Prepare to Launch

Surprisingly, all of that mail that I was dreading… it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. πŸ€¨πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can’t say yet if any of it is actually good, but the information that came in over the past week or so was of a type that at least keeps me optimistic and motivated, and that’s something that I really need in order to keep fighting the never-ending WC game. 😟 Like I told Dad, even if a lot of it ends up falling through, at least it’s helping to keep me going right now.

My attorneys are still working from home for the most part, so I don’t think all of this information has trickled out to the ones that need it yet. πŸ€”πŸ˜’ So tomorrow I’ll be calling in again to see if I can find someone to talk to before my doctor appointment and possible stop by the Social Security office. 😞 With all of this stuff going on, of course SS is gonna perk its ears up and wanna know what’s going on (Like a cat that hears the cat food bag crinkle, or a dog that hears when his squeak toy get stepped on… 😏) so I just wanna make sure they’ve got all of the information they need as well.

And ironically, my neck has been extra janky today, so I’m hoping that my condition doesn’t improve before my appointment tomorrow. 🀨 It doesn’t usually work out where my “worst moments” coincide with the time and date of my appointments, but it’s nice when the doctor can actually see the true extent of the suck. I think it’s because I was folding so much laundry over the past couple days, along with several other small chores that I forced myself to do while the energy was there. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh.

Oh, and regarding my attorneys… there’s a good chance that I am gonna have to go to the main office to either give them copies of what I’ve gotten, or perhaps start signing some different things if they did get these same papers and have already begun working on them. πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ€“ But their office is located downtown, and that hasn’t been the most car-friendly area over the past couple of weeks. 😯 I’ll have to check the different news sites tonight and see what they say about protests / areas, and maybe start looking for a “back way” into the nearby parking garage so I can sneak in and out if needed.

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow though. πŸ˜• Basically all of the things that are great at stealing my energy… that’s the stuff I’ll be doing all day. Visit with my doctor, impromptu SocSec office stop, phone calls with my attorneys (w/possible trip up to Columbus), stopping by my insurance agent’s office for some things, etc. 😐 But it’s my choice to glom all of this shit together this time, because I’d rather do it, have it hurt and/or drain me, but then have it all (hopefully) out of the way for a little while.

Calling it a day early though. 😴 Gonna go dark, find a movie to watch, and hopefully sack out soon. πŸ‘πŸ»

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.

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. πŸ˜³πŸ™„πŸ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. 😏 I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. πŸ€“πŸ€žπŸ»

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. 😐 Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t πŸ‘πŸ» leave πŸ‘πŸ» that πŸ‘πŸ» stuff πŸ‘πŸ» out πŸ‘πŸ» once I’m done with it for the day. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. πŸ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

“Feels Like 109”

I had only been checking the upcoming weather for rain, thinking about my grass… but this evening I got an alert on my phone, advising about the extreme heat warning that will be in effect until Saturday evening for basically all of Ohio. 😳 I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned this, but I’ve already had two “spells” where I was outside for a relatively short time (but in the heat) where I got lightheaded and woozy enough that I knew it was time to get my ass back inside. 😬🀒

So it was strange when I saw that alert. Something whereΒ (up until recently)Β normally I’d just grumble to myself and move on, but when I read that the heat index could reach 109 degrees it actually made me anxious enough that I momentarily got butterflies in my stomach. πŸ˜• Heh… I know that sounds stupid, but heat regulation is an issue for me right now, and seeing that number… I mean, holy shit. 😯πŸ˜₯Β NBC4’s weather people are already talking about the “cool down” next week… but they’re still talking about low-to-mid 80s. πŸ™„πŸ˜’ It feels like this miserable weather is never gonna end.

Thank God that me and most folks I know have AC, but there areΒ folks that I know who only have fans… and it does cause me to have concern for them. Places are giving away fans, the power companies talking about preparing for extra load on the system, various buildings will be operating as “cool centers” for people… 😟 so I suppose all of the “scary” talk, combined with how I feel, is probably making me worry for those other folks more than I maybe need to. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜• But yeah, next couple of days are gonna be rough.

Everybody, please try to keep as cool as you can… stay safe…

Checking Off Boxes

Typical “workers comp, beginning of the month, get my scripts filled” day today. Three different calls to the pharmacy, issues with my information in the computer, problems with certain ones not being approved… same bullshit as usual, except due to the incorrect information in their system I even had to stop in myself, with receipts and printouts and crap from last month. The folks that work there are great. It’s never the people there that I have a problem with… and after my visit we think everything is now updated, correct, and in process of being authorized – so maybe sometime today I’ll actually be able to pick them up.

I had to be out today anyway, so stopping in to get all this stuff sorted out wasn’t a big deal. I mean, I actually feel kinda bad for them – with how much of a pain in the ass “my case” is for them each month. It makes me wonder if any pharmacies have ever decided that certain customers’ situations were just too much work, too many calls, and too big of a PITA – and just told them to take their business elsewhere. ‘Cuz I can see how they could feel that way about me, if they weren’t such understanding and helpful folks.

But at my other stops, along with having several vials of blood drawn, we’ve started getting a lot more things set in stone. I’ve now got dates (if not exact times, yet) for the next blood draw, the administration of the radiation dose, how long I’ll need to stay away from people (which included rearranging another unrelated doctor appointment), when the full scan at FMC will be, and then the followup with my main thyroid doctor after all of the results are back and interpreted.

