I’m Right Here

Got a call from the doctor’s office. I guess one of the “referral” folks trying to get ahold of me called them back and said that I was unreachable. 🀨 Strange, since I’ve got no incoming calls or messages, but whatever… I got their number and will give them a call back soon.

Right now I’ve still got a week before I have to go for the ultrasound, and that’s the nearest upcoming appointment that I’ve got… but the thing is, I’m hoping that when I call this ENT that they aren’t gonna want to get me in too quickly – cuz, quite frankly, I don’t want to go through the embarrassment of shuffling into their office, in front of everyone, like a hunched-over old man with a cane. 😣😟

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that all this stuff is in process now… but what a shit time for my back to be doing what it’s doing. 😠 As if going to different doctors to get poked and prodded isn’t enough of a pain in the ass. (No pun intended.) I guess I don’t have to feel too rushed… as long as I get ’em done before my next family doctor appointment, which isn’t for a while. That is, unless the ultrasound shows something extra scary, I suppose. 😳

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Paying For Yesterday

I’m right in the middle of a “spell” with my lower back. πŸ™ It happens a couple times a year, and I’ve even been to the ER once (several years ago) while it was happening – and the scan or x-ray or whatever that they did, it didn’t reveal any damage or specific thing that could be causing it. (Because of course it didn’t. 😠) So, even though I woke up today essentially unable to walk or take steps due to the unpredictable random jolts of pain – I’m still planning on waiting it out, and then theΒ next time that I feel this coming on I’ll make plans to go to the ER again to see if I can get some answers.

It’s hard to describe the pain and that effect that it has if you haven’t experienced something similar. Cautiously and slowly taking each step, being unable to predict what movement is going to cause a jolt of pain that would knock me over if I didn’t have a wall to grab on to. 😳😒 Even just getting out of bed required five minutes of rolling, twisting, sliding, bending – all to find the one way that allowed me to sit up. And I do mean allowed. Because no matter how much pain that I was determined to accept, there’s a point where pain dictates what the body does, and when it doesn’t wanna allow you to put your weight on one leg, it’ll be happy to let you fall to the ground to avoid it. πŸ˜”

But anyway, today is the price that I’m paying for yesterday’s activities. I went up to Columbus to take Cassi to her doctor appointment, and it was actually helpful to spend so much time sitting in my comfortable car seat with the heating elements set to max. β™¨πŸ˜‹ I think that’s actually what allowed me to function as well as I was during the moments when we were out of the car. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I also gritted my teefs and made a bunch of phone calls to handle appointments and things that I’ve been needing to take care of. πŸ“žπŸ˜¬

I had $80 in free slot play, and $30 in dining credit, so after her appointment we went over to Hollywood Casino. By the time we got there we were both starving, so we opted for the buffet and absolutely poofed ourselves before we played. πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•πŸ—πŸ₯™πŸ”πŸ₯©πŸ₯“πŸŸπŸ₯—πŸ– I let her play on my free money, and I took the same amount in cash to play along side of her. By the time we left she had won over $240, and I was ableΒ to (again)Β walk away with the same amount that I took, which is absolutely fine with me. 😁 So that “Meh… why not?” side trip ended up being a good experience for both of us.

We then went to the huge thrift store across the way from the casino, and she picked up a handful of new black pants for use with her work uniform, along with some extra shorts and tops thanks to the unexpected winnings. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I found a couple of shirts that I liked, but no jeans. πŸ˜’ I’ve finally started looking for jeans that have a waistband that’s one size up from the ones that I’ve been wearing for the past many years… not something I’m too excited about… and I’m hoping there’s still a medical explanation that can eventually be fixed so I can stick with my normal “almost fat” sized pants.

So yeah, even though I felt miserable, and feel even more miserable today, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. πŸ™‚ I like when I can do something fun with a friend and it ends up actually really helping them out at just the right time. And when I got home… I was still hurting, but no worse than I had throughout the day… so I certainly wasn’t expecting this when I woke up today. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I’m going to be taking it super, super easy for the next couple of days though, so I can give it some time to hopefully recover a bit. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™πŸ» I mean, I know I’ll get better – because I always have – but it’s still scary when your ability to walk becomes questionable at best.

Meandering Thoughts

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the weekend to get here. 😐 While technically the day of the week doesn’t matter too much when it comes to my life, right now I’m using these “weekend” days as a crutch for my struggles of the moment. 😟 I’ve had a string of challenging days which have gotten progressively worse, mostly because I’m dwelling on a few things that I’m incapable of doing at the moment. Things that other people are somewhat countingΒ on me to be able to do. 😬 No matter what it might be, I hate when I can’t be “reliably reliable” for my friends or family… so while I do continue to work on myself, I really needed this weekend so I could chill and tell myselfΒ “Just take it easy on yourself for a couple of days. It’s the weekend.”

