Much Doctoring

It’s only half way through the week but I’ve taken care of the blood draw, the appointment for my off-and-on lower back issues, and then another appointment to go over the lab results and schedule some additional things that need to be checked off of the “Post ’18 Surgery / Keep an Eye on Stuff” list at some point during the next six months. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜Š That was a pleasant surprise to hear that last part… that my lab numbers didn’t trigger any sense of urgency from the doctor, and that I can just do those next things at my leisure. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Tomorrow is gonna be a partial day off… probably gonna make a couple more phone calls (yay?) that need to be made, but other than that I’ll probably just potato in the AC here at home. It’s been effing hot so far this week, and looks like it’ll be just as bad (if not worse) as Independence Day approaches. ๐Ÿ˜“ Some of us are meeting up on Friday for my friend Jim’s birthday, and that’s gonna be outside, so I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that we can find a place around here with both a low human count and lots of shade. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Had a nice surprise towards the end of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, nice for me, but slightly less nice for Dad. He wasn’t feeling great so he had someone take him over to the ER to get things checked out, and once they were done I went and picked him up and gave him a lift back home. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿš– He seemed like he was feeling pretty good, relative to the reason for his trip out. I’m glad my car was cleaned out since a couple weeks ago though… heh… ‘cuz not only would I have been embarrassed for him to see it, but he also would have been sitting with his knees pinned to his chest due to all of the trash clutter in my passenger-side footwell. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜…

My sleep is still pretty screwy, so I’m almost positive that I’m gonna be up half the night tonight – but I’m not even gonna sweat it one way or the other. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Half the time, when I can’t sleep, it’s ‘cuz I’m stressing that I can’t sleep. But with nothing major on the agenda tomorrow, it doesn’t matter when I crap out or wake up. ๐Ÿ˜ด My nap today was solid though. ๐Ÿ˜Š I didn’t even hear when the lawn guys came and mowed… only noticing it once I was backing my car out of the driveway later in the day.

Not Yet

It’s a deceptively beautiful day outside so far today, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a trip to the store like I was considering quite yet. My brain hasn’t really made it out of “weekend” mode, and after a night of bad dreams and waking up in a cold sweat a few times – I’m finding it easier to kinda just sit here with the doors open, trying to absorb some of the “nice” while I plan a few things I need to work on later this afternoon.

I think, lingering in the background processes of my brain, the way that a lot of the country is planning to “re-open” is filling me with an ominous feeling. ๐Ÿ˜ณย Since not every state practiced a well-thought, simultaneous “shelter at home” order along with every other state – the effectiveness of such precautions has already been damaged. Sure, your state will have lower numbers while they individually practice such restrictions, but if surrounding states aren’t being as careful and allow their infection numbers to grow, what do you think’s gonna happen when your state decides to relax their rules?

You may have seen the videos on Twitter or the news… where, just because rules have been relaxed, hundreds of people decided to pour into the streets, the parks, the sidewalks, the beaches… basically just because they haven’t been allowed to for so long, and now they can. Good for them? ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And when reporters ask them why they’re out and mingling with others, it’s almost always a “Because I can!” / “Because it’s our right as ‘murricans!” type of answer. Awesome. ๐Ÿ˜ Way to prove a point. ๐Ÿ˜ Job well done. ๐Ÿ˜

If you look at the actual numbers though, you’ll see that we’re getting ready to open back up right at the time when people should be recognizing that the isolation is making a difference, and that if all states keep/start doing it, the downward trends should continue. But no, politicians are obviously gung-ho about opening up, the citizens hear the optimism, and far too many of them are now thinking and acting like the danger has passed and there’s less (or no) need for precautions. ๐Ÿ˜ž And in a further display of stupidity, our governor was going to mandate that for the time being – employees of stores and their customers must all wear masks. Sounds like a responsible idea, right? Well, he had to go back on that because of public outcry, of people being that vocal that they shouldn’t have to wear a mask, and so he not only backtracked on that – but essentially apologized for it by saying that they “went too far” with that rule.

