Oh Yeah, I’m Still Quite Broken

I enjoyed having some company for a few days, but the one reason why I’m glad that she’s back at her own house now? So I can have my damn chair back. πŸ˜… She’s like me… for whatever reason, we both find the recliner to be the best place to sleep. So while she’s here she sleeps in the living room and I sleep in my bedroom… on my crappy mattress. πŸ˜’ It’s not always bad… but the odds say that you’re more likely to wake up feeling like shit than not – and every night that she’s been here recently I’ve woken up wishing that someone would just put me out of my misery. 😣 Thankfully, hot hot shower “until the hot runs out” makes a lot of it go away.

I think that steroid injection did work, and I think it is starting to wear off… so I’m just having to get used to regularly waking up in pain again. It’s almost enough to make me not want to do an injection again – because, believe it or not, I can get used to the pain… but not if some magic shot makes it go away for a few weeks before letting it get me again. πŸ˜ͺ I’m not meaning to bitch though… I just wanted to say that I’m happy that I’ll be able to sleep in my recliner again and at least give myself a shot at feeling decent in the morning.

The past few days have been really good for me though. I went and did my own grocery shopping without any problems, and then yesterday I went with Cassi when she did her shopping… and at neither time did I feel like running from the store or stabbing anyone in the face. 😈 I think it’s because she’s one of the few people that I can feel human around, which sometimes lets me do human things. Lemme tell you, as weird as this stuff probably sounds to “normal” folks, it’s even more confusing and frustrating to me, the one experiencing it all. 😐

I’m not gonna make any concrete plans based on how I’m feeling after the past few days, but I will say that I’m gonna try to keep rolling with the positive vibes and see where that takes me. 🀞🏻 I’ve got some things in mind, but I don’t wanna pressure myself by laying it all out. See, it is possible to really hurt and still feel somewhat okay. πŸ€” Some days are obviously worse than others, but I have to convince myself that feeling physically miserable doesn’t always mean that my entire day will be destroyed. I know it’s possible.


So, I Went Out

Yesterday was an all around recipe for failure. πŸ˜’ I was still dealing with the pharmacy issues andΒ already feeling like shit, but I had made a promise to a friend and I was determined to not be a disappointment again. 😞 For her birthday, a couple of months ago I bought Cassi two tickets to a concert she wanted to see at the Newport, and that show was last night. It was never my intention to go with her, as I just can’t do it right now (I didn’t even go see Skillet at Winter Jam) but I wanted her to be able to take a friend or her sister to share the fun with.

Unfortunately they didn’t have a ride to get to the show, so I went up there, picked them up, took them to the show, dropped ’em off, and then I had to find something to do until the show was over and I could pick them up again, take them home, and then make my way back home myself. πŸ€” I didn’t mind doing that at all… it was part of the gift. But I was already in bad shape before I left, and the sea of humans and traffic on campus only made things worse. 😬 I was gonna just find some thrift stores or something to kill time, but there were just too many people so I needed to go elsewhere.

That lead to one of the high points of my evening at least, after deciding to go over to Hollywood Casino. I hadn’t been there since maybe last summer, and I remembered that being in a casino often masks my pain… but not so much last night. 😐 It was fun, but not fun, if that makes sense. 😏 Too much time in the car, too much sitting in uncomfortable chairs… and it just kept getting worse. The one saving grace is that I kept losing and winning at a rate that had me only slightly down from when I walked in – and then right when I was leaving, I hit on a machine that Jim always says I should play. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ This makes the second time he’s picked a winner for me.

But anyway, by the time I got home around 11pm… omg… worst neck pain that I’ve had in months. πŸ˜“ I’m not yet going to assume that the steroid injection is wearing off, since there were other factors, but yeah… it took exhaustion to finally make me sleep, because there wasn’t a single position that I could turn to that would make it go away. That sort of pain that makes a person go, “Oh shit… I’m really screwed if it just stays like this.” But like I said, thankfully, today the pain was down probably 90% from yesterday.

I guess I should wrap this up. 😏 Waking up feeling somewhat okay today… it’s allowed me to sit and plan my way towards the weekend in a way that I might be functional and okay. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that have to do any of this, and I hate that I have these days where I know I should do absolutely nothing, before baby-stepping my way out of it… but despite how it makes me look or how it may affect others, I have to start figuring out how to not be physically miserable and emotionally fucked because of it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ


Almost screwed up today. Well, maybe I did screw up a little. Opened the garage door to take some boxes and trash out to the buggy, then decided to sit outside for a couple of minutes since it was sunny and almost warm. But then I decided to take a walk to around the back of the house to check out the condition of things. See, I had someone mowing my grass all last summer, and I honestly never even really looked out back. I can see the bushes at the back through the various windows, but it is really only in passing.

First thing I noticed was that one of the flower tree things had died and rotted during the winter. 😐 I was actually able to easily break off many of the limbs and also push over most of the base of it that was still in the ground. It’s not completely gone yet, but it was nice to do something that noticeable without pushing my limits. And the hedges at the back that I mentioned… they’re overgrown and have other sorts of trees growing up in random spots within them, so I won’t be able to put them off for another season.

