The “Subjectively Positive” One

This is gonna be another really long one… it’s more fun for me this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Settle in and enjoy.

Now, this is something that’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t experienced severe social anxiety. ๐Ÿค” But last Saturday, after spending about a week and a half without even leaving my house, while trying (and failing) to adjust to a new medication, and still tending to my gimpy knee… I had to go to a concert in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜ At the Schottenstein Center, which holds about 18,000 people. 18,000 loud, screaming, drinking, super enthusiastic, having an awesome time, concert-goin’ people. ๐Ÿ˜ย (God bless ’em… heh) Oh, and we had “Meet and Greet” VIP passes for Debbie Gibson and Tiffany after the show.

The story begins last year, when my friend Jim got us tickets to see Phil Collins at Nationwide Arena. I had seen Genesis before, but never Phil on his own… so it was a bucket list thing. We had a great time, so in the fall of last year when “The Mixtape Tour” tickets came available – I went ahead and got our tickets, sort of as a birthday gift / way to pay back his generosity re: the Phil Collins tickets.

Flash forward to last Saturday… and it took every ounce of oomph that I had to make myself get up, get ready, and go to the venue to meet Jim. ๐Ÿฅบ My anxiety was so bad that up until the minute I was finally able to make myself get in the car, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to do it. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But I had already cancelled on Jim on a few other things, and I would feel like a giant shit if I bailed on him again, and he ended up just going by himself. So I honestly went more because of Jim, rather than a desire to actually go. Well, no… that isn’t entirely accurate… because I absolutely wanted to go… heh… like I said, it’s hard to explain how anxiety can overrule anything that you think you might want or be able to do. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Heh… I’m realizing that this isn’t gonna sound like a positive experience, so let me go ahead and interject here to say that I did have a good time while I was there, and was glad that I went. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was the getting there and getting home that were the biggest hurdles for my uncooperative brain. And of course there had to be construction all along the freeway on the way there, which is always fun – anxiety or not. And then when I got there, because I left so late, I ended up having to walk… *consulting google maps* … I had to walk “Total distance:ย 2,885.24 ftย (879.42 m)from the parking lot to the venue. ๐Ÿ˜ง But I had my cane, I took my time, and didn’t die too much. ๐Ÿ˜ In fact, not only did it help me to unwind from the traffic, but it continued my DIY physical therapy that I’m trying – to avoid the costly, painful, inconvenient, time consuming, real thing.

The thing that probably saved the night for me, once we found our way to our seats, was that we were at the absolute top of the seats. Literally everyone in front of us, with the backs of our chairs being against the wall. ๐Ÿ˜Š Plus the seat next to me was empty. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to be “outside” of the humans rather than surrounded by a sea of them in every direction. So for the duration of the actual show, I was golden. ๐Ÿ™‚ Me and Jim, catching up on shit, no assholes around to be a nuisance, a decent view of everything due to the big LED screens, despite being in the very definition of “the nosebleed seats” for the concert… and it was awesome. I was glad that I “made” myself go.

Then the show ended. ๐Ÿ˜ณ At which point we had to navigate through the herd of exiting humans, trying to figure out where we had to be to do the Meet and Greet part of our experience. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Buttloads of people, slight confusion of where to go, the prospect of meeting a couple of celebrity singers… so, again, I found myself *this close* to just walking out one of the nearby doors and just waiting for Jim to go and do that part on his own. But he said the right things I needed to hear, I took a few woosah moments, and once a lot of the people were gone we found our way to what was essentially the basement under all of the seating. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Sorry, I’ll try to tighten this up a bit. ๐Ÿ˜ There were different M&G packages, some with just Debbie, some with just Tiffany, some with both – so thankfully, even though they had us all crammed into a relatively small waiting space, we got to do our thing pretty quickly since we had the dual package. Got a hug from Tiffany, they both autographed my lanyard, and while there was a little confusion with the official person taking the photos – it gave me some time to actually talk with Debbie while we had a short wait.

