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. πŸ˜” 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. 😐 So, technically, it’s guess it’s just two “big” things that have me on pause. πŸ€”

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. πŸ˜• 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. 😬 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. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. 😠 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… πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ 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. πŸ€žπŸ»πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜’ 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. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜” 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. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ»

Pre-Dawn Thought-Stream

Got notice yesterday that my IC hearing has finally been rescheduled. πŸ˜’ It’s gonna fall right in the middle between my most recent WC doctor appointment and the one scheduled for next month. I’ve gotta get two of my WC meds filled later today (I’m not gonna rehash how that normally goes) but with the hearing now on the schedule again, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s even more trouble.

The past few months I’ve had to pay out-of-pocket to be able to get my meds on schedule, and then just wait and hope that the WC insurer would pay me back. 😐 I feel bad for the folks who are in the same situation as me but aren’t able to do that. And all this crap each month… that’s despite nearly every previous IC hearing over the past decade being found in my favor. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’ (Making “winning” somewhat of an inaccurate term.)

That’s the thing, you can “win” over and over again, but they can come at you again for those same things, repeatedly, after a certain amount of time elapses. It’s literally a never-ending process, if they want it to be. 😟 No emotional investment from their side, but it can sure wear down the injured worker. I know I don’t mean this, but I’m almost “ready to lose” just to be done with it. Can’t quit now though…

Jim and Adam are coming to town this evening, and they’re gonna pick up Brad so we can all meet up for dinner somewhere. πŸ™‚ Jim lives so far away now, in the past few years I’ve only seen him probably a couple times each year, so (especially since he’s coming all the way down here) I’m really hoping that I can make it. Doesn’t help that I fell asleep early yesterday and have therefore been awake since 3a today. πŸ™„πŸ˜

It’s after 5a now, it doesn’t appear that I’ll be falling back to sleep, so that means I’ll likely need a nap sometime in the early afternoon. 😴 Heh… being old and broken sure has a way of changing how you plan for things and recover from them afterwards. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦³ Thankfully this has been an okay week re: my neck, so with any luck that will remain true tonight. (Unlike the 2018 Sweet Corn Festival when we all met up… 😳)

I was an absolute mess that day. πŸ₯Ί Dealing not just with my neck, shoulder, and some horrible random lower back pain – but also, being right before my thyroid cancer surgery, I had like 1/10th of the energy that I’d normally have when it came to getting around the place. I could tell by how they acted that I must have appeared like I was on Death’s door. πŸ€•πŸ˜·πŸ˜‘β˜ οΈ So, while things aren’t perfect now by any means, they’re at least better than that, eh? So I don’t wanna miss it tonight. Gotta make the moments count.

VΓ‚N SCOTT: Die Young

After having my thyroid removed because of cancer, having the follow-up radiation and scans… and nobody willing to give me an “all clear” after all of it – just more check-ups and scans in the near future, it gets my brain in a weird place sometimes. In times like that, this song really speaks to me…

I’m still optimistic and hopeful when it comes to my recovery, but it’s always there in the back of my head… not getting the “all clear” really sucks. But I think they’ll be able to catch it if it returns, since most of the affected tissue is already gone. So I’m not predicting an early expiration date, but sometimes I wonder…

Small Steps… Always

Still not much going on lately. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’ve been continuing the incremental bits of cleaning and packing up of stuff, spreading the work out over time so I don’t excessively aggravate any of my gimpy parts. I wish that it made a bigger visual difference in the house, but honestly most of what I’ve been doing has revolved around cleaning out closets, working in the (rarely used) basement, and cleaning out various junk drawers. It’s nice to get my desk organized though, with all the “office stuff” that used to be scattered around the house. πŸ€“

It’s still being done mostly for the sake of “doing something” during my otherwise lackluster days, along with the feeling of accomplishment when a long-delayed project / task is finally finished. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m not usually thinking about it, but it’s feeling more and more like I’m subconsciously preparing the house and myself to eventually move out of here. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I’ve talked about the reasons before, which are all still valid, but when I’m not getting any younger and have been dealing with my various health problems – I think I just wanna be closer to town, people, stores, fast food, civilization, etc… just for convenience sake, if nothing else.