It’s just amazing to me that there are that many people bitching about having to wear a mask. Something to protect them. Something to protect employees. Something to protect everyone by lowering the transmission rate. Who are these angry people? Who could be so selfish to angrily protest such a rule, others be damned? โ˜น๏ธ It blows my mind…

So, yeah, I was originally gonna go out today and get pop for me and Dad, along with some other stuff, but obviously with all of that stuff swirling around in my thoughts, today isn’t the day for me to go out and do that. Especially since it’s likely that there will be a lot more folks out today than before. It’s just a creepy feeling to live in a state where so many people are vocally and angrily opposed to cooperating with a very simple precaution. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Yeah, that’s not most people, but it doesn’t take many careless or indifferent infected people to cough or smear their cooties all over the place and ruin it for everyone else.

If anything, the state starting to “open up” is more likely to make me stay at home. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s like if you’re at the beach and there’s been a shark warning – but the lifeguard says it’s all clear now, and people can return to the water if they want. ๐Ÿ˜ง You’ll have plenty of people who go running in, neck-deep… meanwhile, my ass would stay planted in the sand as I watched the water to see what happened. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿค” That’s what right now feels like to me… the time to watch from the safety of my living room for a while, to see what’s gonna happen. ๐Ÿฅบ And if this virus is anything like what most doctors are saying, “what happens” ain’t gonna be good.

Another heavy blog entry… I’ll try to balance it out with something lighter this evening. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป My mood isn’t actually that bad otherwise, it’s just taking me a lot longer to get mentally and physically moving today than I’d prefer. I’ve got workers comp / settlement mail that I’ve yet to read, and then wanna do some typical straightening up around the living room and bedroom… so if I’m hard to reach today, I’m probably just trying to do something to make myself feel productive and normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Seeing Some Happy

Wasn’t feeling great when I woke up this morning, before friggin’ dawn, but throughout the day things got progressively better. It helped that early in the day I got some good news from one of my friends… where upon opening her mail she learned that she regained full custody of her son. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š This is definitely one of those “not my story to tell” things, since it’s pretty personal, but yeah… it was nice to see that the system finally did its job and justice was served.

As unfair as many of the past instances with the court have seemed, I don’t think anyone expected that favorable of an outcome. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ She deserves that outcome, so don’t get me wrong, but after so long you start to doubt that the system is capable of doing what’s right. So it’s gonna be a busy and exciting weekend for them… ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ such a big change, almost out of the blue, but he’s already super happy – so it’s just a matter of getting all the logistical stuff ironed out and them getting used to the new “new.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really excited and happy for the both of them. This is how it should be.

Then later in the evening Rick came over to work on my busted garage door. One of the springs broke quite a while ago, but with the various other stuff I’ve been dealing with – honestly it wasn’t that high on the priority list, so today just ended up being the first convenient time for him to mess with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He makes it all look so easy… especially to someone with a left arm that’s basically worthless when it comes to any kind of manual labor. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ Didn’t take him long to get new 2x4s up where they’re needed and the new springs installed.

(There was more to it than that, w/ the cables, guides, track aligning, roller adjustments, etc… but yeah…)

The only glitch (for the moment) is that he wasn’t able to find any springs locally that match the ones that were originally on it. ๐Ÿ˜• These days, garage doors are made of super light material… but my garage door, a “two-car garage” garage door… is made of thick wood and weighs too effing much. ๐Ÿ˜„ So despite buying the strongest springs available, the old 1/3 HP garage door opener just wasn’t having it. It can lower the door, but to raise it again it requires someone giving the door a manual boost for the first part of the raising cycle.

But his suggestion sounds good to me. New garage door opener. The one that’s installed now is probably at least half as old as I am, and wasn’t really meant to handle a door as big and heavy as this one even when it was new. So I’m gonna look for a more powerful replacement over the weekend, and between that and the new springs – we’re pretty certain everything will work as it should again. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป And like many things in this house, it was probably past-due for replacement anyway, so I’m all for this solution.

