Just Rambling

It ain’t over ’til it’s over… that should be the motto of my life when it comes to all of the workers comp garbage. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ I think there’s an R&B song from the early 90s with something close to that title. ๐Ÿค” Meh… anyway… it’s been a day full of working on that stuff, reading mail, working on new forms as much as I can – without any of my attorneys being across the table to help me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But much like everything else that I’ve had to fight for, there’s still some fighting left to be done before the medical portion is gonna be settled.

It’s a bit before midnight now, so I’ve lost most of the emotional energy that was powering me through it all, so I don’t even have the oomph to really rant about any of it tonight. ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, things should be fine eventually… it’s just the typical “Surprise, this isn’t gonna go how you thought it was gonna go.” stuff that plagues every person in the system and keeps things progressing at a snail’s pace. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŒ But my attorney says we should remain optimistic, and he’s good at selling me on that idea… ๐Ÿ˜ so, that’s what I shall do.

But man, even today I’m feeling the effects of how the whole thing has changed me. It simply sucks the energy out of me when I have to work on stressful stuff and make phone calls regarding it all. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜ฃ I mean, that’s what started my “phone anxiety” back in the beginning of the process. All calls seemed to be doctors, lawyers, social security, etc… and all of them were stressful. ๐Ÿ˜  I hate using the word “trigger” but that’s what a ringing phone became to me, and then the same for picking up and trying to make a call. It’s embarrassing.

But just like back then, today I felt that effect… not in a super bad way, and I wasn’t even feeling overly stressed or upset or anything… but that still didn’t stop it from sucking away my energy and sending me into a couple unplanned naps. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ด Heh… they’re hard to describe. They usually start with, “Ugh, this sucks… I need to take 10 minutes to rest my eyes and brain.” and then I wake up a couple hours later. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Granted, my sleep has already been screwed up because of my neck and an awful 24 hour headache, but working on this shit didn’t help. ๐Ÿ˜› (And I doubt that I’d be anything like this if I hadn’t gotten hurt and stopped working… but meh, who knows, I could have ended up worse. Que sera, sera. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ )

But it was kind of nice to do this mid-week rather than waiting until the weekend like I usually do with most of the mail. I mean, there’s no getting around their business hours when it comes to needing to actually get in touch with folks at the office. But yeah… a big chunk of “bleh” was at least handled and pushed off to the side until probably the start of next week. ๐Ÿ˜Š A little bit of uncertainty is still gonna be creeping around in my thoughts until this is truly settled, but there’s nothin’ new about that.

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

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

Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.

Nothing New

Still haven’t completely bounced back from the weekend, but I have a feeling that the stress of waiting for all of the workers comp stuff to play out is adding to that problem. ๐Ÿคจ Unfortunately there’s no getting around the fact that emotional stress causes a physical reaction, especially when my injury is in my neck and shoulder… because that’s where stress tension often tends to land. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Even in folks without other physical defects there, most people definitely feel stress in those areas.

But this was “Day One” of two pretty decent looking days when it comes to the weather forecast. Sun’s out (mostly), I’ve got the windows open, breeze blowing through the house, and was hoping that would help motivate me to do some laundry and whatever… ๐Ÿค” but rather than pushing myself I just took the day off and enjoyed it the best that I could through my picture window. No hurry on the laundry, so why not.

I hate “not doing anything” but I’d also like to make it in town to visit with Dad tomorrow, so I didn’t wanna push my luck. At some point we’re supposed to go on a sight-seeing ride to check out some of the places from our family history, to see what everything is looking like these days compared to back then… so part of me is kinda thinking about that for tomorrow, but if not – a regular visit would still be a success. ๐Ÿ™‚ Waking up each day with different levels of brokenness makes it so it’s better to not necessarily “plan” some things… but rather just “let them happen” if they’re meant to happen.

