Tripped My Breaker

Everything caught up with me in a bad way today. ๐Ÿ˜ž 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

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. ๐Ÿฅบ

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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•

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. ๐Ÿ˜ž 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿคจ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ (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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ˜  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. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.

Push Through It

I thought I might have better luck if I went in to the pharmacy rather than calling them, but nope. ๐Ÿ˜’ Tomorrow’s technically a holiday, so I’m gonna wait until Tuesday before I go back in and make them go through any kind of fuss, in case they need to call the insurer or my doctor to get things moving.

Next stop was Walmart, since about a week ago I went ahead and ordered a second pair of glasses from them. I was originally just gonna grab my prescription and send it off to somewhere online so I could get a cheap pair of distance-only lenses and frames, but I was able to order a pair from Walmart for only $68 so I figured that was good enough. ๐Ÿค“

After that I made it out to see Dad for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were gonna watch some of the Daytona 500, but weather came and put it on a rain delay. I wouldn’t have been able to stay through the whole thing anyway though. ๐Ÿ˜• My neck was still pretty locked up through my whole trip out, but towards the end of my visit with Dad my shoulder started shaking and being uncooperative again, so I headed home to get it back in front of the space heater.

Oh great… speaking of meds. I just nowย got a text from the pharmacy that says “We are contacting your doctor for an alternative med for Rx Metaxalone. We will text when ready.” ๐Ÿ˜ณ No idea what that’s all about, but if my doctor wanted me to be taking something different he would prescribe me something different. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Oy… looks like I’ll be calling the pharmacy in the morning to find out what’s going on, and then my doctor’s office to let them know there’s some new sort of nonsense that they might be getting a call about.

I swear, man… ๐Ÿ˜’ it’s almost 7p on a Sunday before a holiday – and I’m still getting hassled. Meh… no sense in worrying tonight since I can’t do anything about it anyway. You see how this stuff goes though? ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I went in and tried to get that situation settled, I wasn’t able to, so I was trying to put it out of my thoughts… so the situation reached out and poked me, like “Hey, don’t forget about me. Here’s something confusing for you to ponder all night… and you might wanna get up stupid early to make even more phone calls tomorrow. Sleep tight.”

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜• 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค•

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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿค”

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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿš˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ 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.

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…

Method To My Madness

You may or may not have noticed, but over the past many weeks – especially in the time right before and after my scan – I’ve been posting a lot more entries to the blog than usual. Even if not in quantity, I’ve definitely been ramblingย more than I typically do. Now that I’m most of the way past that phase, I’m probably gonna end up slowing a little with my postings – not necessarily on purpose, but because as things start to feel like they’re returning to normal I have a feeling I just won’t feel like I need to post quite as much.

There’s no way to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it, how it feels to sit with an unspecified amount of cancer in your body, jumping through all of the hoops for the tests, which includes gradually wearing down your energy levels to nothing, and then just sitting there, not knowing, waiting, worrying, hoping, etc. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ There isn’t an emotion that you don’t experience, ranging from hoping that it’s completely gone – to hoping that if it isn’t gone, that you at least get an expiration date… just to finally get rid of the uncertaintyย more than anything else. ๐Ÿ˜ž I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t feel most of the things / ways that I’ve felt. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But my way of dealing with all of that (or distracting myself from all of that) was by posting here. Didn’t necessarily want to talk to anyone about it in person, or in any detail or whatever… but also couldn’t just sit here and stay all bottled up about it. So whether my posts had something to do with my medical stuff or not, it’s been a big reason why I’ve been so active lately. Now, I’m not saying that I’m gonna stop blogging… I mean, rambling is sort of my thing, it’s more that I just wanted to come here and finally explain.

Of course it doesn’t help when in the middle of all that, I get new “neck stuff” (unrelated to cancer) to eventually be concerned about. ๐Ÿ˜’ It’s hard to stay positive and try to get back to normal when just as you’re finishing up with one thing, something else fairly big comes along right on the tail of the last thing. And that’s what a lot of my postings have been, whether they seem like it or not… trying to find the silver linings, trying to reassure or even convince myself that I have the ability to take the good for what it is, and work around whatever negatives are left after that. (Bleh… that sounds cheezy.)

I’m still not back to normal, but I’m definitely getting there. I found out, thanks to the festival, that even though my energy levels are a whole lot better – there’s still a wall there to be hit, and I still don’t get a sign when I’m approaching it. I’m assuming that’ll just continue to get better though, because it has so far. I’ve barely been doing anything with friends yet, and still haven’t been on Facebook for over a month now… so I’ve still got a few of those types of hurdles to get over, but it’ll all come in time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not setting goals or time-frames or anything like that… just trying to always make sure that I keep moving forward with all of it. And as for the stuff that I’ll have to face in the future, whether it is spine related or cancer related (or something as of yet unforeseen), I can’t let it chew up all my thoughts and actions between now and whenever that will be.