Talking with him while he worked… there’s not much he hasn’t done when it comes to building, remodeling, installing roofs, electrical work, deck builds, garage doors, well installations, etc. You name it, he’s probably done it. In fact he just recently quit his job at Lowe’s to completely go into business for himself. ๐Ÿ˜ฏย That takes some balls, but he knows the right people… not only to have continuous jobs lined up, but also having a good group of folks that he can pull into those jobs depending on the needs or specialties.

Plus, Amy will be able to work from home, helping with the behind the scenes stuff like scheduling, accounting, and much of the other You have to do this now.” legal / payroll / insurance / etc type business stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ Really hoping this works out for them, ‘cuz it’s gotta be a pretty good feeling to work when you want, where you want, on what you want, while having only yourself and your clients to answer to. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Oh, Hai Knee

Despite all the various stuff I’ve been doing lately, I’ve managed to keep from gimping up my neck, shoulder, and back too much. But while being careful not to aggravate those areas, it seems I wasn’t paying enough attention to my right knee…ย  ‘cuz, oush. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ It’s been all sorts of fuckered up since yesterday evening. ๐Ÿฅบ Can’t even tell you what I did to it, other than just moving around a whole lot more than it’s used to, but whatever it was sure has pissed it off. ๐Ÿ˜’ Not really complaining though, because at least it’s not one of my traditional “oush points” getting worse, and also not complaining because I don’t really have any “labor-based plans” for the next couple of days, so with any luck it’ll chill the eff out and get better over the next 48 hours. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

And it’s funny that just as I’m musing about my gimpy knee, I was reminded that Hamvention is coming up again here soon. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Not this coming weekend, but the next… I think. Now, busted knee or not, what were the odds that I’d have put a Hamvention trip on my to-do list this year? Pretty slim, honestly. ๐Ÿ˜ I think the last time that I went was a couple years before they moved it from Hara Arena (just outside of Dayton) to the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia… so yeah, probably at least half-a-decade. (He said, dramatically… heh)

Now I’m wishing I could remember the first year that I went. ๐Ÿค” Dad had been going for years before he talked me into it… I think I was just too young and couldn’t imagine what a “HAM radio flea market” could have to offer me. But that first trip was when I got my first (of eventually many) Commodore computer. ๐Ÿ˜Š A VIC-20 with cassette drive, tapes, and a bunch of cartridges. I was in junior high, so whatever year that would have been. After that, we continued going each year more often than not, until eventually I was even making trips on my own when Dad wasn’t quite feelin’ it that particular year. But with so many memories of it being there at Hara, with so little changingย from year to year, it’s just hard to force myself to make that first trip to the “new” location. ๐Ÿ˜ I just imagine it’ll be missing half of the “feels” that make the trips what they were. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meh… not gonna rule it out, of course, but you know how that usually goes…ย ๐Ÿ˜›

I dunno… I really would like to take some sort of solo road trip this summer. And while Hamvention is always at least on that list of possibilities, I’ve started thinking a little more about researching some of the big ol’ retro arcades that are scattered around the midwest, and maybe finding one or two that seem worth the drive.ย  From what I remember reading about some of them, they generally just have a one-time cover charge to get in and then all the games are set to free play, no “pocket full of quarters” required. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ•นย Heh… but even now, I’m not sure if I’m actually considering it, or if I’m just talking out of my ass ‘cuz it sounds like fun but also kind of a PITA. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‹

Oh… Yeah

Today was a good day. I have some papers that I needed to sign which also required two witnesses, so this afternoon I went over to my friend Amy’s house so she and Rick could provide some initials and signatures to help me out with that. I ended up staying there about a half hour, and we stood outside talking and looking at various projects that Rick either had been working on or planned to start working on soon… and lemme tell ya, that guy can do almost anything. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Žย And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. ๐Ÿ˜

After that I made a quick trip to the gas station in Rockbridge so I could a) fill my car with gas, b) pick up enough necessities to make it to next week, and c) grab some Burger King so I didn’t have to do any cooking tonight… all in one shot. Basically just a mini-run to keep me “good” here at the house until next week, when I intend to do a much bigger “stocking up” shopping trip before my surgery… just in case I don’t feel like leaving the house and mixing with the unwashed public for a while afterwards.

