Am I Ready For This?

I burned out early today. Woke up and began work on a bullet list of questions and concerns regarding the settlement talks that may start soon. Plus I banged out a quick letter to go along with it, basically expressing my concerns about some of the things that have been suggested so far, and making sure that this upcoming meeting is one where we’re going to further discuss things – and not one where they’ve got papers that I’m expected to be ready to sign.

So I dropped that off in the mail when I went in town to hit the pharmacy again. Half-success this time. One of my two workers comp medications was approved and covered, but I had to pay for the other one in order to not go without for who knows how long. Luckily I dealt with the two people there who are probably the most familiar with how I get jerked around, and they were both great and did everything they could to help.

That doesn’t sound like I did much, but starting on that stuff when I woke up, spending a good amount of time making a list of all the things that stress me out about the idea of a settlement, along with making it clear that I’m not super enticed by the whole thing yet… I obviously don’t want to appear “difficult” to my attorneys, but I’m also making sure they know from the start that I don’t want to get stepped on.

So working on that, trying to make the letter and list as brief-yet-effective as possible, and then immediately going in and dealing with the continuing stress (that happens each month) of trying to simply get my normal medication. When there’s three different WC related trajectories that are coming to a head, and I focus my thoughts and energy on just those things for several hours… heh… I just can’t really do that. Not if I want to be of much use in the later afternoon and evening. All of the “ugh” just wears me out.

But I completed the important things today, so I’ll let it slide that I wasn’t able to do much more than that for the rest of the day. Reset tonight and start again tomorrow. Hopefully they get that letter tomorrow, before anybody gets ahead of themselves, and before he calls me to set up that meeting. I’d just prefer them to be at least close to “on the same page as me” before I go up there and potentially waste anybody’s time.

In this situation, I imagine that a settlement requires concessions from both sides, where the final product isn’t necessarily something that either side is thrilled about… but with as much unneeded stress, anxiety, delays, hearings, pharmacy difficulties, etc that they’ve injected into my life (and it’s still ongoing…) nobody should expect me to come to the table and be an agreeable broken person that’s just gonna be happy with whatever scraps they may be willing to give me. I want my team to lean on these people with a force stronger than they might even realize they’re capable of. 😠

Ramping Up

It’s barely past noon and I’m already needing to disengage my brain for a little bit, before I put it back in gear and get to work on various upcoming shit. And today was supposed to be a day off. 😏

Rather than calling my doctor’s office about the pharmacy’s weirdness, I decided to just go in to talk to them so I could better convey what was going on, and so I could also check to see if my MRI request had been approved or denied yet. (It has been submitted but so far there has been no further action.) That was also the only way I could avoid making a phone call, since my anxiety re: that has been increasing lately. πŸ“žπŸ˜³

But just like my pharmacy problem reached out to inject itself back into my sphere of shit to handle, my workers comp stuff in general has reached a point where my lead attorney had to contact me today. By phone, of course. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (And it happened right as I was preparing to go through the car wash.) So I drove into the Target parking lot, turned the car off, and had a 20 minute conversation with him.

Twenty minutes of unexpected, serious legal conversation… when my brain is already mostly full with my concerns about the upcoming Industrial Commission hearing as well as the actual court case that is meant to bring my situation to a resolution. I took in everything that he said, but I need to take a break here at home for a little bit before I can start lining it all up. 😐 Right now it’s bouncing around in my head, waiting for me to find a place for it among all the other WC nonsense.

It was an overall positive conversation, but still… anything regarding workers comp, meds, treatment, settlements, court, etc… it’s still friggin’ exhausting to process after having been in the system and fighting the good fight for well over a decade. πŸ˜• And while he is the lead attorney, handling all the bigger issues, he isn’t the one that handles my case on a day to day basis, for lack of a better term.

So he said he’s gonna talk to my trial attorney, and they’re going to set up a time when I can go up to Columbus again to their main office (which is an entire floor of a downtown high rise) to meet with the team. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ—ƒοΈ Even though “the other side” is the party that initiates all the complications, it seems that they’re finally getting tired of fighting these same fights over and over again. Especially since the IC almost always finds in my favor. The total billable hours they’ve spent to challenge me must be insane.