She asked if I had a good time and I told her “Oh, absolutely…” with a smile, but since other people were distracted I was able to lean over to her and kinda quietly say “… but man is my social anxiety kickin’ right about now.” Heh… probably a little weird, but it would have been awkward just standing there silently as we waited for the photographer to get ready. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But she just smiled back at me and said she actually knows what I mean, and that before each show she usually stays in her dressing room with her piano and just plays some random jazz or classical to help her get rid of herย pre-show anxiety. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that was a comforting thing to hear… since rather than her thinking I was a weirdo, she could actually relate. Then we got the pic, I got a hug from her as well, and that was that.

Well, that was it for me I mean. ๐Ÿ˜ Jim still had to get his picture with them… but keep in mind, Jim wasn’t Jim for the night… he went as Squirtman. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜„ The orange body suit, the cape, the Squirtman puppet, flashing LED glasses, the cowboy hat… heh… the whole deal. That was actually another good thing throughout the night – because when you’re next to Squirtman, you’re essentially invisible – which was perfect. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

He got there an hour before the doors even opened, so he was parked right in the first lot and was able to give me a ride out to my car – since all of the walking and stairs and such did finally take its toll on me. ๐Ÿ˜•ย I did have the typical “I need to be home”ย voice repeating in my head as I was driving, but the goody feeling from the concert buzz made the long drive home much more bearable than some drives I’ve made in the past. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yeah… yay me. ๐Ÿ˜Š I did a thing. ๐Ÿ˜

If you remember any of these bands or singers and wanna check out some clips, here ya go:

Alrighty, that’s about it. Congrats if you made it through all of my (hopefully) descriptive weirdo rambling. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Exhausting

Nobody really knows what to say or do for someone when one of their loved ones passes, much the same as nobody knows how their brain is going to react to it. Most of my friends and family are doing exactly what I need – checking in on me now and then with a call or text, but basically leaving me alone so I can work it all out. But I’ve also got a couple people who are constantly wanting me to get out of the house and do something, or who are constantly wanting to come over to visit, etc… and even after explaining how much that’s not what I want or need right now, I dunno, I guess they don’t believe me.

They’re trying to make me feel better, when actually they are making me feel like shit – when nearly every day I have to tell someone no… that I don’t want to go out to spend time with them, or no, I don’t want them here spending time with me. It’s simply a matter of needing time, but I know that in at least some way I’m hurting those people’s feelings, making them feel unneeded or unwanted. So I haven’t even really had a chance to reset and regain my bearings since Genesee left, because almost every day I’m reminded how much I’m not okay yet – by wanting to just be away from people and “stuff” for a while – and knowing that each time I do it, I seem ungrateful or whatever.

And again, I know that I’m probably not reacting like most people do, but when I give an explanation you’d hope that would help, you know? But no, so each day that I’m hoping to feel a little bit better – I actually end up feeling worse. It’s that “being a disappointment” trigger that I’ve developed. People want me to be better already, or do the things that they think will make me better, so I feel shitty when I can’t’ be that person that they’re expecting.

And yeah, that’s definitely more their problem than it is mine, but of course I don’t want anyone I care about to misunderstand and feel like it’s personally about them. I don’t want to have to straight up ignore people’s messages, but if I have to I have to… because right now I’m just spinning my wheels, waiting for the first day where I feel like I get some traction, and some people’s “help” definitely isn’t helping.

I’m gonna try to do tomorrow what I was hoping to do today. It’s Saturday, so it’s a weekend day… which technically shouldn’t mean shit to me, as I don’t really have a schedule I have to keep right now… but when I finally fell asleep at 4a this morning (ugh…) it was with the mindset that I wasn’t going to put any pressure on myself, it was the day after I told a friend how much I needed to just be left alone, so I was hoping to put together just one somewhat-normal day that was unaffected by anything or anyone else. But nope… woke up to a message wanting me to go “do something” today, which meant I started my day disappointing someone.

I think that tomorrow I’ve earned the right to just ignore anyone that isn’t respecting what I need, so hopefully I won’t let it weigh on me too much. It’s like fuck… leave me alone, let me start to feel better, let me get back on track, and everything can be fine. Hell, just starting to make a mental list of things that I’ve put on hold, not to mention spring coming up here around the house… yeah, I need to get my shit together.