But what I actually did while I was out today isn’t the point. The point is that I did all of that stuff today without thinking about the problem with my leg at all. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ And as I was walking around to get ready, or over at Amy’s house, or while I was filling the car and doing my shopping… once I got home I realized that I hadn’t been limping, at least as far as I know, through any of it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

I’m not going to start cheering just yet, since I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as I’ve been going through this… but yeah, it feels good to have not been nagged by pain for at least that small part of my day. I’m hoping that sitting on this giant silly yoga ball is actually making a positive impact, because I’m going to keep doing it. I’m also going to change the sheets on my bed and add that fluffy mattress topper thing that I bought a few weeks back.

I really needed something like this today. ๐Ÿ™‚ I mean, I’ve got much less on my mental agenda today than yesterday, but it really was an uplifting surprise to have (for the first time in a couple of months)ย such a span of painless walking. And the older and more broken that I get, the more that I’m learning to appreciate these small victories.

Gimp Limp Pain Cane

I had my one-month followup with the chiropractor today, and despite me still having some hiccups in the performance and reliability of my right leg – he’s still impressed with the progress since I initially went in, nearly unable to walk. The biggest improvement, of course, is that the problem is only rarely in my back anymore. (All of this is “knock on wood” by the way…) He says that the problems that I’m noticing with my leg can still likely be improved upon – and he convinced me that I really do need that inflatable yoga/rehabilitation ball, even if I can’t do many of the “standard” exercises due to my gimpy left shoulder.

He says that even just sitting on the ball as I watch TV or work on the computer would help. It makes sense, in the same way that you can feel all sorts of little muscles working and correcting your balance if you try to stand on one leg as someone pushes against you – that’s what the muscles in my leg and lower back will be doing as I maintain my balance on the ball. So, he’s sold me on giving that a try for a while… much better than the “real” exercises did, which caused me to accidentally jack up my shoulder by over-doing it on my first attempt.

I stopped by CVS because I figured I could get some bread, pop, and chips at the same time as grabbing a cane and one of those balls… but of course they don’t stock them. (Next stop, Amazon) I guess it’s more rehab or exercise than “medical” but I thought for sure they’d have a few. I did grab a more practical and size-appropriate cane though, since the wooden one that I won at the fair years ago (and it was one of the “real” ones) is just too tall for the way that I need to use it. So that’ll help during the moments when I still need one.

But my leg… he said everything is still fine, and I shouldn’t feel any urgent need to bring it up with my family doctor yet. I mean, I could, obviously, but he reassured me that there’s nothing going on there that I need to be overly concerned about. And he’s probably right with everything he told me… it’s just that everyone wants to snap their fingers and be better, and sometimes things just take way longer than you expect.

Alright, gonna try to hit the sack early again tonight. I got plenty of sleep last night, probably from being worn out from all the crap that I was nervous about that day, so I’m gonna see if I can make it two in a row. Had some good conversation with friends today, lots of things that made me forget about things for large part of the day, so I’m hoping to get a little more of that tomorrow. G’night, all.

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Had a bit of a setback with my back yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ The pain woke me up around 4am, and a quick trip to the bathroom made me realize that the strength/ability in my right leg wasn’t really there. I probably just slept on something wrong, but rather than dwell on it and get upset about it, I decided to devote the first half of the day to staying in bed, watching movies, and eating a few boxes of that ready-to-make chicken salad and crackers. ๐Ÿ– I could still find certain ways to lay that would alleviate the pain, so I just did that and totally plucked myself from what would have been my “normal” routine, and plopped myself into this “being a potato in bed” zone that was outside of my normal timeline. ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ My weird way of trying to explain it anyway… but it worked… that half day of removing myself from everything but Netflix and the cat actually helped – and I was able to get up and around by the early afternoon.

