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. πŸ˜³πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Next was another blood draw for multiple panels of testing. πŸ’‰ 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 theΒ 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. πŸ™‚ But the next thing was where it started to get shitty. πŸ˜₯

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. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. πŸ˜¬πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. πŸ˜“ 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. πŸ˜” 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.

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Checked Boxes

I probably shouldn’t feel as relieved as I do right now, considering that I’ve still got biopsy planning to do in a couple of days, but it sure feels nice to be done with the lower back treatments. Even though I’m still having some issues with my neck, tonight feels totally different than the past few nights. πŸ™‚ Just knowing that the “every other day” of at least that particular matter is done with for now… it has taken a surprising weight off of me. Especially because the treatments really did help, and I’m feeling so much better than I did when the symptoms first appeared. I’m not back to normal, but I’m getting closer with each day that passes – and that’s all that I could really hope for.

I’m not pushing my luck, so I’m not going to do anything too physical for a while (and I’m gonna keep easing back into it as I do)Β but I’ve taken my improved mood this evening and did a little picking up around the house, went through my closet and picked out a ton of clothes to donate away, and still plan on getting all of my legal documents sorted, stapled, and ready to sign in front of a notary tomorrow.

And this next stuff… it’s bad news… but it’s not “negative” in the way I was meaning the other day, when I said I didn’t want to post about so much negative stuff. Jim’s ex-girlfriend Alex… I thought her mom had actually passed away a couple of days ago, but it turns out they decided to keep her on life support (brain death) long enough for her to be able to donate organs and tissue to as many people as possible. 😒😊 Heartbreaking for their family, obviously, but it’s good for them to know that even in death their mom was able to keep helping some people. πŸ™πŸ»

And then another friend, who’s actually a little bit younger than me… he unexpectedly lost his son a few days ago. 😟 Losing any relative is hard enough as it is, but I can’t even start to imagine how a parent must feel when their son or daughter dies before them. I mean, it’s just expected that kids will almost always outlive their parents, so it seems that muchΒ more unfair when it doesn’t work like that.

But I’m gonna jump back into this little bit of work that I’m doing, so I can wrap it up and then aim some boiling hot shower water at my neck for a while. πŸ”₯πŸ”₯😳🚿πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ I’m hoping to sleep better tonight than how it’s been over the past few nights, so I won’t feel more beat up than usual when I head into town for a few things tomorrow.

Hard To Accept

With a lot of stuff going on in my life, I kinda extracted myself from social media and real life friends for the better part of three months now… but after seeing Dez, it convinced me to get back on and start talking to my friends again. I’m just not anxious to figure out how to explain my absence, since it’s a combination of health problems, mental problems… you know… stuff that people always assume other people won’t really understand.

One of the first people that I checked in on was one of my friends who was just starting to go to his doctor for possible cancer related symptoms the last time we spoke. I talked to him today and he confirmed that it’s indeed cancer, and that it’s so bad they’re not trying to cure it. 😒 So he’s terminal, and the chemo is just to give him as much time as possible. He says it could be a couple of years, or it could be a couple of months. 😳 One of those deals where the doctors can’t be much more certain than that. 😞 It’s hard to know what to say to someone when you hear that kind of news.

I also checked in on my buddy Rick, from school, and it looks like his fight against hairy cell leukemia is still going strong. I haven’t spoken to him, but I see he’s posted pics from chemo treatments as well as something regarding bone marrow… so it’s good to see that he’s still got the required fight in him. πŸ‹πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻 There’s one more friend that I need to check in on like that, but she’s currently enjoying vacation time with her awesome boyfriend… and the last thing I wanna do is poop on the good mood by asking about her cancer status. 😬

Oh, the video above… it’s just one of my typical Hyperlapse videos, but shot out the side window instead of the windshield. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I don’t know what it is about the movement of the clouds that feels so peaceful. It makes me feel so small, and the beauty of the world feel so big. ☺ I’m hoping that I can get past all of the stuff that’s keeping me down right now, so I can get out and do some video or photos or something somewhere… watching the clouds churn makes me wanna be out among them.

