The Rest of My Month Looks Fun

  • Pharmacy  /  monthly visit to jump through hoops for meds
  • Psychiatrist  /  intake appointment
  • Dentist  /  temp crown removal and permanent crown installation
  • Endocrinologist  /  injection #1 prior to 131 treatment
  • Endocrinologist  /  injection #2 prior to 131 treatment
  • FMC  /  nuclear medicine department for radioactive iodine (131) treatment
  • Home  /  (one week of isolating myself from the humans)
  • FMC  /  full body scan 7 days after 131 treatment
  • Psychologist  /  first “real” counseling session
  • Rehab/Pain  /  monthly WC appointment

Spent most of this morning on the phone, trying to wrangle all of my other appointments around the iodine treatment schedule – since that’s the one that is the most important, and the one that effectively removes a week of possible scheduling time from my life. 😒

EDIT: Just got off of another call with Dr Walter’s office. We’re now trying to figure out how much of a pain in the ass it’s going to cause… me being seen by his PA rather than directly by him, because Dr Walter is my “physician of record” when it comes to anything related to my workers comp claim – and they love finding any reason that they can to deny me treatment or medication. 😠 This sounds like it will be a work in progress, and we probably won’t know what the negative side effects are until they happen.

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Depth Perception

I’m not feeling too great, so I’m gonna keep this post short. Today was the day that Jim and his brother were going to the county fair, and he also wanted to drop off the Phil Collins concert ticket that he got me – so I just saved him the extra driving and time and met them at the fair. I wasn’t much fun for the Sweet Corn Festival, and I’m not sure I was a whole lot more fun today, but I did make an appearance. Plus I wanted to get some longer “real-world” footage with the 360 camera and take some “portrait mode” iPhone shots to see what Facebook’s new “3D” algorithm could do with them.

(Wow… vertical video shows up bigger than I expected. Click to make it “screen sized” at bottom of vid.)

It’s a neat little trick that they’ve come up with… something that I wish the phone could do natively… but it’s also something that once everyone and their brother learns how to do it, the motion sickness that it may cause will probably be enough that the peanut gallery starts demanding a button to disable this nerdy new trick entirely. But I’m feeling a little too “off” to fuss with that 360 video right now… not sure when I’ll get around to it, but don’t be surprised if it sits on the back burner for a while.

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. 💪🏻😎 And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. 😏

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. 😃 I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 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. 😯

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. 🙂 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) 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.

Abundance Of Caution

We’re down to about a week-and-a-half before my surgery. 😳 And let me tell you, I’ve been dealing with some serious anxiety issues since the beginning of this past week – and I’m finding it hard to shake. 😥 I’m right on the edge, always, and the slightest thing will push me over into labored breathing, chest pains, dizziness, etc. 😟 So while it might make me “difficult” in some people’s minds between now and my surgery, I’ve got to do whatever it takes to keep my anxiety levels low, or at least unchanged if I’m still managing to hang on to being okay.

It’s kind of embarrassing, but I honestly need to keep myself in a mental health bubble for the next 10 days. 😒 I don’t want anything to happen that will risk me not being able to have the surgery when scheduled, and going to the ER for a panic attack with severe chest pains probably wouldn’t help that cause. 😕 Now, I am gonna tell the doctors and surgeon everything that I’ve experienced up to that point, before I go in, because I absolutely want them to know… but yeah, right now is not the time for me to deal with anything that I don’t absolutely need to deal with.

Cassi helped with that over the past couple of days. 🤷🏻‍♂️😏 I went and got her on Thursday after she got off work, because she had two days off in a row and wanted to spend them here with me. ☺ We never figured out how to make our “couple” relationship work, but boy are we good at being each other’s “person” in times of need. And it’s because neither of us need much… just the distraction from our respective lives that’s somehow provided by just being in each other’s presence.