As I was lying there though, I started pondering my various aches, pains, and disabilities… wondering which ones will get better, if any of them are starting to just stayย with me, and how I’m gonna be as I get older and have to deal with compounding issues like this. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Like I told Dad, I ended up coming to the conclusion that I’m only complaining as much as I have been because I still feel like I can recover or at least improve. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ If the “bleh” feels temporary, it’s easy to bitch about it when it’s slow going… but honestly, and my neck is proof of this, I can learn to live with pain and disability – to the point where eventually it’s “just there”, sucking, but something I can compartmentalize for the most part. ๐Ÿ˜ For the most part… ‘cuz there’s always super painful exceptions. Summarized, my bitching will eventually slow. ๐Ÿ˜

In the evening I went in town to deliver those two Yi security cameras to my cousin. I’m obviously more excited about any kind of A/V tech than they would be, but I could still tell that she was having fun playing around with the one as she went through the setup process. ๐Ÿ“น๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป Matt’s already running through the possible installation locations, so as soon as they get a couple little memory cards they’ll be ready to roll. It’s crazy how even just five or ten years ago, creating any kind of home video security system was expensive and a pain in the ass. There’s no way that Yi makes any money off of these cameras. ๐Ÿคจ I’m guessing they’re banking on people like me to sign up for the monthly cloud storage fee – which I don’t mind doing at all.

So anyway, despite feeling pretty rotten for the first half, it actually wasn’t that bad of a day overall – and it definitely made me happy to gift those cameras to Toni and Matt. โ˜บ I really hope that they never have any bad reason that they’ll need any of the footage that they record… but I’m glad that they’ll have those cameras just in case they do.

Hurt, Heal, Push, Hurt, Heal, Push…

Yesterday evening ended up being bad. Normally you do some sort of physical activity, it’ll work up your muscles a bit, then as the day and night progresses – the pain or stiffness gradually goes away. Not last night. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜  I left PT feeling awful and it continued to get worse all the way until I somehow fell asleep despite it. And even today, as soon as I effing woke up – neck is stiff, head and eyeballs are pounding with a headache still… heh… I really wasn’t anticipating it being this bad, considering the relatively limited movement that I allowed my bad arm and shoulder yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜’ Even being actively aware of and discussing it as I was going through exercises with the physical therapist, I still allowed myself to get this effed up. ๐Ÿคฌ

I got wrapped up in that “authority figure” syndrome thing. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Where you’re talking to a cop or doctor or teacher or whatever… and because you see them as an authority figure, you’re more likely to just do what they say, or give their words more weight than compared to a “normal” person. ๐Ÿ™„ I wanted to do the exercises that they have determined should help me, and in “trying to do my best” (like always) I really messed myself up. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But anyway – I’ve already decided that I’m barely going to do any of that shit during the next visit – or at home, where I’m also supposed to continue the exercises.

I’m not gonna give up on trying to get my back to heal properly and train it for a little more endurance, but I’m not gonna be able to do it the way a completely functional human would. ๐Ÿค• Tomorrow is supposed to be my last appointment with them anyway, so it’ll be up to me to make the choices about how I’m gonna keep things moving in the right direction. Heh… I can’t explain how angry this pain makes me… it’s a combination of the actual pain, the resentment regarding the original injury that has made me this fragile, feeling like “taking the initiative” to push myself to heal just results in punishment, spending every other day hurting and recovering… meh… I’m just gonna basically drop the extensive PT and do what I can, because prior to this I was actually healing and feeling pretty good.

It’s just one of those days where as soon as I woke up I was already done with this day. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Gonna try to make this headache go away and hopefully do something that can flip my mood. Apologies to anyone who has messaged me or sent e-mails and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I’m gonna try to get at all that before the afternoon is over. It’s hard to put on “happy, socializing face” when I’m feeling like this…

And I’m gonna find something positive to post about later too. Tired of being miserable.