One Day at A Time

Fox Sports did a great job with the “virtual” race that they put on today. I forget what the official name was, but it was an eNASCAR / iRacing / Invitational / Exhibition race… that they somehow managed to get on TV with an impressive presentation. Sure, there were more wrecks than in a real race, and a few glitches here and there… but overall, if you were just walking in and out of the living room, only half paying attention, you wouldn’t have even noticed that we were all watching a video game.

A nice little escape for a couple of hours today. Back in reality, Mike DeWine declared that Ohio will have a stay-at-home order starting on Monday. We’re all basically doing that already, but I think this may actually affect folks who were still wanting and trying to work. Only certain jobs are on the approved list, so here’s hoping that the government comes through with unemployment or another form of relief quickly – ‘cuz as if the virus itself doesn’t cause enough anxiety, now people are gonna have to worry about utilities, rent, car payments, food, etc.

The problem is, the way they’ve worded things, the way they’re going to enforce this order… it’s way, way too soft – and the people who want to be out, or just don’t want to be told what to do, they’re gonna find and use all the loopholes. I’d give it a week or two before DeWine gets fed up with the lack of cooperation and puts something stronger in place. But right now, you can still go out to the park, walk around, walk your dog, drive to shop, visit family, go to doctor appointments… I mean, I don’t know what the right amount of “enforcement” would be, so maybe that’s why it’s starting off light.

I didn’t watch Trump’s press briefing today, and I’m probably a whole lot better for it. I’ve seen a couple clips, and have read things that he said or did… and yeah, as many, many people and journalists are starting to say on Twitter – there’s no reason that these things should be carried live, since there is so much misinformation that causes fear and anxiety. So my day was a bit better than I was feeling last night. Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel at the moment… it’s almost like anticipation… not knowing how I should feel until we start seeing things happening closer to home each day.

I’m probably still right on the edge of that same anxiety that I had last night, so after I get off of here I’m gonna seek out Airplane! (the movie) so I can kick back and absorb some stupid, clever, dumb comedy as I hopefully get sleepy. I hope everyone out there made it through the day as uneventfully as I did today.

Another Person’s Dream. Yay.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a decades-old blog, somewhere, where I used to regularly keep track of my weird ass dreams. But sometimes they’re interesting enough to merit a spot in the regular blog. Last night’s dream was a single, long, awful, hyper-realistic “action” nightmare. 😳 (And when it comes to what I may have seen, heard, or done during the prior day to cause any of it… who knows.) The cast, for whatever reason, was mostly people that I went to high school with. πŸ€” Not necessarily even the “closer” of my friends.

It started off with Chris Woolard and Rich Nagel showing me their raptor pen, where yes… they had a real baby raptor, probably the size of a human toddler. They said I could go in and play with it, but that they didn’t advise it. 😧 I did anyway, though. It immediately knocked me down to my hands and knees and then proceeded to bite and attack my right shoulder. (Why my right? My left one is the one that’s damaged. Maybe fear of losing use of my remaining good arm?)

It chomped into me several times, finally just locking its teeth deep into my shoulder. πŸ˜–πŸ˜« I fell even closer to the ground, blood pouring into a puddle on the floor around me. I stayed as still as I could, which caused it to finally stop biting into me – and I was then face down on the floor, unintentionally blowing bubbles in my own blood as I tried to keep my breathing shallow enough that it would leave me alone. 😯

Brian White then pulled me up from the floor and helped me out of the pen, and had someone bandage up my shoulder. πŸ€• As soon as that was done, I started looking for my phone so that I could leave… but it wasn’t in my pocket, wasn’t on my desk, wasn’t anywhere that it should have been. 😳 So I began to frantically look for it, with the panic of knowing that whoever had it would have access to my entire life…

As I walked up and down this dark auditorium, looking all around the chairs, desks, and people – eventually Matt McKinster motioned me towards a huge “home improvement store” area just outside the room we were currently in. πŸ€” As soon as I got out there, I saw Jamie Faught carrying light posts for a customer… but he was about 20 feet tall, and they were like street light light posts. 😧 He nodded and smiled at me, but as I drew his attention away from what he was doing – the posts he was carrying smashed into dozens of giant ceiling fans that were above us all.