Meh… like I said, it’s not something that’s in my thoughts most days, but the idea is there. And in the same way that I’ve had to make adjustments to my daily life due to my disability and thyroid / energy issues, I can just see how being closer to all that stuff in general could make life easier and more bearable when it comes to the things that are a little more challenging for me. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦―πŸ€• I’ve got several friends that are feeling similarly, as they realize they’re a little more isolated than they’d like, so I think that’s also partially motivating me. Where do I want to live? 😐 Who knows. πŸ˜… But at least the chores that I do, essentially just to give myself some purpose, is preparing me for whenever I might be ready for whatever the next phase will be.

It Shouldn’t Be This Challenging

Today’s been kind of a flop. I didn’t have anything on the schedule really, but even after not getting much sleep – I still woke up with some motivation to work on one or two of my extra projects around the house. Also, between the lack of sleep and the shitty weather, I knew today wasn’t a car or glasses day either… so I’ve spent most of the day waiting for my upset stomach to go away so I could do a little of the work that I wanted to do without feeling like I was gonna yack. 🀒

It did make for a nice lazy day though, something that I sometimes struggle with allowing. Texted with Dad quite a bit, along with a few other friends, and then finally decided to go in the kitchen to chop up some green peppers to make some tuna salad for sammiches – to hopefully settle my belly, which it did. πŸ™‚ And to be honest, I was glad to just wake up today without my back being screwed up… something that it was showing signs of before I ended up falling asleep early this morning. 😯😬

So it wasn’t really that today was a flop… it was just unremarkable for the most part, so I wasn’t looking at it in the right way. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ And now that I’m feeling better since this afternoon, I know it’ll help my mood to get some more of my “unessential” stuff done before whenever I fall asleep tonight. Normally my lack of productivity would have made me a little twitchy, but I think I’m still riding along on the thyroid med train – still seeming to get back a little more energy with each day that passes. πŸ€’πŸ€žπŸ» I wish I could explain how bad the bad days really were just a few weeks ago, to emphasize how these little improvements are still a big deal.

I think I might go ahead and pull out the 360 cam and charge it up, in case I feel up to shooting any video at the SCF here in a few days. If not that, I plan on taking a lot more regular pictures this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve bothered, especially since last year’s trip was kind of a shit show from the start. πŸ˜’ And with my mood being decent lately (for the most part anyway…) I’m hoping that it’ll also nudge me towards getting interested in my hobbies like video and photography again. 😟

Every now and then Jim will post one of goofy our old videos on Twitter and I’ll come across it, where we were just goofing off and having fun for random Squirtman themed videos, and it makes me realize how long it’s been since I could truly say that I was having fun at anything, or that I was in a good mood for more than a couple hours out of one day. 😞 I’ve gotta start trying to figure out how to get a little more of that back, despite all of the other non-fun stuff I’ll obviously have to be working on (or facing) as well. 🀨 It wasn’t that many years ago that I was a totally different person, and it’d be nice if I could find my way back toward that at least a little bit. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ If my body will just stay physically un-fucked for a while, I might have a shot at it.

Meh… just thinking out loud again I guess…

Focusing On The Positives

Went to my follow-up appointment yesterday with the endocrinologist after my full body scan. I dunno, I guess it was mostly good news, but it wasn’t the “all clear” that of course anyone would prefer to hear. πŸ˜• But honestly, the chances of a doctor saying something like that are probably pretty slim anyway – since the last thing they probably wanna seem like they’re doing is handing out “guarantees” when it comes to something with such serious potential consequences.

The Negative: The scan did show a few tiny areas that lit up, meaning there’s some remaining thyroid cells there – as they had absorbed the iodine radiation and blew their cover during the scan. πŸ”¬πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈΒ Also, there’s no way to determine if those thyroid cells have cancerous cells in them as well… it just confirms that thyroid cells are there, and that we’ll need to periodically keep an eye on them. πŸ˜’

The Positive: The tiny bits that lit up were where they should be, where my thyroid used to be, meaning that none of those cells had migrated to any other locations where they could cause different kinds of trouble. The radiation that made those cells visible to the scan also serves to continue killing and shrinking those cells, so even over the next month or so they should continue to decrease in their already small size.

