Much Doctoring

It’s only half way through the week but I’ve taken care of the blood draw, the appointment for my off-and-on lower back issues, and then another appointment to go over the lab results and schedule some additional things that need to be checked off of the “Post ’18 Surgery / Keep an Eye on Stuff” list at some point during the next six months. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜Š That was a pleasant surprise to hear that last part… that my lab numbers didn’t trigger any sense of urgency from the doctor, and that I can just do those next things at my leisure. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Tomorrow is gonna be a partial day off… probably gonna make a couple more phone calls (yay?) that need to be made, but other than that I’ll probably just potato in the AC here at home. It’s been effing hot so far this week, and looks like it’ll be just as bad (if not worse) as Independence Day approaches. ๐Ÿ˜“ Some of us are meeting up on Friday for my friend Jim’s birthday, and that’s gonna be outside, so I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope that we can find a place around here with both a low human count and lots of shade. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Had a nice surprise towards the end of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, nice for me, but slightly less nice for Dad. He wasn’t feeling great so he had someone take him over to the ER to get things checked out, and once they were done I went and picked him up and gave him a lift back home. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿš– He seemed like he was feeling pretty good, relative to the reason for his trip out. I’m glad my car was cleaned out since a couple weeks ago though… heh… ‘cuz not only would I have been embarrassed for him to see it, but he also would have been sitting with his knees pinned to his chest due to all of the trash clutter in my passenger-side footwell. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜…

My sleep is still pretty screwy, so I’m almost positive that I’m gonna be up half the night tonight – but I’m not even gonna sweat it one way or the other. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Half the time, when I can’t sleep, it’s ‘cuz I’m stressing that I can’t sleep. But with nothing major on the agenda tomorrow, it doesn’t matter when I crap out or wake up. ๐Ÿ˜ด My nap today was solid though. ๐Ÿ˜Š I didn’t even hear when the lawn guys came and mowed… only noticing it once I was backing my car out of the driveway later in the day.

Prepare to Launch

Surprisingly, all of that mail that I was dreading… it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I can’t say yet if any of it is actually good, but the information that came in over the past week or so was of a type that at least keeps me optimistic and motivated, and that’s something that I really need in order to keep fighting the never-ending WC game. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Like I told Dad, even if a lot of it ends up falling through, at least it’s helping to keep me going right now.

My attorneys are still working from home for the most part, so I don’t think all of this information has trickled out to the ones that need it yet. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜’ So tomorrow I’ll be calling in again to see if I can find someone to talk to before my doctor appointment and possible stop by the Social Security office. ๐Ÿ˜ž With all of this stuff going on, of course SS is gonna perk its ears up and wanna know what’s going on (Like a cat that hears the cat food bag crinkle, or a dog that hears when his squeak toy get stepped on… ๐Ÿ˜) so I just wanna make sure they’ve got all of the information they need as well.

And ironically, my neck has been extra janky today, so I’m hoping that my condition doesn’t improve before my appointment tomorrow. ๐Ÿคจ It doesn’t usually work out where my “worst moments” coincide with the time and date of my appointments, but it’s nice when the doctor can actually see the true extent of the suck. I think it’s because I was folding so much laundry over the past couple days, along with several other small chores that I forced myself to do while the energy was there. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meh.

Oh, and regarding my attorneys… there’s a good chance that I am gonna have to go to the main office to either give them copies of what I’ve gotten, or perhaps start signing some different things if they did get these same papers and have already begun working on them. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿค“ But their office is located downtown, and that hasn’t been the most car-friendly area over the past couple of weeks. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I’ll have to check the different news sites tonight and see what they say about protests / areas, and maybe start looking for a “back way” into the nearby parking garage so I can sneak in and out if needed.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow though. ๐Ÿ˜• Basically all of the things that are great at stealing my energy… that’s the stuff I’ll be doing all day. Visit with my doctor, impromptu SocSec office stop, phone calls with my attorneys (w/possible trip up to Columbus), stopping by my insurance agent’s office for some things, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ But it’s my choice to glom all of this shit together this time, because I’d rather do it, have it hurt and/or drain me, but then have it all (hopefully) out of the way for a little while.

Calling it a day early though. ๐Ÿ˜ด Gonna go dark, find a movie to watch, and hopefully sack out soon. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Different Distraction

I was a potato all morning, keeping the curtains closed, the doors shut, attempting to keep out as much of the bright daylight as possible. Just wasn’t ready to start the day. But once I did open up and got the cool breeze blowing through here, it gave me a little motivation to do something today. Already did the laundry, don’t really wanna just clean the kitchen or bathroom, so I think I’m gonna make this an “office” work day.

I recently moved Grandpa’s desk out to the living room so I’d have a “real” work space, along with making the desktop more practical to use… but all my little “mail holders / sorters” and misc paper trays have far too much crap in them. I couldn’t tell you off hand what it all is, since I take care of the bills as they come in – but yeah, I’ve got a buttload of papers that I can go through as I sit here and watch the race.

And when I say trays, I actually mean these nice metal / mesh things that I picked up at a thrift store a while back. So I’ve got trays, sorting things, a pen / pencil cup – and all of it matches nicely. So if I go through everything and get rid of all the crap, that’ll put me at a nice “starting point” as stuff starts to open up again. (Which probably means the workers comp situation will be coming back to life again as well.) I dunno, something about having everything tidy makes it easier to tackle whatever the next project may be.