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.

Research

I ended up getting almost 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, likely thanks to my normal evening meds and a couple Tylenol PMs taken at just the right moment. Sadly, I still woke up tired, at least physically… but my motivation game was strong. I guess this was the right day for that combination though, since it’s the weekend and there really wasn’t much that I could do “out and about” to continue my meager progress from last week.

I’ve looked up a bunch of different doctors and “family practice” offices in Lancaster and nearby cities, so I’ll be able to make some calls and maybe even stop by some of these places on Monday. πŸ™‚ I’ve also researched some urgent care places and narrowed it down to two that may be able to help with the tests that I need. 🀨 That’s my backup plan, should the “find a new doctor that doesn’t have a two month waiting list” thing fail. πŸ˜’ And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to goΒ there to talk to someone about my predicament if need be.

My main concern (after just getting the “serious stuff” started) is doing this in a way that won’t screw me over when it comes to my insurance and the bills. 😳 I assume it’s always like this, since it’s been this way with any insurance that I’ve ever had, but basically you have to jump through all of the required hoops. πŸ™„ Like, you can’t just go to a heart specialist and ask for an EKG without having been referred to that heart specialist by your “normal” doctor. πŸ€” I mean, I guess you can… but your insurance won’t pay for it without the referral.

So yeah, off and on throughout the day was all of that, and then in the evening I remembered that I needed to make a couple phone calls.Β The first was just returning a call from one of my attorneys regarding their recent court actions on my behalf, and the second was to leave a message for the company that I’ve chosen to trim my hedges and spirea bushes, to let them know that I’m on board.

Tomorrow should be a lazy day. 😏 I can’t think of anything that I’ve forgotten, at least not right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep in for a bit before I go to visit with Mom and Dad in the afternoon. If I don’t get too late of a start, I might even try to hit a couple of thrift stores before returning to Maven, the homestead, and a rapidly-approaching Monday morning.

Unpredictable

I’ve had a couple of days that were pretty good, or at least not bad… and yesterday ended with me feeling good enough that I thought for sure that I would wake up today and probably be able to make something of it. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But nope, it wasn’t meant to be. πŸ˜’ Thankfully (I guess) today was more “normal” headache rather than something revolving around my neck and shoulder… but still… I feel like crap, but I wanted to take a minute to throw something out here so people would know that I’m still around. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I’m just not likely to be very social for the rest of the night and possibly tomorrow. (Shit, maybe even longer…) Gotta try to take care of myself, and sometimes that requires tuning the rest of the world out.

Hmm, This Is New

I’ve been cautiously creeping through the past couple of days, making sure that I didn’t do anything that could possibly tweak my neck (since it’s been acting up again) but the past 12 hours have been awful anyway. πŸ˜‘ Sleeping for an hour here and there, and then when I finally woke up and stayed up for good this morning at 6am – I had some serious chest pains going on. 😳

My breathing was fine, I wasn’t lightheaded, and I didn’t feel any tingling in my arms, legs, or face – so even though it caused me concern I decided to not go to the ER. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I actually went in town to get some aspirin though… a couple to chew right away, and the rest to add to my normal daily pills. Just in case. (I even sat in the parking lot at the hospital for a bit. Also just in case.) But the idea of heart troubles or a heart attack… my brain goes “You’re fine, that only happens to old people.” while forgetting that I amΒ close to being “old people” if not there already.

I caught a nap after coming back home, hoping that if I got a little more sleep that it might make me feel better, but that’s not been the result so far. 😟 I swear, it’s like I slept on my front, and someone snuck a baseball-sized rock in between the mattress and my sternum. 😣 I’m not dead so far though… heh… so I’m gonna give it one more day and if it isn’t noticeably better then I guess I’ll almost have to go to the ER.

Do the majority of folks my age (and older) always feel like they’re falling apart? 😒 I’m obviously really hoping that this is just nothing… so I’d definitely appreciate any “thoughts and prayers” that anyone may care to throw at me until it passes. β€πŸ™πŸ» Looks like I’ll be remaining in neutral for a while longer.