You can think of the surgery in the same way as someone trying to carve a hunk of fat off the edge of a steak before grilling it. Someone like me, I’d want to get as much of that fat cut off as possible – but at the same time you don’t wanna accidentally cut away good, non-fat, steak meat. 😏 Same thing with my surgery. The surgeon tries to cut away all of the thyroid, but not at the expense of accidentally cutting away non-thyroid meat. 😳 I guess it’s not terribly uncommon for tiny bits to be left behind because of that logic.

It won’t be for quite a while, but next year I’ll have to have an ultrasound of that area, to see if those cells appear to have grown. And since thyroids don’t grow back, I’ll assume that would be a bad thing. So at least the next “next step” isn’t stopping my meds and getting dosed with radiation again. ☒️🀒☒️ That tells me that while there is reason for concern and monitoring, it’s not of the “oh shit” variety where one of the most extreme measures is the first measure taken.

So, like I said, I guess overall it was a good result. I mean, there’s plenty of ways where it obviously could have been worse, but it’s still shitty that my first radiation didn’t kill offΒ all of the thyroid cells – because there’s no way that this won’t be something that floats around in my thoughts more than I’d like it to. πŸ˜’ I guess all my other recent lab numbers are good though, and I still feel like I’m gaining back more energy with each day that passes, so there’s that as well. I just wish that was the only thing that was going on with my neck.

So, yeah… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Improving

Went out and did actual grocery shopping yesterday. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone anywhere other than Dollar General or a quicky mart to just stock up on little random amounts of this or that to keep me going. But being run down for a couple of weeks and not making those little trips… I finally burned through pretty much everything in the fridge and cupboards. That’s good, I guess – I mean, that’s what some of the food was… shit that I could eat when I ran out of stuff that I wanted to eat. Well, that’s not exactly right, but you know what I mean. “Four cans of beets? Okay, I guess I’m going to be eating some beets today.”Β πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

It did take some energy out of me, but not like it would have done a week ago, or two weeks ago… so that’s one positive thing, that I’m definitely getting some of my energy back. Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do, so I ended up spending about $250… hopefully getting stuff that will last me a long damn time, other than stopping off for bread or pop or the other stuff that you always need to replenish before “the next shopping trip” wherever.

What’s funny though, is that when Gen and I were messaging last night, she asked me what all I got – and I legit had no idea. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Granted, I was already in bed, so my brain wasn’t trying that hard to remember… but I really think my brain put up a firewall while I was shopping. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦Β Β βž–πŸ›’πŸ˜βž–Β πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§Β  Β Knowing that I was already running on much lower energy, doing something that already causes annoyingly inexplicable anxiety at times, I couldn’t tell you what a single person looked like or did as I passed them in the aisle. No, wait, I remember some lady in the frozen section yelling at her kids for wanting to get the ready-made frozen lasagna – because she had already loaded her cart with all the things to make it from scratch. Oh, and I don’t remember my cashier, but the bagger chick was lightning fast… with all my shit bagged, back in the cart, and her moving on to the next station before my receipt even finished printing. πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ»

I finally ran out of juice once I got home and unloaded, but I did get all the cold shit put away – which means I have a kitchen floor full of bags waiting for me once I drag my ass out of the bedroom today. πŸ˜’ But it was just being worn out… not that “Oops I fell asleep for three hours” shit that was happening far too often a couple weeks prior. That’s really the only reason I’m posting about what 95% of people don’t even have to think about… a typical “big” shopping trip… because it hasn’t been that long since just walking out into the back yard to spray some weeds would put me out of commission. Just glad to know the thyroid meds are pushing me back in the right direction… and hoping that my uncharacteristic optimism here doesn’t jinx me for my appointment tomorrow. Also, plans for today are very limited… not falling for that “Ahh, I’m better!” shit and then ending up wiping myself out anyway after yesterday’s progress. 😏 Basically gonna take this as another “day off” after I get the rest of the shit put away and the laundry started…