So whether it helps me because I’m just getting stuff out, or because it also helps to reinforce the positive thoughts… whatever it is, it’s just what I’ve needed to do during this more-uncertain time in my life. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But as I continue to get better, it should require less energy (or rambling about it) in order to keep the progress going. I made it up and over the most recent hill, so now I can hopefully start to coast a little more if that’s what I decide to do.

Meh… I could obviously continue with more on this topic, but this basically explains what I wanted to be explained. We’re all works in progress, and I’m no different. And if it’s not one of the issues that I’m currently focused on, there’s always gonna be something else that tries to damage my calm and toss some grenades in my life’s direction. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I’m just hoping that I can take the things that I’ve learned from dealing with the current situations and apply them to those other things when needed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.

Sweet Corn Festival

A few months ago, when I was still looking at the then-upcoming schedule of medical stuff, it looked like everything would be wrapped up well before this year’s SCF in Millersport. It’s tradition that me, Jim, Adam, and sometimes Brad will meet up for at least one of the days there to walk around, catch up, and see how many former classmates or teachers we can spot. But Jim messaged me yesterday to let me know where and when he’d be there… and it wasn’t until then that I realized that this week was already festival week. ๐Ÿ˜ฏโŒš

The surprise is from bouncing back a little more slowly than I originally anticipated, so as my mind has been on all that stuff, I guess it just snuck up on me. I’ve got every intention of going… and in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it much better than last year. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป Last year, I hadn’t had my surgery yet, so my energy levels were all over the place, and I was also stuck using my cane at the time. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฏ I can’t remember if it was for my back or for my knee, but I do remember that I only had enough oomph to make a single meandering “pass” with them from the ride area through to the food booths a bit past the covered bridge area. ๐Ÿ˜•

I was trying to “mind over matter” myself through the evening, but it just wasn’t happening. I feel kinda bad about how I was, because I know that my friends were concerned about me – and seeing me struggle to just walk around probably ended up being somewhat of a buzzkill for the rest of their evening. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think I was there for an hour at most before I realized that I was gonna have to call it a night, so it was nice that they walked me all the way back to where I parked so we could get in as much time as possible. There were a lot more unknowns at that point in time.

Since then I’ve had my thyroid removed, been dosed with radioactive iodine twice, been to doctors and a chiropractor for my back, learned of some new damage in my neck… but when it comes to the thyroid stuff, most of that ended up going about as well as it could, and the new “neck stuff” isn’t something that’s an urgent or immediate issue – so this year’s Sweet Corn Festival meet-up should be a heck of a lot better for all of us than the last one. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I suppose anyone with visible health problems feel the same way… for certain moments in time you wanna act like nothing’s wrong, you don’t wanna let your friends or family see how bad it can get, ‘cuz you don’t want them worrying about you – whether the worry is justified or not. You want your “normal thing” to be that normal thing.

Meh… I’m just thinking out loud here. ๐Ÿ˜’ I’m obviously still not 100%, so I think I’m talking about it to keep myself motivated and optimistic. ๐Ÿค” I did fix my sleep last night, something that actually surprised me, so I (hopefully) know what I need to do to not screw up my sleep or energy the day before we’re supposed to meet up. (Man, am I trying to jinx myself lately or what? ๐Ÿ˜)ย I’m just really looking forward to the possibility of having a normal day with my friends at our old stomping grounds, with the thoughts of all my current “other stuff” being pushed from my brain as we have a good time being reminiscing old farts, eating overpriced crappy-but-awesome fair food, and maybe seeing some other old fart friends in the process. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

Take The Hint, Weeds

Waiting for the sun to go down so I can go out and spray some more poison on the misc that’s now growing up where the spirea bushes used to be. Despite the heat from a week ago or so, we’ve also had enough days of decent rain – enough that there’s all kinds of green popping up back there. Some of it, I’m sure, is the grass seed that I spread… but most of it looks to be random shit that’s been growing like, well… weeds.

Mowers avoided the area (with the new seed) last time they came by, but I’m gonna let Jason know that I’ve poisoned everything that’s trying to grow – so next time they’re out here they can go ahead and start hitting that area to keep everything knocked down. ๐Ÿšœ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒพ And I know from the little circle area out front, where Aunt C used to stack all of the branches, clippings, and other yard waste… once all of that stuff was removed, it now gets mowed like any other part of the lawn and doesn’t look that different from the rest.

So even if that back line isn’t perfect with grass yet, and even though all the random misc is gonna try really hard to keep popping up – if I go ahead and turn the mowers loose on that area, even if it effs it up for a while, I’m sure that by the end of the season it will look enough like “part of the lawn, but rough” that both me and the neighbor should be okay with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Gonna have to pace myself, of course, since just going out to the garage to get the new jug of juice and bring it in here to prep overheated me. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ ย (I can’t even explain how stupid and frustrating that is. The overheating / energy… not the way the poison is packaged.) It’s all zip-tied and shrinkwrapped and the little hose part has to be assembled, but once that’s done it’s just pump and go. I’m not gonna come here and bitch afterwards, and I know it’s gonna get done, so at least I can check off the “not totally worthless” box today. ๐Ÿ˜’