And speaking of stuff being closed down for months… I’ve actually been doing some back and forth “mail stuff” with a certain company, trying to get some things taken care of, and I’ve been sitting here wondering what’s been causing the delay – since all of the paperwork has been completed and all of the needed documents sent in. I guess my brain was just assuming that it would be business as usual at a place like that, but now that I think about it – their offices are probably no different than any others, so I imagine that they’re either shut down or running with reduced staff just like everyone else.

Ugh… these commercials, man… more than half of them, during every effing commercial break, refer to the current situation in one way or another. Do any of those ads actually make anyone feel better? Are you relieved that the local burger joint is telling you that they’ve got your back? No. We watch TV to escape the thoughts of what’s going on outside our doors… and we sure don’t need to be reminded repeatedly during every damn commercial break. Heh… okay, time to be slightly productive… and sorry, I don’t really have the oomph to bother with text formatting or emojis… heh

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. ๐Ÿค“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. ๐Ÿ˜… I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. ๐Ÿ˜’ But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. ๐Ÿ˜Š Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. ๐Ÿ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. ๐Ÿค— I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. ๐Ÿ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

I’ve Got Too Much *clap clap* Time On My Hay-unds

I’ll do this and that on any given day, but overall, my life feels like it has been on pause for a long time now. ๐Ÿ˜” Three big things are much of the reason behind it. Getting diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years back and then surgery to have that removed, my workers comp situation that’s been going on for well over a decade, and then waiting while my lawyers try to hammer out an agreement for the medical portion of my WC claim. ๐Ÿ˜ So, technically, it’s guess it’s just two “big” things that have me on pause. ๐Ÿค”

I mean, like everyone else, I’ve got a billion other little bitty tiny things that will pop up and add to the stress or anxiety whenever they feel like it, but it’s those things mentioned above that feel like they’ve put the brakes on “who I was” the most. ๐Ÿ˜• This entry isn’t about getting into the finer details of how or why… even though it’s relatively obvious, at least on the face value things, how it would make life different for anybody if they had to deal with them as well.

I’ve got a “checkup” ultrasound scan that I’m supposed to schedule sometime around the end of spring / beginning of summer, and I’m not super excited for that. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ My yearly check up last fall, which included a second dose of radiation and a gamma scan, went fine… in so far that there wasn’t anything to be immediately worried about. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But of course with something like this it’ll take a few return trips before anyone’s gonna be so bold as to declare me cancer free… and it’s hard not to be anxious about your future with that just floating out there. (It is a good sign that I’m only getting an ultrasound vs the whole other shpeal.)

And then the workers comp stuff, which (considering the above) should feel smaller than it does… but it’s another thing that’s been hanging over my head for what feels like forever, and as some of you may know – it has a way of being a thorn in my side almost every month, so it’s something that once it’s “solved” that month – I immediately start thinking about next month and what dumb shit I’ll have to deal with then. It’s just another “always there” thing. ๐Ÿ˜  It’s a shame what a pain in the ass it all is, considering how great my doctor is. And it’s been the same d00d for all this time… ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m lucky, there.

Even though I probably won’t, I could say that I’m gonna start tomorrow… trying to change whatever it is that needs to be changed in order for me to feel like I’m restarting things. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Granted, not the best time, given the stay-at-home stuff goin’ on… but still, I’m gonna at least give it a little more of a shot. Tomorrow, the next day, the day after that… while allowing myself to have days where it’s just not working, but without letting those days totally sink the idea of getting myself headed in the right direction. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™‚

I gotta get out of this trap, where just because I know that some big shit is gonna go down soon regarding my WC settlement talks, it ends up causing me to waste most of my days as I sit there just waiting and wondering when “the next thing” is gonna happen. ๐Ÿ˜’ I miss so much of each day because my brain is looking too far ahead, fearing the worst. I suppose that applies to both of the examples that I mentioned in the first paragraph.

It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself or anything like that. I look around, I watch the news, I read the articles, and I know that I’m extremely lucky compared to a whole bunch of people. That’s all the more reason that I need to figure out how to stop being so affected by my stuff in the way that I am. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜” Meh… so yeah, this has been bouncing around in my head all day… figured I better put it in print so someone can remind me about this post and rightfully wag their finger at me if it seems I’m not doing what I said. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Okay, Now Relax

I took the weekend a little too late into the night last night, ‘cuz once I got home I wanted to watch the race, the Season 5 opener of Better Call Saul, and the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. The race was pretty good, BCS was great, but 5min into TWD and I realized that I didn’t really give a shit anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Even though it was getting close to 3a before I sacked out, I still went ahead and set my alarm so I’d be awake early this morning if my phone rang. And ring it did. I’m glad to have that out of the way, and I’m now on the schedule for later this week. Now for the next few days I just have to remind myself that they know where I basically stand on things, they know my concerns, so I don’t have to spend every waking moment between now and then continuing to dwell on it. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna happen ’til it happens.

Although as soon as I got off the phone I felt nauseous. It’s just that it’ll be the first meeting in a series of events that could close the medical portion of my claim… and once it’s done there’s no do-overs. ๐Ÿ˜ And no, it won’t dictate how the entirety of the rest of my life plays out, but it’s still a really big deal and I’d be foolish if I wasn’t giving it my all. I just don’t know how much more of that juice I’ve got left in my reserves.

I’m definitely looking forward to talking with them in person though. Being able to hear their tone, see their body language… I just think it’ll give me a more complete idea of where we all actually stand. ๐Ÿง

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.