So I’m kinda in the driver’s seat right now, but I’m well aware how quickly that could change. Once I’m done with this little break I’m gonna have to figure out the implications of all of the things we discussed, and then I’ll start a list of my questions and concerns that I’ll need to discuss with him and my other attorneys about before I make any decisions. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ Okay… I could probably ramble on with more details, but I think that’s good for now. I need to sit on this for a bit and not screw it up.

Thursday Mission

Woke up stupid early yesterday so I could help out a friend. She’s been in an ongoing custody “disagreement” with her former SO for quite a while now, where they’ve each been representing themselves in court due to how expensive an attorney can be. 😟 And without having a lawyer on her side, while things have been going in her favor, it’s just happening so slowly. With another hearing coming up in about a month and a half, she knew she had to start doing something differently, so I looked up a few places that claim to offer pro bono representation for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

She’s got an aversion to talking on the phone, just like me, but on Wednesday I encouraged her to start making some calls… and by that afternoon she had spoken with someone at SEOLSΒ who seemed open to the idea of taking her case, or at least hearing her out and looking at all of the information to figure out the best way for her to proceed. πŸ™‚ So that evening I printed out all of her case information to date, a ton of things meant to show that she’s the “more ideal” parent, and got it all sorted and organized in a way that would make it easy for an attorney to look through. πŸ€“πŸ“’

So then yesterday morning I picked her up to take her to the closest SEOLS office serving Fairfield County, which is unfortunately way down in Chillicothe. πŸ˜’ I left the house around 9:30a, and by time I got back home it was after 3p. That’s a long friggin’ time (for me) to be out and about, working on a stressful project… even though, obviously, she’s the one bearing the most amount of that stress. I just really want things to go well for her, and being familiar with the frustration of facing hearings with unknown outcomes, the empath in me kicked in and I couldn’t help but feel many of the things she was feeling. πŸ˜•

I didn’t go in with her when she actually met with the attorney, but she said things seemed to go well and that it felt more positive than negative. He made copies of all of the information that he needed and said that he wanted to talk to some folks who specialize more in custody cases on Monday… so while things sounds good, she’s still gotta wait a few more days before she’ll know for sure if they will provide someone to represent her. It was worth the trip regardless, because at the very least they’ll be able to hold her hand through what she should do next, even if they end up not being able to actually be with her on the day of her hearing. I’m gonna stay hopeful though, because having an attorney could make all the difference.

But I was wiped out by time I got home. πŸ˜₯ I’ve done very little “out of the house all day” stuff lately, and especially for something that’s as “high stakes” as this. And of course helping her with her legal stuff kept my legal stuff in the back of my mind… the upcoming WC stuff, that is… and starting off the day so early, with my shoulder already bugging me, all of the time in the car didn’t help. 😣 But it was a small sacrifice to help her with something that could end up being a game-changer in the long run, and I knew that I’d have all day today to recover if I needed to.

Well, my body didn’t wanna wait until today. 😏 Shortly after getting home I knew I wanted to take a short nap, but also not screw up my sleep schedule. But my nap lasted until the evening, and when I did wake up I went ahead and took my evening meds and thankfully ended up falling back to sleep – not waking again until a little after 6a today. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ So I’m just now starting to catch up from messages from all day yesterday, but I’m gonna wait a while to reply so I’m not waking people up as early as it is.

I’ve still got a friend or two that gets concerned if I don’t reply in an undefined amount of time. That’s thoughtful of them, but boy I wish that folks in general would consider that even the most nerdy of humans don’t necessarily get online every day, or multiple times a day… and that sometimes whatever is going on during a particular day might cause messages to be ignored until the next. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Yesterday’s situation was based on necessity, but I still do wanna try to take “days off” from the digital world every now and then… a luxury that younger people these days probably don’t really have. Imagine taking a teenager from today and transplanting them to 1985, during summer break from school, living out in the country, with only a landline telephone as means of keeping in touch with friends. πŸ˜…

Heh… another “old fart” thing to add to the growing library of “old fart things” in my head. πŸ™„πŸ‘΄πŸ»

Oh… My Scan / Blood Tests

I guess I never got back on here to update about my follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist. πŸ€” Before the doctor even came in, the pre-doctor person took my blood pressure and asked me if a student and intern could join the doctor when he came in to talk to me. Meh… what do I care? Sure… all are welcome, all are welcome… 😏 Gotta let the young people learn so they can fix the old people like me in the future.