Awesome Timing, Thanks

I went and saw the new “physician’s assistant” fella yesterday. He first confirmed that Dr Walter is still my doctor of record and that everything will still go through him… but hopefully after this initial “getting to know each other” appointment (for which I’m sure he’ll have to confer with Dr Walter at least this time) he’ll be able to handle most everything while leaving Dr Walter’s time free to help patients that can actually still be helped, patched up, or even repaired. That’s where his time should go.

Thankfully though, I really like this guy. Dr Walter and I have a decade of history from me going to that clinic for the same problem… so, obviously, even starting to get new guy on the same page as us would be impossible in one visit. But that didn’t stop him from intently listening to everything I said, as well as already offering his preliminary thoughts and ideas about my condition and treatment. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the positive vibes were a pleasant surprise. I mean, it was really a crap shoot (what type of doctor I could have ended up with) but I should have known that their office wouldn’t hire a jackass when not a single one of them already there acts that way.

Okay, so that was the good part of the visit. Nothing has changed yet, but I told him that I appreciated having “new eyes” looking at the situation, and letting him know that I am willing to try changing some things up if he, Dr Walter, and I think that it could help with the problems which have slowly been getting worse over the months and years. I then began the walk to the front of the office to make my next appointment and hit the road, when I was told that Laura, the workers’ comp “saint” of the practice, needed to see me before I left.

She told me that my case manager contacted them and told them that I was non-compliant with my scheduled appointments, and that I was also non-compliant with getting my medications filled each month. Now, Laura has been there since the beginning with me, so she (like me) knew that what the case worker was saying was complete bunk. Before I could even say anything, Laura told me that she had already faxed more than sixty pages worth of documentation to them, to let them know that they are either full of crap and are trying to jerk me around again, or that they are incompetent. (My words, not hers.)ย I mean, how many times have I bitched here myself about how nearly every damn monthย I have to make multipleย calls, multiple visits to the pharmacy, and often still I’m not “allowed” my medications until days after they’ve forced me to run out?

Based on what they are claiming, they are now only willing to pay for one doctor visit every three months – while certain medications that I take require me to be seen every thirty days. (And it sure sounds like their eventual goal may be to straight up “kick me out” or void their obligation to me.) So, this is what I have to deal with now. And I really need some dumb shit like this, right now, when my plate is already overflowing with stuff that is pushing my health and emotions to their limits.

But that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow, gathering up all of the current information about whoever is my acting case manager, figuring out which of my attorneys handles this type of issue, and probably trying to figure out how to get records from my pharmacy – and maybe a statement from the pharmacy techs who know how I regularly get the runaround – and get everything in some kind of order, to where I can start making calls on Friday.

I had a good day today, and I do want to blog about it at some point, but I’m still furious about this. Yes, it’s all easily, easily refutable… and there’s absolutely no way that I won’t win if this gets forced into another IC hearing or actual court case… but the fact that I have to do it at all, and that theyย stillย seem determined to deny me as much of my treatment as they can. I don’t understand how any human could or would take a job like that, where if they complete their task or reach their goal, a person’s life is ruined.

If I keep talking about it I’m not going to be able to sleep again tonight, but that’s the gist of how my Wednesday went. I’m glad Genesee is still in town, because today I had to just pretend that yesterday didn’t happen… just for this one day, so that my brain wouldn’t have a meltdown from immediately trying to fix all of this. I already spent the entirety of Tuesday night through dawn on Wednesday wide-awake, sitting in bed with my phone, looking up countless things regarding my case and treatment, and sending them to the printer so I could compile and highlight them later.

When there is a reliable, well-documented, years-long pattern of delaying or denying a patient’s medication or treatment, when multiple hearings and court cases have already made it clear that the patient is legally entitled to all of it… even if it’s done in a way that technically isn’t in violation of their obligation – you’d still think it might reach a point where a judge would see that it’s nothing less than harassment, and I have to believe that one of that patient’s litigating attorneys would smell blood in the water at that point, so to speak. I’m not a squeaky wheel. Why do they want to push it to that point?

(Okay, tomorrow’s entry will be a positive one. I just had to let this out, for better or worse.)