(If you’re still here and reading… well done. Other people’s dreams are so not-interesting… heh)

Everyone in the store, who were all regular sized like me… we all started running and screaming, because Jamie was falling, the posts were falling, and the smashed ceiling fans were falling – all in our direction. 😯😫 Some of the fans were still spinning like airplane propellers, which resulted in several violent “glass tornados” from which we all had to escape. ☹️ Luckily I spotted a big metal glove on the floor near me… 🀨

I put the glove on and shielded some people behind me as the glass shards began hitting us. The glove was able to deflect most of the debris, but we were still getting sliced and gashed by the stray pieces of glass as they flew by. πŸ˜–πŸ˜­πŸ€• I was able to save five or six people before a different glass tornado attacked us from above, rather than straight on like the others had done. πŸ‘†πŸ»πŸ˜³ It rained down on us so hard that it broke through the floor underneath us, sending us all falling into a darkened pit below.

At that point the wind stopped, the glass stopped flying around, the screaming people stopped screaming… and those of us that survived falling into the pit realized that we needed to climb our way out, over piles of busted glass and even more busted people. 😟☹️ When I made it to the edge at the top, thankfully my friend Desiree was there to take my hand and successfully pull me to safety. πŸ˜ƒ

She was crying and acting so sorry that she wasn’t there to protect me when it all started, but told me that even though she was late – that I can always rely on her to be there for me eventually, when it really counts. 😊 There was other little stuff after that, which I can’t really remember, and then I woke up. And I was friggin’ tired, man. 😞 I mean, I know all of this shit just comes off as bizarre – but imagine experiencing it all as vividly as you’re experiencing things in the room around you right now as you read this blog entry. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜

Crazy shit. I’ll definitely take a pass on any dreams tonight if they’re gonna be anything like that again. πŸ˜“

Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.

Unwanted Realism

Had a good day yesterday, got a bunch of bills / paperwork / etc. done, and went to sleep in fairly decent shape. And then I had a series of some of the worst nightmares that I’ve had in quite a while. I can’t think of any reasons for them, nor can I link any of the dreams’ imagery to anything I saw or experienced during the day prior. 😯πŸ₯ΊπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚️ So along with waking up several times during the night, when I finally woke up for good this morning I was legitimately exhausted. πŸ˜“ Way too real and stressful. Hours later and I’m still having a hard time shaking it off. (Chases, knife attacks, abducted kids, assaults, horror movie deaths 😳 Oy…)

So now I feel like I’m having an awful day even though there’s nothing about this day (at least so far) that should make me feel that strongly one way or the other. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Heh… so along with just taking it easy today (since I’ve got my meeting tomorrow) I’ll have to kinda keep reminding myself that it’s not actually a bad day. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Nothing on the agenda, nothing that needs my immediate attention, so I’ll probably bubble up and just watch some YouTube and Netflix and try to avoid anything negative. πŸ€¨πŸ“Ί

The only thing (based in reality) that’s got me a little bit anxious is that there’s some rainy / icy / snowy weather headed this way. 😳 But I’m sure by the time I’ll be leaving the house tomorrow, if anything has managed to accumulate it’ll be gone from the roads by time I’m out on ’em. 😌🀞🏻 And, ironically, it actually helps to focus my thoughts on the meeting with my WC attorneys tomorrow. It’s still stressful, yeah, but I know what I need to talk about, and however it goes it’ll still be pushing this shit further along towards a resolution or significant change… so yeah, still looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

Medically Deferred Deportation?

I’m gonna try to do a mental reset tomorrow, and get all this workers comp stuff out of my head until a hearing is scheduled and things are closer to being in motion in that regard. I did what I needed to do in so far as writing a response to claims in the report, so I can’t let the frustration and annoyance linger when there’s nothing else that I can do.