The other big-ish things that will have to be dealt with are all of the evergreen bushes that surround the house, and the strangely large tree that has grown up inside of the huge pine tree out front. 😳 The bushes in the rear and on the north side are probably small enough that I will (or would) be able to take care of them, but the others are way beyond my ability. And thankfully they did a good job weed whacking the flower gardens (and just mowing over the stuff that I told them to mow over) so they don’t look that bad.

So here’s where I’m at. I know there are quite a few things that I’d be able to do, but I would really only be able to do small bits at a time, over a span of several days for each of the things… so is that really worth it? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Cringing each day as I go out to do the small amount of work that I can do before it fucks my shoulders and neck, and hoping that I never bump up against that point. 😬 Doesn’t sound like an awesome way to spend my spring, and it risks stealing a bunch of days that might otherwise be days that I’d feel like leaving the house. So I guess I’ve made my decision. 😟

As much as I hate spending money when I feel like I don’t absolutely have to, this is a situation where the right call is to just hire some d00ds to do it. Why should I spend (likely) several days trimming the smaller bushes, when a full time landscaper type person will probably come and bust through all of them in a couple of hours – whether I’ve trimmed anything or not. πŸ˜’ There are a couple more examples of that same scenario but with different stuff in the yard, so I just have to suck it up and accept that I can’t do it and get someone who can. That’s a hard thing to admit. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

The one thing that has saved me from getting too twitchy about this today is the thought that even if I have someone come in and do everything that needs to be done… the amount I’m gonna have to pay is still gonna be less than one month’s rent in a decent apartment. And then, other than mowing, none of it will really need to be done again until the same time next year – or even longer if I have someone chop the bushes on the property line down to nubs. 🀨 So I’m gonna make a list of what I need to have done and what I’d like to have done, and then probably call my uncle after the weekend to talk to him about it and see if he has any d00ds that he can recommend.

Not being in constant miserable pain > swallowing my pride / being a tightwad

Bad, But Not Bad Bad

Well, “Doctor Visit #1” is out of the way. Going in, I definitely didn’t know what to expect. I know what I feelΒ (and hear) inside my neck, but I wasn’t sure if the MRI was going to accurately reflect that. πŸ˜• And… it did but it didn’t. πŸ€” Comparing it to an MRI from years ago, he could see more damage directly above the fusion area – but not so much that it requires more surgery. So I guess I got my wish… not that I want to hurt, but that I wanted it to show why I hurt, because I do. (Oh, and I actually have C5, C6, and C7 fused. I thought, for some reason, that it was only C5 and C6.)

It gets tricky now though, because my WC claim only allows for very specific parts of my body to be included. And even though any doctor that you’d ask would know that fused areas often end up with increased damage either above or below the fusion point, because that area isn’t specifically allowed by my claimΒ it may be a fight to get anything done in that regard. 😠 So, even though there’s a suggested course of action, if WC won’t concede that the damage is related to an area within my claim, there’s probably gonna be a delay. πŸ™„ Again.

First of all, he said there doesn’t appear to be much stenosis… a word that I’ve learned to fear from my mom’s own experience with it. 😳 But after spending a little more time than usual trying to describe the where/when/why/how of my current pain, he suggested that we try a steroid injection directly into my spinal cord area. 😯 I guess he’d inject some contrast dye first, and then while under some sort of scan – he would carefully puncture the right areas and inject the steroid, while being careful not to puncture the wrong areas. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ’‰ A bit unnerving, yes, but I have to do something.

Like I told him… I can’t even explain how much this injury and surgery have stolen from me over the past decade. πŸ˜” Who I am now is not who I was back then, and I don’t hesitate to put a lot of the blame on this disability. But to have my life changed so greatly, yet still be experiencing this kind of pain on a daily basis… frustration doesn’t begin to explain it. πŸ˜‘ But anyway, he’s doing what he can, and he doesn’t like the fight against WC any more than I do, but it’s just how things have to be done. So we’ll see over the next week if it’s allowed or if I’ll have to figure it out some other way.

Catching Up (More Later?)

Okay, I’ll put some effort into this entry. Things have been rough lately. Cassi and her family moved to a new apartment, and I was asked to help out where I could – and that’s all I could do, help out where I could. But basically what you had was a rag tag crew of broken people, trying to move an entire apartment’s worth of stuff as quickly as possible. 😬 I didn’t do much more than move boxes from the basement, up the stairs, and into the kitchen (what feels like 100 times) and then I did help Cassi with the actual packing of her room and taking those boxes downstairs too. πŸ˜₯ So even though what I was doing was mostly lifting dead weight, which doesn’t kill my neck and shoulder when done in moderation – of course I’m still dying today just due to the scale of what we were trying to do. (I wasn’t there for unloading day, handled by Cassi, Athena, and Athena’s new d00d.)