Insufficient Quantities

Another half-work / half-shlubbing-around weekend day. ๐Ÿ˜ Cassi had the day off, so I went and got her so I’d have some company (and a helper) and so she could have time away from home. So, like the last time she was here, she’s been working on her stuff a little more and I’ve been working on my stuff more… using that bit of motivation that you get just from having someone hanging out. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A couple different phone calls to the pharmacy this morning and they’re still having problems with getting any of my workers comp related medications approved. ๐Ÿ˜’ Ten minutes on the phone, then on hold, and then told that they were gonna have to make some calls to get things straightened out.ย  Haven’t heard anything back from them for the past couple of hours, so I’ll be calling again after I finish this entry. I’m not even trying to get them before last month’s supply ran out. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Heh… and as I’m writing this I got another text notification from the pharmacy saying that one item is on order, another is ready – but with a $12 charge, and no info about the third. ๐Ÿ˜• But this confirms the typical problems I have every month… because if there’s a charge on one of these, that meant it was run through my regular insurance instead of the one provided by workers comp. I guess twelve bucks won’t kill me though.

And even though it’s Saturday, I got an actual registered letter that I had to sign for, from that “home care” medical provider that I mentioned a few entries ago. It says that they’re letting me go as a patient (okay?)ย and that I need to find someone else… despite having never used their services and not knowing who this nurse is that supposedly tended to me a couple times. ๐Ÿ˜  So I sent them another email, despite just talking to someone from there on the phone, telling them to knock it off with the bills and the mail. It’ll probably do as much good this time as it did last.

Meh… so that’s been the first half of the day. And yeah, I know that a lot of the entries in the blog lately have just been me bitching about the mundane and trivial, but believe it or not – some people do like keeping tabs on me and knowing how things are going, even people that aren’t relatives or close friends. It’s weird to have made what are essentially digital pen pals, from people who have found the blog and have then messaged me for one reason or another.

But I guess I better throw on some pants and head in town for the one script that I can pick up. ๐Ÿ™„ And like I told Cassi, the reason I go in there most of the time, and deal with this shit in person – it’s because people tend to work a littleย bit harder when you’re standing right there, telling them exactly how things are supposed to be, and nudging them in the right direction when needed.

Heh… this was quite a ramble for just some medical billing filling bullshit. ๐Ÿ˜

Hurt, Heal, Push, Hurt, Heal, Push…

Yesterday evening ended up being bad. Normally you do some sort of physical activity, it’ll work up your muscles a bit, then as the day and night progresses – the pain or stiffness gradually goes away. Not last night. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜  I left PT feeling awful and it continued to get worse all the way until I somehow fell asleep despite it. And even today, as soon as I effing woke up – neck is stiff, head and eyeballs are pounding with a headache still… heh… I really wasn’t anticipating it being this bad, considering the relatively limited movement that I allowed my bad arm and shoulder yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜’ Even being actively aware of and discussing it as I was going through exercises with the physical therapist, I still allowed myself to get this effed up. ๐Ÿคฌ

I got wrapped up in that “authority figure” syndrome thing. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Where you’re talking to a cop or doctor or teacher or whatever… and because you see them as an authority figure, you’re more likely to just do what they say, or give their words more weight than compared to a “normal” person. ๐Ÿ™„ I wanted to do the exercises that they have determined should help me, and in “trying to do my best” (like always) I really messed myself up. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But anyway – I’ve already decided that I’m barely going to do any of that shit during the next visit – or at home, where I’m also supposed to continue the exercises.

I’m not gonna give up on trying to get my back to heal properly and train it for a little more endurance, but I’m not gonna be able to do it the way a completely functional human would. ๐Ÿค• Tomorrow is supposed to be my last appointment with them anyway, so it’ll be up to me to make the choices about how I’m gonna keep things moving in the right direction. Heh… I can’t explain how angry this pain makes me… it’s a combination of the actual pain, the resentment regarding the original injury that has made me this fragile, feeling like “taking the initiative” to push myself to heal just results in punishment, spending every other day hurting and recovering… meh… I’m just gonna basically drop the extensive PT and do what I can, because prior to this I was actually healing and feeling pretty good.