Even having said that, it’s only partially effective, so my brain took it upon itself to engage in other distractions. Twitter is always a “go to” place for relatively irrelevant engagement. It seems most of the world goes there to loudly and/or angrily broadcast their opinions (often barely grounded in facts, if at all) and I usually end up trying to educate the exceedingly ignorant, insulting, and condescending of the lot. I know the odds are slim that I’d ever get any of them to think beyond their narrow view of reality… but like I said, it’s more distraction than crusade. (Plus it lets me act like an asshole to those that deserve it. Everyone needs that outlet sometimesπŸ€”)

Lots of discussions about gun control and the Parkland kids, talk about the recent military engagement in Syria and the potential consequences… πŸ€“ but then somehow I got diverted towards more random/fun Twitter and Google searches. I think it started with things about Atlantic City, since I’m considering a trip there sometime this year, but then I ended up looking through local auction listings – which switched my brain over to straight nostalgia mode. 😊

One of the first things that I came across (which was weird, since I was just wondering about it a few days ago) was a vintage “Poosh-M-Up” pinball-ish type game… one that my Dad had when he lived here at this house. πŸ€— It’s funny, one of those things where my memory of the game and the location are inseparable. I’m assuming my grandparents originally bought it for him, but then I ended up playing with it once I was old enough. πŸ‘¦πŸ» But yeah, such a random thing to accidentally come across… and there’s actually quite a few varieties of this game, and I plan on reading about the history of them all. πŸ™‚ I never considered there’d be a bunch of ’em out there like this.

This local auction though, it has several items that I’m kinda interested in. 😯 That pinball game, old Atari game consoles and computers, other misc old toys of my era… and even though it’s in Mt Vernon, that actually motivates me to go a little more – since it’s a sleepy little town and there might not be many people that show up to outbid me. 😁 So after looking up that stuff on eBay, it made me think of other old games that I had when I was a kid, so of course I started looking up some of those things as well. I know that I always threaten to do an entire blog entry devoted to pricing toys from my personal childhood, but I really think that I’m gonna do that later tonight if my brain remains in its current happy place. πŸ˜‹

Better All Around

I don’t wanna celebrate too much, at risk of jinxing myself, but I actually got a decent amount of sleep last night… and woke up feeling good enough to head into town to grab a fresh change of clothes for Dad, for when he got released from the hospital to go home. 😎 As it turns out, when I got to his place, he was already there and settled back in. πŸ˜ƒ For him feeling like absolute crap only 48 hours earlier, I was surprised and pleased to see that he appeared to be back to his old self again already.

I hadn’t taken my morning pills before I went in, because I honestly thought I’d only be picking out some clothes, getting them ready, and then heading back home – so after visiting for a while I was really starting to feel my neck. 😣 Before I left my house I was also half-assed thinking about getting my hair cut… but meh… I figure it’s the weekend and I’d rather go home and medicate, and hopefully keep myself good for the rest of the day and into the weekend. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I’ll probably go back in a few days for another visit, plus I wanna grab him some pop and some kind of junk food goodies for Mom – so that way I’ll be “coming bearing gifts” when I check in on her. 😁 I don’t wanna get ahead of myself though, as that’s not the only plans that I’ve got for the next few days. First thing on my list is writing up a brief but complete recent medical history so I’ll have something to offer the doctor, whenever my appointment may end up being. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Between what the MRI tech said, and now after experiencing some concerning chest pains a couple times over the past few weeks… I mean, I’m 99% sure it’s just anxiety related, but I’ve gotta just suck it up and “play grown-up” and start with the regular doctor visits. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m no spring chicken anymore. It’s just been a while since I’ve been in for service, and you know how it goes… you go in for the oil change, and pretty soon they’re talking about air filters, rotating tires, transmission fluid, unexpected rust, blah blah blah… 😏

Not particularly looking forward to that shit, but like I told Genesee… I can deal with whatever aches, pains, or glitches that my body may have – but I’d just like some reassurances that all of it is relatively normal and that I’m not going to just drop dead here in my house on some random afternoon while doing basically nothing. 😯

Looks Like We Made It

It’s been a challenging few days again. Four hours of sleep a night is all that I’m apparently allowed to get for the time being. It certainly doesn’t contribute to waking up in a decent mood, prepared to do much of anything. Luckily a few of those nights were over the weekend, so it didn’t matter much, but I was hoping to wake up today with a different attitude.

Yeah, no luck with that.

I woke up a couple hours before dawn, was up a while, took a nap, then ended up waking up and immediately forcing myself out of the house (essentially tricking the twitchy part of my brain)Β so I could pick up some pop, groceries, and grab some Burger King. I actually went to Logan… for whatever reason, it felt easier than going into Lancaster. Between stops I took a break in the parking lot over by my aunt’s old house. The wishing well is still there, although it’s close to crumbling, and they’ve put new siding on the place – but otherwise you wouldn’t know the difference. I guess getting rid of 100 old grinding wheels isn’t easy.