Plus I’m watching Rachel Maddow right now, and she’s covering the topic of people who are in the United States who have been receiving some sort of deferred deportation due to medical conditions that they have, for which they are receiving treatment within the United States. Apparently there are still plans in place which will remove that protection from at least some of the people who are getting life-saving treatment here. Treatment that they wouldn’t be able to get if they were sent out of the country… so that helps to put my problems into context.

Yeah, all of the stuff I’m going through is a giant pain in the ass, and there are significant implications to my future medical care that will be decided based on these current reports I’ve been talking about… and yeah, it’s really working my anxiety. But it’s nothing like what those people are facing. I can’t even imagine being previously allowed to stay in the country because you’re getting life-saving treatment, only to be told that nope – you have to leave the country within the next 30 days, which essentially sentences some of those people to death. It must be nearly impossible to process that news.

So yeah, what I’m dealing with feels unfair, unjust, and uncalled for… and I know how awful just that makes me feel – but man, how does your mind react when you find out that the country is kicking you out, and sorry about your luck when it comes to your medical treatment. Ugh…

And this isn’t even meant to be a political post. I don’t know how these “medically deferred deportation” people got here… whether they have visas, whether they were brought illegally as kids, whether they were originally granted entrance because they were seeking medical care and the administration changed its mind… because it kind of doesn’t matter. What matters is one moment they’re legally allowed to be here and get their treatment, and the next moment someone has decided that that particular program is no longer going to be allowed, at least in some circumstances, and they just have to go.

When you’re upset about your own shit, sometimes you forget how bad other people’s shit can be. πŸ˜•

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 ramblingΒ 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. 😟 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 uncertaintyΒ more than anything else. 😞 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. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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. πŸ˜’ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. 😟 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. πŸ™‚ Maybe get a little better with the “ups and downs” since we all seem to come with an endless supply.

Nuclear Medicine

Had the same lady as last time give me the radioactive iodine dose today. I’m not sure if they all act this way, but she’s fun… not intentionally, but in the way that she makes it feel so dramatic. 😏 And I get it, she works in that department every day, so a person’s gonna want to keep as far away from all the radioactive stuff as possible, so I don’t blame her. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈΒ …Β πŸ₯’πŸ’Šβ˜’οΈΒ Β πŸ€’Β It also has the side effect of making it seem like this pill is reallyΒ going to be doing something, whatever that something may be.

Before they even bring the pill in, she had me go through a practice run – having me put my hands exactly where they need to be, telling me how to get the pill out of the container without touching it or anything else, and then how to gtfo while having to pass near as few people as possible. Of course once the lead container is opened and the pill is out, she stays as far away from it and me as possible – but, probably just from habit, that’s mostly how she acts even through all of the tedious paperwork and talking beforehand.

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Don’t mind how dusty my entertainment screen is (or the custom commands 😏), but I’ve decided to take this as a sign… this was the first song that played (at random)Β in the car as I left the hospital parking lot. (Video Link: Back to Life – Hailee Steinfeld)Β I’ll even give credit to Mom, since I was talking to her on the way in, asking that if she was able to give any help guiding the medicine during the process this morning, that I’d be happy to take it. 😌 Oh, and they remarked how shit my thyroid levels are (in a good way, for the dose/scan anyway) and it’s no wonder I feel like utter shit and fall asleep all the time. So, there’s that. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

Still can’t start up my meds until after the scan, and until after the doctor has reviewed the results to make sure that they “came out okay” for lack of a better term. It’s a typical long test where you have to lie still in a tube for about 45 minutes, so there’s always a chance there could be some sort of blur or error or something, to where they’d wanna do it again in a few days or whatever. 🀨 But with any luck, by this weekend I’ll be on my way “back to life” at least in as far as my thyroid and energy levels are concerned. πŸ€πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, I’ll have to avoid stuff likeΒ this until I’m less radioactive. 😟 Wish she could understand.