaking me right now. 😠 If this stuff’s gonna take a different course here soon, I’d like to get the show on the road.

So today went straight into the trash, but I’ve got something to look forward to tomorrow. Map of The Soul: Seven (by BTS) is being released, it’ll be available on Spotify, so I’ll have a whole album of new music to listen to and hopefully be distracted by. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.

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

Lengthy Grumpy Ramble

I’m glad that I don’t have anything on the agenda for the rest of the week, since that allows me to take the things that I wanted to do today and move them to tomorrow. I must have slept funny or rough last night, because man did I wake up feeling beat up today. 😣😟 It looks like I’m going to have to actually go in to the pharmacy to deal with two of my WC prescriptions, since I’m gonna have to get some printouts proving that they’re unwilling to pay this month. πŸ˜’ But with my knees and neck acting up today – tomorrow just seems like the better option. (Stress can add to my physical pain, so I don’t need the BS at the pharmacy to pile on today…)

The insurance crap that I was gonna work on… that didn’t go anywhere today, since they needed all kinds of specific info that I didn’t have handy when I made the call. I figured since a bunch of paperwork had already been sent in, giving them the account number along with my name would have been enough. But nope, gotta get into my files and dig out the little notebook with a few dates and some other specifics that I need.

So I dunno… I guess the little bits that I accomplished today will serve as the “getting ready” for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully conclude things with both of those situations. πŸ“žπŸ˜•πŸ€žπŸ» My mood is shit today anyway, so waiting until tomorrow will probably help me when it comes to not barking at the people who are trying to help me, since they aren’t the folks who are making things difficult. 😏 Those call center / customer service jobs must be awful, since most folks aren’t as considerate to their lack of power or responsibility when it comes to any given account or situation. πŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Oh, speaking of crappy jobs… I guess Jim felt like he wasn’t gonna be able to cut it at the Whirlpool factory where he recently started working. πŸ˜• He’s worked in stocking type positions most of his life, sometimes also driving a forklift – sometimes not, so when he’s basically worked one type of job for most of his adult life – you could imagine how his first taste of assembly line work would feel intimidating. 😯😳😬

The difference between his job and my former job… the line at Whirlpool is controlled by the machines, where my line was controlled by the people. Plus, even though we worked at a ridiculous pace (that did end up eventually damaging me) we didn’t have parts that weighed upwards of 40 pounds to deal with. 😣 It’s also concerning when he tells me that he hurt his neck, and that it also caused his shoulder and arm to hurt… ‘cuz that sounds way too familiar. πŸ™πŸ€•

It just sucks that after years of being able to switch stores and jobs if he wanted to, and having an excellent employee / work record, he’s hit a phase where nobody wants him for those positions now. I mean, he didn’t “job hop” a lot, so I don’t think it’s that… so I’m wondering if it comes down to employers seeing his age on the applications. Glowing work histories don’t help if you can’t get past the HR people who see “47” and throw his application on the “nope” pile.

I was trying to think of what to say to him to keep his optimism up and his twichy-ness down, but it’s difficult when life seems to constantly bag tag a person. 😏 It sucks that he lives so far north of Columbus now, because I have a friend that could probably get him into Jiffy Lube almost immediately. But after I described the job to Jim, pointing out the ways it would be so much easier than a factory, he just replied that he doesn’t know how to work on cars, so the job wouldn’t be for him. πŸ˜’πŸ€”

It’s frustrating, because he’s almost always good at whatever job he’s working at… and you don’t have to know how to “work on cars” to work at a Jiffy Lube. Not to mention the fact that they’ll obviously train you before letting you loose on customer cars. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ”§πŸš˜ For example, if he started off working in the pit, under the floor, he wouldn’t have to do much more than locate the oil plug, drain the oil, plug it back up, and perhaps change some oil filters on the cars that have them more easily accessed from the bottom.

I hate to see him not working and struggling, but I think the anxiety from all of the things that have happened… it’s got him to a point where he’s questioning his own abilities, and thinking that he’s not good enough for even basic “some skill required” type jobs. 😟 And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. πŸ˜žπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… he’s a good d00d, and he’s done a lot of good things for other people who were struggling at various points in his life, so it just sucks watching life doing its best to chew up yet another friend who doesn’t deserve it.