Made it through the whole trip… I know, which sounds weird to most people, because, why wouldn’t someone make it through a short trip out. But getting home and not being completely wiped out was a nice change. And this time, rather than thinking “Ahh! I’ve got it beat today.” and trying to do a whole lot more, I just went out front, sat and watched the birds in the big pine tree, and kept my mind free. (Other than remembering that it was this time a year ago that I was out in the front yard playing with Brantley at dusk… until we heard the buzzards creeping louder and lower in the tree… heh)

Hoping it holds and helps me sleep, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

The Heart of Rock and Roll

I figured I should get on here to give an update about the chest pains that I was having the other day since I’m feeling better now. No pains at all yesterday, and only hints of it the day before. I even decided to keep my tentative plans and spun them so that it was actually beneficial to my then-current condition.

It was yet another deal where I made the agreement a while ago, and then when the day came I was less than enthusiastic for obvious reasons. 🀒❀ But Cassi’s brother Scott, he was doing a rare live performance (drums) with Rich Regal at the local Moose lodge – and since she had never seen him play live I didn’t wanna have to cancel. But when I thought about it, having someone around for a couple of days while I was feeling concerned… it would actually help put my mind at ease.

So we went to the show, which wasΒ (fortunately for my well-being… heh)Β only moderately attended while also being held in a rather large area of the lodge… so it actually ended up being a good time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ It wasn’t really our style of music, but it was more about showing up to see and support Scott and Rich and the rest of them.

Having Cassi around yesterday also helped with my anxiety enough that I made a trip to the Walmart in Logan and did a “monthly” style grocery trip. πŸ€— Lots of cans, boxes, and frozen stuffs… should last me a good long while. Other than that we’ve just been chilling and surprisingly doing a bunch of reading about job stuff, investment stuff, insurance stuff, doctor stuff, etc. 😁 I found one of those somewhat cheezy “Book of Secrets” books at the thrift store, which attempts to give you all sorts of tips and trips regarding almost everything you might encounter in life, so we’ve been having a good time going through that and even learning some things we didn’t previously know.

As far as I’m concerned though, whatever was going on with those chest pains… I feel like I’m most likely past whatever it was. (Touch wood) Obviously I’ll mention it to my doctor whenever I makeΒ that appointment… heh… but I’ve put “wisdom teef removal” at the top of my priority list for the moment, but after I’m starting to realize that I can’t keep putting off those routine “You’re a middle age d00d now” family physician appointments. πŸ™„

The Future Is Now

It’s been a long time coming, but all of the public service agencies in my area have finally switched out their radios, and are now using digital transmitting/receiving rather than the old analog systems that had been in place and unchanged ever since I was a teenager. πŸ‘΄πŸ» So the old police scanners that nearly everyone in Lancaster has… they’re essentially worthless now, at least when it comes to monitoring all of the action in town.

I’m not sure if it was a financial or transparency-based decision, but while they’ve upgraded to a fully digital system, they’ve decided against using encryption. The easiest thing to compare it to is the way that television broadcasts have changed over the past 10 or 20 years. No more analog signals, but if you have a digital cable box or digital tuner you can easily pick up the new transmissions. It’s the same thing with the public service radios… it’s just a different means of broadcasting. πŸ€“ If they went with encrypted systems though, it would be similar to how wireless phones use digital signals, but they’re also encrypted so that nobody but the caller and recipient are able to hear what’s being said. 🀨

The bad news? While you used to be able to buy a $40 scanner to listen to police, fire, and rescue… digital scanners are significantly more expensive. So much so that many people can’t or won’t want to make the upgrade to continue following the activity. πŸ™ And, at least here in Lancaster, an always-running police scanner has been about as common in homes as a stove, fridge, or washing machine. 😏

I had actually been considering getting a new scanner myself, going so far as to have “shopped them out” online so that I knew what I would get if the cost didn’t make me cringe so hard… and while I made the decision then that it was too expensive, hitting that little jackpot at Hollywood the other day has changed my tune. πŸ€— Oh, I still cringed when I loaded up the page of the one I wanted, but I went ahead and ordered it anyway.

The Homepatrol-1 units are basically “Digital Scanners for Dummies.” Where most other next-gen scanners are more computer than radio (with endless programming options and tweaks accordingly) the Homepatrol-1 is more about an easy listening/monitoring experience. It has built-in memory with a database that covers the entire United States, and it is updated weekly by the manufacturer – based off of frequency information provided by the users and staff at RadioReference.com

So, with the way our local departments are still going through changes, as the current frequency information is discovered and updated on the site – all I’ll have to do (in theory) is punch up my zip code in the scanner… and all of the agencies and radio options will automagically appear before my eyes. πŸ˜€ So, along with it being one of the cheaper scanners,Β that’sΒ what actually sold me on it. The ability to start using it as soon as I get it, without having to spend hours figuring it out and programming it. It does have many advanced options though, especially through the included Sentinel software that is used for easier/quicker programming… so yeah, it’ll still be something to challenge my nerd brain as well.

I’m sure it probably seems like a frivolous purchase to a lot of people… but living by myself, outside of the city limits, away from the humans… having a scanner running gives me the sense of “staying connected” with a community that I still consider to be home, even if I’m not in the heart of it. (Plus there’s all kinds of other stuff to search for and listen to on top of that…)