He’s an interesting guy… doesn’t seem bothered to convert “data” into user friendly word blurbs for the average schmo to understand, but that’s actually okay with me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ I’d much rather have a shitload of numbers and charts than a generic “You seem fine.” or whatever. πŸ€“ And with four tubes of blood, and more than four different comprehensive tests – I was surprised to hear him read off all of the numbers while also saying that almost all of them fall within the appropriate range for someone who is getting better. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

And then the full-body scan, which looked for glowing remnants of thyroid tissue that had absorbed all of the radioiodine 131 or whatever it was… this one is more subjective than objective, since it’s looking at an image rather than something that produces numbers against a chart. πŸ€” But on the scan, he said that he saw nothing that indicated that there were any stray thyroid cells left in my neck, which also means that if the cancer truly started in the thyroid and hasn’t spread to anywhere else… then it’s pretty good news, eh? πŸ™‚

He did make sure that I understood that even though the results of the scan seemed ideal, that it doesn’t mean “Woohoo! Cancer free!” of course. But it does mean that as of right now I’m in pretty good shape, so when I go through my next round of treatment in about five months, I’m starting off in a better position than a lot of folks that have had the same surgery as me. But yeah… five months from now… 😳

This next round of treatment is actually going to be worse than the first. Something to do with having the thyroid medication in my body for so long, so I’ll have to actually stop taking it for at least three weeks before they can even consider moving on to the next step. πŸ˜’ Several more blood draws, another round of radioactive iodine treatment, another full scan… and at that point, if the results are the same as this last one, they can feel pretty confident about saying that I’m cancer free. I mean, as much as anyone, even a doctor, can really “declare” something like that. πŸ˜•

I’m sure it’ll be one of those deals where if I’m good on the next one, then we’ll probably wait a year until we do it all over again… I dunno, I’m just assuming at this point, but you’d figure that each time all this fuss comes back as “Looks good.” they’d let me wait a decent bit longer before we start at the beginning with the treatment and testing. So, yeah, pretty good news… I just wish I physically felt better than what I do. 😟 Seriously, the way I’ve been feeling over the past few months, I’d have put money on the results coming back with something concerning. But I’ll take the good news and try not to dwell on it too much. I’ll just put this one behind me, and when it’s time to worry about round two, that’s when I’ll start worrying about it.

Preparation

Yesterday was a strange day. 😐 I feel good, having completed a bunch of stuff that I felt neededΒ completing, but the nature of the stuff left me feeling a little uneasy – and definitely unable to fall asleep at a normal hour. πŸ˜• Despite that, I managed to have some awesome dreams. Awesome enough to have actually woken me up every hour or so – but of course I can’t remember a single detail at the moment. 😠 I’m just lucky that they weren’t about the topic at hand yesterday.

Of course I expect my upcoming surgery to go fine, but being the type of person that I am I’ve gone into “prepare” mode – just in case it doesn’t. 😳 As part of that preparation process, I spent a good amount of time typing out letters to my cousin Jim and my ex-wife Genesee, as they would be the ones handling everything in the event that things need to be handled. Those letters are just my way of easing them into the process. (Since I was the executor for my aunt, I learned a few tips and tricks.)

They won’t even get those letters unless the situation calls for it, so that allowed me to be a little more free with what I said… but for the most part it was just explaining my will, explaining my wishes when it came to my personal belongings, explaining a good deal about how the process will go, and what they will need to do to keep things moving along, hopefully without too many hiccups and at a reasonable pace. 😎 It’s a lot to ask of someone, so I also made sure that my appreciation was made super clear.

But between the several pages that I wrote for Mongo, and then the three pages that I wrote for Gen… I was just doing a whole lot of thinking about a topic that nobody wants to have to think about. It wasn’t all bad… in fact, a lot of the thinking that I did was about good memories, good times, good things with family and friends, etc. 😊 Oh, and I’m up to 19 separate audio recordings when it comes to the little archive of messages that I’m recording for people to have and listen to after I’m gone… which, like I said, I don’t anticipate happening for a good long while. πŸ™‚ I’m actually really enjoying doing that.

Don’t take this the wrong way. 🀨 All of this preparation is just being done out of necessity, and it’s something that any responsible person would want to do before a major surgery. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ It can just really mess with your head when you end up dwelling on the topic for too long. I’m still good though, and I know everyone that loves me has my back. 😏 I’m still optimistic about this surgery, I’m gonna get through it, and then whatever is next is next. One step at a time.