It’s surreal… how this is such a “big deal mind fuck” thing for me as I’m going through it, yet I’m just one of many. There are enough people needing this kind of treatment that once a week, every week, it’s radioactive “dosing day” for thyroid patients at FMC. But for whatever reason, even as you’re out in town, seeing other people doing whatever… it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person going through this shit, while actually we probably pass by people each day who are going through the same thing or worse. Working in nuclear medicine, giving the doses… I can see how that job could start feeling pretty heavy after a short while.

Woozy & Wobbly

Got my few hours of sleep, spent another hour just trying to get up and get moving so I could head in town… but then I stepped outside, and I don’t know if it was the heat or lack of sleep or what, but I instantly felt woozy and a little dizzy. 🀒 So despite my aversion to making phone calls, I gritted my teefs and phoned up the doctor’s office rather than driving all the way in there, not feeling the greatest.

Left a message a while ago, letting them know that I needed to get the next scan scheduled, to also reschedule my followup appointment with them after that, and also that I’d need to know when / and for how long I’ll need to stop taking my thyroid meds – and if I’ll need to make the same temporary but drastic changes to my diet like I did last time. πŸ˜•

A few hours later… still no call back. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And that actually makes me feelΒ better. I guess it makes me feel like my condition isn’t as “Shit, we need to hurry up… call him back right away.” as I sometimes think it is. 😏 So yeah, just waiting for word either today or Monday, and of course once I get all the details I’ll be sharing most of them here. Hoping that I can make something good of the weekend in the mean time.

Pass The Baton / Kick The Can

I didn’t do my bills last night, but I’m doing them now. πŸ˜’ They’re enough of a pain in the ass that I think I deserve an intermission, so I figured I’d jump over here and drop a few paragraphs. I knocked out the easy ones… gas, electric, internet, etc… but all of the fun medical related ones are starting to come in, and I want to pay closer attention as they nickel and dime me. 🀨 Mostly just to make sure that they don’t nickel and dime me over the same test, scan, procedure, or person twice.

My appointment today? Well, I guess it was okay. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ He said that the pathology reports on the tissue removed during my surgery was exactly what the pre-surgery biopsy had suggested, and that it’s the most common and most treatable type of thyroid cancer. 😐 Bleh… I don’t like using that word, so don’t expect to see it get used much here. 😷 So, it was a good follow-up, with the labs at least not coming back with something scarier than already thought. And I really pushed him for his true opinion. I told him not to bullshit me, and asked him if he had any “gasp” moments during the surgery.

Like I told him, before I was able to get workers comp to pay for my C5-C7 fusion surgery, I had to get an MRI done – with several doctors and medical assistant folks looking at the results, which showed some pretty severe damage. 🧐 And each one that didΒ look at it… it gave them a “gasp” moment. 😧

Where even a trained medical professional was like Wow. 😳 or Damn. 😯 or Holy shit. 😱

I explained how that helped me in thatΒ previousΒ situation, as it got everything approved and moving much more quickly… but that a “gasp” moment now isn’t something that I was hoping for, but that I still wanted him to tell me if it happened to him while he was digging around inside my neck. 😐 His reply seemed genuine (as usual) when he said that nothing was any more concerning to him once he was in there than when he was anticipating how it would look and how it would go. πŸ‘πŸ»

He explained that there was inflammation, but no more than he was expecting. He said that nothing gave him any kind of pause, that the surgery went as well as he could have hoped for, and that I don’t need to worry so much at this point. (Easier said than done, pal… 😏) I’m getting more blood drawn tomorrow, and he’s referring me to an endocrinologist in the same building that will hopefully help get my screwed up levels straightened out, as well as likely doing (or scheduling) this marker/radiation pill dealΒ  – which will hopefully be a one time thing followed by close monitoring. 🀞🏻

I figure I’ll save the questions about if/when I’ll have to see an oncologist, although I’m guessingΒ that’sΒ gonna be the doctor that would be doing the marker/radiation pill deal that I just mentioned, now that I think about it. πŸ€” It’s a little frustrating to be handed off from specialist to specialist, but better to have a whole bunch of different eyes on the situation than just one d00d who might not know what he’s doing, right?

So today’s follow-up… I’ll take it as a positive outcome. πŸ™‚ Didn’t really learn anything new, but learning that the labs confirmed what the initial tests suggested, and nothing worse… that’s sure better than the alternative. Also, having the whole “Don’t BS me, doc.” conversation, with the way he replied… it did actually make me feel a little more comfortable with the whole thing in my head. And so it goes…

But It’ll Be Fun

Feeling pretty miserable today. 😞 Christina’s cancer fund-raiser is this evening, but I just can’t make myself go. They’re doing it as a “bar crawl” since she used to be a bartender, and therefore has a ton of friends/acquaintances that would be likely to come out in that fashion… but me, with my twitchy social anxiety and introversion, it’s just not my scene anymore.

I feel bad, because I’d really like to be able to go and show my support, but there’s not really anything that I can do about it. I sent a message to Chelsea a bit ago, explaining why I wouldn’t be there, and I think she’ll understand for the most part. The shirts they had made for the event… it marks the third “cancer support” t-shirt that I’ve bought this summer in regards to a friend who’s fighting that battle, and that’s three shirts too many. (And that’s only my cancer-fightin’ friends who are doing that sort of fund raising.)

But like I told her, I’m not doing very good at accepting “bad” these days, and when there’s an option of being reminded of that “bad” vs. hopefully just being able to avoid the thought of that “bad” altogether and acting like it’s not real… heh… well, I think you know which option my brain chooses for me. I mean, I know they’re gonna have fun and that it will be hopeful, goofy, optimistic, etc… but right now everything just feels too heavy and I can’t be there. (And yet here I am, still feeling “bleh” about it since my brain won’t let me go. πŸ˜’ It can be frustrating being me sometimes.)