It’s just one of those days where as soon as I woke up I was already done with this day. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Gonna try to make this headache go away and hopefully do something that can flip my mood. Apologies to anyone who has messaged me or sent e-mails and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I’m gonna try to get at all that before the afternoon is over. It’s hard to put on “happy, socializing face” when I’m feeling like this…

And I’m gonna find something positive to post about later too. Tired of being miserable.

Meandering Thoughts

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the weekend to get here. ๐Ÿ˜ While technically the day of the week doesn’t matter too much when it comes to my life, right now I’m using these “weekend” days as a crutch for my struggles of the moment. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I’ve had a string of challenging days which have gotten progressively worse, mostly because I’m dwelling on a few things that I’m incapable of doing at the moment. Things that other people are somewhat countingย on me to be able to do. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ No matter what it might be, I hate when I can’t be “reliably reliable” for my friends or family… so while I do continue to work on myself, I really needed this weekend so I could chill and tell myselfย “Just take it easy on yourself for a couple of days. It’s the weekend.”

Even having said that, it’s only partially effective, so my brain took it upon itself to engage in other distractions. Twitter is always a “go to” place for relatively irrelevant engagement. It seems most of the world goes there to loudly and/or angrily broadcast their opinions (often barely grounded in facts, if at all) and I usually end up trying to educate the exceedingly ignorant, insulting, and condescending of the lot. I know the odds are slim that I’d ever get any of them to think beyond their narrow view of reality… but like I said, it’s more distraction than crusade. (Plus it lets me act like an asshole to those that deserve it. Everyone needs that outlet sometimes๐Ÿค”)

Lots of discussions about gun control and the Parkland kids, talk about the recent military engagement in Syria and the potential consequences… ๐Ÿค“ but then somehow I got diverted towards more random/fun Twitter and Google searches. I think it started with things about Atlantic City, since I’m considering a trip there sometime this year, but then I ended up looking through local auction listings – which switched my brain over to straight nostalgia mode. ๐Ÿ˜Š

One of the first things that I came across (which was weird, since I was just wondering about it a few days ago) was a vintage “Poosh-M-Up” pinball-ish type game… one that my Dad had when he lived here at this house. ๐Ÿค— It’s funny, one of those things where my memory of the game and the location are inseparable. I’m assuming my grandparents originally bought it for him, but then I ended up playing with it once I was old enough. ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป But yeah, such a random thing to accidentally come across… and there’s actually quite a few varieties of this game, and I plan on reading about the history of them all. ๐Ÿ™‚ I never considered there’d be a bunch of ’em out there like this.

This local auction though, it has several items that I’m kinda interested in. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ That pinball game, old Atari game consoles and computers, other misc old toys of my era… and even though it’s in Mt Vernon, that actually motivates me to go a little more – since it’s a sleepy little town and there might not be many people that show up to outbid me. ๐Ÿ˜ So after looking up that stuff on eBay, it made me think of other old games that I had when I was a kid, so of course I started looking up some of those things as well. I know that I always threaten to do an entire blog entry devoted to pricing toys from my personal childhood, but I really think that I’m gonna do that later tonight if my brain remains in its current happy place. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Decompressing

Heh… I was a bit stressed last night when I was making those last couple of posts, but I’m feeling better after getting a decent amount of sleep and then just chilling for the better part of the day today. Unpacked the food and my clothes from the trip, along with a couple folders of paperwork that I took and worked on during the evenings until I fell asleep… so I wasn’t completely worthless today. ๐Ÿ˜

I’ve also made some small first steps towards feeding my inner creative nerd sometime… downloading a couple of particle physics sandbox type programs, a voxel ray tracing program, the Algadoo motion physics toy, a couple of basic flight simulators, and re-downloaded the 3D home design program that I used a couple of years ago to model the inside of the house when it still belonged to my grandparents. ๐Ÿค“

So all of those goodies are installed and waiting for me, should I ever find the time to sit and just dick around on the laptop. ๐Ÿค” I think I might also look for something that can help me create some sort of stereoscopic shit as well, while I wait for my replacement 360 cam to get here next month. Oh, and I’ve also been playing around with long exposure and higher frame rate time-lapse videos to get some light-streaking effects.