I never hold my breath on these things, but so far the “take it easy” approach to today seems to have helped with the aches and pains. Now if I can only manage to not “sleep funny” I should be in decent shape for getting out of the house tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve been really stressed out the past few days, so I’ve been in hermit mode but still texting back and forth with Dad and Genesee which helps me escape my thoughts throughout the day. Fingers crossed for the continued bounce back to something close to normal…

(I don’t know why I still feel “guilty” or “bad” if I take a day and do absolutely nothing with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• )

Push Through It

I thought I might have better luck if I went in to the pharmacy rather than calling them, but nope. ๐Ÿ˜’ Tomorrow’s technically a holiday, so I’m gonna wait until Tuesday before I go back in and make them go through any kind of fuss, in case they need to call the insurer or my doctor to get things moving.

Next stop was Walmart, since about a week ago I went ahead and ordered a second pair of glasses from them. I was originally just gonna grab my prescription and send it off to somewhere online so I could get a cheap pair of distance-only lenses and frames, but I was able to order a pair from Walmart for only $68 so I figured that was good enough. ๐Ÿค“

After that I made it out to see Dad for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were gonna watch some of the Daytona 500, but weather came and put it on a rain delay. I wouldn’t have been able to stay through the whole thing anyway though. ๐Ÿ˜• My neck was still pretty locked up through my whole trip out, but towards the end of my visit with Dad my shoulder started shaking and being uncooperative again, so I headed home to get it back in front of the space heater.

Oh great… speaking of meds. I just nowย got a text from the pharmacy that says “We are contacting your doctor for an alternative med for Rx Metaxalone. We will text when ready.” ๐Ÿ˜ณ No idea what that’s all about, but if my doctor wanted me to be taking something different he would prescribe me something different. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Oy… looks like I’ll be calling the pharmacy in the morning to find out what’s going on, and then my doctor’s office to let them know there’s some new sort of nonsense that they might be getting a call about.

I swear, man… ๐Ÿ˜’ it’s almost 7p on a Sunday before a holiday – and I’m still getting hassled. Meh… no sense in worrying tonight since I can’t do anything about it anyway. You see how this stuff goes though? ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I went in and tried to get that situation settled, I wasn’t able to, so I was trying to put it out of my thoughts… so the situation reached out and poked me, like “Hey, don’t forget about me. Here’s something confusing for you to ponder all night… and you might wanna get up stupid early to make even more phone calls tomorrow. Sleep tight.”

Not What I Planned

Yup, like I said, last night was fun, but I’ll be paying for it today. Thinking that this would be a lazy Sunday, I made the mistake of pushing a bunch of things from last week off until today. I’ve gotta handle my mail, work on a bunch of stuff regarding my upcoming IC hearing, listen to my voice mails and deal with whatever those require, plus I’ve gotta call the pharmacy to continue trying to get my current prescriptions filled…. and that’s all gonna be a lot harder now with a frozen neck.

Of course because of the physical aspect, but also because it’s particularly stressful to be coordinating my fight against workers comp and struggling to get my meds filled while I’m experiencing the exact thing that they’re fighting me over. It’s emotional stress that makes the physical stress worse, which makes the emotional stress worse, ad infinitum… the ouroboros of my disability. ๐Ÿ˜ž

When that cycle starts it’s hard to escape. That’s why I worry so much about things like my planned concert trip later this year. Yesterday, my only concern with meeting up with my friends was that I might be too tired to do it, but then my shoulder shows up too, goes nuts, and now today is screwed. If I make just the smallest misstep, things can go downhill so quickly.

So I’m gonna wait a little longer for the morning meds to kick in, then I’ll start slowly tackling this stuff. But ugh… cringing about what else the mail might contain, cringing about what the voice mails might say, cringing about yet another hearing that will determine the quality of my life for the indefinite future… it would just be nice if I felt like I had some control of where my life is heading.

It’s probably partially my fault for not dealing with stuff as it showed up, but again I made the mistake of thinking that because I felt okay on those particular days that I’d feel okay today when I planned to deal with everything. Meh… I have very little control over how this will all turn out, so I might as well just power through it as best as I can and then give it up to God. And yeah… this counts as a negative post.

Pre-Dawn Thought-Stream

Got notice yesterday that my IC hearing has finally been rescheduled. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’ (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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜ด Heh… being old and broken sure has a way of changing how you plan for things and recover from them afterwards. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ 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… ๐Ÿ˜ณ)

I was an absolute mess that day. ๐Ÿฅบ 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. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜‘โ˜ ๏ธ 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.