But anyway, I’ve done enough bitching on Twitter. We did have some other help for the bigger items, so everything that needed to get done got done. Of course we all wish we didn’t have to kill ourselves like we did, but it had to be done. One good thing though is that I’m pretty sure I’m still going to feel horrible by the time I get my MRI done tomorrow. Yes, thankfully it seems the scan has been approved – although now I’m remembering that I have a voice mail on my phone from the risk management company associated with my claim, so I can’t guarantee anything until I check that later. 😠 But the extra pain that I’ve been having, the random seizing that my neck is doing, the “different” noises it makes – I’m just really concerned that something is going bad in there. And I’m torn, because I want them to tell me that yes, it’s worse, and that it’s not just a coincidence… but of course I don’t want it to be something so bad that they start talking about another surgery. 😳

Oh, and in order to not stress Z out while they were getting ready to move, I decided to be cat-sitter again. 😺 I had her for several days, which was long enough this time for her to really start taking to me. No more hiding when I’d go down to the basement to see her – which was probably due in part to the liberal sharing of catnip and the regular “paper wad flipping” sessions. 😊 It’s nice to see that she hasn’t lost her excitement for that game.

So with all of that out of the way, after I get done with my MRI on Wednesday and hopefully get over to Aunt Sharon’s sometime today to help with her computer – then my life can maybe start going back to its normal boring-ness for a few days, and I can put my new vacuum together to see how she works… and do my laundry… and dishes… and bills… and continue packing away “get rid of” stuff… etc… 😏 I’m sure I’ll still pop up to Cassi’s a couple times in the near future to help her unpack things here and there, but thank God all of the ass-busting work has been done.

I’m Still Here

Let’s see if I remember how to do this. (I know I’ve said this before, but…) I feel like I might be starting to crawl out of this incredibly crappy funk that I’ve been in for what feels like forever. Main influence this time is my damn neck and shoulders. Stuff has been hurting at pre-surgery levels, which would be enough, I think, to make anyone concerned – considering the location and nature of my original injury. I had my first visit with my doctor in a while, where I was actually dying before, during, and after my appointment.

I didn’t have a chance to tell him, since it happened after my appointment… but on my way to check out I had one of those *ZAP* moments in my neck, and then walking out through the waiting room I had another one – bad enough that it stopped me in my tracks as I fought to not throw up. 😳 Good times, eh? 😟 I’m going to ask for some sort of updated scan of that area at my next visit, especially since I’m right in the middle of preparing to either settle my claim or go to court over it, and whether for my own well-being or for my case – updated info would obviously be a good idea.

Enough of that. πŸ˜’ Toni gets credit for getting me up, around, and doing something this time. She only gave me a couple hours notice, which normally would have gotten an instant “no” response, but she was asking if I wanted to come join her, Wendi, and Anna at the “Freedom’s Never Free” thing at the fairgrounds. Specifically, for the ceremony where they place the flags – since Uncle Rick has had one for a couple years now, and this year they got one for Grandpa Shepherd as well. I’m glad I went, but I was also glad to get back home since my doc appointment was the next day. Hell, it could have been the stress of unexpected “human-ing” the day before that allowed Dr Walter to see how bad I can get. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Okay, that’s about all I’ve got today… pics from the ceremony are up in my Flickr.

Apes… Together… Strong

I’ve struggled these past few days. 😞 Mood was decent until my neck started acting up. Didn’t really do anything that I can think of that would have provoked it. I think it just decided that I hadn’t heard enough from it lately – so it made itself better known. 😣 So I just limited my activity, waited it out, and I think I’m coming out on the other side now. 🀞🏻

During my down-time I ended up renting War for The Planet of The Apes on Google Play (first time I’ve used that service) for which they also gave me a “free copy” of Amityville: The Awakening to watch whenever. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But I’ve been anxiously waiting for the “Apes” movie to be available, and I wasn’t disappointed. πŸ˜ƒ Me, the computer nerd, the animation guy… you’d think that I wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy the movie because I’d only be able to see “computer monkeys” πŸ€“πŸ™ˆ but everything was rendered so authentically that I barely thought about all that through my first viewing. (Yeah, I watched it a second time the next day, even though it’s almost 2 1/2 hours long.)

The other movie… heh… it was an acceptable jump-scare movie, but not much more. No, wait… it also had way more of Bella Thorne’s ass than I anticipated. 😯 (For the record, I anticipated zero ass. πŸ˜…) Another Disney Channel kid that had to prove that she isn’t a kid anymore, I guess. And sticking to the “media” theme, today I got home from running some errands and found a new book in my mailbox. Commodore: The Amiga Years, which is a book that I backed during a crowdfunding campaign by an author who has already done a thick, hardcover Commodore: A Company On The Edge book – which I also happen to own. 😁 (Don’t ask me how much I’ve actually read though. πŸ˜• Gawd I wish I could make my brain slow down enough to actually read.)

Commodore and their computers… for better or worse, they’re a big reason that I am the way that I am today. 😏 From my first VIC-20 that Dad brought back from Hamvention for me in junior high, to my C64 setup in my high school years, then various Amiga computers after I graduated and was out on my own… so I’m hoping that one day when my brain allows it, I’ll be able to sit down and learn all the “behind the scenes stuff” that the world never knew about. Kind of like a written version of Halt and Catch Fire. (Who’d have ever thought that a network would sign off on a show like that, eh?)

All of it was a welcomed distraction.