As for what we did over those two days… there’s really not much to talk about. We just plop down in the living room, turn on Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, and just sit with each other and watch, talk, eat mac and cheese… heh… just “normal” stuff that doesn’t add to the anxiety. The only times it got a little rough for both of us was when one of the episodes would be about thyroids or cancer and the results. Probably shouldn’t have watched those particular episodes, but it’s also good to think about everything realistically, all of the potential outcomes – and letting myself cry a little bit and be scared with her… it was much better than doing that same thing by myself. 🙂

So yeah, the last couple of days were really nice, and really needed… and today, well, I’m calling it “a day off” since I don’t intend to do much (if any) communicating with anyone, and instead focus on things that I just personally need to do before it’s time for my surgery. 😊 The doctors and surgeon haven’t give me any reason to worry about the surgery. None. But you know how it is… you still wanna kinda get things in order, just to give yourself that peace of mind. And doing that sorta thing makes me feel better… makes me feel productive, which is something I always aim for.

Mood is good… I’m hangin’ in there.

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.

Wringer

Pardon the length of this entry, but yesterday was kinda tough, basically as I anticipated. Anxiety had me up most of the night, so I ended up doing all this stuff on only three hours of sleep – but at least that meant I was awake at dawn, so I could just hop up and start getting ready instead of grumbling at my multiple alarms squawking at me every two minutes until I rise and shine.

From 8am until 12.5pm I was doing “something medical.” 😐 Starting with my monthly neck doctor appointment, where we also covered my upcoming surgery, some of the medications that I might have to start taking because of it, and how they should or shouldn’t react with whatever meds I’m getting from him for my fusion spot, nerve damage, and grumpy muscles in the area. 😳👨🏻‍⚕️

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. 💉 I already had this done a little over a month ago, but they not only wanted to get the most current results, but there were also specific tests that they needed that weren’t in my other test. I volunteered my right arm, and the girl did her best… I mean, she hit the biggest vein available there, but for some reason it was only spitting a little bit of blood – and it was definitely not enough to fill the three vials needed. 😯 My left arm ended up being successful, and of course now I look like a junkie with two big bruises on each elbow-pit. 😏

Next was the electrocardiogram, which actually didn’t take that long due to it (thankfully) not including stress testing or anything like that. Just the normal dozen-or-so electrical leads, a few minutes of holding really still, and on to the next. 🙂 But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. 😥

Since they’re going to have to manipulate my head quite a bit while they’re working on my neck, and since they’re aware of the C5-C7 fusion, they had to take a crapload of x-rays while my head and neck were in extremely stretched, compressed, or otherwise super-uncomfortable positions. ☢😣 I do my best each day to not move my head in all of the ways that I had to do for those x-rays, so my neck was fucked after everything was said and done. 🙇🏻‍♂️ So not only will my surgery site be painful, but the ways they are gonna have to move my huge lump-of-a-head around while I’m under anesthesia… let’s just say that I’m really not looking forward to how that area’s gonna be feeling when I wake up.

I almost wasn’t able to complete all the scans that they needed, since one of them (while standing) was given with the instructions of “Put both of your arms straight up, directly over your head.” 😧 If there was a bar or something above my head I could have done it with little issue, but the only way I could do it without my left arm shaking was to get the arm up there, then actually lean against the plate/target of the x-ray machine to basically jam it up there in that position. 😬🤷🏻‍♂️ The fella doing it was really patient and understanding, and after reviewing them he said that the results should be fine, including that one which I thought would be pretty uncertain.

And I know, to a healthy person that all probably doesn’t sound like much… but man was I worn out after everything was done. 😓 Between the lack of sleep, the multiple stops, the blood loss… heh, the painful x-rays, and then my leg jumping around between “fine” and “omg stop” heh… I was just thankful that I was able to knock all of that stuff out in one day, along with being able to just go home and recover at my own pace. 😔 It’s all good though… all of this stuff is now done with a couple weeks to spare, so I’m just happy to keep everything on track.

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Had a bit of a setback with my back yesterday. 😥 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. 🐖 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. 🧙🏻‍♂️ 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 stay with me, and how I’m gonna be as I get older and have to deal with compounding issues like this. 😟 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. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 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. 😐 For the most part… ‘cuz there’s always super painful exceptions. Summarized, my bitching will eventually slow. 😏

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. 📹👩🏻 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. 🤨 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. ☺ 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.